It's that time of year when the crowds are flocking to local shopping outlets for a fresh supply of clothes and books and after school snacks. If you have an active pre-teen or teenager in the house, it's highly likely you've also added deodorant to your back to school shopping list, and that means it’s time to stay ahead of the crowd by exercising your awareness. Deodorant is one of the personal care products we often consider last for ingredient safety, but it may be far more impactful on your child's health and the environment than you think.
Your skin is your largest organ and your underarms may well be a rapid response absorption hub. The majority of the sweat glands under your arms, known as apocrine glands, are still a bit of a mystery as far as their full function in the body, but some studies suggest that they might be key in hormone and pheremone regulation. Enter developing youth, who are starting to wear deodorant for the sake of social norms, while also in the biological stages of rapidly changing hormones, and such a possibility calls for a pause. Families tend to bring home commercial antiperspirants and deodorants because they are “cheap” and can block odor - a simple solution so why not. It's also understandable because most of what can be found on the internet will say that commercial antiperspirants/deodorants have no proven link to disease and that they are safe to use, but the basis for this reassurance is only that it hasn’t been proven unsafe yet. When we took a deeper look we found that very few valid studies have even been done that address how underarm application of the chemicals commonly used in antiperspirants/deodorants could affect your health. However, awareness is knowing that missing information does NOT equal proof of anything, so let’s break down some information we've found about some of the most common ingredients in commercial deodorant. These include aluminum, parabens, Triclosan and propylene glycol.
Let’s start with aluminum.
The short version goes that aluminum is a known neurotoxin and has no necessary function in the human body. On the contrary, it has many potentially adverse health affects. One study shows that aluminum may cause gene instability in breast tissue, which may or may not have a larger impact during developing years. Another bit of research found convincing evidence that it could contribute to breast and prostate cancer by facilitating the transdermal absorption of estrogen and androgen synthesis, starting at a very early age.
Excerpt from full article: “An unintentional, inadvertent, and long term hormone exposure may occur from transdermal absorption of sex hormones and pheromones (androgens) from axillary apocrine sweat gland obstruction by aluminum-based anti- perspirants. The global rise in antiperspirant use parallels rises in breast and prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates.”
In antiperspirants aluminum is used to block sweat, but this coud also be detrimental since blocking sweat glands may cause harmful buildup. While it may seem like a quick fix when your child starts to show the signs of puberty odor after soccer practice, there is enough evidence of aluminum’s toxic effects on the developing body to make it worth finding an alternative.
Then there are parabens,
also found in a lot of cosmetic products such as deodorant. Parabens can mimic estrogen and have even recently been found in marine life tissue, which is an alarming reminder of how much our daily habits can impact the environment. One study detected parabens in 99% of breast cancer tissue tested. There are many variables to this finding, but the fact that it exists at all is cause for concern and calls for much more research.
a registered pesticide that can be converted to dioxin, is no better. In fact it is one of the worst environmental pollutants. Triclosan has been found in local waterways, which is a possible result of it being washed down our shower drains. Some animal studies have shown a link between triclosan and unusual hormone activity and interfering with it could have a negative outcome that may not manifest until later years.
Many deodorants contain phthalates to help the fragrance stick around, but these chemicals have been linked to androgen disruption and testosterone production according to some researchers. As we discussed with aluminum, it is unclear what consequences these disruptions might have in the (pre)teen years where hormone production is crucial and rapid, and it does not seem worth the risk.
Many deodorants and antiperspirants also contain Propylene Glycol. This ingredient is found in antifreeze, and it is advised it should not make contact with your skin since it absorbs quickly and may cause brain, liver and kidney issues. YIKES.
When you have an active family and kids, the last thing you want to worry about is their health. Kids are growing and one of the big unanswered questions is how toxic chemicals applied to the skin can affect the developing body. While the answers may not all be found yet, the key is gaining awareness so you can make your own choices about what’s right for your family. It’s harder to go wrong if you stick with natural ingredients that have no alarming possible links to disease or dermal toxicity. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you’ll be more likely to protect your children’s growing bodies as well as your own from unnecessary toxins.
The final answer? Don’t take chances on deodorant if you don’t have to… educate yourself on what you use on your body because knowledge is always power. If you decide that you would rather not take the risk of more toxins affecting you or your kid’s health via your underarms, Lone is a healthy alternative that won’t cause the embarrassment of deodorant failure.
See why our customers rave about Lone deodorant and order yours today.