Deodorant and Antiperspirants Bad? More Americans Are Choosing Not to Wear Them

Filed in Gather Health Essential by on November 1, 2010 0 Comments

Showering is something most Americans do on a daily basis. Putting on deodorant or antiperspirant is another good hygiene tip most people follow, especially those that exercise regularly. But, is deodorant bad for you? Should you take a bath daily? And, what are your other options?

First of all, deodorants and antiperspirants are not the same. Deodorants allow you to perspire but prevent odor by killing odor-causing bacteria. Antiperspirants contain fragrance and have chemicals that stop the body from sweating.

The New York Times published an article called, The Great Unwashed on Oct. 29, 2010.

This article discussed several people who don’t bathe on a daily basis and who don’t use deodorant and antiperspirant products for various reasons.

The great unwashed is a term often used to mean the common people, or the lower classes. In our modern society, good hygiene and cleanliness is promoted endlessly. Going against the original concept of the great unwashed, many well-off Americans who can afford beauty products are choosing to forgo them. Why?

Some Deodorant and Antiperspirant Products May Cause Cancer

Harmful chemicals and carcinogens can be found in many common products. Information about deodorants being bad is not new, but more people are becoming aware of the risks associated with deodorant and better products are becoming available.

Definitive evidence proving that deodorants cause cancer does not exist, but the topic remains open for debate and research. Even though deodorants may not cause cancer, it’s important to know what’s in the products you use and if any of the products are potentially harmful.

Some research suggests that the aluminum used in many deodorants may be a risk factor for cancer. Commercial deodorants can contain up to 25 percent aluminum salts by weight, according to the Mother Nature network. This aluminum is used to stop sweat and reduce smelly odors.

Other studies and articles point to parabens, used in deodorants and other many other cosmetic products, as being linked to breast cancer. As pointed out earlier, the evidence is not decided either way. A good suggestion is to only use deodorant when you absolutely need it.

Aluminum in Deodorant May Also Be Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Some research links aluminum in deodorants to Alzheimer’s Disease and brain disorders. Scientists are still not sure what causes this disease. Some factors that seem to predispose people to the disease include, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and smoking.

A few other health-related points to consider when buying your next deodorant:

  • The terms hypoallergenic and natural are not regulated by the FDA, so be warned of this before you buy any beauty or hygiene products.
  • Aerosol products that are made with petroleum-based products are bad for our air.

Other Reasons People Choose Not to Bathe or Wear Deodorants

Some people believe our skin’s natural lubricants can clean us better than the beauty industry would like us to believe. These people often promote the idea that bathing daily is too much. It’s true that bathing too often can cause the skin to become too dry, especially in the winter. Still, it’s important to bathe–consider the bubonic plaque, which was caused by poor hygiene.

Alternative Options to Deodorant Products

You can use natural and organic deodorant products, such as Jason Natural Products or Burt’s Bee’s. Or you can make your own. A woman in the NY Time article, rubs a slice of lemon under her arms only when she feels that she needs it. Another solution is to use baking soda, or a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch.

Does this article make you think differently about deodorant or bathing? Do you think about the ingredients in your deodorant when you’re at the pharmacy or grocery store?

Photo Credit: greggoconnell via Flickr Creative Commons license

For more news, read other stories by Lindsay Oberst, or follow her on Twitter: @LindsayOSocial.

About the Author ()

I'm a journalistic and creative writer who values the environment, sustainable and abundant living, positivity and passion.

Leave a Reply