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The Truth About Mainstream Deodorant

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

A study conducted in 2012 showed that 99% of breast cancer samples contained parabens, a common carcinogenic ingredient in most deodorants and antiperspirants (1). Yet, many organizations that are dedicated to "finding a cure" have spread false information regarding the link between antiperspirants and breast cancer.

Statistics show that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer. Additionally, in 2021 an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer were estimated to be diagnosed in women, 49,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer, with an estimated 43,600 women who would die from breast cancer. That's just in women, not counting the estimated 2,650 men expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 530 that would die (2).


 

False Information Found on Top Cancer Websites

While doing the thorough research required to create an article like this, I stumbled across a website with some false information regarding the link between antiperspirants and breast cancer. This led to hours of web surfing to see how many other cancer websites were blatantly lying to their readers. So, I searched several sites and found multiple websites dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Yet, they won’t tell their readers about the dangers of antiperspirants, which I found pretty odd and worthy of sharing.


What if deodorant is the leading cause of breast cancer? It would make sense that these huge industries, like the National Cancer Institute, which received $574.9 million in funding in 2019 (3), wouldn’t want to lose their funding.


The breastcancer.org website claims that using underarm antiperspirants can cause breast cancer is a myth. It then continues by saying that there is no evidence of a connection between underarm antiperspirants and breast cancer, but the safety of antiperspirants is still being studied. How can you determine something is a myth and, in the same paragraph, admit the safety of antiperspirants is still being investigated? Additionally, how can you make sure false claims when the existing studies show that the connection is there?


The cancer.gov website claimed there had been no scientific evidence linking antiperspirants' use to develop breast cancer. Again, this is absolutely false; studies have demonstrated that the connection is there. Additionally, in 2021, there was a recall of several deodorants over the presence of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical.


The American Cancer Society website said, “There are no strong epidemiologic studies in the medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence supports this claim.” They then carried on about an 18-year-old study that didn’t find a link between the two and tried to discredit a 17-year-old study that reported women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age said they used antiperspirants and started shaving their underarms earlier and shaved more often than women who were diagnosed when they were older.


The Susan G. Komen website claimed the research to date doesn't support a link between the two and that current scientific data do not support an association between plastics, paraben-containing cosmetics or body care products, deodorants, or antiperspirants, and breast cancer. Again, studies have demonstrated that the connection is there.


These are trusted websites dedicated to "finding a cure" for cancer that people donate to as a way to find hope and a cure, all while they hide the truth and allow us to remain sick and riddled with cancer-causing ingredients. You know what else is a trusted website, NCBI and Wiley Online Library, both scientific databases proving these organizations are lying.


The 17 Best Deodorants on the Market

Did you see Allure's article The 17 Best Deodorants on the Market published in 2020? This article featured 17 mostly mainstream deodorants ranging between $6 and $24, but do you know what's really in these top deodorants? What about the dangers associated with those ingredients? We will closely examine each of these specific deodorants and their ingredients. Then we will take an even closer look at why these ingredients are toxic to us.


Active ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly (11.4 %)

Inactive ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ppg-14 Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peg-8, Dimethicone, 12-Hydroxystearic Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Niacinamide, Silica, Polyethylene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Steareth-100, Bht, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.


My Overall Rating: 1/10; horrible ingredients, brimming with toxins, hormone disruptors, and unnecessary ingredients.


Ingredients: Water, Tapioca Starch (Non-GMO), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Sustainable Palm Source), Behenyl Alcohol, Maranta Arundinacea Root Extract (Non-GMO), Lactic Acid, Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Non-GMO), Mandelic Acid (Non-GMO), Pentylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate (Sustainable Palm Source), Silica (Non-Nano), Palmitic Acid (Vegan), Potassium Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Kaolin, Zinc Oxide (Non-Nano), Helianthus Anuus (Sunflower) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Magnolia Grandiflora Bark Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Tocopherol (Non-GMO), Stearic Acid (Vegan), Lysolecithin, Sclerotium Gum (Non-GMO), Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol (Vegan), Lauryl Alcohol (Sustainable Palm Source), Lecithin (Non-GMO), Myristyl Alcohol (Sustainable Palm Source), Pullulan (Non-GMO), Xanthan Gum (Non-GMO), Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Abies Sibirica (Siberian Fir) Oil, Zingiber Officinale, (Ginger) Root Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil.


My Overall Rating: 1/10; horrible ingredients, brimming with toxins, hormone disruptors, and unnecessary ingredients.


Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Mandelic Acid, Polyglyceryl-4 Cocoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Shikimic Acid, Lactic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Hyaluronic Acid, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Cananga Odorata Flower (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed (Jojoba) Oil, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool.


My Overall Rating: 1/10; horrible ingredients, brimming with toxins, hormone disruptors, and unnecessary ingredients.


Ingredients: Magnesium Hydroxide, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Powder, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cannabis Sativa L. (Hemp) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Natural Fragrance, Tocopherol (Vitamin E, Sunflower Derived).


My Overall Rating: 8/10; not the worst ingredients, but coconut oil is high on the comedogenic scale.


Ingredients: Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Dicaprylylether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Beeswax/Cire D'abeille, Zincoxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Water/Eau, Xylitol, Coconut Yogurt Extract.


My Overall Rating: 5/10; not the absolute worst ingredients, but coconut oil is high on the comedogenic scale, and fragrance amongst other ingredients is concerning.


Active Ingredients: Aluminum Chloride - 15 % (Antiperspirant)

Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, VP/Polycarbamyl Polyglycol Ester, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6.


My Overall Rating: 1/10; horrible ingredients, brimming with toxins, hormone disruptors, and unnecessary ingredients.


Ingredients: Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Root Powder (Absorbant), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Skin Conditioning), Stearyl Alcohol (Base), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Skin Conditioning), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Skin Conditioning), Triethyl Citrate (Deodorant), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Base), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter (Moisturizer), Fragrance (Odor Protection), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax (Skin Conditioning), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax (Base), Magnesium Hydroxide (Odor Protection), Silica (Absorbant), Zinc Ricinoleate (Deodorant), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant) And Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil (Odor Protection).


My Overall Rating: 5/10; not the absolute worst ingredients, but fragrance amongst other ingredients is concerning.


Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance (Proprietary Essential Oil Blend), Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Vanilla Planifolia Oil, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Papain (Papaya) Extract.


My Overall Rating: 5/10; not the absolute worst ingredients, but polyglyceryl-3, among other ingredients, is concerning.


Ingredients: Aqua, Propanediol, Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Powder, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Saccharomyces Ferment, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Magnesium Hydroxide, Allantoin, Carbo Activatus (Activated Charcoal).


My Overall Rating: 5/10; not the absolute worst ingredients, but benzyl alcohol and salicylic acid, amongst other ingredients, are concerning.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Mandelic Acid, Maranta Arundinacea Root Powder, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isononyl Isononanoate, Glycerin, Tapioca Starch, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Sclerotium Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Hydroxide.


My Overall Rating: 3/10; not the absolute worst ingredients, but caprylyl glycol and phenoxyethanol, amongst other ingredients, are concerning.


11. Granny's Natural Deodorant

Ingredients: Theobroma Cacao (Cacoa)Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Candelilla Wax (Beeswax), Maranta Arundinacea Root (Arrowroot), Sodium Bicarbonate, Alpha Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Oil (Camellia Oil), Activated Charcoal (depending on variety), Magnesium Hydroxide, Bentonite, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil, Probiotics.


My Overall Rating: 8/10; not the absolute worst ingredient, but coconut oil is high on the comedogenic scale.


Ingredients: Propanediol, Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Stearate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Glycerin, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Benzoate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Camellia Oleifera Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Rosa Absolute (Moldova), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract.


My Overall Rating: 3/10; not the absolute worst ingredients, but sodium stearate, fragrance, and phenoxyethanol, amongst other ingredients, are concerning.


Active ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly 20% (Anhydrous)

Inactive ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Cyclodextrin, Talc, Petrolatum, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, C20-40 Pareth-10, Fragrance, Dimethicone, Behenyl Alcohol.


My Overall Rating: 1/10; horrible ingredients, brimming with toxins, hormone disruptors, and unnecessary ingredients.


Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Arrowroot Powder, Stearyl Alcohol, Magnesium Hydroxide, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Beeswax, Glyceryl Caprylate, Jojoba Esters, Glucose, Soybean Oil, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Vitamin E, Probiotics.


My Overall Rating: 1/10; horrible ingredients, brimming with toxins, hormone disruptors, and unnecessary ingredients. Definitely a greenwashed brand.


Active ingredient: Aluminum Chlorohydrate (20.2%)

Inactive ingredients: Butane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrofluorocarbon 152a, Isobutane, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propane, Fragrance (Parfum), BHT, Propylene Carbonate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Maltodextrin, Hydrated Silica, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Gelatin Crosspolymer, Silica, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Benzoate.


My Overall Rating: 1/10; horrible ingredients, brimming with toxins, hormone disruptors, and unnecessary ingredients.


Ingredients: Tapioca Starch, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Sodium Bicarbonate, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Hamamalis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cacoa) Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Magnesium Hydroxide, Activated Charcoal, Essential Oil Blend: Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Eucalyptus Radiata Leaf/Stem Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass) Leaf Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Lavendula Augustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil.


My Overall Rating: 8/10; not the worst ingredients, but coconut oil is high on the comedogenic scale.


Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Sodium Stearate (Coconut Derived), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Silica, Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Glyceryl Laurate (Coconut And Palm Kernel Oil Derived), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Peel Oil), Inulin (Artichoke Derived), Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide (Sugar Derived), Yeast Beta Glucan, Camellia Sinensis (Japanese Green Tea) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) ­Flower Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Lycium Barbarum Fruit (Goji Berry) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Phytate (Rice Derived), Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Botanical Fragrance Blend.


My Overall Rating: 8/10; not the worst ingredients, but coconut oil is high on the comedogenic scale.


Toxic Ingredients Found in Mainstream Deodorant


Aluminum Chlorohydrate & Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY

Aluminum chlorohydrate (in roll-ons and aerosols) and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY (in solids) are compounds that plug the sweat glands, temporarily preventing perspiration. You may like the sound of that; no sweat means no stink, right? Well, no sweat also means no way for your sweat glands to filter toxins out of the body. When your body sweats, this is your body's way of detoxing heavy metals, eliminating chemicals, and bacterial cleansing (4). Some research suggests that deodorants containing aluminum, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and affect the hormone estrogen (5).


Caprylyl Glycol

Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from a fatty acid. It is a humectant that pulls water into the skin and helps to hold moisture into the skin. The problem is that it can irritate some skin types, particularly those already sensitized or irritated (6).


Dimethicone

Dimethicone is silicone-based, which you do not want. Why don't you want a silicone-based product? Silicone-based products will form a barrier on top of your skin that can trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells, and other debris, and it can dehydrate your skin and interfere with cell renewal, among other things (7).


Fragrances

Fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and many other known toxins capable of causing cancer, congenital disabilities, nervous-system disorders, and allergies. Learn more in my blog, The Truth About Fragrance.


Petroleum

Petroleum clogs pores and often causes acne breakouts as well as rashes. Petroleum has also been linked to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is a common condition in which sufferers have a high ratio of estrogen, with little to no progesterone to balance its effects in the body (8).


Talc

In its natural form, talc often contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled (9). Did you know in 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association (CTFA), now known as the Personal Care Products Council, which is the trade association representing the cosmetic and personal care products industry, issued voluntary guidelines stating that all talc used in cosmetic products in the United States should be free from detectable amounts of asbestos according to their standards? This doesn't mean that asbestos-free talc is safe, though! Studies that exposed lab animals (rats, mice, and hamsters) to asbestos-free talc in various ways have had mixed results, with some showing tumor formation and others not finding any (10).

Natural Deodorants Recommendations

  • Earthley's Mineral Deodorant is a 100% natural deodorant that actually works! With absolutely no aluminum, baking soda, or artificial ingredients of any kind, you can be confident this Mineral Deodorant is safe and beneficial to your health. This deodorant uses natural magnesium chloride to detox your pits, arrowroot powder to keep you dry, and plant-based oils to gently nourish your sensitive underarm skin.

  • Earthley's Mineral PLUS Deodorants like Mineral Deodorant, the PLUS version is all-natural with no aluminum, baking soda, or artificial ingredients. This version has added French green clay to provide lymphatic system support and extra protection while detoxing the skin to help fight stink!

What is your go-to natural deodorant?


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