In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of media attention highlighting the ingredients that antiperspirants and deodorants contain and the safety of these on our body. In particular, there has been much attention drawn to whether certain ingredients have a direct link to breast cancer. Some scientists claim that most breast cancer cells are formed in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, closest to the armpit which has fuelled this theory even further.
What are these ingredients and why are they perceived by some as unsafe?
These are the active antiperspirant agent that form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface.
The effects of widespread, long term and increasing use remain unknown however, it is thought that aluminium is capable of causing DNA alterations and some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin, particularly through cuts caused by shaving, and interfere with oestrogen action. This has led some scientists to believe that long term, low level absorption of aluminium compounds could play a role in the increasing incidence of breast cancer.
Parabens are preservatives and some have shown to be disruptive of normal hormone function. Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and as with aluminium, some scientists believe that this interference is linked to increased risk of breast cancer.
According to The National Cancer Institute (a part of the National Institutes of Health), they are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.
It is clear that a lot more research is required to specifically determine whether the use of deodorants or antiperspirants can cause the buildup of parabens and aluminum-based compounds in breast tissue and if these ingredients can cause breast cell changes that may be linked to the development of breast cancer.
At natural health star we are passionate about skin care products that contain ingredients that are as natural and as kind to the skin as possible. We have tried and tested many natural deodorants and have found ranges that contain only pure natural ingredients and certainly nothing harmful for the body. We believe the deodorants we have sourced work just as effectively as traditional deodorants and eliminate bacterial odour in sweat without exposing the body to unnecessary ingredients that could potentially be causing more harm than good. Our deodorants won’t clog pores, sting or leave white marks. Take a look at the initial feedback we’ve received from our customers in our natural health shop and try for yourself!
- National Cancer Institute – http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet#r3
- Aluminium and the human breast – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26997127
- Effect of aluminium on migration of oestrogen unresponsive MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells in culture – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26365320
- If exposure to aluminium in antiperspirants presents health risks, its content should be reduced – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24418462
- Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16045991
- Underarm cosmetics and breast cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12666152
- Significance of the detection of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) in human breast tumours – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14745840
- Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14745841
Preet Gata-Aura is the co-founder of natural health star. She is a mum to 3 young boys and is passionate about health and wellbeing. She has a Biochemistry degree and has a particular interest in understanding how the ingredients we consume and use affect us. To read more about Preet click here.
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