i was curious about where the thought that antiperspirant could be linked to breast cancer came from. this article from aforementioned national cancer institute was very interesting to me-especially numbers 2 and 3.
in this article, the national cancer institute states, "Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer."
they go on to conclude, "Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved."
my personal take away is not only that there is no conclusive evidence linking antiperspirant to breast cancer, but that there is no conclusive evidence to say that there is no link. i'm choosing to acknowledge this in my deodorant search. :)
ok- so... i've read many reviews of different products that don't contain aluminum and chose these three to try. it can be frustrating to read a good review and then get to the disclaimer where the reviewer reveals that they have never really been a big sweat-er. well, i sweat. i am probably a medium sweat-er. not a ton on days when i don't get hot or exercise, i guess. but when i'm hot, i sweat. when i exercise, i sweat. i don't like to sit still all day if it's hot out, so i like antiperspirant. i hate feeling sweaty, and i hate being smelly. so here are my reviews. :)
tom's aluminum free deodorant: not antiperspirant…doesn't claim to be. feels sticky. fine when i'm not hot, but doesn't do much otherwise. i wore this when i knew i'd just be sitting at home and not moving around much. i don't think i'll be buying this again.
fat & the moon deodorant cream: not antiperspirant…doesn't claim to be. most natural ingredients. i bought this thinking that if it worked as well as all the reviews i read said it did, i would try making my own deodorant with similar ingredients. ordering online and dealing with all the mailing packaging is not low-waste + it's pricey. i started wearing this when there were still warm days here and there. i would keep applying it over and over, because i could start to smell myself. my clothes started coming out of the washer with oily pits. not a huge success for me.
crystal body deodorant: this deodorant doesn't have the "harmful" aluminum, but does contain another type of aluminum with particles that are apparently too big to enter the skin and do "harmful" things. i've been using this most days. you wet the crystal and apply normally, then wipe the crystal dry. i've been using this on and off for a year and can't see any decrease in the size of the crystal. when i need to purchase this again, i will avoid the plastic container by choosing one that comes in cardboard packaging.
my conclusion, at this point, is that i will be using the crystal. if i need to, i will just wipe the sweat off and reapply during the day. if i need something stronger on some summer days, i guess i will use antiperspirant. i don't like to smell, and i will at least have been drastically decreasing the amount of aluminum i absorb throughout the year. as i write this, it seems kind of ridiculous to use something you believe might be harmful. i can always change my mind or hopefully find another alternative.
added June 2017 :: I've finally found the trick to sticking with the crystal deodorant through all the hot days...trust. Just trust that it will work. it will. The smell that broke through before probably came from wearing antiperspirant the day(s) before. If I just stick with the crystal (no switching back + forth with antiperspirant) + put it on before I start to sweat, I don't smell. :) Yay! That's a big deal for me! I'm still using the same stick of crystal. When I need to replace it, I will buy one not packaged in plastic.
have you found a great alternative to aluminum in deodorant that works on hot days? do share!