How your deodorant could be hurting you

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 17, 2015
Quick Bites

  • Association between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease exists.
  • Repeated exposure to parabens may cause harm to reproduction.
  • Triclosan is a skin irritant that may cause contact dermatitis.
  • Choose deodorants containing vegetable glycerine and natural preservatives.

Skin is the biggest organ and everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream. We use antiperspirants and deodorants daily without thinking twice because smelling good is what we all want to do. One never gives a thought to the underlying fact that products that leave us smelling and feeling fresh could actually be harming our skin. You will be heartbroken to hear that antiperspirants and deodorants actually contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic to your body.

Ingredients to avoid in deodorants

Ingredients to watch out for

Just like food labels, you should read and know about ingredients in your skin care products. When buying deodorants, look out for the following ingredients that could be hurting your skin.


The most commonly found ingredient in deodorants, aluminium, is used to block sweat glands. It is absorbed through skin and accumulated in body and has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Propylene Glycol

A petroleum-based chemical, propylene glycol is used as a softening agent. It is considered to be a neurotoxin and has been linked to cause kidney, liver and heart damage.


You must have seen this ingredient listed on the labels of most skin-care products. Parabens are derived from toluene, a toxic petrochemical derivative and are used as preservatives in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products as well as in the food industry. They mimic oestrogen and mess with the hormones. Oestrogen is known to drive growth of cancerous cells. Parabens also have been associated with breast cancer, birth defects and organ toxicity.


This again is a chemical that disrupts hormones, causes higher birth defects and increases chances of cell mutation. Phthalates are used in beauty products to create better consistency.


Triclosan protects against odour but before you think of it as your friend, know that it’s considered to be a pesticide by the FDA. It can irritate your skin and may cause dermatitis. It has also been reported to interrupt thyroid and hormone function and is suspected to be a carcinogen.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies talc as a toxin as it contains asbestiform fibers. The quantity of these fibers in talc is not regulated. So, if talc is listed on the label of your favourite deodorant, there is no chance of knowing whether or not it contains asbestiform fibers.


Silica is a skin irritant which has been known to have crystalline quartz, AKA, carcinogen - Steareth-n (n=any number). Silica is a vegetable derivative but is reacted with ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen.

Don’t be overwhelmed

All this information may scare you out of your wits but don’t sweat it! (Pun intended) There are many all-natural deodorants and antiperspirants available in the market. Just don’t get duped by ingredients mentioned as plant extracts listed on labels because they may already contain parabens and propylene glycol. Ingredients such as vegetable glycerin, natural preservatives like bioflavanoids and lichen, herbs or herbal extracts, de-ionized water or distilled water, green tea, aloe vera, baking soda and essential oils are your safest bet.

Image Source: Getty

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