Let’s Get The Facts: Is Antiperspirant Actually Bad For You?
Remember the public outrage regarding deodorant a few years back? If not, have no fear that's what I'm here for.
Rumour has it that all deodorant is indeed bad for you. Or was is only antiperspirants? We weren't exactly sure why or if the sources of this information were credible but the notion was spreading like wildfire. So much so, that people felt the need to seize using any type or 'odor block' altogether.
Then came the "natural deodorant movement" whereby every deodorant brand is making their products aluminum free. Which we are expected to believe is better for us...
But before we get into any of that, it's important to know the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. And yes, there is a difference.
Deodorants made of antibacterial compounds and fragrance sole purpose are to eliminate that awful stench - body odor.
Antiperspirants, on the other hand, contain aluminum salts that plug your pores to interject sweat glands and block perspiration.
So, The Real Question Is: What's The Deal With Good Ol' Antiperspirant?
Aluminum in your antiperspirant has been linked to health issues such as Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer.
A few studies (first of which was conducted in 1985) determined that Alzheimer's patients have had an increasingly high amount of aluminum in their brains. Although, researchers have discredited many of the findings as unreliable because it required accounts from people other than the immediate patients to provide data.
The link between aluminum in antiperspirants and breast cancer lies in the proximity of the underarms to the upper outer quadrant of the breast, where studies have shown the majority of breast cancer develops.
'Sweat blockers' are absorbed into the skin or enter through little razor cuts making it accessible for aluminum to get into the lymph nodes and travel to the breasts.
The theory is that antiperspirants block the sweat ducts which could then, in turn, block the body from ridding itself of any potential cancerous toxins.
In any case, most critics are simply concerned with antiperspirants that contain aluminum in any capacity because they are thought to impede on natural bodily functions and restrict the body from keeping out toxins that should be released.
However many studies show possible links between aluminum and the medical issues previously listed, there is no concrete evidence relating the two.
The medical director of Northwell-GoHealth Urgent Care, Robert Korn debunks the threat in aluminum antiperspirants claiming that skin acts as a barrier from internal organs and blood streams while working to prevent harmful substances from getting through.
Is Aluminum-Free Antiperspirant Necessarily The "Better Option"?
Antiperspirants company Secret (who's products contain aluminum) say that a number of organizations have denied the alleged correlation between aluminum and cancer or Alzheimer's, so much so that the National Cancer Institute, Alzheimers Association and more are openly associated with the 'sweat help' campaign and various deodorant companies.
Oh, as for not being able to "sweat out toxins" as a result of blocked sweat glands... our bodies are designed to release things that are unwanted when we perspire but more so through our liver, kidneys and when we use the restroom.
As it turns out, you've got nothing to worry about!
Chances are you will be just fine using antiperspirants that contain aluminum and you most definitely can't go wrong taking the au naturel route either.
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.