Is switching to aluminium-free deodorant better for your health?

Deodorants and antiperspirants have become staples in our modern day hygiene routines. Just like brushing your teeth, chances are you are applying your deodorant everyday out of habit without even thinking.

Just like any other hygiene/beauty product, deodorants and antiperspirants contain chemicals.

You’ve probably heard of the fears circulating that certain chemicals in deodorants and antiperspirants could lead to breast cancer, kidney diseases or allergies. But is this really the case? Is there evidence to support this? And should we be rushing to change our normal deodorants to an aluminium-free version?

I’ve been scratching my head for a long time on this topic and wanted to find an answer once and for all. So I went on a little mission to try to find as much information as possible and put my mind at ease. And here is what I found.

First things first

There is a difference between deodorants and antiperspirants

Most people use the terms interchangeably, I know I definitely do, but they are actually two very different things.

Deodorants target armpit bacteria that create odours, but they do not stop you from sweating.

Antiperspirants contain ingredients – most commonly an aluminium compound – that prevents sweat glands from releasing sweat.

Most products nowadays contain a mixture of both – stop you from sweating and if there should be even a tiny bit of sweat, cover the odour immediately – win win situation.

Ok, so where’s the concern here?

The main concern is with aluminium being present in antiperspirants. There are two main worries when it comes to aluminium. The first has to do with an old theory that aluminum is in some way associated with Alzheimer’s disease and the second negative association is that it might be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

However, according to the National Cancer Institute, “no scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer.”

Researchers said that “That theory kind of came up because when we think about where we put on deodorant, the closest area of your breast is the right upper quadrant. And what researchers saw was that the majority of breast cancers started in the right upper quadrant.”

As a result, the theory spread that aluminum-based deodorants might be responsible for causing cancer. It was believed that they enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on breast cells, eventually mutating into cancer.

Very recent research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information points out that frequent use of antiperspirants can cause aluminum to accumulate in breast tissue, but this doesn’t prove that aluminum salts can cause breast cancer.

In fact, breast cancer tissue doesn’t seem to contain more aluminum than normal breast tissue.

In terms of cancer specifically it was shown that there’s no conclusive evidence demonstrating that aluminum containing deodorants cause breast cancer, even if you have higher prescription-strength aluminum deodorant and even if somebody just shaved and put it in their skin straight after.

Apparently the amount of absorption that somebody is getting from that is negligible and thus we can chill about the whole thing.

Verdict.

Given the most recent research suggesting that we have nothing to worry about, we don’t need to ditch our normal deodorants. But to be plain honest with you the “natural, minimal ingredient, aluminium-free” versions still sound more attractive to me.

All in all, whichever product you decide to use, you can rest assured that you’re not causing yourself any bodily harm.

Why Nutritional Coaching is the new Black

Nutrition. Nutrition.Nutrition.

It’s everywhere! And for good reason of course. Most of us know that good nutrition is extremely important for literally every aspect of our lives. We don’t need any convincing here.

But what we do need to be aware of is that there are a lot of different nutritional experts out there who practice nutrition in very different ways.

The intention of this post is to draw your attention to some of the different types of nutritional services around so that you can choose the type that suits your needs best.

Nutrition Experts and Services they offer

Clinical Dieticians/ Dieticians – These are the most regulated type of professionals. Usually they work in a clinical setting with either healthy or sick patients. If you have a very specific nutritional need for example you have coeliac disease or kidney problems etc… then these are the people to go to.

Registered Nutritionists – These are people who have done an approved nutrition course and have registered with a professional body. They usually work with healthy patients and with groups of people to promote optimal health and nutrition. They usually work privately but recently many government programmes are beginning to involve Nutritionists in clinical settings. An example of this is the Healthier You programme and the Diabetes Prevention Programme by the NHS in the UK.

Nutritional/Health Coach – This is a relatively new profession, created by the sheer demand of it. These are people who are usually registered Nutritionists and who want to take it a step further and offer a more hands on approach to their practice. They work mostly with healthy individuals who want to lose weight, reduce body fat percentage or simply optimise their diet.

The demand created by today’s society

Let’s be honest here. Most of us know what is healthy for us to eat and what is not. Buuuut we slip off the healthy bandwagon one too many times.

We need accountability. We need someone to keep pushing us and keep reminding us of our goals so we can keep going. We need that emergency contact to reach out to when we feel we’re about to sway or if we feel the dreaded taste of guilt after a binge.

That’s what Nutritional Coaches are here for.

Reasons why Nutritional Coaching is a must in today’s world

  • They will give you a flexible healthy nutritional plan that is designed to be easily integrated into your lifestyle.
  • They will bring you back in for follow-ups at regular intervals. This is very important as those sessions are extremely motivational. You will share the struggles you experienced since your previous session and your coach will offer you tips and tricks on how to tackle them. You will leave the follow-up feeling super excited and pumped to continue your healthy lifestyle.
  • You will have body composition measurements taken at every follow-up. Your coach will keep a track of your progress. Simply seeing the changes from week to week will give you that extra boost in confidence and motivation.
  • You will never feel alone on your journey. Usually nutritional coaches organise facebook groups, WhatsApp groups or some other type of social media page and encourage all participants to share their journey, ask questions or simply chat with other fellow health enthusiasts.
  • They will help you change your lifestyle for good. You will quite literally have your hand held at every step of the way until you feel confident and comfortable enough to continue your healthy lifestyle on your own.

How to find a good Nutritional Coach

This really depends on where you live, although there are many excellent experts that operate online too. The only difference with online coaches is that the progress tracking would need to be done by you rather than your coach. And for some people, particularly if they lack the necessary tools such as machine analysing body fat percentage – it may be a problem. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing.

In the UK, Australia and USA a simple online search will undoubtedly yield a large number of potentially great nutritional coaches. Make sure you read their reviews and check whether they fulfil all the key points mentioned above.

If you are in Cyprus you are welcome to come and see me. My background is in Herbal Medicine and I am a Registered Nutritionist. I’ve worked for the Healthier You and Diabetes Prevention Programme in the UK which is a big reason I believe nutritional coaching is so important. Because it works and I’ve seen it work time and time again.

If you are anywhere else in the world – perhaps visit your primary care practitioner and see whether they are aware of such professions or search online as well.