Skip Nav
Clean Eating
Download Our Clean-Eating App For Easy and Delicious Recipes!
Harry Styles
Harry Styles Is My Healthy-Living Inspiration — but It's Not What You Think
Healthy Living
I Took CBD Oil For 7 Days For Anxiety — Here's What Happened

Does Antiperspirant Cause Breast Cancer?

Is It Unhealthy to Wear Antiperspirant While Exercising?

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.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
Cara123 Cara123 4 years
Do NOT use anti-perspirant! It is bad, bad news! Go with a natural alternative, like Lavilin. This product has been around for a long time and has awesome reviews!
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I buy handmade natural deoderants from Wicked Clean stocks AWESOME deoderant that lasts through a workout. Being smelly is pretty unavoidable in the gym though...~
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've heard that it's more dangerous to wear the clinical-strength antiperspirant than the normal kind because it can really make you overheat. I don't usually put antiperspirant on before working out because I just shower afterwards and THEN put it on.
stoopeed stoopeed 8 years
I don't like the idea of anti-perspirants. But it is getting increasingly difficult to buy a deodorant without an anti-perspirant. The only one that worked for me was the Adidas aluminum free deo for women - can't find it easily nowadays :(
graylen graylen 8 years
I had always heard that anti-perspirant wasn't good because of the clogging of the pores and sweat glands. My doctor had always recommended not using it... which works out great as I'm allergic to anti-perspirant anyways!
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Tidal -- this doesn't help with the stink, but I sometimes use Body Glide "as" deorderant under my pits if it's a long run on a hot day -- no chafing !
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I always cake on deodorant before running. For one, I don't want to smell but also, if I sweat under my arms too much, they'll chafe which just plain sucks. So I try to keep my armpits dry. Usually my neck and forehead sweat the most anyway.
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
For the scoop on debunking myths in general, check out (but you probably already know that). I don't like the stains, either, and even the ones that purport to be stain-free aren't. I wear it only on days when I need to be dry or non-smelly. I really do sweat; I don't perspire ...or glow.
nobodymuch nobodymuch 8 years
Aluminum antiperspirants are not dangerous, just gross and for me, a little irritating. I hate the clothing stains from aluminum antiperspirants much more than sweat. I've been experimenting with the aluminum-free "natural" deodorants, they're pretty much all just OK so far.
Natural Remedies for Bug BItes
How To Compete in Roller Derby
What Stretches Can I Do While I'm Watching TV?
What Breakfasts Can I Make For Dinner?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds