October isn’t just about Halloween (although it may be my favourite holiday). This month is breast cancer awareness month, and for those of you that don’t know, the disease continues to be the most common cancer diagnosis in Canadian women over the age of 20, with one in four cancer diagnoses being breast cancer. It’s also the second leading case of cancer deaths in Canadian women, after lung cancer.
According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, one in nine Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime (by the age of 90), and one in 29 will die from it. Now, with that being said, fewer Canadian women are dying from the disease today than in the past. Breast cancer deaths have decreased by 42 per cent since the peak in 1986 due to earlier detection through regular mammograms, advances in screening technology, and improved treatments.
There are many myths out there about what causes breast cancer, and many are fact or fiction. Years ago I worked as a brand ambassador for a marketing agency that represented various brands. Every weekend I would represent a different brand and tell customers about the products to drive up sales. One weekend I was representing a well-known brand that had deodorant in their line of products. One of the most common responses when I would pitch people on the product would be “does it have aluminum in it?”.
There is a myth that aluminum in deodorant causes breast cancer because of it’s close placement to the breasts. According to the CBCF, several studies have been conducted on the link between antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer, and to date, there is no conclusive evidence that they increase your risk of breast cancer. Most drugstore deodorants contain aluminum in them and you may be advised not to wear deodorant containing this ingredient when you go for a screening mammogram, due to the fact that it could show up on the images and may lead to an inaccurate result by making breast cancers and other abnormalities harder to detect.
Although I personally have never had a problem with deodorants with aluminum (I literally shop for the cheapest one I can find), I have found a couple brands that offer organic alternatives.
Tom’s of Maine offers a long-lasting 24-hour odour protection that is aluminum-free, cruelty-free, certified organic, and more. It’s available in a variety of different scents, as well as unscented. You can buy this product online or in stores, however, it’s much pricier than your typical deodorant.
Homemade Organics by Jen is another brand that offers an aluminum-free organic option. Everything is homemade from this Canadian brand, based in Nova Scotia. The deodorant smells yummy (I’ve been told you can eat but, but it doesn’t taste good), and contains no chemicals or products added to make it firm. As a result, you may want to rub the deodorant thoroughly into your armpit area if you wish and then simply wipe it in your hands. You can purchase this directly from Jen by getting in touch with her through Facebook. Deodorants run for $7 plus shipping and she has scents for both men and women (lemon coconut, vanilla, frankincense and patchouli).
This post may be a bit different from anything I have previously done before, but with it being breast cancer awareness month (wear pink!), I thought that this may be helpful because aluminum in deodorant is a big issue for many.
One more thing… I recently participated in a really cool project by Winnipeg photographer (and a good friend of mine’s brother) David Lipnowski. In his project, called A Portrait A Day, he posts a photo every day this year of a subject. I was his portrait on October 1. Make sure you check his website out to see the photos and to learn more about the project.
Do you use aluminum-free deodorant? What is your favourite brand?
Please note, some of the products mentioned in this post were sent by PR. All opinions are my own.
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