I have always been a roll-on girl. I remember the first time I used a spray-on deodorant (it was probably some very sweet-smelling something like Charlie or Fire & Ice), and it almost immediately gave me a pit rash. Ouch!
Until recently though I never really found a gel or formula I absolutely loved. (Shield Germ Defence is great, it works like a dream).
But today concerns are running much higher than just about developing a rash as preservatives like parabens and sweat-fighting aluminium contained in deodorants and antiperspirants are being called into question. Are the claims valid, though?
The Hippocratic Post reported earlier this year that Switzerland is moving towards a full on ban of aluminium salts in antiperspirants as their role in the development of breast cancer hasn’t been proven or disproven.
Green MP, Lisa Mazzone, who brought the bill to the National Council in Switzerland, has called for more research to be done, saying the safety of these ingredients is still dubious.
Chemical Watch reports that The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) calls for limiting the use of aluminium in antiperspirant deodorants and other cosmetic products. This comes after a study which found the dermal intake of aluminium salts from antiperspirants to be way too high - by using an underarm product every day you exceed your 'safe' weekly limit.
It is further noted that "Aluminium salts are widely used in antiperspirants. Studies have shown that exposure to high levels of aluminium have neurotoxic effects in humans and embryotoxic effects in animals. They have also been linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer."
The List reports that these ingredients which block the sweat ducts from producing smelly sweat have also been found to mimic estrogen. However, it's important to note that not all scientists agree on this topic.
And according to Med Broadcast, the FDA, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute have said that there are not yet any significant existing scientific or medical evidence that link these ingredients to the accelerated development of breast cancer.
Since these salts are so effective when it comes to limiting bad body odour and excessive perspiration, the banning of deodorants and antiperspirants containing these ingredients in future might be problematic.
For now, the only sure thing these products seem to cause though (like my spray-on Charlie), is skin irritation.
But do we really need deodorant?
Through advertising we’ve been taught that we smell bad. Really bad. Especially women. Not only that but we’ve been conditioned to believe that our perspiration is, almost, unnatural, and therefore rather embarrassing.
In 1937, Mum deo ads used to look like this…
I know, right.
These ads shamed and played on women’s fear of not being loved, and ending up alone.
But according to The List and The Huffington Post, a gene called ABCC11 determines whether or not you produce wet or dry ear wax. And apparently people who produce dry earwax lack the chemical in their armpits that produces 'bad' body odour.
So you might not actually need it after all.