Women health

 Is deodorant bad for you?

When it comes to harmful cosmetic components, you wouldn't eat a tablespoon of them. However, applying antiperspirant or deodorant to the area beneath your arms may be worse in certain ways.

Heather Patisaul, Ph.D., a correlate professor of biology at North Carolina State University, explains that your liver and digestive system break down food when you eat it. However, when something is applied to the skin, it occasionally bypasses the metabolic process and enters the bloodstream.

The majority of Patisaul's work is devoted to researching endocrine disruptors, which are substances that may interfere with the reproductive and developmental hormones in your body. She explains that depending on the chemical, rubbing anything on your skin doesn't necessarily guarantee that it will all or even any of it make its way into your bloodstream. Blood tests, however, demonstrate that a significant number of the ingredients frequently found in deodorant products are capable of penetrating the epidermis and entering the bloodstream.

Researchers like Harvey and Patisaul are concerned that some ingredients in deodorant and antiperspirant may cause or contribute to cancer as well as reproductive or developmental problems. (According to additional studies, some of these compounds may interfere with the bacteria that reside on and in your body, many of which are advantageous.)

These 5 deodorant components should be avoided:


The antioxidants parabens, which come in a variety of varieties, are utilized in deodorant and other personal care products. According to Patisaul, research indicates that certain parabens may interfere with the processes by which your body makes and controls estrogen and other hormones. The concern is that putting parabens daily close to estrogen-sensitive tissue in the breast could encourage the creation of cancerous cells, she continues. That applies to both men and women.

However, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society both claim that there is insufficient "conclusive evidence" to link deodorant ingredients to cancer. But Patisaul's worries are supported by laboratory results. According to Philippa Darbre's research at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, combining various parabens can intensify their "estrogenic" effects. However, it is extremely difficult to prove that this mixture could either cause or contribute to cancer. According to Darbre, the development of cancer can take many years and is a complicated multistage process.

She also says that a lot more study is required. But in her opinion, the information now available points to the possibility that parabens and other environmental toxins taken in low doses over a long period of time "may cause cancer." (See an additional item,


This metal, which is often exclusively present in antiperspirants, can lead to "gene instability" in breast tissue, according to Darbre's findings. She says that because of this instability, there could be modifications that encourage the development of tumors or cancerous cells. According to Darbre, the upper outer quadrant of the breast, which is close to the underarm area, is where more than 50% of breast cancers begin. The incidence of breast cancer appears to coincide with the usage of items that include aluminum, yet there is no proof that the metal is to blame. Applying an aluminum-containing lotion to that damaged skin could be terrible news, particularly if you shave between your arms, warns Darbre.

ALSO READ: How To Get Rid Of Dark Armpits: Best Tips


Many cosmetic products, including some deodorants & antiperspirants, anti-acne treatments, and hand sanitizing soaps, contain this chemical, which cosmetic producers add to avoid bacterial contamination and destroy microorganisms on the surface of the skin. Because it is so widely used, triclosan can be found in the urine of 75% of Americans. There are no known risks connected to triclosan, according to the FDA. However, the agency also recognizes that since it issued that classification, the science has advanced, and it is possible that its position will soon alter.

Triclosan has been associated in several animal studies with aberrant hormone action. More study indicates that triclosan may interfere with your microbiota or the normal functioning of your genes.

"There is evidence that triclosan inhibits thyroid function, which is essential for brain development, from amphibians and fish," Patisaul continues. According to her, when it comes to the chemicals that swirl around in our bodies, blood testing indicates that triclosan is "at the upper end." "To my knowledge, it doesn't appear to have any evident advantages when utilized in underarm products."


These ingredients aid in the adhesion of deodorant and other cosmetics, including aroma. According to Patisaul, they also seem to interfere with "androgen function," or how your body creates and utilizes the hormone testosterone.

Contrary to popular belief, women also produce the hormone testosterone, which is important for maintaining muscle mass and vitality. The biggest worry about phthalates, according to Patisaul, is that they can harm a man's capacity to reproduce or affect a pregnant woman's fetus. Phthalates have also been associated in studies to lower IQs and increased asthma prevalence.

Phthalates are commonly found in products with fragrances that linger after use or application; they have a role in the persistence of scents. Everything, including body wash, shampoo, lotion, hairspray, and soap, falls under this category.


The words "fragrance" or "perfume" is almost always listed among the components of scented products. Additionally, since smells are protected by trade law, it is impossible to determine exactly what compounds are covered up by those ostensibly innocent phrases. The potential culprits include phthalates as well as compounds that aggravate allergies or the skin, according to Patisaul. An allergic reaction might be brought on even by smelling scented goods on other persons.

Protective measures to take:

According to Darbre, the only way to make sure you're not exposing yourself to potentially harmful chemicals is to stop using all underarm deodorant products if these compounds worry you. Patisaul advises buying natural deodorant without fragrance if that isn't an option. Shop for items marked paraben- and fragrance-free, and make sure triclosan isn't listed in the ingredients by looking for those products that are marked with those labels.

According to her, manufacturers will stop utilizing these chemicals as more consumers spend their money on goods that don't include them.



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