Is Your Antiperspirant Killing You?

Our modern Western society takes so many products as a given, normal part of everyday life. Of course, you drink from plastic bottles. Of course you sit in front of a television all day. Of course, you use antiperspirant.

But have we really thought about the impact of these products on our lives and our health?

Let’s take antiperspirants. How do antiperspirants work? Lance Johnson describes it this way:

“Antiperspirants, on the other hand, work in a much different way. Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat glands, stopping the secretion of proteins and fatty acids. Most antiperspirants are made with aluminum salts like aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium compounds. Since antiperspirants change the physiology of the body, they are actually considered an over-the-counter drug in the US and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Every antiperspirant sold in the US has a Drug Identification Number (DIN), denoted on the label.”

If you’re like most Americans, it is very likely that you were unaware of this information, especially the fact that antiperspirants are regulated by the FDA.

So, what is the problem with antiperspirants? The concern is toxicity. Johnson continues:

“In a 2010 publication of Neurotoxicology, researchers from the Department of Medicine at the University of California showed how extended exposure to aluminum salts causes neurotoxicity. In an animal model, aluminum was given at low levels to determine acceleration of brain aging. They found out that aluminum salts can increase levels of glial activation, inflammatory cytokines and amyloid precursor proteins within the brain.These increases are all indicative of accelerated brain aging. The aluminum salts effectively increased brain inflammation that is also present in Alzheimer’s patients.”

Additionally, exposure to aluminum has been linked to kidney damage, and “aluminum salts like aluminum zirconium are marketed as the active ingredient in many commercial antiperspirants. Aluminum zirconium makes up 15 percent or more of most commercial antiperspirants!”

So, what is the solution to prevent stinking, especially during the summer months? Simple. Switch from antiperspirants, which prevent perspiration, to deodorants, which work by killing the odor-producing bacteria that live on the skin. We do recommend using natural, plant-based deodorants because “commercial deodorants often contain hormone-disrupting chemical fragrances that absorb into the skin and disrupt the endocrine system.”

The bottom line is to be smart about what you are putting on to your skin.