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Is your Antiperspirant slowly killing you? And why you are Addicted to it!

August 01, 2018 4 min read

Is your Antiperspirant slowly killing you? And why you are Addicted to it!

  • Links between breast cancer and aluminium salts in antiperspirant.

  • Men’s breast cancer on the rise.

  • Eliminating antiperspirants from your routine may initially cause a 'Rebound Effect' making you smell worse.

  • This passes over time and can be speeded up by lifestyle changes.



 That is all I can think about as I sit at my computer drinking my Expresso.

The poor lady next to me must think Im a savage! Or a piece of unpasteurised cheese. 


So on day one of my experiment to give up Antiperspirant is not going great. In fact its going very badly, in fact it is going exactly as the big cosmetic company who made my Antiperspirant said it would go. Basically without their underarm products I’m going to stink. No one will want to sit next to me in the coffee shop or train and I will be ultimately shunned from society to stink alone.

So the question begs to be asked why stop using it in the first place?

Well unless you are living on a desert island without internet there is a good chance you will have seen reports in the news and online linking antiperspirant and the aluminium salts they contain and Cancer.

Huffington Post : Deodorant containing aluminium salts increases cancer risk

The Local : Deodorants could cause cancer Swiss study warns

In particularly Breast Cancer. Which as it happens specifically is on the rise in Men! And there are a number of reasons proposed as to why this may be.

So what are these Aluminium salts and what makes them so bad?

The Offenders

  • Aluminum chloride
  • Aluminum zirconium tricholorohydrex glycine
  • Aluminum chlorohydrate
  • Aluminum hydroxybromide

The main difference between deodorant and antiperspirant is the mechanism. What causes body odour is bacteria breaking down the sweat in your armpit and being warm and dark it's the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive. Deodorant either masks, neutralises the odour or may have anti bacterial properties which keep the bacteria at bay.

Antiperspirant cuts the problem off at source. No sweat no smell. The key to this are the molecules of the aluminium salts are absorbed into the cells surrounding the sweat glands taking water with them. The water causes the glands to swell forcing closed the sweat duct. After a while the concentration of water is the same on both sides of the cell and the water is released.

How Stuff Works has a good underarm care article explaining this in more detail

So your body is absorbing aluminium to stop it doing something it is designed to do by nature. 

The principle concern and the links with Cancer are the long term exposure effects as your body finds it difficult to remove aluminium from the body and over time it piles up in the body and it is this accumulation which has been linked to a number of issues including Cancer and Alzheimers

I am not a scientist and its not for me to tell anyone else what to think, but I find it helpful to have some of the information in one place for people to make their own call. It is my opinion that as we live in an increasingly toxic polluted world that any toxins or potential toxins I can eradicate from my life can only be a good thing. Whether in food, Cosmetics, Household products and environment. Especially if it is stopping my body doing what comes naturally.

Why is it then that after 24hrs of giving up antiperspirant do I stink and why is it so bad that I am contemplating going back to antiperspirant despite the risks?

The answer my friends is the suitably titled “rebound effect” which was noticed by Teresa Gordon an employee of Cancer Research and published in the Seattle Times and syndicates. It has also been documented in research

Basically what happens is there are 2 main types of Bacteria who take residence in our armpits. Antiperspirants were found to encourage the growth of Actinobacteria which is an unfavourable situation in regards to body Odour.

Which is why when you stop using the antiperspirant you may notice you smell worse, which of course you understandably believe is down to the new deodorant not working or leading to you believing without antiperspirant you are destined to live a smelly solitary existence when the reality is the antiperspirant is the CAUSE of the smell!

All this is great to know but for many people especially those in a public or office environment how can you get rid of the smell without reverting back to antiperspirant?

The answer is time, personal hygiene and excessive sweating. Eventually your body will rebalance and the smell will diminish this can take anywhere between a couple of days and 6 weeks. You can speed this up by being extra vigilant when cleaning your underarms. Using a crystal deodorant with an Alum base (which is not a harmful Aluminium salt). Also avoid wearing synthetic fabrics and get out of the Air-con/Heated environments when you can. Moderate to intense exercise can also help by generating a good sweat as does having a steam, sauna or even a hot bath and making sure you drink plenty of filtered water.  

So 2 weeks later and I’m back amongst the public! Actually it only took a few days before the smell had gone completely, I took a little more care in the shower I had a good Crossfit workout and followed that up with a Sauna and steam. I also snuck in a cheeky surf and I’m convinced the salt water helped! I now Use UPROAR Deodorant after my shower and top up during the day if needed before meetings and after travel and so far so good no smell just Fresh Vibes!

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