Mens Deodorant and Antiperspirant: Read the Label

If you’re like most people you probably don’t read the label on a stick of men’s deodorant before you buy it. You might read the ingredients in the food you buy or check for chemicals and bad-for-you things like partially hydrogenated oils and tons of cholesterol or sugar. It’s good to be health conscious in that way and worry about the things you put in your body. But you should really worry about the things you put on your body, too.

Potentially Dangerous Chemicals in Mens Deodorants?

Many people don’t realize that the chemicals and ingredients in many beauty products and hygiene products do pose a risk. Ethylene glycol and hydroquinone are two fairly common ingredients that are classified as neurotoxins that are dangerous to humans. Yet these and other questionable ingredients can be found in a variety of products like mens deodorant, hair coloring and hair care products, nail products, skin products and even oral products like toothpaste and rinses. The list is even longer than this, but some of the most basic ways we’re exposed to these chemicals turns out to be through things like deodorants, shampoos, mouthwashes and moisturizers.

Ethylene glycol, for instance, can be found in at least one variety of Right Guard spray deodorant. It’s also a common ingredient in anti-freeze, and what gives it the sweet taste that can cause animals and children to drink it. Granted, when you spray on deodorant you’re getting this substance in a very small amount as opposed to someone who drinks antifreeze. But you’re spraying it on every day, perhaps for years, where it can soak into your skin. So no matter how small the amount might be, you are still exposing yourself to this toxic substance by using a product that contains it.

If Deodorant for Men Were Dangerous, They Wouldn’t Sell It, Right?

This is the argument that many people make. They say that if deodorant or any other product had something in it that was known to cause cancer or immune system toxicity or kidney failure after years of use, they would pull it off the market because of those dangers. The regulatory agencies say that the amounts of dangerous chemicals in something like deodorant spray for men are too small to worry about. They could be right.

The problem arises when you look at the chemicals that they don’t really have definitive information on. Aluminum chlorohydrate, for instance, is common in antiperspirants along with other forms of aluminum. Aluminum is what makes the antiperspirants work. There have been studies that suggest aluminum exposure by cooking food in aluminum pans, drinking from aluminum cans and even things like using aluminum-rich antiperspirant could be somehow linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The studies that have been done had inconclusive results so these products are still available.

At worst, we’re using something that’s dangerous. At best right now with the information available, the ingredients are at least controversial because we don’t know for sure. But when you think about the billions of dollars made by tobacco companies that sell a product that is a known killer, it’s easier to think that just because something is bad for you, the FDA would not pull it off the market. Many people might prefer to take the admittedly small risk and keep using antiperspirants and deodorants containing controversial chemicals because of the benefit they give which is stopping sweat and controlling odor, while others are more comfortable seeking out deodorant without aluminum, or even going so far as to find natural deodorant for men options to stop body odor and deal with their sweaty armpits. It’s important to get the facts about which chemicals you’re exposing yourself to and what the potential risks are so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

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