Deodorants are nothing short of a necessity, especially someone who sweats a lot. However, many people fear the use of deodorants as they contain parabens-which according to studies can cause breast cancer. Parabens are used in numerous food and personal care products. They are said to have a chemical structure that is similar to oestrogen - this means that they can mimic effects of oestrogen hormone in the body. While there has been no evidence confirming that parabens in deodorants can cause breast cancer, there are still a lot of apprehensions about deodorants. Clarifying those apprehensions and giving a 4-1-1 about deodorants is dermatologist Dr Kiran Lohia. Keep reading to know what she has to say about the safety of deodorants.
Deodorants: do they really put you at risk of breast cancer?
She begins her IGTV video by saying that there are many people who approach her asking if deodorants really do cause breast cancer. "Aluminium containing compounds in deodorants may theoretically increase breast cancer. This is because theoretically, they may increase oestrogen activity in your breast cells. So, people worry that if the deodorants that they use contain aluminium, it is likely to be absorbed in their breast tissue and maybe, cause breast cancer," Dr Kiran explains in the video.
However, this is not entirely true. In multiple studies, aluminium deodorants have not been shown to cause or increase risk of breast cancer. But, this aluminium can be absorbed in breast tissue in case you apply it right after shaving. Aluminium may be increasingly absorbed if you use deodorants immediately after shaving. Having said that, "the actual absorption of aluminium is somewhere around 0.012%. So, the absorption of aluminium is pretty low and your skin is a good barrier," clarifies Dr Kiran.
Using deodorant after shaving may increase aluminium absorption
Apart from aluminium, parabens in deodorants are feared to be equally carcinogenic. Parabens are present in food and in numerous skincare products. "Parabens can cause oestrogen stimulation, which theoretically may cause breast cancer," says Dr Kiran while adding that it is quite difficult to let go off parabens entirely.
The link between parabens and breast cancer has also not been scientifically proven. Also, there are deodorants with aluminium without parabens available in the market today.
How to avoid using deodorants?
Well, there are a variety of natural anti-perspirants that you can use in place of deodorants. These products contain specific ingredients that are designed to soak up the sweat - like baking soda, kaolin clay or anti-perspirant powder. "These can help soaking up the sweat, but that is not going to stop you from sweating. They are not going to be as effective as a deodorant but contain natural ingredients that can soak up the sweat," she says while adding some of these natural deodorants may also contain probiotic elements that provide good bacteria to the area where you use them (smelly armpits is because of growth of bad bacteria).
Deodorants or natural anti-perspirants are important for people who sweat a lot