Fact or Fiction? Exploring Deodorant Dangers

Fact or Fiction? Exploring Deodorant Dangers

Is Your Deodorant DANGEROUS? Here’s How to Tell

(AscendHealthy.com) – If you are interested in health and general wellbeing, then you have to examine every aspect of your life, even beyond just exercise and nutrition. You have to consider the chemicals you use on your skin too. One area that people often overlook is deodorant and antiperspirants. Are they safe? Let’s take a look at what science says.

Deodorant Vs. Antiperspirant

First, let’s talk about the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. Most people use the two terms interchangeably, but they are actually two different things.

Deodorants tackle armpit bacteria and block odors, but they don’t stop you from sweating. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, contain aluminum, and prevent your sweat glands from producing sweat. Most products sold today are two-in-one deodorants and antiperspirants.

Can Deodorant Cause Cancer, Kidney Disease or Allergies?

Heather Patisaul, a professor of biology at North Carolina State University, says when we put products on our skin, there’s a possibility they could enter the bloodstream.

Patisaul studies potential endocrine disruptors, in particular. She says some chemicals found in deodorants and antiperspirants could mess with your body’s developmental and reproductive hormones. Blood tests show that some of the substances used in deodorant products can make their way into your body through the skin.

One of the most alarming claims about deodorant is that it is linked to breast cancer. The idea behind the rumor is that toxins from the product can accumulate in your lymph nodes, leading to cancer cells. Some people believe breast cancer first develops in areas that are exposed to antiperspirants. Other theories say deodorant can cause kidney disease and allergies.

But, there is no real scientific proof this is the case. According to the American Cancer Society, there’s not a solid scientific base to back up the rumors. The National Kidney Foundation says only people with very weak kidney functions should worry about the health risks involved with antiperspirants and deodorants.

Still, there is some concern about the chemicals found in these products.

Are the Ingredients Harmful?

There are many chemicals found in deodorants and antiperspirants. Let’s take a look at a few of the most concerning.


All antiperspirants contain aluminum. It’s the substance that prevents sweating. The National Center for Biotechnology Information published research suggesting the frequent use of antiperspirants could cause aluminum to gather in nearby breast tissue. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean aluminum causes breast cancer.

Benjamin Chan, a doctor at Penn Family Medicine in Phoenixville, says the aluminum is especially of concern for people with kidney problems. For most people, the excess aluminum will be filtered out of the body through the kidneys. But if you have weakened kidney function, you could have a harder time getting rid of aluminum.

Dr. Chan also cautions that too much aluminum can cause bone disease or even dementia.

This is the reason the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all antiperspirants to include warnings for people with kidney disease.


Parabens are another chemical found in deodorant and antiperspirants. The research shows they could affect how your body produces and regulates hormones, including estrogen. The concern is putting the parabens close to estrogen-sensitive breast tissue could lead to the growth of cancer cells. But both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute say there is no conclusive evidence linking parabens to cancer.

Allergies and Other Ingredients

Deodorants and antiperspirants may cause allergic reactions in some people. Ingredients like lanolin, vitamin E, additives, essential oils and propylene glycol may be responsible. Because there are so many different chemicals contained in deodorants, it can be difficult to figure out exactly which one is causing allergies. But if you know you’re allergic to any of these ingredients, it’s best to discuss the risks with your doctor.

Protect Yourself

If you are concerned about toxic chemicals in your deodorant, consider not using it. Instead, opt for fragrance-free and paraben-free natural products. There are a number of natural deodorant options on the market to choose from.

Generally speaking, deodorants and antiperspirants are safe for most people. Most healthy people don’t need to be concerned. It’s possible those with allergies or other health issues might react poorly to those products. If you’re unsure or if you suffer from kidney problems, consider asking your healthcare provider about the risks and looking for healthier alternatives.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension

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