Is Deodorant Bad for You? Unveiling the Myths and Facts

Is Deodorant Bad for You? Unveiling the Myths and Facts

Is Deodorant Bad for You? Unveiling the Myths and Facts

Have your friends been telling you that using an antiperspirant or deodorant is bad? People are spreading hearsay that deodorant chemicals are harmful to one's health and increase breast cancer risk.

Is there a truth behind this, or is this just a myth?

Generally, deodorants and antiperspirants do not have a link to cancer or other diseases. However, there are specific cases and conditions where you should consult a doctor before using one.

This article will help you jumpstart your deo journey, especially if you are confused between myths and facts concerning deodorants and antiperspirants. I will also discuss its ingredients and how they affect your health.

Read on to start your deo journey with confidence!

Is Deodorant Bad for You? 

There have been MYTHS circulating online that deodorants and antiperspirants increase the risk of breast cancer or cause broken skin on the underarms. 

Other worrying claims about deodorant and antiperspirant use are linked to kidney disease, allegedly caused by bad ingredients in a deodorant.

They say that toxins are absorbed through the pores in your skin and accumulate in the lymph nodes, changing healthy cells into cancer cells.

However, the American Cancer Society has found no scientific evidence between breast cancer and the use of deodorant or antiperspirant.

The National Kidney Foundation also stated that only people with very weak kidneys should worry about the health risks of using many deodorants and antiperspirants.


Aluminum in Deodorant

You may be asking yourself if aluminum in deodorant is bad for your body.

Aluminum is one of the ingredients that contribute to stopping your sweat duct from opening. Hence, you will notice that sweat production is reduced when you apply an antiperspirant.

Among the active antiperspirant agents, aluminum salts are ones that mostly link deodorants and antiperspirants with breast cancers.

Some research from the National Library of Medicine shows that aluminum may cause gene instability and conversely cause cancer to the breast tissue found in the upper, outer part, closest to the underarm.

However, studies and breast cancer research from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences suggests that there is NO CLEAR LINK between aluminum and breast cancer risk. Other research also shows that breast tissue infected with cancer does not contain more aluminum than healthy breast tissue.


Parabens are the active ingredient used as a preservative to prevent bacterial contamination and stop the growth of fungi, bacteria, and yeast on food and cosmetics.

Many claim that the use of parabens can cause an adverse reaction to the body's cells and interfere with estrogen production. This is the female hormone responsible for sexual development, breast health, and other bodily functions.

They also say that this ingredient can lead to other diseases, such as those linked with endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity.

However, both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute say there is no definitive evidence linking ingredients in antiperspirants to increasing the likelihood of cancer cell development.

There is also NOT ENOUGH DATA to show that paraben content in pharmaceutical products is too excessive for it to be of greater concern.


Triclosan in antiperspirants and deodorants is mainly included for its antibacterial properties. It is used in many commercially available deodorants to kill bacteria and prevent body odor.

When combined with water containing free chlorine, triclosan can produce chloroform, which is a carcinogenic gas

Furthermore, available studies on animals have shown that triclosan has altered hormone regulation, as well as thyroid function and brain development.

However, there is no convincing evidence or data to suggest that it affects humans in the same way. Mainly, triclosan is included in its formulation to prevent bacterial contamination and odor-causing bacteria from forming.


Phthalates in Deodorant

The use of chemicals like phthalates is well documented in children's toys, fragrances, personal care products, deodorant, and lotion.

One study has linked phthalates with increased risk for asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development, and male fertility issues, among others.

In deodorant, many claim that phthalates cause harmful effects like fetal development in pregnant women, lower IQs, higher asthma rates, and infertility.

Research is still inconclusive as to whether it is harmful, but the FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have said that the levels people are exposed to are generally safe.

Synthetic Fragrances

One of the issues people have with synthetic fragrances is the lack of transparency in terms of the ingredients used. Consumers have LIMITED information to know if these contain harmful materials and toxins.

Harmful effects of fragrances include the increased risk of skin irritation, such as rashes triggered by allergic reactions.

Many people are pushing for these ingredients to appear on product labels instead of denoting them as "fragrance" or "perfume." This would help people avoid ingredients they know will irritate their skin.

Allergies and Deodorant Ingredients

Some ingredients used in antiperspirants and deodorants cause allergic reactions. This is due to substances like propylene glycol, essential oils, vitamin E and biological additives.

These ingredients are found in different products like soaps and body wash, and they are generally safe to use. However, consumers allergic to such materials must be cautious in trying different brands and should read the labels carefully when purchasing.

If you think convenient brands contain specific allergens, consider natural deodorants or antiperspirants as an alternative.

You may also consult your doctor and ask them if they can recommend deodorants and antiperspirants suitable for your skin.

Shaving and Breast Cancer

Shaving Armpit

Most people's answers to the question "Does deodorant cause cancer?" have been linked to excessive shaving. They claim that shaving allows more chemicals to penetrate your body through the broken skin.

While it is true that excessive shaving can cut and irritate the skin and cause discomfort to one's underarms, it DOES NOT mean that it also causes more worrying diseases.

The American Cancer Society emphasizes that there is not enough evidence to support claims linking shaving and antiperspirant usage to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Deodorants and Toxins

Some people say that toxins causing Alzheimer's disease, imbalanced estrogen, and other diseases cannot escape the body due to the anti-sweat properties of deodorant or antiperspirant.

While antiperspirants prevent you from sweating, this is NOT the primary way for toxins to escape the body. Toxins are filtered out by the kidneys and liver and, conversely, make their way out through urine and feces.

The only time using antiperspirants with other toxins is harmful is when you are particularly allergic to these substances or have bad kidney health.

Key Takeaways on Whether Deodorants Are Bad For You

In general, deodorants and antiperspirants are NOT bad for you. These products have been tested and are regulated by organizations and government bodies like the FDA to ensure they are safe for use.

Studies and medical content published in recent years concerning breast cancer survivors are clear — there is no conclusive evidence that such products cause cancer or any other disease.

With regard to keeping your good health while using such products, this should be approached on a case-to-case basis. There are still side effects that are specific to certain individuals.

To those diagnosed with medical conditions, like allergies, weak kidneys, or volatile estrogen imbalances that cause unregulated body temperature, it is best to consult your doctor first.

Products like natural deodorant for kids are a GREAT ALTERNATIVE, as these contain fewer chemicals. There are fragrance-free variants and those that use natural fragrances so you can smell good and feel fresh all day!