Public concern and awareness for aluminum’s presence in deodorant products have become a hot topic in recent years.
Data from Google indicates online searches for “aluminum in deodorant” started to rapidly climb in mid-2017 and received peak attention by January 2019.
Prior to this public frenzy, deodorant may have been just one of many products you may use daily but was unaware of the ingredients in. The attention on deodorant may have been a great wake-up call for all of us to take a step back and read the active ingredients on these products.
Regardless of all this attention, should you worry if your deodorant contains aluminum? Ohio State’s Susan Massick, MD states “emphatically, no” saying that myths around deodorant’s connection to cancer have been debunked.
Deodorant vs Antiperspirant
Deodorants and antiperspirants are actually two distinctly different products. Most commonly, antiperspirants are actually the products that contain aluminum, but many people tend to use deodorant as a catch-all phrase.
Deodorants attempt to mask the smell of body order and eliminate the bacteria that makes armpits smell bad. Antiperspirants seek to decrease sweat production by actually plugging the sweat duct.
Why is Aluminum used in antiperspirants?
Aluminum is just one component that is used to help block your sweat ducts. Blocking your sweat ducts does impede your body’s natural ability to cool itself off, which could actually result in your body temperature rising.
It’s this aluminum clogging your sweat ducts that lead to initial concerns regarding the increased cancer risk. However, this never enters your bloodstream and instead simply stays near the outer layer of your skin. Because of this, research was able to show there was no correlation between the use of antiperspirants and increased cancer risk.
Most commonly breast cancer grows on the edge of the breast – near your armpit. It has been speculated this is simply because the tissue in this area is denser and is unrelated to any products you use on your armpit.
Can I avoid aluminum in my deodorant?
As previously mentioned, most deodorant does not contain aluminum. Antiperspirants on the other hand always contain aluminum which is necessary to serve its purpose of helping prevent sweat from leaving your body.
If you want to avoid aluminum, use deodorants instead of antiperspirants. While deodorant products will not stop the unsightly look of wet armpits, they will help cover the smell that comes with them.