Let’s talk pits! Yep – the good ole’ often ignored, embarrassing armpit. According to multiple news sources, many celebrities – including Cameron Diaz – quit using commercial deodorants/antiperspirants many years ago. Part of the reason they give is that deodorants and antiperspirants not only stop the body’s natural functions to prevent sweating, but also contain toxic chemicals that are bad for the body.
The question is: is there any validity to their claim? Let’s look at the argument.
Why do we sweat?
Sweat is a natural act. We sweat when our bodies need to keep us cool and lower our temperature a little bit. Although it can be embarrassing, sweating does a body good.
Why do we smell bad?
It’s a misconception that sweating makes you smell bad. It’s actually bacteria that live on the surface of the pit skin that cause you to smell bad. You can sweat all day long, but without the bacteria on your pits, you won’t get that nasty odor.
The problem with deodorants
Deodorants work in two ways: They stop the body from perspiring and they mask the smell either with the use of an antibacterial agent or with some type of perfume. They do this by using two basic ingredients: aluminum and parabens.
Aluminum stops you from sweating and clogs up the sweat glands. There is a theory that the use of aluminum can lead to breast cancer or Alzheimer’s. Although this link is tenuous and unproven, it is a correlation that shouldn’t be ignored. Aluminum is also considered a moderately toxic material.
Parabens are a type of preservative. However, they have also been proven to be endocrine disruptors and are considered hazardous and toxic.
For this reason, many people are now ditching the commercial deodorant/antiperspirant. This doesn’t mean they give up smelling good or they resign themselves to sweat uncontrollably. They simply look for alternatives that are not toxic and work with their own body.
If you’ve decided you’d like to make the switch and change from a toxic solution to one that is healthier for your body, you’ve definitely got some alternatives.
But first, you should remember that there is often a time of adjustment. You may wish to make the switch over a long weekend or some other time when you can quickly wash the pits should you start to notice a little smell. Once this adjustment time is over, you shouldn’t have issues. Also – it’s not unusual to try 2 or 3 natural alternatives before finding the one that works with your body. So – if you’re committed to a greener you, don’t give up if the first option fails.
Some of your options:
- Baking soda. Many people find good luck with either a simple application of plain baking soda or a paste made of baking soda, coconut oil and some essential oils. Others find that the baking soda either turns their pits dark or causes a huge itchy rash.
- Crystal Salts. Natural crystal salts can be rubbed on the pits after a shower and is known to keep a person smelling good all day long. However, there are some that state this options doesn’t work for the smell.
- Magnesium Salts. Some people swear by milk of magnesia (yes – that stuff) applied topically or simply a good spray of magnesium salts.
- Nothing. There are some people that simply don’t smell. Others don’t smell so long as they eat healthy. They just keep clean and shower regularly and simply don’t use anything on their pits.