The title of this blog post may slightly confuse you. Armpit Health? Has she lost the plot? Rest assured, I have not (yet 🤣). It is still Breast Cancer Awareness month and whereas we have covered the ins and outs of breast cancer, we have not discussed our armpit health and how it may, or may not correlate with breast cancer.
What is your Armpit?
Perhaps this sounds a bit basic, but let us quickly cover what the armpit is. It is basically the connection between the chest wall, shoulder bones, and muscles with your arm. There, the connection creates a small hollow on the underside of the shoulder joint, which is called the armpit. The armpit is one of the warmest areas of the body. It is also home to more than 20 lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which is an organ system in our bodies, which, amongst others, supports the immune system, fights infections, and removes debris such as bacteria and cancer cells.
So, Why Do We Need To Talk About Armpit Health?
Armpits are not just home to our lymph nodes. They are also an area where most humans tend to sweat profusely. In order to combat stink and sweat, we oftentimes use deodorants. And conventional deodorants or antiperspirants usually contain a whole range of toxins.
Why should we care about that? Because our skin, our largest organ, soaks up everything like a sponge. That is, for example, the reason why moisturizer soaks into dry skin so nicely. And the delicate, oftentimes shaved pit area is no exception. Toxins like to settle into fat cells. And where do they find a whole range of fat cells? In breast tissue. Some of these toxins found in deodorant include:
- Aluminium – found in antiperisperants to stop sweating. Aluminum is a hormone disruptor
- Phtalates – may be linked to reproductive disorders. They can be hidden under the word “fragrance”. By the way, synthetic fragrances (again, something that deodorants contain a lot) is an unregulated term, which can include other hormone disruptors and allergens
- Parabens – are estrogen mimickers that have been found in breast cancer tissue
- Triclosan – disrupts hormones and also affects our reproductive glands, as well as thyroid functionality
Wow. I mean – sincerely, even I am slightly shocked by this. I wanted to go into more detail on one point specifically though, aluminium. There have been huge debates about aluminium and whether it can cause breast cancer. So let us cover this in more detail next.
Aluminum and Breast Cancer – is there a Link?
Let me start off by saying that there are more ways that people can be exposed to aluminium than “just” deodorant. Human studies have mainly focussed on ingestion and inhalation. But, it can also be absorbed through the skin, especially when said skin is irritated, for example from shaving, and may accumulate there.
The health risks and effects of aluminium have been studied and linked, in particular, with neurological diseases. Aluminium is also a potential carcinogen. It can damage DNA and prevent DNA repair. A study from 2016 conducted on mice showed potential signs of the aluminium-breast cancer link. Mouse breast cells were treated with aluminium chloride and planted back into the mice. Those cells formed large metastatic tumours. However, no epidemiological studies have been conducted thus far. Apart from this study, the jury is still out on this link, when it comes to humans. Some studies are inconclusive, some studies suggest there is no evidence. One study found that women with breast cancer had higher rates of aluminium in their breasts than those who had no breast cancer. This aluminium rate appeared to be irrespective of deodorant or antiperspirant use.
At the moment, this means that there is no fully established link between the two. The jury is still out (so to speak). Ultimately, I hope that more research will provide us with final insight on this topic.
Armpit Health and Natural Deodorant
So, even though there is no directly proven link between aluminium in deodorants and breast cancer, you may not be too keen on putting conventional antiperspirant or deodorants any longer. OR what might rather be the case, you wanted to try “natural” deodorant and found that even though you should know it is better for you, you tried it and you smelled horrible after a short while (say three hours – 🙋🏼♀️).
I gave up conventional deodorant in 2017 and I tried every weird thing under the sun. I sweat a LOT. Not just during my workouts but also in general. I am also super conscious and super picky about me not smelling (probably most people are). So I need my deodorant to WORK. I do not want to be in a position where my deodorant stops working about halfway through my day. Or where I walk up a slight hill and start smelling. I tried so many “natural” deodorants and starting to smell after half a day was my biggest problem (to the point where I was ready to give up to go back to conventional ones)
The one Natural Deodorant I found that Works!!
In my more than four years of “research”, there is one deodorant I have come to realise works. The one that I have found and loved (and which certainly has passed my “sweat” tests) is Wild Deodorant. Wild protects amazingly!! Whilst not being harsh on my skin (my skin is soooo sensitive and get rashes/allergic reactions fairly quickly).
I swear I have given this as a present to so many of my friends who all love it! It comes with a wonderful reusable case and the actual deodorant is packaged in bamboo and therefore totally recyclable. It is also completely natural and does not contain any aluminium. I love and swear by this product! No more worrying about starting to smell at any stage of the day, no matter how much you sweat!!
I have also gotten in touch with Wild and they have kindly offered a discount code for all of you. When you place an order, type in “Ann-Christin Robejsek” when asked whether you have been referred by a friend. You get a free case (worth around 7 Pounds or Euros, for full disclosure, I will also get a small rebate on my next purchase). Wohoo!! May my hunt be your win when it comes to natural deodorants 😉.