Skin Health
Mythfoliation: Do Antiperspirants Cause Cancer?
Mythfoliation Do Antiperspirants Cause Cancer copy
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Not according to leading cancer information resources. Remember that many substances are considered carcinogenic when ingested or inhaled at very high doses. For example, tar is commonly used in hair dyes and some shampoos. At very high doses, it is a proven carcinogen. But at the doses used in these products, it has not been proven to be harmful. Dyes in foods are also proven carcinogens when consumed in obscene amounts by laboratory animals. However, in the doses normally consumed by human beings over a lifetime, there is no substantive proof that they have the same carcinogenic effects.In normal cosmetics, the concentrations of such ingredients can be too small to cause problems. Many of these ingredients have molecules that are too large to penetrate the epidermis, making penetration through the dermis to the bloodstream and internal organs unlikely. This is why, for example, we currently do not use nano-sized ingredients because the jury is still out on whether they penetrate too deeply into the skin.

Several reputable sites have posted detailed responses showing how antiperspirants do not cause cancer. Some we can recommend are breastcancer.org, the U.S. National Institutes of Health: National Cancer Institute website, and The American Cancer Society.

The National Cancer Institute’s website states that “Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer.”

TLC (endorsed by the American Cancer Society) adds: “There is no scientific evidence to support this claim (that antiperspirants cause cancer). The American Cancer Society is not aware of any epidemiological studies reporting an association between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use.”

They continue with a suggestion that we recommend as well: “As with any information found on the internet, you should always consider that the information might not be accurate. Some of what you read is simply not true. Always check with a reputable source, especially when it comes to issues that can affect your health.”

Many environmental watch groups have important information that can be helpful regarding certain ingredients. But we still defer to official regulatory boards internationally. The reason for this is that some environmental groups can be unclear about certain objections. For example, lead in lipsticks is a common alert, and lead is a proven carcinogen. But the concentrations of lead usually used in lipsticks (certainly in our formulations) is less than what is found in the water we drink or air that we breathe. Certain ingredients that have shown toxicity have done so in experiments with rats (for example) that were fed the ingredient, sometimes at levels about the equivalent of the animal’s body weight over several years.

Click here for more on our mythfoliation series.