Friday, January 6, 2012

12 Reasons to Chuck Commercial Deodorants/Antiperspirants

Last year I was on a quest to find a natural deodorant; it was a very challenging task. If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll have gathered I’m a huge fan of anything natural. Whenever I can help it, I limit my use of chemicals to the minimum. Not an easy task in our world.

There are so many studies, debates and counter debates about whether or not aluminum and parabens found in most commercial antiperspirants/deodorants really do cause breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other ailments. According to the FDA both are “safe”. [1] [3] [6]
However, FDA regulation does not mean that a drug is without danger. That’s right; antiperspirants are classified as over the counter (OTC) drugs in the US! [1][5] Nobody thinks of it as a drug but it is.

In Canada, as of Spring 2009, "regular" antiperspirants are classified under cosmetics. 

There are many products, or their ingredients, which are controversial because of possible negative health effects but these products are not taken off the shelf, until proven unsafe.[1] [3] 

Often, the FDA and Health Canada do not consider the evidence of danger to consumer’s health strong enough to take action. (Remember the Johnson+Johnson scandal?)

It took me 10 months to find a natural deodorant that works. I tried baking soda and Druide natural deodorant, neither was successful. To add salt to injury, during this period, I had many embarrassing moments.

A tale for another day…

However, every cloud has a silver lining. Lately, I’ve been getting ready to send my brother [who lives in Hungary] a parcel of all natural products. Once again, I found myself standing in the aisle of Grassroots looking for natural deodorants. After much consideration, I finally decided on Lafes deodorant stick. I’m currently using it and cannot believe the effectiveness! I’ve been using it since Christmas.

Lafes Deodorant stick is made up of natural mineral salts. It contains no aluminum chlorhydrate, parabens or fragrance. Additionally, 1% of all profits go towards breast cancer awareness and prevention.

Once a day [every morning] I wet the stone and apply it liberally to my underarms, there is NO smell throughout the day. Lafes also has a roll-on deodorant, but I find the mineral salt stick works better for me.

12 Reasons to Chuck Commercial Deodorants/Antiperspirants

  • Aluminum was first recognized as a human neurotoxin in 1886, before being used as an antiperspirant. A neurotoxin is a substance that causes damage to nerves or nerve tissue.[1]
  • Most of us don’t know the difference between deodorants/antiperspirants – we make our selection based on smell. Antiperspirants try to prevent sweating through aluminum –most antiperspirants have deodorants! [5]
  • Although there is a relatively small amount of aluminum in any application. Nevertheless, the amount of exposure cumulative over time, and daily, use can lead to chronic exposure to aluminum. There are established links… [1][7]
  • Studies have found Aluminum absorbs better through the skin than orally [1]
  • Limiting your aluminum usage will only benefit your health [1]
  • Deodorants deal with smell by neutralizing and killing bacteria, however, in the past decade, parabens, a preservative ingredient in deodorants have become very controversial. [1][5][7]
  • Several recent respected studies have shown the relationship between antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer – yet all government and breast cancer organizations will tell you antiperspirants are safe. [1][3][6]
  • Only 5 – 10% of breast cancer is genetic, 90% are from the environment and lifestyle. [1]
  • Applying parabens to the skin is one of the most effective ways to get it into your system. [1]
  • Do not assume that products that are labeled “natural” or “organic” do not contain parabens, [also study small or fine print]. [1]
  •  Unfortunately most cosmetics  we use contain parabens. A 1995 survey of 215 cosmetic products found that parabens were used in 99% of leave-on products and in 77% of rinse-off cosmetics.[1]
  • How to spot parabens on labels [1]
          Methylparaben (E218)

          Ethylparaben (E214)

          Propylparaben (E216)


          Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
          Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid

          Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid

          Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
          Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid

          Parahydroxybenzoic acid


Did you know?
The average person has about 2.6 million sweat glands’; sweating is your body’s mechanisms to cool down. [1] Sweat glands are in our forehead, hands, feet, armpits, and genital areas. [1] Sweat has no odour; bacteria cause the familiar unpleasant odour we know [4].

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with being an active and concerned consumer. Knowledge is power and education influences change. Vote with your wallets! By researching we will not only make better  & healthier choices, but also hold cooperation’s accountable for their actions.


  1. Solid Information on Controversial Health Topics” Deodorants, Antiperspirants and Your Health; Antiperspirants – Aluminum & Alzeheimer’s Disease; Antiperspirants – Aluminum & Breast Cancer; Deodorants, Antiperspirants, Parabens & Breast Cancer. N.P., N.D. Web.  4 Jan – 6 Jan 2011.
  2. Product Assessment Against Criteria: Antiperspirants. Health Canada. N.P., N.D. Web. 6 Jan 2012.
  3. Health Effects of Aluminum powder. Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety. N.P., N.D. Web. 6 Jan 2012.
  4. Antiperspirant/Deodorant Stick: How Products are Made, ENotes.Com, Web. 6 Jan 2012.
  5. Annie B. Bond, Deodorant or Antiperspirants? Green Living At Care2March 26, 1999. Web. 6 Jan 2012
  6. Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers, National Cancer InstituteWeb. 6 Jan 2012.
  7. Concern Over Deodorant Chemicals. BBC News 11 Jan. 2004. Web. 06 Jan. 2012.