The Dangers of Deodorant


Part of most people's morning routine is to swipe some deodorant under the arms to reduce sweating and odor throughout the day. When deodorant was first introduced in the late 1800s, some people were already a little cautious about using the chemicals directly on their bodies. Because it was a new product, many people did not find deodorant to be necessary.

However, in the mid 1900s, people's attitude changed towards deodorant and the possibility of having body odor, due to the beginning of the cultural shift that emphasizes beauty. As our culture is now taking another turn, to more organic and economically sound products and lifestyles, some people are finding deodorant to be unnecessary and even unhealthy.

Some Bacteria is Beneficial

Against popular misconception, the microbes in a human body are essential to good health. It is best to nurture these microbes rather than constantly fight them. Rather than constantly killing bacteria, people are moving towards eating healthy bacteria such as kefir and probiotics and avoiding the use of anti-bacterial products. The constant use of deodorant is another killer of beneficial bacteria.

Specifically, it has been found that people who use deodorant on a daily basis have a large presence of Staphylococcaceae, while those who do not have more Corynebacterium, which is mostly innocuous and can help protect the body against pathogens. Staphylococcaceae bacteria, however, has the possibility of being dangerous.

Odor-Producing Bacteria

Antiperspirants reduce armpit odor using sweat-blocking ingredients and antimicrobial agents. This not only kills bacteria, but it also changes the bacterial balance in the armpits, which can lead to a worse smelling problem. One particularly odorous bacteria found in the arms of people who use deodorant is Actinobacteria, which thrives in the armpit environment when the active ingredients in deodorants kill off the less offensive bacteria.

As deodorants modify the composition of the human body, they encourage the body to create bacteria that have a stronger smell, and therefore take over. Essentially, this makes the use of deodorant contradictory.

Antiperspirant and Cancer

Most antiperspirants contain aluminum, which plugs sweat ducts. The bad thing about aluminum is that it has been suggested to build up in breast tissue. This buildup of aluminum can support the development of breast cancer. In addition to altering DNA, aluminum can also interfere with the estrogen receptors in cancer cells. It has also been noticed that there is a high incidence of cancer in the area of the breast that is closest to the armpit.

The parabens in deodorant may also be linked to cancer. Parabens are used as a preservative in deodorants, and create estrogenic activity in breast cancer cells. These parabens have been found in breast tissue that has been collected. This adds to the growing research that caution should be taken when it comes to the use of deodorants.

Natural Deodorants

Many people opt to use natural deodorants to avoid unnecessary chemicals these days. People see the chemicals in deodorants as a risk that is not worth taking, when our bodies are created to regulate their own bacteria. Using a simple baking soda and water solution is thought to be beneficial in the long run.