Should we be concerned about aluminum in antiperspirants ?

It's frightening to think that applying deodorant or antiperspirant, something many people do every day, could cause breast cancer. You may have heard about the possible link between deodorant and breast cancer and recent studies that have investigated this claim. The concern is that parabens, preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants, and aluminum, an active ingredient in many antiperspirants, can cause breast cancer.

Parabens have been at the center of some cancer studies because they have estrogen-like qualities. Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer tissue, some researchers are concerned that parabens may have the same effect when absorbed through the skin. Aluminum compounds, such as aluminum zirconium and aluminum chloride, are used in many antiperspirants to shrink sweat glands and prevent wetness.
Scientists say more testing must be completed to make a conclusive ruling about the connection between tumors and parabens and aluminum - but at this point, they say there's little cause for concern.

 Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredients in antiperspirants. They block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin's surface. Some research has suggested that these aluminum compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells. Because estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells, some scientists have suggested that using the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.

Given the wide exposure of the human population to antiperspirants, it will be important to establish dermal absorption in the local area of the breast and whether long term low level absorption could play a role in the increasing incidence of breast cancer.
Aluminium is a metalloestrogen, it is genotoxic, is bound by DNA and has been shown to be carcinogenic. It is also a pro-oxidant and this unusual property might provide a mechanistic basis for any possible carcinogenicity.

At the moment, all the study has shown is that the body can absorb parabens and that these chemicals are found in some breast cancer tissue. It does not show that parabens can increase the risk of or cause breast cancer. 

Aluminum and Paraben free Deodorant:

Sebamed pH 5.5 - Aluminum-free and alcohol-free. My favorite. No marks, no irritations, no bad odor.
Sanex nature protect. It's formula has 0% Aluminum Chlorohydrate, 0% Parabens and 0% Alcohol, and contains the natural mineral alum, an active mineral which has powerful deodorizing properties for 24 hours of effective protection.

Weleda  Citrus Deodorant
Alverde Naturkosmetik  Bio Sage

I really do feel that  cosmetic brands and even health care professionals are covering up a lot of harmful chemicals. But thankfully a lot of balanced and well researched articles are available online so that we can be educated and make our own minds up.Over the last eight years, several research studies have shown that various types of parabens act like estrogen when introduced to animal tissue cultures and Estrogen has been known to drive the growth of cancer cells.

Make sure you check the listed ingredients before you buy your deodorant, but do that in general with every cosmetic product you use !Is always better to prevent something like cancer than to fight with it.

source: Medical News. "Deodorants and Breast Cancer"
source: National Cancer Institute


  1. Very important topic! The fact that the government and the cosmetic brands are covering a lot of harmful stuff, it's for sure...we have to be intelligent and chose wisely every time! I have used the one from Sebamed, that you mentioned, and I loved it; and now, for a couple of years already, I am using the deodorants from Weleda

  2. I am using from Levara with nice roses smell.

  3. I am super obsessed with reading and checking up all the cosmetic ingredients, as I try to minimize a harmful impact over my skin and health . Yes, Levera has great cosmetics!

  4. I first learned about the potential damage deodorant can cause 4-5 years ago. Then I started using Crystal Deodorants.I tried the regular solid Crystal, the spray, the roll-on. I am currently very happy with a TANF roll-on - Patchouli scented. By the way, I was never a fan of stick deodorants, because they always stained my clothes.

    1. I also hate the sticks.This year I will try a home made deo. 2 years ago I had breast pains caused by the deodorant I was using (Rexona and Dove, at that time), so in time i saw a massive difference.