Antiperspirants are again under the scanner.


 Recently some researchers in the UK created a huge scare by claiming that antiperspirants used by women caused breast cancer. They claimed that the aluminum used in the antiperspirant mimics estrogens and thus increases the risk of breast cancer.

Does using antiperspirants retain the harmful toxins within the body?

Most experts assure us that there is no reason to be worried; as the body does not sweat out toxins and antiperspirants do not alter the body’s ability to sweat. The liver and kidneys remove more than 95% of the toxins.

There are about 2 – 5 million sweat glands around the body. Antiperspirants affect the sweat glands only in the armpits. Antiperspirants work by dissolving the sweat and produce a thin coating on the skin that temporarily reduces sweating in the armpit.  Sweating is the body’s way to regulate body temperature and sweat essentially consists of water, some sodium and little fat and these are not toxic.

There is not evidence that the ingredients such as Aluminum or Zirconium salts damage the cell DNA and damage the breast tissue. Human beings are exposed to aluminum everyday and antiperspirants only contribute about 2.5% of the total exposure. Much of the exposure comes from our food and exposure to airborne particles. Studies do not support fears that antiperspirants affect hormone levels. Even the use of parabens in cosmetics has been cleared by health and cosmetic regulating authorities.

You can smell good naturally:

Excessive armpit sweating is known as axillary hyperhidrosis.  All people past puberty experience armpit sweat and odor, and these are normal bodily functions and it is but a variation of the normal sweating process.  It is a distressing problem for those that suffer from it.  If you are worried about aluminum and parabens toxicity, it is better to go natural.

Make your own Deodorant cream:

 Melt three tablespoons each of baking soda, petroleum jelly and orrisroot powder (you may also use cornstarch).  Add a few drops of scented oil to this mixture. Viola! Your natural deodorant cream is ready.

Make your own Deodorant spray:

 Take one and a half cups of water (200 ml) and to it add one tablespoon of powdered alum, one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and finally add this to 15 ml of scented oil.   Put this mixture in a spray bottle and use it.

Make your own perfume naturally:

 Take three cups of vodka and add half a cup of your chosen essential or perfumed oil and then add half a cup of finely powdered orrisroot. Mix well and pour it into small ornate bottles and store them in a cool dark place.

Other methods to beat body odor:


  • Just take a bath as usual but add some baking soda to the water.
  • Borax put into your shoes fights foot odors.
  • Eating plenty of green vegetables can help your body stay clean and minimize odor. Green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is helpful in reducing the body odor the perspiration.
  • If you make a strong infusion of tea with lovage or sage, you can apply this under your armpits or add it to your bath and keep body odor away.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be a good natural deodorant. Just add the apple cider vinegar to some water and place it on your armpit. The vinegar smell will disappear in a few minutes.
  • Use deodorant crystals.  These crystals are a natural rock that absorbs odor without clogging skin pores or staining clothes.


Experts say that 8m people in the US suffer from primary axillary hyperhydrosis. The deodorant industry is huge and runs into billions of dollars and people will spend anything to smell good.  It is better to rely on cheap and holistic ways, while choosing cosmetics and deodorants.

References and links:

Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Todd.