I highly suggest practicing precaution with body products and self care products. Use the most natural things you can on your body, especially in a sensitive place like your armpits. Try to find deodorant that is free of aluminum and parabens. Both are hotly debated as being related disease and cancer (1). Parabens are in cosmetic products such as shampoos, lotion, mousses, pharmaceuticals, food, and beverages can be seen on labels as
- benzyl paraben
Parabens are used as an antimicrobial preservative. In other words, it helps to give products a longer shelf life. If parabens ingested they are eventually excreted. However, if are absorbed through the skin and end up in tissues. Parabens also have estrogenic activity which is being linked to breast cancer, and possibly in male infertility (2). The scientific evidence supporting paraben seems to be lagging behind the evidence of those questioning it’s safety.
Because aluminum is the third most abundant element (after oxygen and silicon) in the Earth‘s crust, it makes sense that it is used in so many of our products, you could even call it “natural” right? However, in large amounts it is toxic. Several studies have reported that workers in the aluminum industry have higher rates of cancer-related deaths. Just google that one. The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry shows that the FDA has set a limit on the amount of aluminum in water and in worksites. Yet, the FDA has determined that aluminum used as food additives and medicinals such as antacids are generally safe — which means… they are unregulated. Do you trust the companies to watch out for that threshold level? Or should you just trust you gut on this one? In short, we should aim to reduce our exposure to aluminum and other heavy metals when we can control it. Check the label!
I use the classic crystal deodorant has never worked on its own for me, so for a long time, I gave it up and used conventional deodorants. My Adam shared his trick of using lemongrass essential oil in the deodorant – and it’s amazing the different it makes. If you use the roll on kind, add A DROP or TWO and roll around with your finger before applying to armpit (it can sting). If you are using the spray bottle, drop about 10 drops of lemongrass oil inside and see how it goes. Add more if you feel like the mixture is getting weak.
- Witorsch R, Thomas J. Personal care products and endocrine disruption: A critical review of the literature. Critical Reviews In Toxicology [serial online]. November 2010;40 Suppl 3:1-30.
- Toxic Effects of the Easily Avoidable Phthalates and Parabens, by Walter J. Crinnion, ND. Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal Of Clinical Therapeutic [Altern Med Rev] 2010 Sep; Vol. 15 (3), pp. 190-6.
- Evaluating the Effects of Aluminum-Containing and Non-Aluminum Containing Deodorants on Axillary Skin Toxicity During Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer: A 3-Armed Randomized Controlled Trial (L. Lewis et al). International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 2014-11-15, Volume 90, Issue 4, Pages 765-771.