I was in a spa recently and I noticed they had aerosol Secret deodorant/antiperspirant sprays next to disposable razors. It made me cringe!! Many of us women tend to shave our armpits in our morning shower, only to put on deodorant/antiperspirant moments later.
When you shave, you can be sure our skin pores open in the armpit area, and when we apply those products, chemicals go right into our bodies. The chemical I am mostly concerned with is aluminum. None of us should be using any underarm products containing aluminum! When we put it on, the aluminum has a direct portal into our lymph gland, and the breast. Look at the products out there- most all of them contain aluminum as an active ingredient! (Not to mention a whole chemical concoction of artificial fragrances, estrogen-mimickers and more!).
We do have to be very careful of the personal products we use, and this is one that I believe can be the most harmful.
Here’s what we can do:
1. Shave your armpits at night, when you are not going to be putting on any deodorant on afterwards.
2. Be sure to use deodorant that does not contain any aluminum. There are many natural brands available, including Tom’s of Maine, which is available at even Trader Joe’s. I really like that brand, and I find it works really well. The other one that works well is the Jason brand.
3. Stop using antiperspirants immediately. Sometimes as a society, we use products because they are used in a mass, mainstream way, and we never stop to question their validity…or their purpose. Such is the case with antiperspirants. Why do we want to STOP our body from perspiring? Our skin is our largest organ, and it detoxifies waste daily. If we STOP the sweat glands from working, we are holding the toxins in, not allowing them to flow out of the body. We do not want to hinder detoxification like this, and especially not on a daily basis. And on top of that we push chemicals in! Double ugh.
If you are concerned about this, remember that you can still use a deodorant, so you won’t stink! 🙂 You can wear looser shirts to start so your body has more room to air out, and over time you may find that since your body doesn’t have to “fight” working against the products which are blocking your sweat glands, your sweat in that area may reduce. And of course, as your diet improves and you cut back on your consumption of animal foods, you will not have so many toxins to push out in the first place! I have noticed a huge difference in my sweating patterns from changing my diet, and I’ve been antiperspirant-free for years now. I don’t even think about it!
Don’t forget to throw out all the toxin-loaded antiperspirants today and possibly provide some headache relief! And restock with the natural stuff. Remember that toxicity enters the body in multiple ways.
Lots of love,
Here here! I use an aluminum-free 100% salt crystal, and the same product has lasted me years! I only need it during the summer when the stink factor is higher and one application works for the entire day. We need to work with our bodies, not against them!
I personally love Desert Essence’s Tea Tree Oil Deodorant (the stick). It smells great and works well compared to others that I have tried.
Kimberly, on another note I have been meaning to ask you about makeup. I never wear it, except occasionally on special occasions I put on organic mascara. I may have the need to start wearing more soon. Could you recommend an organic brand that you like/use. I prefer a mineral powder for foundation – I really dislike the liquid stuff. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds like you are having an amazing time! 🙂 Happy Birthday, again!
I’ve been only using natural deodorants for years now, got most of my family on bored as well! I like the salt ones best!
Hi Kimberly! I have been using a deodorant crystal stone for several years. Do you approve of them?
No! See my latest post.
oh 🙂 happy belated birthday wishing you a good one my husband’s birthday was on Saturday also
thanks for letting me know about that
i use a crystal deodorant once i heard of how aluminum can cause some health issues and that it is in our brain that really concerns me
I also use crystal stone and it definetely works for me.
I have a couple of unrelated questions… I suppose you do your yoga practice in the morning? I wonder if you drink the lemon water, take the probiotic supplement etc. before or after the practice? At least the Green Smoothie after the workout?
Thank you for your answer & your blog! 🙂
Hi Laura! I actually practice in the evening most days, because that is how my schedule works. So I eat dinner after my practice. If I did practice in the morning, I would have the lemon water first but the smoothie after. 🙂
Another suggestion for deodorant that is really excellent is from the brand, Erbaviva. A very wholesome line.
Thanks for sharing, I will check out that brand!
I’ve tried both the Desert Essence’s Tea Tree Oil deodorant mentioned above in the comments and also a bunch of Tom’s of Maine deodorants (lemon sage, lavender, lemongrass, calendula, unscented, etc.) All of them work wonderfully, don’t contain aluminum, and smell great, too!
**rushes to her cabinet to scan ingredients for Aluminum**
Ha!!!!!!!! Detox the cabinet!!!!!!
I use Healthy deodorant by Lavanila. Do you know anything about that? I’m obsessed with your blog by the way! I am also curious if you know any good organic makeup brands.
HI Katie! I’m so glad to hear you like. 🙂 Is your deo brand aluminum-free? Where do you buy it? I actually really like the Organic Physcian’s Formula for mineral makeup, as I find it not so cakey as the normal go-to of Bare Essentials. Love, Kimberly
It was so nice to run into you at the Inglorious Basterds party last night! Hope you enjoy the rest of your time here in LA! 🙂
Hi Megan! I’m so happy I ran into you also- what a nice surprise. 🙂
Hi Kimberly! I love your blog!
This question is semi-related to this post. I’ve been wondering about laser hair removal. Would you recommend them? I would love a razor-free life, but am concerned that this might have some repercussion on the lymph glands and breasts?
Hi Ani, I’m definitely not a laser hair removal expert, and I don’t have any experience with it myself. I would check with a reputable doctor, since we must be so careful in that area. They are developing some amazing laser technology though.
i say to hell with deoderant and go au natural!)
You go girl!!!!!! 🙂 I do often myself, especially when I’m traveling. 🙂
Hi Kimberly, I discovered your blog and really loving all the info on being more natural using better products. I am going to buy an aluminum free deodorant asap! 🙂
A compelling article.
*sets half of house ablaze and runs for cover*
(It’s OK, it’s the half which contains all the chemicals.)
I noticed that you had talked about Toms of Maine and Jason as a natural alternative to antiperspirant, the main ingredient in both is propelyn glycol which has shown to be harmful to the body. A great alternative (and much cheaper) is a mixture of baking soda, cornstarch and essential oils. I’ve been using it for quite some time and it works wonderfully. A great resource I use when shopping for any body care products is the organicconsumers.org (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_9039.cfm. Has alot of eye openers about what we put on our skin everyday.
Great, thanks! Yes Tom’s of Maine do have propylene glycol which I think I mention in one of my underarm posts…Not the best but very convenient. Thanks for the baking soda tip. So many of you wrote that to me and I will have to try it!
My question is, why bother to shave at all? You remove 20% of the outer skin surface by doing so, allowing all sorts of nasty things in. I see more and more women opting not to shave and I think it’s a healthy trend. Perhaps trimming is an option instead. Hair is supposed to be there folks!
Stop removing the hair thereby letting all of the bad stuff in! Work with your body, not against it. Don’t be brainwashed. As you post in your blogs, the take home message is always natural, natural, natural. YES!
Hi Kimberly, Would this apply to men as well? My boyfriend has shaved his underarms for quite a while (I’m soooo glad this is becoming a popular trend with the guys). Let’s hope this continues (I’m sorry, but hair is sooo unnatural there and is supposed to be removed). Do they need to worry as much about the toxins entering the skin after shaving as we girls do?
I haven’t shaved in two years and love it! It’s so soft! It’s beautiful! Oh, I’ll trim on occasion if it gets too crazy. Whenever I hear of new research about the heatlth risks of shaving, etc., I feel more and more good about myself and my body and my decision not to shave. The hair naturally wicks perspiration away. My underarms never have that slimey, sticky feeling. I never, ever smell either. Only soap and water for this girl! I see more and more women opting for the healthy, natural look. To think of the health risks posed by something set by society is what makes me sick. If you shave regularly, please reconsider. Thanks Kimberly, much love. To health!
Mother Nature again gets the last laugh over fashion trends..
This has also been on CNN, Discovery, etc. The antiperspirant companies are mum like
the tobacco companies used to be…
New Study in part by John Hopkins U. Pass it on…
Shaving and deodorant use
A Chicago survey of 437 women with breast cancer, found a link between
frequency of underarm cosmetics use, shaving and age when diagnosed.
It was found that women who perform underarm shaving more aggressively had
a diagnosis of breast cancer 22 years earlier than the non-users of
If you disrupt the skin by shaving, it can open up the door to the
contents of whatever you put on your skin afterwards, because just under
the skin is the lymphatic system, which is connected to the breast. It is
believed the culprits in these antiperspirants are the toxins in aluminum
salts such as aluminum chlorohydrate. They don’t normally penetrate the
skin enough to cause a problem–unless the skin is shaven.
Also, British researchers have found traces of chemicals called parabens
in tissue taken from women with breast cancer, the highest concentration
being in the quadrant nearest the underarm. Parabens mimic the effects of
the hormone oestrogen, which is known to stimulate tumours in two thirds
of women with breast cancer.
Parabens are used as preservatives, and on the label they may be listed as
methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl
paraben or E216. Even “natural” deodorants may not be paraben-free.
“The breast is like the dust bin of the body these days,” states Dr
Darbre, a key researcher. “God knows what this cocktail of chemicals does
Not to get too graphic, but I hate shaving my
pits. Usually don’t in the winter but get pressured
into it in the spring by societal standards. Here’s a
good reason if I ever get the courage to brave it
unshaven in the spring! It makes sense! Our society
is making us women look like seven year olds. Gross!
American Cancer Society concluded that there is a relationship between cancer and underarm shaving. This is obtained from the survey of women in the United States and Europe during the last 10 years. It is estimated that in 2012 alone will be 175,000 new cases arise breast cancer in the United States malignant, and 43,000 deaths will occur due to breast cancer. Start the women beware! How to explain more details? Let’s look at the following article!
Anderson Cancer Center was also concluded that women who shave her armpits were 10 times more susceptible to breast cancer compared with women who let his armpit hair grow as it is. Dr. Therese Bevers of M.D. Anderson reveals, with shaved armpits, in the armpits will arise many injuries and invisible pores in the armpit area will be enlarged. This allows the toxin and chemicals from a variety of products such as deodorant, powder, and creams will easily enter the skin.
Armpit crease area is a gathering place for the lymph nodes. This gland can facilitate transport toxins and chemicals from outside the body to the inside of the body, especially the breast. So it is not surprising that removing or shave her armpits always be associated with breast cancer. In addition to the breast, possibly from outside the body of toxins as well into other body parts such as the lungs, heart and brain.
When plucking the armpit, usually unnoticed injuries and enlarged pores. This injury which facilitate the occurrence of disease, such as inflammation, swelling or pus and become infected. This condition occurs in the long term and continuous irritation occurs, can cause cell mutation. This is also possible occurrence of breast cancer.
So, rather than better shaved cut. Remove underarm hair in any way as waxes are also not recommended because the risk of breast cancer as much as revoked or shaved. So better to cut with small scissors or a special pair of scissors. Because the cut the risk of injury and enlargement of the pores will not occur.
The significance of this article is that we must be more careful to keep our bodies clean. So, we do not have to fear the disruption that will arise in our bodies.
I will tell you why it is a necessity for women to have armpit hair. Because Nature put it there for a reason.
Women with armpit hair are natural and sexy. Yes, I said sexy. I will tell you, it is not a good idea to shave off your pit hair then put on deodorant. The deodorant clogs the skin up and it can not breathe. The deodorant is absorbed and it does not leave the body.
Here you will learn a lesson. Listen to this wise ol’ gal and what I tell you. When I was younger, I feared what a man would think to see me with armpit hair, and I kept it neat & deodorized. Then one day, I found a lump under my pit that bothered me and stayed there for about 4 months. So, I quit shaving and quit putting the deodorant on and the lump went away.
I must also tell you, this lump came and went over a period of 5 years. Who knows, it could have been some sort of cancer. I am all natural now, no deodorant and lump free. I may have saved my own life. Yah? You listen to “old school”. Make a comment to me. Tell me what you think. NO POTTY MOUTH.
Hairy Armpits Are Hot!!
A while back, I wrote a post about shaving body hair. Well, this one is about NOT shaving. Armpits. Women’s armpits.
I don’t know why this country became so body hair intolerant over the centuries, but I don’t think it is a good thing. The good ol’ US of A has the highest rate of breast cancer of any developed country and I think I know why – shaving armpits and using antiperspirant! We all learn in biology that “form follows function”. That just begs the question, what is the function of hair in our armpits? Try this theory on for size – humans sweat, it is how we keep cool, and we tend to sweat a lot from our armpits. I believe the hair is there to “wick” the moisture away from the body so it can evaporate. Remove the hair, and the moisture can’t do that.
But wait! What moisture? Because women routinely slather their pits with antiperspirant, there is no moisture coming out anyway. All that sweat, and the bad things in it, is being forced to build up in the body right next to the lymph nodes that are usually removed during a mastectomy. Are you starting to see the connection – sweat, lymph nodes, breast cancer?
Stopping your body from eliminating waste just CANNOT be a good idea! (Constipation comes to mind.) So we should stop doing it!
Now, if women only shave to be attractive to men, I don’t think most men would care if they stopped. I used to live in The San Francisco Bay area and, being the home to free spirits from everywhere, it was not totally uncommon to see women with hairy armpits. I didn’t find it to be gross or icky, in fact, probably because it was different, I found it to be slightly erotic!! And I am not alone in this. Don’t believe me? Try Googling “Hairy Armpits” and see how many sites you find devoted to men who like it.
Enough about pit hair, let’s move on the antiperspirants. People use them because they are afraid they will smell bad. I’m calling “Bullshit” on that one!! While I am NOT advocating for people to stop bathing, I do think we need to get over our aversion to normal, everyday human body odors. I like a little body odor emanating from my woman! It is normal. It is basic. It is primal!! And it triggers a primal response!! And unless a woman decides to avoid soap and water for a prolonged period of time, you really can’t detect it unless you are close… real close. And in that case, the person you are with is not going to care!
Now, having written all this, I feel I must confess….. I have one issue about my body odor. I never, ever leave for a massage appointment without showering first. If I am going to be laying there in the altogether with all of my flaws laid bare to a perfect stranger, I at least do not want to offend their olfactory cells!
I agree with you on this. Personally, I go halfway when it comes to armpit shaving. I trim half of it once in a blue moon to keep it neat just for my own preferences (ok, and maybe partly for the sensibilities of classmates and such). However, I never use anti-perspirant. It blocks toxins from leaving the body through sweat! So yea, they may to linked to boob cancer. I use a natural deodorant, and some day don’t even use one at all, instead I use a rose water spray or spray on body mist which I find works pretty well most days (though this can vary depending on a person, climate, and lifestyle). It’s great seeing more women throw away their razors and do what mother nature intended. My boyfriend loves it BTW!
Thank you Kimberly! Us guys can benefit from your blogs too! My wife and I enjoy your blogs, and follow your advice to the letter. We feel look and feel fantastic! My wife has always shaved her underarms and came across this blog last Feb and showed it to me. She’s always thought underarm hair unsightly and asked me to shave and try out your advice. I said of course! (especially as it’s becoming unacceptable for men to show their underarm hair). I shave every day and love it! She does too! I’ve been anti-perspirant AND deo free the entire time. Our underarms look and feel wonderful. Thank you Kimberly! I’m off to drink my smoothie!
I just got interesting information from a health seminar. The leading environmental cause of breast cancer is the use of antiperspirant and removal of underarm hair. Yes, antiperspirant! Most of the products out there are an antiperspirant and deodorant combination.
As its name, antiperspirant prevents you from perspiring, thus inhibiting the body from purging toxins from below the underarms. The toxins do not just vanish. Instead, the body deposits them in the lymph nodes below the arms since it cannot flush them out totally. This causes a high concentration of toxins and leads to cell mutations, i.e. cancer. These are very toxic chemicals!!
Nearly all breast cancer tumors occur in the upper outside quadrant of the breast area. This is precisely where the lymph nodes are located. Breast cancer is becoming frighteningly more common. This awareness may save lives.
In other hand, men have been less likely to develop breast cancer prompted by antiperspirant usage because most of the product is caught in their hair and is not directly applied to the skin. Companies are targeting men to remove the hair as more women are becoming aware of these hazards! Meanwhile, women who apply antiperspirant/deodorant right after shaving increase the risk further. It’s because shaving activity causes almost imperceptible nicks in the skin which give the chemicals entrance into the body through your armpits.
Conclusion of the relationship between cancer and underarm shaving is obtained from data collected from women in the United States and Europe over the last 10 years!
“Antiperspirant and deodorant use have a direct relationship between hair removal and breast cancer,” told Dr. Therese Bevers, an epidemiologist at the Anderson Cancer Research Center at the University of Maryland. “ANYTHING you apply to the underarm area WILL get absorbed through the skin. The hair is there for a very good reason; protection, toxin removal, perspiration elimination, etc. Leave it alone! Don’t remove it! Doing so will help lower your risk of getting this horrible disease. It’s THAT preventable; like telling a smoker to stop smoking to lower the risk of lung cancer. It doesn’t mean a non-smoker couldn’t get lung cancer, but he/she can do a lot to lower the risk and help prevent it. It’s the only life we get. Let’s not put the body at risk any more than it already is.”
Breast cancer has been on the rise for over half a century. Only 5-10% of breast cancer is genetic, leaving up to 90% from the environment and lifestyle!  Studies indicate that deodorants / antiperspirants and underarm hair removal practices together play a major role in the increase of breast cancer cases.
The link between parabens and breast cancer might seem outlandish to you: After all, parabens are used in so many cosmetic products, it has to be safe. The FDA would never allow that to happen – right?
The FDA uses the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) for its safety assessment of parabens (isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben). The safety assessment of the CIR Expert Panel was published in 1995, before evidence of the endocrine (hormonal system), reproductive and developmental effects of parabens had been reported. 
Furthermore, due to the lack of available data on parabens (isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben), the CIR used data from related compounds (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben) instead. 
 McGrath, Kris G. “Why Breast Cancer is Spreading Around the World.” ControlYourImpact. 12 Feb. 2008. 13 Feb. 2008
 Harvey, Philip W. “Parabens, Oestrogenicity, Underarm Cosmetics and Breast Cancer – a Perspective on a Hypothesis.” Journal of Applied Toxicology 23 (2003): 285-288. 10 Feb. 2008
McGrath, Kris G. “Why Breast Cancer is Spreading Around the World.” ControlYourImpact. 12 Feb. 2008. 13 Feb. 2008
McGrath, K G. “An Earlier Age of Breast Cancer Diagnosis Related to More Frequent Use of Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Underarm Shaving.” European Journal of Cancer Prevention 12 (2003): 479-485. 24 Jan. 2008.
Darbre, P D., A Aljarrah, W R. Miller, N G. Coldham, M J. Sauer4, and G S. Pope. “Concentrations of Parabens in Human Breast Tumours.” Journal of Applied Toxicology 24 (2004): 5-13. 10 Feb. 2008
I just finished reading your book and loved it. I have a problem I need your help with, I am terrified of smelling bad, I know how toxic secret antipersperant/deoderant is and I really want to switch to something more natural, but like I said I don’t ever want even a hint of bad smell coming from my underarms is this possible using only natural deoderants? I have smelled many people who are into the holistic lifestyle and they don’t always smell so good, I wonder if this is because maybe they don’t wear any deoderant at all or if they are wearing natural deoderant. After being teased as a kid for this problem it is more than I would be willing to go through again. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Hi Andrea, I have found the crystal deodorants to be very effective, which you can buy at health stores. As your diet improves and you continuously cleanse per my suggestions, offensive body odor will reduce in general over time! xx
This is soooo true. Since I have made the changes suggested in Kimberly’s book I don’t even need to wear deodorant! Believe me, that was so not the case when I was ingesting dairy and animal products! It’s amazing! Of course, I have bought some natural deodorant for the few times I do need it. Then recently I discovered a fantastic company called Aubrey Organics. They sell plenty of safe beauty products. I LOVE the skin care line and my friend told me to try their deodorant because it smells amazing. I plan to try that when my Burt’s Bees brand runs out, but at this rate that is going to be a long time from now!!! HeeHee! Also, want to try Kimberly’s skin care line The Solution out. I just barely found out about it and would have tried it out before Aubrey Organics but now that I have it I’m also going to use all that up first. 🙂
Meanttobeeorganics.com sells a deeodorant that us aluminum free, chemical free and contains a probiotic! And it works!
Thanks for this info. I ordered alumimum and paraben free deodorant today after finding out that these things are harmful (Arm & Hammer natural deodorant). You’re right, I never thought to question whether or not deodorant was harmful. I only found out because I was looking for a way to lighten my dark armpits! No more cheap razors and aluminum-laden antiperspirant for me. Thanks!
Any suggestions for shaving cream?
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