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Are natural deodorants better for your health?

Can aluminum-based antiperspirants lead to Alzheimer’s or breast cancer? Research says no.  But speculation over this claim has caused some shoppers to consider natural deodorant options.

Natural deodorants often use witch hazel, baking soda and essential oils to eliminate odors. But do these natural deodorizers actually work? And are they better for your health? Here are a few things to consider.  

1. Antiperspirant is different than deodorant.

Antiperspirants are designed to keep you from sweating.  It’s two main ingredients aluminum and zirconium are added to temporarily plug your sweat glands.

Deodorant simply masks and neutralizes underarm odor, but it won’t prevent you from sweating.  So you may need to reapply natural deodorant after you exercise or find yourself sweating throughout the day.

2. Research has shown that there is no link between aluminum-based antiperspirants and Alzheimer’s or breast cancer risk.

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found “no statistically significant association” between antiperspirant use and the development of Alzheimer’s.

This study, and others like it, have led experts to believe that everyday exposure to aluminum through everyday items like pots and pans, antacids and antiperspirants pose little threat in terms of Alzheimer’s risk.

And researchers at the National Cancer Institute have not seen any conclusive evidence linking antiperspirants to the subsequent development of breast cancer.

Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants have been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

3. Choosing the best deodorant option for you is a personal choice.

While antiperspirants aren’t bad for you, most contain chemicals that aren’t so great for the body. Common ingredients include: parabens that act as hormone disruptors, triclosan, which is a known pesticide, and artificial colors and bleaches that can irritate the skin.

The best way to choose a product is to stay informed. Read the labels on products and learn more about the ingredients used in the brands that you use.

For more helpful, healthful tips, click here.

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