Antiperspirants are products that try to prevent sweating by using aluminum. However, most antiperspirants also have a deodorizing component, fragrance; another questionable. I’ll touch on both in this blog.
It might be a surprise to learn that the antiperspirant you use daily is in fact a drug.
The following, is excepts copied from www.medicinenet.com I am going to point out a few things that catch my eye and give you my interpretation of this article.
The agency (FDA) defines antiperspirant as a drug product applied topically that reduces the production of sweat (perspiration) at the site where it is applied. Antiperspirants, according to the Food and Drug Administration, can safely and effectively reduce sweat for up to 24 hours, *if formulated and tested properly. And for most, this means protection against both wetness and odor.
*(Notice that small but powerful word…IF.)
The FDA issued a final rule in June 2003 establishing conditions under which over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirants are *generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE), and are not misbranded. The final rule establishes allowable ingredients and labeling for the products.
*(Generally: in disregard of specific instances and with regard to an overall picture. Merriam-Webster)
In October 2004, the agency reopened the record on this final rule to consider one manufacturer’s request to double the length of time–from 24 hours to 48 hours–during which an OTC antiperspirant is considered to be effective. The request in this case, called an enhanced duration claim, applies to the testing and labeling of this particular claim.
Matthew R. Holman, Ph.D., an FDA scientist in the Division of Over-the-Counter Drug Products, says that *the agency needs scientific evidence that extended duration products work. “Manufacturers have to back up such claims with studies,” he says. The FDA must be satisfied that the testing is valid for 48 hours.
*(They need scientific evidence that the EXTENDED DURATION works. Not that this new formulation is safe! If the standards of the OTC monograph are met, premarket approval of a potentially new OTC product is NOT necessary.)
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FDA legally defines products by their intended uses. Therefore, drugs are defined as products intended for treating or preventing disease or for affecting the structure or any function of the body. Antiperspirants are considered drugs because they affect the function of the body by *reducing the amount of sweat that reaches the skin.
*(Sweating is an important function of the body. Sweating is the release of liquid from the body’s sweat glands. This liquid contains salt. This process is also called perspiration. Sweating helps your body stay cool. Sweat is commonly found under the arms, on the feet, and on the palms of the hands. Sweating is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. This is the part of the nervous system that is not under your control. Sweating is the body’s natural way of regulating temperature.)
People tend to interchange the words “antiperspirant” and “deodorant,” but as regulated by the FDA, they are not the same. Antiperspirants have an *aluminum-based compound as their main, “active” ingredient, which can be any number of compounds within an established concentration and dosage form. The active ingredient gives antiperspirants their sweat-blocking ability by forming a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface.
The aluminum-based compound is always the first ingredient listed on the back of an antiperspirant container. A few common active ingredients are aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, and aluminum zirconium. An “inactive” is any ingredient besides the active ingredient. Some of the inactive ingredients in an antiperspirant include talc, fragrance, and butane, used as an aerosol propellant.
*(Why am I highlighting aluminum? Research, including one study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, has shown that the aluminum is not only absorbed by your body, but is deposited in your breast tissue and even can be found in nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) a fluid present in the breast duct tree. The authors of this study say, “The reasons for the high levels of aluminium in NAF remain unknown but possibilities include either exposure to aluminium-based antiperspirant salts in the adjacent underarm area and/or preferential accumulation of aluminium by breast tissues.)
This study states: “Systemic Al bioavailability after single underarm antiperspirant application may be up to 0.012%. All intramuscularly injected Al, e.g. *from vaccines, may eventually be absorbed. Al distributes unequally to all tissues.” This may not sound like much until you multiply it by one or more times a day for a lifetime, which adds up to massive exposure to aluminum — a poison that is not supposed to be in your body.
*Wait! What did that say? “from vaccines, may eventually be absorbed…” They don’t know!? Another topic, Diana, stay focused.
The monograph states:
…several citizen petitions have raised concerns about the amount of aluminum absorbed from topical antiperspirant drug products. The agency has no data showing that products containing up to 35 percent aluminum chlorhydrates or aluminum zirconium chlorhydrates increase aluminum absorption and is not revising the monograph to provide for powder roll-on dosage forms containing up to 35 percent antiperspirant active ingredient, without additional safety data being provided.
Notice the agency says, it “has no data showing” the “increase of aluminum absorption” it does not state that there is data proving NO absorption of the aluminum.
But different laws and regulations apply to each type of product. Some products, for example, must comply with the requirements for both drugs and cosmetics. This happens when a product has two intended uses, for example, when an antiperspirant is also a deodorant. Cosmetics are defined as substances that cleanse, beautify, promote attractiveness, or alter the appearance, without affecting the body’s structure or function. Deodorants are regulated as cosmetics because they promote attractiveness only by masking odor, not by reducing sweat.
Unlike drugs, neither cosmetic products nor cosmetic ingredients are reviewed or approved by the FDA before they are marketed. But the agency *urges manufacturers to do any necessary testing to prove that their products are safe. And cosmetic makers must put a warning statement on the front labels of those products that have not been safely tested. The agency *can take action against cosmetic products found to cause harm after they are on the market.
*(Urges: : to ask people to do or support (something) in a way that shows that you believe it is very important. Merriam-Webster
*”Can take action” not WILL take action!
Deodorant’s key ingredient is fragrance. What is Fragrance?
The term “fragrance,” under US law, actually means a combination of chemicals that gives a perfume or cologne its distinct scent. These ingredients may be derived from petroleum or natural raw materials, or they may be produced synthetically. Perfume manufacturers typically purchase fragrance mixtures from companies that specialize in developing fragrances (known as fragrance houses) and then combine them to create a unique scent.
It is this chemical combination that is typically kept protected as a “trade secret,” while other chemicals in the products (solvents, stabilizers, preservatives, dyes, and UV absorbers) may be listed on the label. So what is a typical fragrance actually made of? Some common offenders include:
Parabens: Synthetic preservatives known to interfere with hormone production and release.
Phthalates: Another synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development, birth defects) and liver and kidney damage.
Synthetic musks: These are linked to hormone disruption and are thought to persist and accumulate in breast milk, body fat, umbilical cord blood, and the environment. Resource)
Like prescription drugs, the FDA oversees OTC drugs to ensure that they are properly labeled and that their benefits outweigh their risks. OTC drugs account for more than 100,000 products on the market that involve about 800 active ingredients. The FDA classifies these nonprescription drugs by treatment category, such as laxatives, antacids, and antiperspirants, and evaluates their ingredients. So, rather than review thousands of individual antiperspirant products, the FDA evaluates the far fewer active ingredients found in them.
*Most OTC drugs are subject to rules called monographs, which state requirements for categories of nonprescription drugs, such as what ingredients may be used and for what intended use. If the standards of the OTC monograph are met, premarket approval of a potentially new OTC product is not necessary.
*(Most? How many are not? hmmm???)
The *FDA is mainly concerned about claims being made for a product, Holman says. For example, in the familiar slogan, “strong enough for a man but made for a woman,” the company had to prove that the product was tested in both men and women because there are physiological differences between them. Similarly, testing must confirm marketing statements such as “so effective you could skip a day.”
*(I think that safety should be their main concern!)
The final section from the article:
The Cancer Myth
The rise of the *Internet has made it easy for false health claims, scary stories, and rumors to reach millions of people in a matter of minutes. One such myth says that antiperspirants may cause breast cancer.
*(The internet has provided a way for people to investigate things themselves. But of course “they” are the only ones smart enough!)
But the *NCI says that no existing scientific or medical evidence links the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants to the subsequent development of breast cancer. The FDA, the Mayo Clinic, the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association agree. Razor nicks may increase the risk of skin infection, but not cancer.
*(Good thing FDA agrees instead of looking into it themselves!
Because of the Internet we can see what the NCI says about antiperpirants.
Can antiperspirants or deodorants cause breast cancer?
However, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer.
*(So, who is looking into it? Appears there is some finger pointing going on here)
What do scientists know about the ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants?
More research is needed to specifically examine whether the use of deodorants or antiperspirants can cause the buildup of parabens and aluminum-based compounds in breast tissue. Additional research is also necessary to determine whether these chemicals can either alter the DNA in some cells or cause other breast cell changes that may lead to the development of breast cancer.
*(But WAIT…you just said, “It’s a Myth and The FDA, the Mayo Clinic, the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association agree. Razor nicks may increase the risk of skin infection, but not cancer.” Shouldn’t we do the research you’re saying you NEED?)
What have scientists learned about the relationship between antiperspirants or deodorants and breast cancer?
Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved.
*(More studies need to be done. How can the FDA claim they are safe?)
Sweat itself does not smell. The familiar smell of body odor, or B.O, comes from normal skin bacteria breaking down the sweat secretions released from the sweat glands.
Body odor mainly originates from the apocrine glands in the armpits, which release a thick, oily sweat rich in proteins and lipids which bacteria on the skin feed on.
Because of the bacteria and not being used to using natural products for your armpits you will likely have a detox phase. This is totally normal. If you find that you truly cannot go for a few days without deodorant, you will have to use a natural deodorant for a week or so before you body starts to adjust. Many people who try to use natural deodorants without detoxifying their pits, tend to complain that they don’t work. You have to get rid of the decaying matter in your body before you can ask your body not to smell. And remember, sweating is a GOOD thing! We want to sweat…we just don’t want to stink. I would also, suggest a total body cleanse to assist your body in removing toxins.