Are deoderants and antiperspirants hazardous to your health?
Hello summer! The hot temperatures we’ve been getting in Southern Ontario this past week have made me think about all the wonderful sweaty, stinky days ahead.
Now I always smell great (wink, wink), but I never feel great about the products I use under my arms. Body odour is a natural occurrence for all of us, but most products that are widely available are very unnatural.
Time to look into this one and find some alternatives I can live with!
Antiperspirants: It’s all in the name
Here’s the deal: antiperspirants are made to prevent you from sweating right? But have you ever stopped to think about what stifles your sweat and whether that’s a good idea in the first place?
Antiperspirants contain aluminum, which closes our pores to reduce the amount of sweat we produce. Now think about how often you apply the stuff – once maybe two or more times a day? How much aluminum is your skin absorbing? And what if you shave your armpits and apply antiperspirant directly after? Common sense tells me that could be risky business, although Health Canada says antiperspirants are safe. Nevertheless, international research continues to examine the links discovered between aluminum and Alzheimer’s (aluminum is found in high concentrations in the brain tissue of people with Alzheimer’s).
Now if you’ve decided never to use antiperspirants in favour of deoderants because they don’t contain aluminum, then there are a host of other chemicals to contend with – many of which are hidden under the term ‘fragrance’. Conventional deoderants mask odours and may contain carcinogenic chemicals (cancer causing agents), VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and triclosan, all substances you definitely want to avoid.
Are natural deoderants – the kind you find in a health food store – the way to go? While these are definitely better than conventional antiperspirants and deoderants, some of them contain properties you still want to avoid. When choosing a natural deodorant, look for products with high organic content to avoid the ‘controversial’ chemicals altogether.
As the temperature heats up this summer, stay cool by staying informed about what you’re putting on your body.
Next post: Which sunscreens are best?
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