Home » Preventative Medicine » Down On Deodorants

Down On Deodorants

Well I seem to be going through a personal care phase … last month I commented on sunscreen and this month its deodorants. In full disclosure I have always avoided antiperspirants. -Most deodorants are combined with an antiperspirant but I have always thought the idea of blocking natural sweat was unhealthy and I was probably troubled by the not proven link between the aluminum in the antiperspirant and Alzheimer’s so I have used only the deodorant for years. If you know me you know I am a sweater – just ask the guys at the gym or the dojo. Get the poisons out is my motto but I really didn’t want to stink up the place.

As I have studied more about the very chemical nature of our existence and the vast  array of chemical reactions that occur in every cell in our body continuously I have naturally become more aware of how the chemicals in our environment can screw up these reactions. Every chemist will tell you the end product depends on the exact chemical makeup of the reagents – the amount, the purity and the conditions under which the reactions take place. Every time we add strange chemicals to our bodies we are affecting natural processes. -’Nothing new or controversial in that statement. Have you looked at the ingredients in your toothpaste … your shampoo … or your skin care products? Since I am a Neanderthal I don’t use skin care products but I do use toothpaste and until recently have used deodorant. I say “until recently” because I have stopped with the deodorant several months ago and no one seems to have noticed. I had thought my wife might notice but even she has not commented. That says something about the state of my hygiene or the state of my marriage. I do shower at least once a day so that helps. My staff would probably tell me if I were stinking up the office and they have not said anything either.

Why have I given up on rubbing or spraying my armpits? After all 95% of the  population uses deodorants and it’s an 18 billion dollar a year industry. I worry about  the chemicals. I worry about the Aluminum. Even if it doesn’t cause Dementia it does build up in your body and is difficult to eliminate and can affect your bones and kidneys. Why do you think the label says “check with your doctor before using if you have kidney issues”? The main antimicrobial chemicals used are either triclosan or polyhexamethylene biguanide. Just type triclosan into the web browser for an eye opener. Hint: it’s listed as a pesticide by the EPA. Besides the antimicrobial chemicals most deodorants contain parabens (listed under the names butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben). Parabens are a known endocrine disruptor and can produce  adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and
immune effects.

There MIGHT also be a relationship between underarm deodorants containing aluminum and breast cancer. As reported in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry November 2013 in an article entitled “Aluminium, carbonyls and cytokines in human nipple aspirate fluids: Possible relationship between inflammation, oxidative stress and breast
cancer microenvironment.” There is an alarming increase in aluminum in breast tissues in women with breast cancer.

So maybe think twice before dousing yourself with more chemicals and affecting your skin biome in a negative way. There are many websites promoting “natural” deodorants … rubbing yourself with salt rocks, etc. but I am going to stick with plain soap and water and risk offending you in other ways than I do on the radio. You can find  more on this topic and Dr. Mercola’s website or at www.ewg.org. That’s Environmental Working Group … not European Working Group as I mistakenly named it in the last article. The web site is correct: www.ewg.org.

Until next month … get well … stay well.

(ed. Readers can listen to Dr. Joe Barry’s radio show “Your Health Matters” airing Sunday afternoons at 12:00pm on WSYR 570)

Dr. Barry