Short answer: Probably. The science is still inconclusive about aluminum (the active ingredient that prevents perspiration), but most deodorants and antiperspirants contain other ingredients that could also be harmful. So, it’s probably better to be cautious. Plus, you have plenty of “worry-free” options. (See the stuff I’ve tried below.) If you don’t want to ditch, don’t wear it every day, or alternate between your “clinical-strength” stuff (when you really need it) and something “worry-free.”
Long answer: It’s difficult to prove a definitive link between a particular chemical and cancer, as cancer is an extremely complex disease. (Remember we still don’t have a cure?) Most of the big-brand-name, not-so-natural deodorants and antiperspirants contain more than just aluminum (the active ingredient that prevents perspiration). You’ll also find parabens (preservatives), triclosan (antibacterial chemical), phthalates (chemicals that help the product stick to your skin), and fragrance (generic term for the chemicals that make up the product’s scent, which we are not allowed to know because scents are protected under trade law). All of these ingredients are still under the microscope; researching and determining their long-term effects takes, well, a long time. What we do know is that consistent exposure to chemicals (ex. wearing deodorant/antiperspirant every day)–even in small doses–can interfere with your body’s hormones, which control important functions in your body (ex. growth, metabolism, fertility, immunity). So, better safe than sorry!
Products I’ve Tried:
- Lavanila (Favorite)
- Article – National Cancer Institute “Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer” (2016)
- Article – Time “5 Things Wrong With Your Deodorant” (2016)