Sweat For It: Can Antiperspirant Be Safe + Still Effective?

Hidden Dangers: We grab our antiperspirant stick and glide it on without knowing what we’re applying to our skin. Antiperspirants are designed to stop the sweating process, blocking the pores with aluminum.

While controversial, there are studies suggesting that the aluminum-based compounds may play a role in the development of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, antiperspirants are made with countless chemicals that are believed to cause a range of health complications from birth defects and hormone imbalance to cancer.

What you should avoid: The first thing to steer clear of is aluminum-based compounds – the active ingredients in antiperspirants. These include compounds such as aluminum chlorohydrate, ammonium aluminum sulfate, potassium aluminum sulfate, and the most common one, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine.

Some research studies have suggested that these compounds may be absorbed through the skin, acting as estrogen mimickers. It is proposed that this can cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells, which may lead to the development of breast cancer. In addition, aluminum compounds are believed to cause nerve-cell damage, which is thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.

Another potential side effect is kidney damage. Aluminum, like other heavy metals, is eliminated through the urine. This process can stress the kidneys, leading to kidney-related conditions.

Other ingredients to avoid are talc and cyclopentasiloxane – potential carcinogens – and triclosan, an antibacterial agent that may cause endocrine disruption. TEA (triethanolamine) is also an ingredient to do without. Clinical tests show that high doses of triethanolamine can cause liver, bladder and testicular cancer in laboratory animals. Finally, avoid fragrance. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies and dermatitis, and have potential effects on the reproductive system.

Avoid: Aluminum compounds, talc, triclosan, fragrance and TEA

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