Exercising and sweating go hand-in-hand, and since no one wants to be known for their stinky BO, for many gym-goers, gliding on antiperspirant is just like slipping on a sports bra — it's something you just don't forget. Sweating is a natural process though, and when you're working out, it's your body's way of keeping you cool and preventing heat exhaustion. Some say sweating also releases harmful toxins from your body. So is it bad to wear sweat-stopping antiperspirant to prevent your body from doing what it naturally wants to do?
When you're hot, your body emits moisture from its sweat glands to cool you down. If you wear an antiperspirant, the aluminum used in them penetrates your sweat glands and squeezes them shut, which stops the flow of sweat to the skin's surface in that area. Remember that sweat's only purpose is to cool you off, and since your armpits aren't the only place you have sweat glands, your body can still find a way to lower your body temperature if you get too hot while exercising. So as long as you can wear antiperspirant while working out without overheating, you can feel good about slathering it on to prevent odor. And don't worry about preventing the release of toxins, since only trace amounts of toxins are released from your sweat glands.
Keep reading to find out if the aluminum found in antiperspirants leads to breast cancer.
On a related note, you may have heard that the aluminum in antiperspirants may be linked to breast cancer, since it is applied so frequently to an area so close to the breasts. Some research suggests that the aluminum penetrates the skin and can cause estrogen-like effects. Since estrogen can promote the growth of cancer cells, some scientists suggest that using aluminum-containing antiperspirants may increase a person's risk of developing breast cancer. Yet when studies were conducted looking at women using antiperspirant, the results showed no increased breast cancer risk. That's why the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says they aren't aware of any evidence proving that antiperspirant use causes this type of cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees and believes there's no data connecting the ingredients in antiperspirants to the increased risk of developing breast cancer.
If you are still worried about using aluminum-based antiperspirants when you exercise or feel it's unhealthy to stop your body from perspiring, choose an aluminum-free deodorant instead of antiperspirant to prevent odor such as 100 percent natural Tom's of Maine Beautiful Earth Deodorant or Nature's Gate Spring Fresh Deodorant.