The Crystal Deodorant Experiment

Many breast cancer patients are recommended to not use antiperspirants and to use metal-free deodorants after a diagnosis. I was one of them. Here’s a little background:

* Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.

* A 2006 study found that aluminum can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase breast cancer risk. Animal studies have also found that aluminum can cause cancer. Given that antiperspirants are used on your armpits, the aluminum concentration is highest near your breast tissue. So when women shave under their arms, it can result in a higher aluminum absorption rate.

Deodorants are not the same thing as antiperspirants and deodorants may actually be less problematic than antiperspirants. They are supposed to neutralize the smell of your sweat and act as an antiseptic against bacteria, but does not prevent sweating. However, many deodorants also contain aluminum, along with chemicals called parabens, which have also been linked to breast cancer. Based on that statement, maybe you’re better off avoiding both antiperspirants and deodorants. But your friends and family might not like the results.

“Crystal” deodorants are a popular natural deodorant alternative. Many of the crystal deodorants claim to be aluminum-free, but they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide or aluminum zirconium.

Did you know aluminum chlorohydrate, a chemical neurotoxin, is considered a drug and is regulated by the FDA? Check the packaging on your deodorant/antiperspirant regarding drug facts… “You shouldn’t use if you have kidney issues and need to check with your doctor before use.” It really says that! Check your brand.

Since I am not ready to go deodorant free, at least I will eliminate antiperspirants (which also stain the underarms of shirts). I found a deodorant brand that contains Potassium Alum (natural mineral salts) to try out. I have been using a crystal-roll on for a couple of weeks and like the results – no smell at all, especially after working out.

My experiment compared two weekend workouts that included a 4 mile hike in very hilly terrain in July – very hot and humid conditions. The first weekend I used a regular deodorant/antiperspirant and I must say it didn’t help at all in the deodorant department. The following weekend I used the deodorant crystal roll-on (fragrance free) and did the exact same hike. No smell or body odor at all. Interesting.

Is this something you should consider?


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