Ruby Pryde - Nov 17 2020
Why you should consider switching to a natural deodorant
Natural deodorant - the movement of the moment! And with great reason.
For years now we have sprayed our glorious pits with a host of different conventional antiperspirants that are, quite frankly, nothing more than a chemical cocktail being absorbed directly into our bodies (that's a hard no from us).
Due to some epic marketing and big business influence, we have been led to believe that our natural body odour is a sure fire way to keep your friends and family at an arm's length. And don’t get us wrong, we don’t want to be smelling any more than the next person does, but surely there are other factors contributing to the (sometimes) foul smell our bodies produce other than just not using enough deodorant?
Please step in, lymphatic system.
This hugely underrated system of our body is the ultimate detoxification pathway, responsible for removing waste and toxic overload from our bodies.
Due to the ever growing chemicals that we’re exposed to each and every day, it's only natural that our detox pathways are becoming more sluggish, blocked up and overloaded. As our lymphatic systems deal with the backlog, we inevitably become smellier.
A few common misunderstandings surrounding our ‘BO’ is that A, sweat is bad and B, sweat alone is the cause of body odour. There are a couple of issues with both of these myths.
Firstly, sweat is a direct result of your body working to naturally detox, and is required for optimal lymphatic drainage. It’s probably one of the most humane things you do on a daily basis. Many of the deodorants on the market are actually designed to stop this process.
Secondly, sweat alone is not the cause of body odour. It is a combination of the sweat and the bacteria that lives in your pits. Meaning that, the healthier your underarm bacteria, the better smelling your body odour will be.
If you are consistently adding a host of chemicals onto your underarms, its only natural that your underarm bacteria will begin to change, and not for the better! (Enter, seriously spicy armpits)
Now that we have touched on the basics, let’s take a look at what is actually used in our favourite smelling spritz. The bad guy under fire? Aluminium.
Aluminium is a form of toxic metal that is mainly used in conventional antiperspirants to essentially plug your sweat glands, in turn, keeping you dry. We know - it’s even crazier when you say it out loud.
An increase or accumulation of aluminium in our bodies has been suggestively linked to devastating diseases, two specifically, Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.
The correlation between aluminium and Alzheimer’s was, and continues to be a spotlight for researchers due to aluminium’s toxic effect on brain cells. There has been a large influx of Alzheimer’s disease over the past 20, 30 and even 40 years, at about the same time that conventional deodorant began to skyrocket its sales. Whilst there isn’t enough hard hitting evidence to 100% support the latter, there is definitely cause for concern surrounding products containing aluminium, particularly when used on the reg - like our beloved antiperspirants.
Breast cancer is another devastating illness that has jumped in numbers compared to several years ago.
Before 1990, 31% of breast cancers occurred in the upper corner of the breast, closest to the armpit, whilst now around 50% occur there. Again, following a similar timeline to the popularity of antiperspirants. The link between the two is largely due to the proximity of the underarms and breast tissue. Anything that is applied to the underarms will be absorbed by the surrounding areas, specifically the lymph nodes that reside in the breast.
Over time, the build up of toxins begins to accumulate in the lymph nodes, and due to often daily use, our underarms have no choice but to store whatever they cannot get rid of through sweating. A scary thought when most of the antiperspirants we use do exactly this!
Whilst both of these diseases and their potential link to aluminium are still being researched, alternatives that are better for you, and your body, are always a good idea! Especially with the potentially major risk to our health when it comes to conventional products.
So now that we have an understanding of why we should be ditching our old, chemical laden friend, is there a process to switch out conventional deodorant?
Well, believe it or, there can be!
When switching to a better, body lovin’ form of deodorant, it's extremely likely that your underarms are going to need to go through a detoxification process, usually lasting 2-4 weeks. Why? Because after the toxic burden that has accumulated within that region over time, your body is finally getting a chance to expel it. *Sigh of relief*.
Often, this means a (fortunately temporary) increase in odour causing bacteria in the underarm area, and for some, a feeling of additional moisture while your body flushes out toxins.
Whilst many people just make the switch to natural deodorants and stick out the (stinky) transition period, there are actually different types of underarm ‘masks’ to help speed along the process, and give them the extra love and support they need.
These masks focus on binding to impurities and drawing them out of your body, helping to remove a buildup of antiperspirant or deodorant and making a transition to all natural deodorant easier. Think of it like a face mask, but for your pits!
And if you’re not keen on blowing your beauty budget, they’re oh so easy to make at home! Just grab yourself some apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay and filtered water (or coconut oil for an ultra soothing option) and mix into a paste. It really is that easy.
Now, if you’re feeling inspired, but not so sure you can endure the (slightly stinky) detox period, there are a range of natural, and safe deodorant alternatives that will help you through your detox and beyond.
Different products include crystal deodorants, sprays, putties and roll on. All containing different essential oils and fragrance free smells that are designed to help regulate your body odour as opposed to masking the smell or making it worse. Some even have magnesium in them for those who may be deficient!
Just about any brand that doesn’t contain a host of chemicals including, but not exclusive too, aluminium, is going to be far better for your pits.
Make sure to read the ingredients, and just because it says aluminium free, doesn’t necessarily make it a winner. Look for ones without parabens, phthalates, triclosan and propylene glycol. Much like aluminium, these nasties wreak havoc on our bodies and are best done without.
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