Do Antiperspirants Cause Cancer?
What Studies Show About Ingredients
The concerns about cancer and antiperspirants stem from the ingredients used to make these products. Many skin and beauty products use parabens as preservatives, and they may mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Antiperspirants also contain aluminum salts that block our sweat glands when they dissolve on the skin.
Parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells, this estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. Estrogen is a female hormone that has been known to cause both normal and cancerous breast cells to grow and divide. In 2004, a small study found traces of parabens in some samples of breast cancer tumors
They block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin's surface. Aluminum compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells. Because estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells, some scientists have suggested that using the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.