Instead of wasting time with a fluffy intro, I am just going to jump right into why conventional deodorants can be setting us women up for breast cancer. I will be sharing with you some of my favorite brands of non-toxic deodorant, pit tips for switching over, and why making the switch is so important
ALUMINUM + BREAST CANCER
One of the main ingredients we want to avoid putting on our bodies is aluminum, which is specifically used in antiperspirants. Aluminum salts help plug our pores so we don’t sweat as much.
Clinical studies are showing that there is a high incidence of breast cancer in the upper-outer quadrant of the breasts, close to where deodorant/antiperspirants are applied[iv].
Here are some common deodorant/antiperspirant brands that have aluminum in their ingredient list:
Degree Women’s Antiperspirant (and not to mention PROPANE is one of its ingredients…)
(Although not directly related to breast cancer, almost all of the above deodorants contain Butane. This is found in gasoline, lighter fluid and some aerosol sprays. It’s use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics, but we still allow it[vi]. Not something I want to be putting on my body…)
THE PARABEN PROBLEM
Other toxic ingredients we want to avoid in our deodorants (and all products for that matter) are parabens. These chemical preservatives are also being found in breast cancer tissues[vii].
In one study, tissue samples were taken from women who had mastectomies[viii]. Five types of paraben esthers were measured. At least one type was found in 158 out of 160 (90%) samples. All five were found in 96 (60%) of the samples.
Out of 40 patients who reported never having used underarm cosmetics in their life, only 7 had identifiable levels of parabens in their breast tissue.
APPLYING AFTER SHAVING
Most products we put on our skin can be absorbed into our body and straight into the bloodstream. When this happens, whatever has been absorbed will bypasses the liver, which is our body’s primary detoxification system. That is why we should be cautious about what products and chemicals we are putting onto our skin.
When it comes to deodorant, this is especially important to note if it is applied right after shaving. A study of over 400 women diagnosed with breast cancer found that antiperspirant/deodorant use with underarm shaving was associated with an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis[ix].
SWITCHING TO NON-TOXIC DEODORANT
Ladies, it is obvious that using the wrong ingredients in this tender area of our body can have serious repercussions. If making a simple switch to using non-toxic deodorant will decrease my chances of breast cancer, then I am all for it. That being said, you may not know where to start or what to expect. Let me help!
THE DETOX : WHAT TO EXPECT
If you are ready to switch to a better deodorant brand without things like aluminum to plug your pores, then you will go through a detox phase. These areas of your body have been plugged up by chemicals for so long that they need to purge them from your body before they can normalize.
When you switch, you might start to sweat a bit more than normal. Let me start with saying that sweat is not the enemy! It is one of the healthy ways our body detoxifies itself.
By removing pore-blocking ingredients, your skin is able to breathe and purge itself of the toxins from the chemical-filled deodorants you have been using.
After this initial release of chemicals, then your body will normalize and you will sweat even less! Also, the more your body can detox through your sweat, the less it will have to detox through your skin, meaning less breakouts (woot woot!).
In the initial detox phase, you will experience something similar to the sweat detox. At first, you might notice your pits are a bit more smelly than normal. This fades as those stored up chemicals are released through sweat and then your body finds its way back to homeostasis.
Below I suggest some of my favorite brands that help with keeping body odor at bay.
Two of my favorite toxin-free deodorant brands are the Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox (in Lime Mint) and Primally Pure (in Blue Tansy). Now I have purchased both these products for myself, so this is not an ad. I’m promoting them because they work, go on smoothly and smell great!
Let’s talk about price. I remember when I forked over $20 for my Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox Deodorant. I thought my husband was going to throw a fit…but I will never switch back! I rarely experience any body odor with it, it doesn't irritate my underarms, it smells great and has lasted me about 6 months. It may seem spendy, but it’s worth it.
I just bought the Primally Pure Deodorant to try as well and have liked it so far. No odor, is a beautiful blue color and has not irritated me whatsoever. Primally Pure has multiple scents you can try.
Kaia naturals also has three different scents and smaller travel sizes if you want to test them out first. As I was writing this, I also noticed they created a Black Oak and Bourbon scent as well, which would be great for our male counterparts :)
Each product comes with information about the pit detox and what you can expect as well.
These deodorants will last you a long time, eliminate body odor and wont pre-dispose you to breast cancer or expose you to toxic ingredients.
Although it is a great odor-eliminator, some people may experience a sensitivity to baking soda.
Kaia Naturals does not contain baking soda whereas Primally Pure does.
If you want to try Primally Pure's deodorants, I would suggest starting with the smaller version to make sure you aren’t sensitive to it. To limit chances of sensitivity, avoid applying right after shaving, don't overuse, and try patting on instead of rubbing on.
If you are worried you might have a reaction to the baking soda then go with Kaia Naturals. They are also a great brand to start with.
SO MAKE THE SWITCH
Ladies…please, please, pleaseeee make this switch. If you are worried about the price or detox phase, I can guarantee the price is worth it and the detox is not bad whatsoever. I went through it and have been using these products ever since, and cannot recommend them more.
Do it for not only your breast health but your overall health. Allow your body to detox in the way that God created it to. Try the deodorants I have listed. They are amazing. Message me if you have ANY questions whatsoever.
Have a blessed day! :)
[i] “Aluminium and Breast Cancer: Sources of Exposure, Tissue Measurements and Mechanisms of Toxicological Actions on Breast Biology.” Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, Elsevier, 13 July 2013, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0162013413001608.
[ii] Mannello, F, et al. “Aluminium, Carbonyls and Cytokines in Human Nipple Aspirate Fluids: Possible Relationship between Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and Breast Cancer Microenvironment.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23916117.
[iii] Mannello, F, et al. “Aluminium, Carbonyls and Cytokines in Human Nipple Aspirate Fluids: Possible Relationship between Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and Breast Cancer Microenvironment.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23916117.
[vi] “BUTANE.” EWG Tap Water Database, www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700839/BUTANE/#.W5qiO-hKhPY.
[vii] Darbre, P D, et al. “Concentrations of Parabens in Human Breast Tumours.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14745841.
[viii] Barr, L., et al. “Measurement of Paraben Concentrations in Human Breast Tissue at Serial Locations across the Breast from Axilla to Sternum.” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Wiley-Blackwell, 12 Jan. 2012, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jat.1786.
[ix] McGrath, K G. “An Earlier Age of Breast Cancer Diagnosis Related to More... : European Journal of Cancer Prevention.” LWW, European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2003, journals.lww.com/eurjcancerprev/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2003&issue=12000&article=00006&type=abstract.