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May 23, 2018  |  Login

Use Deodorant instead of Antiperspirant

Keep harmful chemicals out of the environment and out of your pits by using deodorant instead of antiperspirant

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Antiperspirants often contain some form of aluminum, which essentially “plugs” armpit pores to stop the flow of sweat. Deodorants, on the other hand, neutralize the smells caused by odor-causing bacteria instead of trying to stem the flow of perspiration.

Antiperspirants and deodorants can contain carcinogens or hormone disrupters (such as parabens), which have been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, but the presence of aluminum in antiperspirants makes it more potent and potentially harmful. Deodorants and antiperspirants are designed to stay on the body for hours, increasing the likelihood that they will be absorbed through the skin. Chemicals absorbed through the skin go directly into your bloodstream as opposed to other methods of absorption, which usually direct foreign substances to the toxin-removing liver.

The use both antiperspirants and deodorants has environmental effects as well. Mining the aluminum needed for antiperspirants is environmentally disruptive. Every time we wash ourselves, chemicals from deodorants and antiperspirants wash into our water systems. Antiperspirants and deodorants are usually packaged in plastic containers, which not only consume precious fossil fuels to produce, but also take up space in landfills while the leftover deodorant and antiperspirant in the containers run off into the surrounding environment.


Take Action / Next Steps
  • Next time you’re buying deodorant, look out for these chemicals on the ingredients label
  • Check how your current deodorant or anti-perspirant rates at the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database


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Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.



1. National Cancer Institute. [14 November 2007] Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer. Available from: [16 June 2008]

2. Green Seal Environmental Partners. [24 May 2002] Green Seal’s Choose Green Report- Office Supplies. Available from: [16 June 2008]

3. US Consumer Product Safety Commission. [2 October 2007) Art and Craft Safety Guide. Available from: [16 June 2008]

4. National Center for Environmental Health. [undated] Healthy Housing Reference Manual: Indoor Air Pollutants and Toxic Materials. Available from: [16 June 2008]

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