Let me be straight with you right out of the gate—I’m not going to tell you to ditch antiperspirant altogether. However, making a change in your underarm stick might just be one of the most beneficial changes you make to your daily routine this year.
You see, the underarm antiperspirants used by most of us in the U.S. have been under heavy scrutiny as of late due to the numerous heavy metals, petroleum derived preservatives, and toxic chemicals they contain.
1. Underarm antiperspirants almost always contain aluminum chlorohydrate.
Heavy metals like aluminum can and do absorb through the skin into our blood stream where they can build up in our tissues and cause all manner of problems. Aluminum is believed by many health experts to contribute to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney dysfunction. The FDA and other organizations say that the aluminum in antiperspirants is safe and absorbed in “negligible amounts,” but why on earth would I want to contribute to the absorption of a toxic heavy metal on a daily basis?
2. Underarm antiperspirants very often contain methyl-, butyl-, and propylparabens.
These chemical preservatives have been linked to breast cancer and endocrine disruption in several clinical trials. Again, the FDA says that they are generally regarded as safe, but why, oh why would you want to slather known endocrine disruptors that have been linked to breast cancer right next to the lymph nodes over your breast tissue? To make matters worse, a recent Japanese toxicology trial discovered that when methylparaben was exposed to the UVB rays in sunlight, it became even more toxic, damaging DNA and accelerating aging. Take note, beach-goers!
3. Many underarm antiperspirants contain propylene glycol (PG).
Ahhh, propylene glycol. Is it safe? Isn’t it? The debate, as it has for years, rages on. PG has been linked to an increased cancer risk, has the ability to mutate cells in vitro, has a Material Safety Data Sheet designating it as a hazardous substance causing skin, liver and kidney damage, and provokes provoked allergic reactions in patients with eczema and other skin allergies. Again, the FDA and WHO say that it’s safe in small doses, but when small amounts are in a multitude of personal care products and snack foods, our exposure level adds up. I’ll pass on PG, thanks very much…
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Organizations like the FDA, Personal Care Products Council, and WHO say these substances are safe, but with all of the controversy surrounding them, and repeated toxicology and clinical trials linking them to any number of diseases that I’d rather not develop, you may want to further educate yourself before choosing products that include them. Utilizing resources like the Environmental Working Group, among others, can assist you in making this decision for yourself and your family.
If you decide that you’d rather not use these questionable chemicals on your body everyday, your local health food store should have many natural underarm deodorant options (check out Arsy’s favorite natural deodorants below), or consider making your own!
Arsy’s Favorite Natural Deodorants
I really love this one because it actually works and it is awesome for people with sensitive skin that usually can’t tolerate baking soda!
Not only does this deodorant WORK, it also has grass-fed tallow and Shea butter to moisturize your armpits!
This one is a great safe and clean baking soda-based alternative to commercial deodorants.
This Primal deodorant comes in a convenient stick and a whole bunch of fantastic scents: coconut, lemon-clove, aloe, and many more!