Deodorants and antiperspirants are one of the most commonly purchased personal care products in North America, with the average person going through at least 4 sticks of antiperspirant each year. However, very few people are aware of the fact that they’re one of the most dangerous products on the drugstore shelves! A study in the UK showed that over the past 25 years, reported cases of breast cancer grew in correlation with the use of antiperspirants. No longer can this be an issue to be taken lightly.
Let’s break this down.
The elimination of toxins is essential to our health; the proliferation of so many “detox” and “cleanse” products is evidence of that. Sweating is an important function that allows our lymphatic system to eliminate waste from inside our body through the pores of our skin. Antiperspirants contain chemicals such as zirconium and aluminum that are absorbed through the same pores, where they react with water and swell up. This swelling forms a “plug” that blocks further perspiration. I don’t know about you, but this sounds pretty unnatural to me!
As sweating is a function that releases toxins from the body, researchers concluded that blocking up these sweat glands could actually lead to a build-up of toxins in the lymph nodes that over time, can lead to cancerous changes nearby, in the breasts. Additionally, aluminum has been found to actually permeate into cells and cause mutations in our DNA and disrupt hormone levels.
On top of these harmful effects, the presence of synthetic fragrances and propylene glycol can also lead to abnormal cell growth. Did you know that synthetic fragrances contain “phthalates” which are plasticizers to make products softer and more flexible? Propylene glycol is found in many industrial and commercial products, including antifreeze, liquid laundry detergent solvents and paint. How scary that the FDA allows us to put these on our skin!
In the last century, our diet and lifestyles have changed dramatically. As a result, we have become more “smelly” and reliant on conventional deodorants and antiperspirants. Luckily, there are a number of things that can be done to circumvent this problem so we can still function through our daily routine:
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