The Strongest Antiperspirants: What You Should Know
July 5, 2012
I have absolutely no hesitation in saying "Stop Sweating and Start Living" will soon put antiperspirant companies out of business.
I was reluctant at first to endorse any product but this book was different. The remedies it suggests are all-natural and target the root causes of problem sweating.
My only complaint is that it is only available as an instant access ebook. It can't be purchased in bookstores or on Amazon.com, but I'm sure the instant download feature is popular with people overseas and those who are ready to get started.
I strongly recommend "Stop Sweating and Start Living" to anyone who sweats excessively in the underarm, hand, foot, face or back areas.
- James Chambers
In today’s world not taking steps to control excessive underarm
sweating and reduce underarm odor could be seen as a grave
social crime. After all as more and more people enter workplaces
professional areas underarm sweating and odor are likely to
become social embarrassments as well as professional hindrances.
These factors have caused an increasing number of people to use
antiperspirants and deodorants to check sweating and underarm odor.
Given that the average human body contains over 3 million sweat glands
sweating is an indispensable part of our lives. Indeed sweating
is the body’s way of staying cool and regulating body temperature.
When our body temperatures rise above the ambient temperature the
body releases sweat which evaporates from the surface of the skin
and cools us down. However it is when we start to sweat excessively
that the problem begins.
Why do we do that? Well normally the sympathetic nervous system
controls the amount of sweat that the sweat glands produce by sending
neural signals through a chemical called acetylcholine. However
when the sympathetic nervous system over activates the sweat glands
it causes excessive perspiration medically known as hyperhidrosis.
While it is not known exactly what causes the neural signals to go
haywire it has been observed that excessive underarm sweating may
be triggered by emotional stress or social embarrassment.
Before we proceed further it would be as well to clarify that underarm
sweating does not invariably lead to underarm odor. It is when certain
kinds of bacteria present on the surface of the skin break down the
sweat that the odor is created. And this is where antiperspirants
and deodorants come in because antiperspirants reduce underarm sweating
by controlling the flow of sweat and deodorants prevent underarm
odor owing to the perfume they contain. They also reduce the levels
of underarm bacteria.
What is obvious from the above paragraph is that deodorants do not
reduce profuse sweating whereas antiperspirants do. Most antiperspirants
are available over the counter in aerosol roll-on or stick forms
and the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) defines an antiperspirant
as “a drug product applied topically that reduces the production
of sweat (perspiration) at the site where it is applied”. Most
antiperspirants can typically reduce sweat production for up to 24
hours though the strongest antiperspirants may do so for up to 48
Whatever form they are available in the strongest antiperspirants
and the milder varieties have some ingredients in common. Among these
are perfumes that mask underarm odor emollient oils that prevent
dehydration of the skin masking oils to prevent them drying on the
skin and forming deposits and an alcohol base that produces that
immediate coolness that you experience when you apply an antiperspirant.
Additionally the strongest antiperspirants may also use silica
which rids the user of the stickiness associated with sweat.
The chemical ingredients in antiperspirants may include PEG-8 Distearate
and a variety of salts that reduce the flow of underarm sweat. Most
commonly these salts work by dissolving in sweat and leaving a thin
coating of gel over the sweat glands which reduces the flow of sweat
to the skin for a up to a few hours after the antiperspirant is applied.
Other chemical ingredients in antiperspirants are ACH (aluminum chlorohydrate)
and a salt called AZAG (aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY).
Are the strongest antiperspirants safe?
In 2003 the FDA published a study that concluded that antiperspirants
were safe. The study went some way to allay public fears that the
aluminum salts in antiperspirants caused Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition the Alzheimer’s Society has also declared that
there is no connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s.
At various times antiperspirants have also been rumored to cause
breast cancer. Most famously this link was established by an e-mail
message that appears to have originated in the 1990s and continues
to circulate even today. Thanks to the Internet such messages reach
the largest number of people in the shortest possible time propagating
fears that may be unfounded.
Fears about antiperspirants and breast cancer stem from a variety
of beliefs. Some newspaper articles in the past have suggested that
the aluminum and zirconium salts present in antiperspirants get into
the body through underarm sweat and form deposits in breast tissue
causing cancerous growths. However the Journal of the National Cancer
Institute published a study in 2002 opposing this belief.
A lot of people also believe that since most people in the world
are right handed and most breast cancers are diagnosed in the left
breast antiperspirants must be causing the cancer. However scientific
research has established that the occurrence of cancer in the left
breast is inherent because there are more arteries veins and capillaries
on the left hand side of the chest that make it more prone to develop
Among other cancer-related beliefs is the theory that since the
body sweats to flush out toxins using antiperspirants to reduce
underarm perspiration will cause the toxins to build up and lead
to breast cancer. However as we have already mentioned the human
body uses sweat as a temperature regulation mechanism that has nothing
to do with flushing out toxins. As experts have pointed out sweat
contains water (vast amounts) some sodium and some fat. That’s
it. In fact the liver and kidneys remove nearly all the toxins in
Besides antiperspirants do not really affect the body’s overall
sweat production capacity only the localized production of underarm
perspiration. To top it all the underarm sweat glands produce only
about one per cent of the body’s sweat but it affects us more
because the sweat can’t evaporate as easily from the underarm
as it does from more exposed body surfaces.
What may have contributed to the breast cancer rumors is the fact
that women are advised not to use underarm antiperspirants before
a mammogram but that is merely to ensure that the antiperspirant
does not appear on the X-Ray and is mistaken for an abnormality in
There have also been murmurs at certain times about how antiperspirant
ingredients like aluminum and zirconium pierce the skin and accumulate
in the breast tissue thus damaging DNA. However since most of us
are exposed to aluminum on a daily basis (aluminum is one of the
commonest elements on earth and a regular part of our diets) without
any damage the ‘DNA damage’ theory should not to be
taken too seriously.
Why use antiperspirants at all?
Prescription antiperspirants are seen as the first step in the battle
to reduce underarm sweating. However antiperspirants offer at best
a temporary solution because they don’t completely stop sweat
production. Even the best antiperspirants that claim to be the strongest
in the market reduce sweating by 30% at most according to tests
run by the FDA while ordinary antiperspirants reduce sweating by
Therefore excessive underarm sweating needs to be controlled using
other means like natural antiperspirants. This is not the same as
saying that antiperspirants should not be used because they damage
one’s health. They merely have limited impact at best on
a person’s underarm sweating and underarm odor problems.