Reducing your exposure to toxins by avoiding certain foods is a great way to maintain good health. However, we often forget that what we put into our bodies is not limited to food intake. Many harmful chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, and even in minute amounts can have adverse effects on your health.
Therefore, avoiding chemicals used in foods is only half the battle when it comes to living an all-natural lifestyle. Other products to look out for include cosmetics, cleaning supplies and other household products such as cookware, candles and insect repellents.
Ingredients in items used daily should be scrutinized the most, as repeated exposure to harmful substances can truly take a toll on your health, causing all sorts of illnesses and diseases, including infertility, cancer, respiratory problems and more.
One cosmetic used by the vast majority that’s particularly hard to replace with a safer alternative is deodorant. Conventionally sold deodorant often contains a variety of harmful chemicals, including aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan and steareths.
Deodorant is one of the hardest products to replace with natural alternatives
The reason conventional deodorant is difficult to replace with more natural alternatives is because of the aluminum compounds it contains; this ingredient is what prevents you sweating.
While buying a deodorant that doesn’t prevent sweating may not be a deal breaker for women, it often is for men. The first time a guy went to work wearing an all-natural deodorant, he had to rush home in the middle of the day and change his shirt. Needless to say, the embarrassment of that day prevented him from ever trying another all-natural deodorant again.
However, it is important to note that while chemicals sometimes eliminate inconveniences from our lives, they also pose harmful health effects.
Aluminum compounds used in deodorant to prevent our pores from sweating can interfere with the body’s natural sex hormones. This may cause breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men, as well as increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease in both sexes.
Sweating is actually a good thing
So, while nobody wants sweaty pits, no one wants cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, either. Though not always socially acceptable, sweating has its benefits. As Vani Hari – also known as the Food Babe – explains, sweating results in a clearer complexion, helps lower body temperature and wards off sickness.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration “requires that all anti-perspirants decrease the average person’s sweat by 20 percent – so manufacturers usually use anywhere between a 10-25 percent concentration of aluminum in products”, says Hari.
This is quite concerning considering that the ingredient is “a potent neurotoxin”.
Another harmful ingredient found in deodorants is parabens, a preservative also linked to endocrine disruption. Research shows that parabens may cause “early puberty in children and hormone-related cancers in women and organ toxicity” according to reports.
They are also known to build up in breast tissue, resulting in tumor growth.
Deodorant chemicals linked to cancer and hormone disruption
Propylene glycol, an active ingredient in antifreeze, is another one to look out for. When paired with other chemicals, this substance can be downright dangerous, as it’s linked to central nervous system damage and testicular cancer in men.
What’s even more alarming is that deodorants sometimes contain 50 percent propylene glycol, and the ingredient is not excluded from “all-natural” products.
Another chemical commonly found in deodorant and other cosmetics that may be harmful to humans is triclosan. This substance, which acts as a preservative and antibacterial agent, is classified as a pesticide by the FDA.
Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor and a potential carcinogen, because when it reacts with tap water it creates chloroform gas, which is suspected of causing cancer. The substance has also been linked to uncontrolled cell growth, immune system damage, asthma and allergies.
In addition to deodorant, triclosan can be found in toothpaste, dish detergent, first-aid items, kitchenware, toys and even workout clothing, according to Mighty Nest.
February 4, 2017