We all love to smell good at school or work, and deodorant is an obvious choice for countering our natural bodily odors. As a college student who prefers natural products, I know the struggle of having to reapply my natural deodorant throughout the day. So I was curious about whether the benefits of natural deodorants outweighed the benefits of antiperspirant deodorants.


Photo courtesy of ClothingCult.com

In general, deodorants are designed only to control odors. Some deodorants, however, double as antiperspirants. These are designed not just to mask odor but to prevent sweating by using some kind of aluminum to swell your pores in order to prevent sweat from coming to the surface of your skin. Sounds a bit creepy right? It is, but antiperspirants work for some people who prefer the extra protection on busy days.

Numerous articles in recent years have claimed that antiperspirant deodorants are linked to the development of breast cancer, since they are applied to a nearby area and chemicals can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

However, the National Cancer Institute refutes these claims, stating that although chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, scientists are not aware of any “conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.” The FDA also supports these statements. So in the end, it just comes down to personal preference.


Photo by Rebecca Sather Jenkins

Organic and more natural deodorants typically leave out aluminum, and some people even choose to make their own deodorant at home. If you have sensitive skin or are concerned about the chemicals contained in antiperspirants, maybe this is the route for you. But according to the experts, there is no real risk to your long-term health in using antiperspirant and aluminum-containing deodorants.

So, pick the deodorant that suits your lifestyle and preferences, and go ahead and wave your arms in the air like you just don’t care.