Deodorants are common place
The word ‘deodorant’ has become common place in households around the world. Applying your deodorant before leaving the house for the gym, work, or a hot date is habitual for most of us. Let’s face it – no one wants to have a foul smell after working up a sweat because frankly, it’s embarrassing. With that being said, how do you choose from the ‘sea’ of deodorants neatly placed on store shelves? Do you tend to pick the deodorant that’s the most inexpensive or better yet, has an appealing scent such as baby powder or lavender? Either way, according to howstuffworks, “today, Americans spend over $2 billion a year tackling their BO (body odor).”
Antiperspirants versus deodorants
Well, unfortunately, in order to be an educated consumer, we need to consider more than just price and smell in our deodorant decision-making process. First off, deodorants are used to mask your smelly armpits, whereas antiperspirants are for blocking the build-up of sweat.
In addition, you have two kinds of glands in your armpit area – the apocrine and eccrine. The eccrine glands are the most abundant and generate the majority of sweat coming from our underarms, as well as from the rest of the body.
So what’s the mechanism to enable antiperspirants to block sweat? Now here’s where it gets complicated – the main ingredient in antiperspirants is an aluminum-based compound. These compounds include either aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum hydroxbromide, or aluminum zirconium and their task in a nearly undetectable manner is to sponge up any water. The ultimate objective is to cause the sweat ducts to well up and subsequently close off which traps the sweat inside.
In contrast, deodorants suppress the stench of sweat without cutting off the body’s natural means of disposing the sweat. Simply stated, they utilize chemicals such as triclosan which has antibacterial properties that create unfavorable conditions for stinky pests.
Controversy with antiperspirants
Let’s consider where you are applying your antiperspirant – in your arm pit where numerous lymph nodes are housed. As stated earlier, the main ingredient in antiperspirants is aluminum which is recognized as a neurotoxin. By definition, it’s a poison that directly affects the nervous system. Sounds frightening huh? Not to mention, aluminum has been associated with breast cancer and neurological illnesses to include Alzheimer’s disease. To further substantiate the link to Alzheimer’s disease, the brains of people afflicted with the disease were identified to have elevated levels of aluminum.
However, according to Business Insider, “researchers at the National Cancer Institute wrote that they “are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.” Although, the primary location that breast cancer normally spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. With that being said, wouldn’t you rather not take a chance and use an all natural deodorant free of any aluminum compounds?
All natural deodorant options
Good Housekeeping has come up with a list of the top 9 natural deodorants.
- Schmidt’s Coconut Pineapple Sensitive Skin Formula Natural Deodorant
- Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant
- Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Unscented Deodorant
- Erbaviva Lemon Sage Organic Deodorant
- Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant Sport Luxe
- Aubrey Calendula Blossom Deodorant
- Dr. Hauschka Rose Deodorant
- Crystal Essence Pomegranate Mineral Deodorant Roll-On
- Native Unearthed Natural Crystal Deodorant
In addition, you can try tea tree oil to eliminate bacteria, lemon peels to alter your skin’s PH causing it to be acidic to bacteria, witch hazel which absorbs moisture and freshens up the armpits, sage which combats bacteria and minimizes sweat, and arrowroot and baking soda for added moisture absorption. Not to mention, the following essential oils have antibacterial properties and can be added to baking soda, arrowroot, and coconut oil for a DIY deodorant: lavender, lemon, lemongrass, geranium, rosemary, and thyme.
In conclusion, the choice is ultimately yours if you want to switch to using all natural deodorants. My goal is only to educate you regarding the usage of traditional antiperspirants and deodorants and any ramifications of long term usage. Here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on the topic of all natural deodorants.
Franco, M. (2010). How Body Odor Works. [online] HowStuffWorks. Available at: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/hygiene-tips/body-odor.htm [Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].
Harrington, R. (2016). Are antiperspirant deodorants really bad for you?. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/science-on-antiperspirant-deodorants-health-effects-2016-2 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].
Zissu, A. and Robin, M. (2017). 10 Natural Deodorants to Try If You’re Not About That Antiperspirant Life. [online] Good Housekeeping. Available at: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/g790/best-natural-deodorants/ [Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].