- What is Antiperspirant?
- What are Deodorants?
- How Does Antiperspirants Work?
- How Does Deodorants Work?
- Deodorant Vs Antiperspirant, which is safer to use?
- Relationship between Antiperspirants and Cancer
- Antiperspirants and Alzheimer’s disease
- Antiperspirants and Kidney Disease
- Other harmful ingredients present in Antiperspirants
- Side effects of Deodorants
- Deodorants vs antiperspirants, which is the best
Sweating is a natural process that helps the body adjusts its temperature to an optimum value. You sweat when there is an increase in temperature either inside your body or in the environment. As the sweat evaporates, the body temperature drops. The bad thing that accompanies sweating is the bad odor that results from bacteria action on the sweat. These bacteria act by feeding on the nutrients such as excess proteins that the body excretes through sweating. Just a small percentage of people in the world have a gene mutation that allows their body to excrete sweat that lacks nutrients used as bacteria food. About 85% of all the people worldwide produce chemicals that are used as bacteria feed thus have foul smelling sweat resulting in the need of antiperspirants or deodorants use.
Due to these statistics, the deodorant industry continues to grow every passing day. You can attest this through observing the fact that every supermarket or shopping mall has an anti-body odor stall selling both antiperspirants and deodorants to help people fight the odor resulting from sweat.
About the use of deodorants and antiperspirants, it is important to understand what each entails, their mode of action and health hazards if any for our readers to be able to make a conscious choice between the two.
What is Antiperspirant?
Antiperspirants are chemicals that help to prevent sweating thus preventing body odor that comes from sweat too.
What are Deodorants?
Deodorants are chemical or natural substances that help to prevent body odor that results from sweat without interfering with the sweating process since it is an important biological process to our bodies.
How Does Antiperspirants Work?
Antiperspirants work by clogging sweat ducts thus reducing the amount of sweat that gets to the surface of our skin. By reducing the sweat produced, antiperspirants reduces body odor too, since the odor-causing bacteria only thrives in wet conditions that result from sweating.
How Does Deodorants Work?
Deodorants make use of triclosan, a substance that makes your skin salty thus making it inhabitable for bacteria that feeds on the nutrients excreted by the body together with sweat causing a bad odor.
Related : how does deodorant work?
Deodorant Vs Antiperspirant, which is safer to use?
Some time back, mails were sent to people saying that a recent health seminar has brought out the truth about antiperspirants being linked to diseases such as breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney infections. Ever since this information has been going around the internet since people tend to recycle warnings online. It is however not scientifically proved that the aluminum compounds present in deodorants cause the said diseases.
Most antiperspirants contain small amounts of deodorants to make you smell fresh even after applying an antiperspirant that makes you free from sweat.
The aluminum compounds used as the main active ingredient in making antiperspirants together with other inactive ingredients such as parabens are linked to several diseases.
Relationship between Antiperspirants and Cancer
Over the years, some studies have theoretically linked application of antiperspirants to increasing the link of breast cancer.
Authors of these studies argue that breast cancer develops in the breast’s upper part near the armpit where the antiperspirant is applied.
They further state that aluminum and other harmful chemicals get into a woman’s body through the bruises that result from shaving the pits. They say that the aluminum, upon getting into the body interacts with DNA leading to the growth of cancerous cells in the body. The chemicals are also said to interfere with the action of estrogen hormone that influences the development of breast cancer cells in women.
Most consumers consider this to be very risky since the cases of breast cancer are increasing every day.
Experts say that there is no scientific evidence that that antiperspirant leads to cancer.
Doctor Gansler says that the basic causes of breast cancer that women should avoid are; regularly engaging in physical exercise, eating healthy food and avoiding too much alcohol.
cancer.gov: Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer
Antiperspirants and Alzheimer’s disease
Back in the 1960s, research showed that brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients contained high levels of aluminum. This aluminum resulted from the use of antiperspirants, antacids and aluminum cans. Later, aluminum was ruled out as a possible cause of the disease since such results never emerged.
Experts argue that aluminum present in antiperspirants does not get into the body but only helps in forming a chemical substance that blocks sweat ducts after reacting with water. The aluminum is deposited in the sweat ducts and not the body.
David Pariser, a dermatologist, says that even with the slight bruises from shaving, the amount that makes it into the human body is so negligible to make any impact scientifically.
Antiperspirants and Kidney Disease
Issues about the aluminum present in antiperspirants emerged many years ago when aluminum hydroxide was administered to patients whose kidneys never functioned well, and it was later found out that the aluminum resulted into dementia since their bodies could not remove aluminum fast, and thus it accumulated.
Due to these, all antiperspirants are required to indicate the warning that Kidney disease patients should consult a doctor before using them. However, this warning only makes an impact on patients whose kidneys function at 30% or less.
Nephrologist Leslie Spray of the National Kidney Foundation argues that it is practically impossible to absorb aluminum enough to harm the kidneys through the skin. Even if you spray antiperspirants into your mouth or eat the gels and sticks, absorbing such an amount would still be hard to achieve.
kidney.org: Can antiperspirants cause kidney disease?
Other harmful ingredients present in Antiperspirants
Aluminum compounds have an upper hand in this ordeal since they are the main active ingredients in antiperspirants. However, there are other inactive ingredients such as parabens that are also linked to diseases.
Parabens are also said to cause breast cancer since once in the body; they act as estrogens though not as strong as the natural estrogens thus causing breast cancer.
Side effects of Deodorants
Deodorants are not linked to diseases as it is the case with antiperspirants. They are only said to cause irritation and body rashes due to the high alkalinity of their ingredients.
Deodorants vs antiperspirants, which is the best
I may not want to impact someone’s decision in choosing which is best between deodorants and antiperspirants. As a matter of ensuring a safe living, I prefer using deodorants. Natural deodorants are the best deodorants for men. Ladies should also make use of deodorants to avoid the risk of breast cancer.