Sunday, 19 August 2018

Is an Aluminium Free Antiperspirant as effective as one with Aluminium?

You may remember a few years ago when links between using an antiperspirant causing cancer were all over the press. The reason for these fears were centered around one of the ingredients in antiperspirant, Aluminium. What aluminium does is to temporarily block the sweat glands, so helping to stop you from sweating. The fears were that when aluminium is absorbed in to the skin, it gets in to the blood stream and interferes with our DNA and could lead to cancerous changes in cells or interfere with the female hormone estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells. There has also been links between antiperspirant use and Alzheimers.

However, although there have been various studies in to both claims, to date there is no clear proven link or evidence to support this.

And whilst this is slightly reassuring, it does make you think about what's in your deodorant. You apply it to your skin every day, often straight on to freshly shaved skin. So I was really interested in the new range of 0% Aluminium antiperspirants from Soft & Gentle. As well as having no aluminium, the range has no alcohol and claims to give 24 hour sweat protection.

What Soft & Gentle have replaced aluminium for is Bamboo powder to dry sweat before it makes contact with bacteria present on the skin and Horsetail which helps to close pores.
I decided to give this the best test I could, a 2 stage test. The first test was a day at work in the recent heat wave. I applied the Soft & Gentle 0% aluminium to one arm pit and my usual roll on (Garnier Mineral Invisible, which also has no alcohol but does have aluminium) to the other. I also wore a 100% polyester short sleeved top, one which has always cut in quite close to my arm pits.. good test conditions right?!

So at the end of a long day, ok only in the office but a very warm office, I had a sweaty odour from the 0% aluminium pit and no such odour from the other..  I could also smell on my top that on the side of the 0% it absolutely needed washing, whereas no stinkiness on the other side.

The 2nd test I did was again doing one pit with 0% and the other my usual antiperspirant to.. a body combat class. Now these classes I love but I sweat like nothing on earth, it literally pours off me. And at the end of the class (where by the way the god damn air conditioning wasn't working!).. I was in desperate need of a shower and neither arm pit was fairing well but I could notice a real difference in antiperspirant efficiency between the 0% arm pit and my usual. My 0% arm pit felt like all the roll on had disappeared, sweated off.

So in summary, for me, this aluminium free antiperspirant does not give me the protection I need. I suppose I should be asking myself what is in my usual roll on that it can be so effective at almost stopping sweat and keeping odour at bay and what is it doing to my skin to do that? Maybe if I only wore natural fibres and didn't rely on this for high sweating activities, it would be perfectly adequate..?


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