There have been many debates regarding the link between deodorants and breast cancer, but are there any truths to these claims? Yes and no. According to the National Cancer Institute, researchers "are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.”

However, it has been proven that aluminum-based compounds do clog sweat ducts. Some scientists believe that antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer because they are directly applied to the skin closest to the breast and produce an increase in estrogen — thus increasing the growth of breast cancer cells.

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, regarding parabens, found the aluminum-based compounds have estrogen-like properties and even though they can act similarly to estrogen parabens, they have been shown to appear much less than the body’s naturally occurring estrogen. So, while there is not any conclusive evidence linking antiperspirant ingredients (aluminum and parabens) to breast cancer, going natural or as natural as possible would only be a positive switch.

1. Opt For A Natural Deodorant

Brands like Crystal Body Deodorant Stick offer your body protection without harsh chemicals like conventional deodorants. The stick is comprised of mineral salt, a natural antiperspirant. When looking for natural deodorants, look for ones that don’t contain aluminum or parabens.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural smell remover. People use it to freshen up their refrigerators and carpets, so it would make sense that some might use it for hygiene purposes, too. Mix a little water with some of the baking soda until it becomes a paste (not a liquid). Apply some directly to your underarm, but not too much or it will just flake off and get all over your clothes. This should help to eliminate odors as well.

3. Lemons

Lemons are naturally acidic, so be careful when applying the juice to your underarms, as it might cause a sting if you just shaved. Lemons are also great for killing odors and lightening up dark underarms. Cut a lemon in half and rub it directly to your arm pits. This can be done every single day.

4. Vinegar

Vinegar is another antiperspirant ingredient that can be found in your kitchen. It can kill bacteria, germs, and mold. Be careful not to put the concentrated amount on your underarms. Mix half vinegar with half water and use a cotton ball to apply it. Like lemons, vinegar is very acidic, so be careful when applying this and wait a little while after shaving before using it.