Aluminum in Deodorant
I was putting on my deodorant the other day and noticed that it contained aluminum. I remembered reading about aluminum in deodorant and aluminum in antiperspirant and how it could be bad for you, but I did not know exactly why it was bad and what it could do to your body, so I decided to find out.
It turns out that aluminum, and traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, are terrible for you for many reasons.
Aluminum is a naturally-occurring metal that is commonly used in cans, light-weight sheet metal applications, such as airplanes and electrical wiring. It is used in antiperspirants and deodorants in various forms, like aluminum salts or aluminum oxides, because it is a powerful astringent that closes pores and stops the release of sweat and odors.
Aluminum is a common skin irritant, but what makes it so dangerous is that it is also a poisonous neurotoxin that accumulates in the body. Aluminum has been linked by the WHO to Alzheimer’s and has also been linked to other brain disorders and is a possible risk factor in breast cancer. WHAT?!
As if aluminum in deodorant and aluminum in antiperspirant is not bad enough, deodorants and antiperspirants can also contain several other chemicals that are toxic:
- Triclosan – This chemical can react with tap water to create chloroform gas, which is a potential carcinogen. It has also been shown to disrupt thyroid function in recent studies.
- Talc – A fine powder, known to be a carcinogen.
- Parabans – Has different forms, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben. They are artificial preservatives that are being investigated for contributing to breast cancer.
- Propylene Glycol – Originally developed for use in anti-freeze, it prevents things from drying out. It is a known neuro-toxin that can cause kidney and liver damage.
So, what are those of us who are worried about how we smell to do? Luckily, natural deodorants have become fairly mainstream and are typically available in supermarkets, specialty stores and online. I personally use Burt’s Bees Men’s Natural Deodorant. It has a pretty pleasant lemon odor to it that my wife likes. I find that it keeps me fairly dry and odorless, but I do typically have to re-apply several times during the day to maintain this. In my mind, if re-applying several times a day is what I have to do to keep aluminum and other toxic chemicals out of my body, I think it is small price to pay.
I have also heard that Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Deodorant Solid works well. My wife, Steph, uses Trader Joe’s Unscented Deodorant with Cotton, which has a nice, light cotton scent. However, what will work for you depends a lot on your body chemistry and what you eat, so you may need to try a couple of different types and brands to find the right one for you.
Do you use a natural deodorant? What do you think of the one you use?
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