Okay, so maybe “underarms” is a more glamorous term, but regardless, these babies need some lovin!

With October/Breast Cancer Awareness Month right around the corner, it’s only natural (no, pun intended) to start talking pits as they are directly connected to your lymphatic system which sole purpose is to clean-up the toxins in your body. It’s nearly impossible to do this, however, if your anti-perspirant is blocking those glands. To be fair, the correlation which links anti-perspirant to breast cancer is still being studied, but let’s be honest, at one time smoking during pregnancy was also all the rage. With the number of cases on the rise, and breast cancer being one of the most commonly diagnosed cancer types, only second to skin cancer, it’s definitely worth a second look.

Why is regular deodorant bad?

This article from Mother Earth Living does a fantastic job of explaining how one of the most common ingredients found in anti-perspirant deodorant, Aluminum, is a “known neurotoxin that has been linked to breast cancer and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease…Most breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast—the area closest to the armpit—and some research has suggested that aluminum compounds absorbed by the skin may cause changes in the estrogen receptors of breast cells. In addition, high levels of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and a recent study from Saint Louis University found that aluminum may cause liver toxicity, a contributing factor to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.” This is pretty alarming stuff! I think the scariest part of all is that the amounts are marketed to consumers as being so small that it is unlikely to cause any issues, but when you think about putting a product in such a sensitive area every single day, every single year, from puberty on…it’s clear to see why this may be worth taking a deeper look.

For your review, here are few additional articles explaining in more detail the manner in which anti-perspirant ingredients can have negative effects on your body:

Toxic Ingredients

Now that you have a better understanding of the background here, do you know what is in your current deodorant? When I began this journey, I downloaded the Think Dirty App. By the way, I’d highly recommend saving this to your phone and scanning everything in your medicine cabinet or when purchasing new products to have a better understanding of what the ingredients are and what they can do. I am slightly obsessed with this app, myself. I absolutely LOVE it!

Here is a screenshot of what a popular brand of deodorant contains:

Directly from the app, here are details regarding the most dirty ingredients:

  • Fragrance
    • “A combination of nearly 3,000 fragrant ingredients is added to most personal care products to mask odors or add a pleasant scent.”
    • Health Impacts: “Hormone Disruptor. Allergy.”
    • Basically….this is a catch all term for companies to list ingredients they otherwise don’t want to include on their labels.
  • Talc
    • “Avoid use the chemical from mouth and nose especially for children.”
    • Health Impacts: “Respiratory and skin irritation. Possible Ovarian Cancer Carcinogen.”
    • This is particularly concerning pending the recent law suit which awarded $417M in damages to a cancer victim where it was determined the cause to be Talcum powder found in baby powder.
  • Polyethylene
    • “Used as abrasive, film forming and viscosity controlling agent.”
    • Health Impacts: “Carcinogenic in Lab Studies”
    • Includes micro-plastics which are currently being reviewed to be banned in New York, California, Illinois, and Minnesota

So, now that you’re ready to make the switch to natural deodorant, check out part two of this post : I tried 7 different natural deodorants, so you don’t have to!