ARE DEODORANTS CONTAINING ALUMINIUM BAD FOR YOU? ARE THERE GOOD NATURAL ALTERNATIVES?
Are deodorants containing Aluminium and other chemicals bad for you? And are there good alternatives out there for natural products to help you stay on top of sweat and bad odours? This is something I’m hoping to find out more about over the next couple of weeks. And you can read about my findings further down in this post.
It’s currently the 21st of February when I’m writing this, and I’ve just spent the last two hours researching deodorants and different opinions on health risks around putting products containing aluminium under your arms. There certainly is a wide range of views on this topic out there, but here is a short (ish) summary of what I found. And can I just point out that I went in to this totally neutral with no strong opinions on this particular matter. The reason I decided to look into it though is because quite a few people have been telling me lately to stay away from deodorants containing aluminium, and I recently decided to look further into this after buying a deodorant from Sure that stings sooo badly when I apply it after showering and shaving.
Quite a lot of people and groups claim that aluminium applied to our armpits can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and Alzheimer’s decease. And as we all know, these two diagnoses are of the terrible kind, and definitely not something anyone would wish for. So isn’t staying away from aluminium containing deodorants a no brainier then!? Well, maybe not. According to the National Cancer Institute there are no scientific evidence that links the use of these products with developing breast cancer. Here is some more info on this topic collected from www.cancer.gov
What is known about the ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants?
'Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary “plug” within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-containing underarm antiperspirants, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and have estrogen-like (hormonal) effects.
Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue. However, no studies to date have confirmed any substantial adverse effects of aluminum that could contribute to increased breast cancer risks. A 2014 review concluded there was no clear evidence showing that the use of aluminum-containing underarm antiperspirants or cosmetics increases the risk of breast cancer.'
And how about the aluminium connection to Alzheimers decease?
According to the the Alzheimer Society current research provides no convincing evidence that exposure to trace elements of aluminum is connected to the development of dementia. And here is some of what they write about this matter on their website:
Is there a connection between aluminum and the development of dementia?
Aluminum has been studied for over 40 years as a substance that might be linked to dementia. However, there have been many conflicting findings.
- Some studies show increased levels of trace elements of aluminum in the brains of people with dementia, while others do not.
- Studies have not found an increased incidence of dementia in people with occupational exposure to aluminum.
- Tea is one of the few plants whose leaves accumulate larger trace element amounts of aluminum that can seep into the brewed beverage. However, there is no evidence that dementia is more prevalent in cultures that typically drink large amounts of tea.
- Unfortunately, earlier animal studies focused on one animal that is particularly susceptible to aluminum poisoning, which has led to incorrect conclusions about the general effects of aluminum on the body.
SO WHO SHOULD WE TRUST?
Honestly I am kind of torn on this matter. I am happy to have found out that there is no significant research to support the statements saying that deodorants, containing aluminium, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and Alzheimer's decease. Most people use these products (including myself and probably most of my friends and family) and I'm glad that these deodorants seem to be safe to use. However, if there were great products out there without these chemicals then we all may ass well swap over to the natural side regardless of the research. Because, why even take the risk right? Sadly, I am yet to have found a aluminium-free product that works for me. The products I tried weren't all bad, but annoyingly none of them were great... I tend to run around a lot on a daily basis, always having a few too many things to do and always running a tad late. I', in and out of castings, where I sometimes need to try on sample clothes etc., and I just don't want to worry about being sweaty or smelly. I have therefor converted back to my 'evil' containing aluminium, which seems to be the only thing that really works... So annoying! I will use my natural deodorants occasionally though, on days where I'm having chilled day or working from home. But for my busy day-to-day life these just won't do the job.
REVIEW OF 3 NATURAL PRODUCTS
OliveAll Natural, deodorant with Aloe Vera
My first impression of this deodorant is that it is easy to apply being a roll on and with a liquid texture. I have always used roll on deodorants in the past, so this one felt familiar to me, which was nice. However, the smell was not great. I don’t mind it when products don’t have a smell at all, but this one smelt quite strange and unpleasant which I felt defeated the object of adding a product to better your hygiene. I wasn’t particularly active during my first day using this, and by the afternoon I still felt quite sweaty and unclean. I didn’t smell like sweat (feels odd to write about my sweat, haha) but I smelt of this product that I really didn’t like. My skin where I used this product felt quite sticky, and I decided to have a second shower in the evening before going to bed. So this product is not really something I recommend. Guess id give it a 2 out of 5 stars :P
Home made deodorant
So this is a rather interesting one. It is a deodorant that I made my self from only 3 ingredients, after finding the recipe on Instagram. All you need is about 2 - 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil, some ethereal oil with your favourite scent, and 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda.
I melted the coconut oil just for a few seconds in the microwave to get it soft (but not completely liquid), this way it was easy to blend in the remaining ingredients. When I went to my nearest health shop to get ethereal oil I was surprised at the very large selection of scents. I absolutely love jasmine flowers and how they smell during the summer, so I went for some jasmine oil. Stupidly I used a coconut oil with coconut smell, and I realised that he mixture of coconut and jasmine is pretty strange... So I highly recommend that you use a coconut oil without any taste and smell.
I put the ready mixture in a little glass jar, and put it on a shelf in my bathroom. Because its usually quite warm in this room, the mixture stayed soft which made is super easy to apply on to my skin. This home remedy felt soft and gentle on my skin, and was comfortable to apply. It didn’t give me this sticky feeling like the other two deodorants, and left my skin feeling nice and smooth. So that’s a massive plus. The jasmine smelt lovely (despite the interfering coconut scent), and I think it did a pretty all right job of protecting my arms from bad odours. However, by early evening time it was definitely time for me to have a shower :P So the protection this deodorant gives is not amazing, but it is ok and it feels lovely on the skin. So it’s a nice alternative for relaxing days :) Another 3 and a half stars I think!
Jäsön, deodorant stick with Nourishing Apricot
This deodorant comes is a stick rather than a roll on, which I know is also quite common but still new to me. I found it a bit weird to apply like it was too dry, but maybe that’s just me not being used to it. This product smells super nice! It has a fruity smell of apricot oil, which is also supposed to be nourishing for the skin. I definitely preferred this deodorant to the olive one, but it still didn’t tick all of the boxes unfortunately. The texture when applying it feels a bit sticky, and this sticky feeling just got worse throughout the day. Almost to the point that my skin got a bit sore from my arms rubbing against my body – sounds weird, I know. I didn’t feel like I smelt bad (ish) until the following morning, but I guess you cant expect 24 hour protection with natural products like these. I like this product and it will probably be what I’m going to use on my less active indoor-days, however I won’t be able to trust this product either when I’m out and about. It’s a 3 and a half star from me :)