It’s usually perfectly safe to use deodorants. But stories in the media questioning the link between deodorant and certain diseases might leave you feeling worried.

On this page we share some advice on the safety issues around deodorant, including:

  • exploring the media coverage that deodorant causes cancer
  • using deodorant if you’re pregnant
  • tips to help you apply your deodorant as safely as possible

The media and consumers often use the two product names of deodorants and anti-perspirants interchangeably, which can create confusion. However, most people are concerned with the safety of aluminium within the ingredients of an anti-perspirant, not usually found in a deodorant, which is why we’ve focused on the safety of aluminium in these products within this article.

Please reference our article on the difference between deodorants and anti-perspirants for more information.

Is deodorant dangerous to use?

While there has been reports in the media suggesting deodorants are linked to causing certain diseases, there’s no solid evidence that deodorant is dangerous to use.

Aluminium salts, the active, sweat stopping ingredient found in anti-perspirants, are the only ingredient that has been studied in relation to serious diseases like cancer. But there hasn’t been enough research done to prove a link between breast cancer and using anti-perspirant.

While deodorants help prevent body odour, most don’t contain ingredients that make us sweat any less. Anti-perspirants, on the other hand, contain active ingredients that reduce the amount of sweat our bodies release.

If you’re sensitive to aluminium salts, or prefer a product that doesn’t contain aluminium, deodorant might be the perfect addition to your morning routine.

So, do I need to worry about deodorant causing cancer?

Media reports have suggested that the aluminium salts found in most anti-perspirants (but not in most deodorants) and parabens found in some anti-perspirants and deodorants can increase the risk of cancer once absorbed into the body.

But according to the Cancer Research website, “There is no convincing evidence that anti-perspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer”.

Don’t forget, most deodorants are aluminium-free anyway! And if you prefer to avoid products with aluminium in them, try Soft & Gentle’s 0% Aluminium range, which uses naturally derived plant extracts to help keep you feeling fresh.

What if I’m pregnant—is it safe to use deodorant during pregnancy?

There have been no studies investigating the use of deodorant during pregnancy. However, many women continue to use their usual products throughout their pregnancy with no adverse effects.

Some women see pregnancy as the perfect time to give their beauty products an overhaul and switch their existing products for more natural alternatives though. If you’re looking for a product that includes natural ingredients, try our 0% aluminium range of deodorants and anti-perspirants. These products contain no aluminium, no alcohol and are formulated with naturally derived plant extracts.

If you have any concerns about using deodorant or anti-perspirant during your pregnancy then consult your GP who will be able to give you advice and reassurance.

Tips to help you apply your spray deodorant as safely as possible

Now you can be confident deodorant is safe to use, you can make sure you’re using it correctly with our top tips for applying spray deodorant (these work for spray anti-perspirant too!):

  1. Always spray deodorant in a well-ventilated room.
  2. Shake the can and spray under each arm for 2-3 seconds.
  3. Take care not to get the spray in your eyes or near your mouth.
  4. If you accidently get any of the product in your eyes, rinse them with lukewarm water.
  5. If you accidentally breathe in any of the product, rinse out your mouth immediately and drink a glass of water.

If you find you often have to apply deodorant in a confined space (such as in the changing rooms after a workout), choose a roll-on product to avoid breathing in fumes.

Roll-on products are also a better choice for young people who want to use deodorant. It’s easier to apply roll-ons accurately and they’re ideal for use in busy changing rooms, such as after PE class.

You can find out more about the pros and cons of spray and roll-on deodorant here.