7 Health Hazards Caused By Body Sprays & Perfumes


Body Sprays and Perfumes have now become the basic need for everyone, particularly teenagers. Walk past a teenager, and you’d smell the intense fragrance of body sprays lingering all day long. After taking a shower, the first thing we do in the morning is sprinkling on that expensive bottle of perfume or body spray and walk out the doors feeling fresh as ever! But have you ever thought there might be tons of side effects of body spray and antiperspirants?

Not only perfumes, but there are over 10,000 chemical ingredients, some of them known or suspected carcinogens in soaps, shampoos, lotions, make-up, and beauty products, and other personal care products. Every store shelves offer you a wide range of sprays, mists, and powders to cover up your body odor. But, now, researchers have proven that these products have severe side effects and health risk and can even lead to cancer[1]!


Well, this might make you want to toss away all of your body sprays and perfumes. But, there are always natural and toxin-free antiperspirants available on the market that are less harmful from cancer-causing chemicals to hormone-disrupting agents. Read on to find out about health risk and side effects of body spray and antiperspirant.

Dangerous Health Side Effect of Spray Deodorants

According to one study by Environment Working Group, the average deodorants contain about 14 secret chemicals that are not labeled. Among these chemicals, many of which are linked to an allergic reaction and hormone disruption[2]. EWG adds that about 80 percent of these chemicals are not tested for human safety.


What do Deodorants do to us?

Deodorants can be very harmful to the health of not only the person who is wearing but also to all those breathing around that person. The fumes from the spray can react to their body in different ways like an allergic reaction, asthma, chronic lungs disease, heart disease, and other health problems. According to EWG body sprays like AXE, Old Spice. And other cheap commercial body sprays, perfume, and deodorants as moderate to high health hazards. A study from the same organization has found out that teenagers are particularly susceptible to chemicals out of deodorants.

Phthalates in sprays, is a hormone-disrupting chemical, influence the rapid development of the reproductive system. Another study from the Journal for applied toxicology has suggested that there might be a link between spraying phthalates and breast cancer. Especially the tumors that are found in the outer quarter of the breast.


The chemicals in sprays also have immediate adverse health effects on full-grown adults, including triggering asthma, eye irritation, throat irritation, skin allergies (dermatitis), and many more. Even the manufacturers know about these side effects of body spray; otherwise, why would they print the advice like, “keep out of reach of children,” “use in a short burst,” or “use in well-ventilated spaces.”

Toxic Contents in Body Deodorant

Are you wondering what those smells, fragrances in perfume are? What ingredients go into perfumes, deodorants, and body spray? Here are some of the common chemicals that most popular brands use.

Butane, Propane or Isobutane

The use of Butane, propane, or isobutane in a spray can maintain constant pressure in the space above the product so that the product can escape the spray canister easily.

Health effects: Nausea, vomiting, headache, breathing difficulties

This gas not only harms the person using the product but also people around them.

Butylated Hydroxytoluene

Butylated Hydroxytoluene, also known as dibutyl hydroxytoluene, is a lipophilic compound. This chemical works as antioxidant properties in deodorants.


Side effects: Once body absorbs BHT, it can accelerate the breakdown of vital nutrients in our body such as Vitamin D. Therefore cause Vitamin D deficiency. Other side effects of BHT include contact allergies, risk of cancer, and reproductive defects.

Aluminum Chlorohydrate

Deodorants use Aluminium Chlorohydrate, Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY to clog pores of the skin. Clogging of pores on the skin prevents sweat from leaking.

Health side effects: Skin irritation, excessive use of aluminum-containing deodorants may lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In women who shave underarm hair and use aluminum-containing deodorants has been linked to breast cancer.

14 Butyl Ether

Butyl Ether is used in antiperspirants as a preservative, a solvent and as an antibacterial compound.

Side effects: Butyl Ether inhaled in a small amount is not toxic. But when it is breadth in large amount, it does a significant amount of damage to kidneys and liver. Also, it can enhance the penetration of other, more toxic chemicals.[3]

Perfume / Synthetic

Deodorants use perfumes as body odor mask.


Side effects: Skin irritations (allergic reaction), headache, breathing difficulties, nausea, dizziness, and many more.

Most of the cheap perfumes use persistent chemicals; they don’t break down and accumulate in human skin/tissue. These chemicals are not listed on the label because these combinations are considered a “trade secret”. So, it’s better not to buy cheap perfumes, body spray, and deodorant.


Distearate is a chemical compound used in deodorants as emollient and is a combination of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and stearic acid. Adding PEG to a product will prevent moisture loss during storage.

Health Effects: Triggers breast cancer, PEGs contains heavy metals like lead, iron, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic, which are toxic to the central nervous system.

Seven Side Effects of Body Spray

Here are seven scary side effects of body spray and reasons why you should not be wearing conventional body sprays, perfume, or deodorants. Now let’s go on to detail about the seven side effects of body spray.

Risk of Breast Cancer

Bodysprays and antiperspirants prevent excessive sweating. They contain active-aluminum based ingredient that eventually gets absorbed into the skin, particularly in the armpit, the area right next to the breasts[4]. Studies have shown that these aluminum-based compounds trigger estrogen production, which in turn promotes the growth of breast cancer cells in both men and women. The cheap body sprays might also contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that are probable human carcinogens.[5]


Hormone Disruption

Deodorants and body sprays contain hormone disrupters like BHTs, parabens, and triclosan, which interferes with our thyroid and gene functions. This can lead to long-term thyroid dysfunctions and other health hazards. Top brands of perfumes and deodorants have already phased out these ingredients. However, it’s always important to check the label for these ingredients before using any antiperspirants.

Risk of Alzheimer and Dementia

Some studies showed that the aluminum-based active ingredient present in perfume is responsible for increasing the risk of Alzheimer and Dementia. The presence of higher concentrations of aluminum on Alzheimer’s brain cells might hint that excessive use of body sprays can lead to these degenerative diseases, but there’s still a controversy. A large amount of aluminum can contribute to nerve toxicity and possibly dementia. Therefore, it’s always better to stay on the safe side and stop using aluminum-based deodorants.

Allergic reactions

Many companies use different chemical compounds in the form of ‘fragrance” in their products to hide the ingredients that are possible allergens. The allergens contain components like hormone-disrupting synthetic musks and phthalates. An allergic reaction can cause redness, irritation, and itching, increasing the risk of skin disease and even skin cancer. If your label contains words like Fragrance or Yellow Number 1, then it’s best to throw it away.

Kidney Dysfunction

In antiperspirants, the use of aluminum is to stop perspiration completely. In a study, a group of dialysis patients was given a drug, aluminum hydroxide to balance the phosphorus levels in their blood. It was found that the patients could not get rid of aluminum fast enough from their body that resulted in the accumulation of aluminum leading to kidney problems. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration has now set a decree for the deodorant companies to have a warning label that reads “Ask a doctor before using if you have kidney disease.”

Carcinogenic effects

Most of the perfumes and roll-ons contain parabens and steareths. Not only body spray, but various other beauty products also use Paraben, which acts as estrogen as a preservative. Paraben disrupting the hormonal balance, increasing the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer. Stearates are the products of ethoxylation, and the process ultimately produces carcinogens and dioxanes that can cause different types of cancer in the long run.

Damage Heart or Liver

Propylene glycol, another ingredient used in deodorants are harmful even at small concentrations. If used every day, this chemical can damage our heart, liver, and central nervous system. It also has allergic effect, irritating skin and despite this evidence, perfumes and deodorants generally have a high dose of 50% propylene glycol, and that’s a relatively huge amount!


Smell Better Without Using Dangerous Body Deodorant

So, you have seen the side effects of body spray, and you are concerned about your health. However, you don’t want to smell like an onion. Fortunately, you can still smell good without using harmful chemicals on your body. There are several Natural Deodorants that you can buy, or you can make it at your home.

  • Firstly, always maintain good hygiene, bath regularly, and fry your skin thoroughly to avoid bacterial and fungal growth.
  • Consider what you eat; some food can impact the smell of your breath.
  • Just use fewer deodorant in your life. Avoid deodorants or body spray containing, fragrance, parfum, phthalate, DEP, DEHP or DBP as an ingredient.
  • Buy a quality certified product, which is less likely to use harmful chemicals as ingredients.

Natural deodorant mostly doesn’t control sweat; however, controls odor with safer ingredients. Mineral salt is the main ingredient to control fragrance in natural deodorants. Mineral salt works by forming a temporary layer on the skin blocking the bacteria from forming on the surface that makes you smell. However, mineral salt will not stop you from sweating and will not irritate your skin.

Another best alternatives to harmful aluminum-based body spray are to use products that use essential oils and herbs. Or you can make them yourself.

To absorb moisture out of your skin, you can use baking soda mixed with a small amount of oil or water. You can use Alcohol and lemon to kill bacteria that cause the smell. Or you can use hazel as it constricts the pores so that sweat can’t escape and mix with bacteria on your skin.


All in all, it’s always better to opt for natural deodorants that contain mineral salts or other natural elements. Although the natural deodorants do not control sweat, they do control odor, and that’s what we need! Not only this, mineral salts help to form a layer on our skin that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that sheds the odor, and these are safe and non-irritable. Some of the natural deodorants that you can use include: Jason Dry Spray, Coconut oil Kopari, Schmidt’s Jasmine Tea, Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant, Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant and many more.


One of the best ways to protect your overall health is to avoid using cheap and unhealthy products. Always choose products that are free from chemical fragrance and uses fully disclosed natural fragrance ingredients.

Therefore, to avoid these seven side effects of body spray, always read the label on the canister of your body spray before using it to your body. If you are using fake fragrances body spray, remove these artificial fragrances from your life, you will notice a big difference.

seven side effects of body spray

[1] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet

[2] https://www.ewg.org/

[3] https://sites.google.com/a/queensburyschool.org/what-s-in-this/ppg-14-butyl-ether


[4] https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12666152

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