The smelly dangers of Antiperspirants

We all want to make sure we smell nice and don’t walk around with large wet areas on our shirts due to perspiration.  Do you know the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants? Do you know the ingredients? The potential health risks? Let’s discuss this smelly topic!

Deodorant is supposed to let you sweat and then kill the bacteria, keeping you from smelling badly.  Antiperspirants actually stop you from sweating, therefore keeping you from smelling.  The difference? The active ingredient — aluminum.


Your body needs to sweat!

Sweating is the body’s way of keeping cool.  It also helps rid the body of toxins and cleans pores.  Remember the last time you had the flu and were freezing cold until your fever broke, at which time you were sweating, but finally felt a little better? Once your body sweats, many toxins are released.  The primary sweat pores are the underarms.  Think of the implications of clogging those pores up and not allowing that sweat to come out.   The toxins have to go somewhere, so they recirculate in your body and can wreak havoc.

Aluminum is toxic at certain levels of exposure:

Although the research and debate is ongoing, studies have linked aluminum in the human body to Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and more recently, breast cancer.

We are all exposed to aluminum on a daily basis as it’s in the air, water, our diets, and even antacids.  The problem comes in when the level at which the accumulated amount in our body becomes toxic.

According to CDC, the average adult in the United States consumes about seven to nine milligrams of aluminum per day in food, and a lesser amount from air and water. Only about one percent of the aluminum we ingest orally becomes absorbed into our body, as the rest is removed by the digestive tract, provided it’s functioning well.

When tested in a lab, aluminum contamination has been found in an alarming number of products on the market, from foods and beverages to pharmaceuticals, which suggests the manufacturing process itself is a significant part of the problem.

Aluminum is found in a shocking number of foods and consumer products, including:

  • Foods such as baking powder, self rising flour, salt, baby formula, coffee creamers, baked goods and processed foods, coloring and caking agents
  • Drugs, such as antacids, analgesics, anti-diarrheals, and others; additives such as magnesium stearate
  • Vaccines including Hepatitis A and B, Hib, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), pneumococcal vaccine, Gardasil (HPV)
  • Cosmetics and personal care products such as antiperspirants, lotions, sunscreens, and shampoos
  • Aluminum products, including foil, cans, juice pouches, tins, and water bottles

Just as with toxins in the environment, once aluminum is absorbed in tissues, the body has a difficult time getting rid of it.  Over time, aluminum can accumulate in your brain and do serious damage to neurological health, regardless of age. Aluminum toxicity may be doing as much damage to our children as to our seniors.  Obviously, the goal is to limit exposure by avoiding products such as toothpastes containing aluminum oxyhydroxide, antiperspirants, aluminum laminated pouch drinks, aluminum cookware and aluminum coffee/espresso makers.  Never prepare or reheat food in aluminum foil!

So, back to antiperspirants.  Each brand and even each strength within those brands have a different percentage of aluminum, but all antiperspirants do contain some level.  Some brands label products “antiperspirant/deodorant,” while some label only one or the other.  Always check the main/active ingredient, as well as the other ingredients, usually listed in fine print at the bottom of labels.  If it contains aluminum, put it back on the shelf.

There are several natural and a few organic choices available for safe deodorant.  I can attest that the ones I have tried work excellent and I do not smell bad, and I am a sweater!   Just remember to read the entire label and check the ingredients!  Do not let brands that generally advertise as “all natural” throw you off.  Stick to aluminum-free deodorants!!  Wash it off before you go to bed, and remember, allowing your body to sweat is like a natural detox!

Look at the labels below on some of the most popular brands: