The Natural Deodorant Slander
Social media is thoroughly entertaining. There are some really funny and creative people posting content. However, y'all gotta chill with the "It's too hot for natural deodorant" and "You need the aluminum" posts.
Let us count the ways. LOL!
1. Your body has a natural odor, often referred to as pheromones.
Although I'm going to always recommend Fancy Free Hair and Skin Aluminum-free Deodorant, you have to find one that will blend well with your own body chemistry and pheromones. Just like perfumes and colognes, everything ain't for every body.
2. You do not NEED aluminum.
The way aluminum works as an anti-perspirant is that it blocks your sweat glands and prevents sweating. If you're worried about body odor, sweat does not actually smell bad. It's the bacteria on your skin interacting with the salts in your sweat that cause the odor. Aluminum free deodorant usually contains anti-bacterial ingredients to prevent the odor.
If you're worried about the sweating, you still do not NEED an anti-perspirant. There are other ways to absorb and slow down the sweat without introducing aluminum into your body.
Lifestyle adjustments: Stress, alcohol consumption, spicy foods, and caffeine can all trigger your sweat glands and also contribute to body odor.
Laser therapy: Laser hair removal and other laser therapies target sweat glands and reduce sweat significantly.
Botox: Block the nerves that trigger sweat glands and significantly reduce sweating in the treated areas.
Iontophoresis: This is a non-invasive treatment that involves passing a mild electric current through the skin to temporarily block sweat gland activity. It's often used for excessive sweating in the hands and feet but can be adapted for underarm sweating.
3. The aluminum in anti-perspirant does contribute to chronic health problems.
The active aluminum compounds in antiperspirants work by forming a temporary plug within the sweat ducts. These plugs block the flow of sweat from the sweat glands to the skin's surface. Studies have suggested that aluminum can be absorbed through the skin and accumulate in breast tissue, potentially effecting on hormonal balance and other cellular processes that might contribute to cancer development.
Studies have also shown that there is a possible association between high aluminum levels and Alzheimer's disease, particularly in brain tissue samples from individuals with the disease. The studies suggest that aluminum based anti-perspirant absorbed into the skin cannot be filtered out by consumers who have kidney related diseases and the aluminum ends up being deposited on the brain.
Just like other bodily functions, sweating is normal. All of us sweat in our armpits, crotch, feet, under our boobs, in our rolls and fold. It's our body's way of cooling off and getting rid of toxins. As a person who may or may not have hyperhydrosis, I get that sometimes the sweating can be a bit much. However, in my humble opinion, an aluminum based anti-perspirant will cause more harm than making other adjustments in your lifestyle or getting treated by a professional.
Now the odor, if you smell bad, there's something internal going on. Anti-perspirant is NOT going to help your body odor. Take a goooooddd look at your diet, water intake, medications, sleep schedule and stress levels. I wrote a blog about that too, The Stench of Stress. Your body has ways of trying to get your attention, a body odor is a red flag to do some self assessments or see your healthcare provider.
Let's all stick with "natural" deodorant. Our overall health is better without the aluminum. If you're struggling with an odor in your journey, try an underarm detox. If the deodorant you're using is irritating your skin, check the ingredients for possible allergens. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is frequently found to be the "skin irritant" culprit.
I love us. I want us to live long and healthy lives. Don't listen to the natural deodorant slander. You're doing right by not using anti-perspirant.