Armpits, Sweat, Aluminum and You

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Such an exciting title!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine text me to ask what deodorant I use. She knows I'm committed to cleaning up the personal care products my family and I use and she needed a recommendation for a good underarm agent. Unfortunately, I couldn't help her much, as I myself am still searching for the perfect deodorant.

Safe deodorant is a regular conversation between my girlfriends and I. It comes up at least once a month and we all exchange notes on the latest products tried and results of each. We have yet to discover an absolute winner....or we'll think we find one only to have it fail on us a few months later.

Why all the interest in deodorant? I image it's because it's an everyday essential (for most of us) and a personal care product that's gotten a lot of attention for it's possible link to breast cancer (among other diseases).

Deodorant is a personal care product design to cover-up and/or lesson the smell of under arm sweat. Antiperspirant is design to do both - hid smell and actually stop the body from sweating.

Antiperspirant uses aluminum compounds to clog pores and prevent sweat from leaving the body. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin. It's been linked to breast cancer, kidney failure, and Alzheimer's disease. Parabens are ingredients also found in underarm products that are linked to cancer. And fragrance...that stuff that hides the linked to allergies, respirator distress, and possible negative effects on the reproductive system. (I could dig really deep into these individual ingredients but we will have to save that for another day.)

The latest statistics state that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. One in Eight. These stats are terribly upsetting. (source: Cancer Treatment Centers of American and WebMD) As a woman, and mother to a daughter, I want to do everything I can to lessen my chances of diagnoses of this terrible disease.

Which means I need safe deodorant.

The verdict is still out on antiperspirant and deodorant as a whole. According to more information is still needed. Which, in my skeptical mind, translates too....we have information to say it's not safe but we aren't ready to scare the public yet.

The National Cancer Institute says, in a nutshell, we have scientific studies that say aluminum in antiperspirant is linked to higher rates of breast cancer (particular in young girls...these are our daughters!) and we have scientific studies that say it isn't linked to breast cancer. I don't know about you but while the jury is still out, I am going to be playing it safe. Why wouldn't I? There's too much at stake.

So...where to start? First off, I recommend saying good-bye to antiperspirants forever. Sweat is good. It's healthy for our body to sweat. It's our natural way of eliminating toxins.

If this scares you do what I do...I have a secret Toms of Maine Antiperspirant hidden away in my hall closet for "emergencies". Emergencies constitute events where I'll be nervous/in front of people/really needing to make a good impression/weddings. (Alternatively you can do what I did every day of high school, when antiperspirant wasn't strong enough for my sweaty hormonal self -- wear black.)

Next, experiment until you find the prefect deodorant that masks your smells while keeping your body safe...and then share your finding with the rest of us!

My mom, the original natural-path (she had me taking bee pollen for allergies 20 years go) gave me The Crystal to try as a teen. I didn't love it back then (and my friends thought it was beyond bizarre), but I'm considering giving it another go.

For a long while I used LaVanila. It gets a rating of 4 out of 10 on EWG (environmental working group) which isn't great but I think it's because some of the ingredients used for fragrance have a high allergy potential (but are not the mystifying "fragrance" that's undiscernible and terrible for you). I loved it for a long time, but it unfortunately stopped working for me...maybe my body chemistry got used to it?

Currently I am using a deodorant by Jason that frankly doesn't work...which means I'm dipping into that emergency stick too often.

This is why I need your help? What do you use? Does it work?

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