When I decided I no longer wanted to put potentially cancer and Alzheimer causing chemicals under my arms, I didn’t hit me until after that choice that I would also have to give up a dry-underarm feeling, and then panic set in.
My job as a makeup artist requires me to be very close to people’s personal spaces and I certainly didn’t want to be the one people avoided because I was sweating my stinky-ness all over the place, leaving them gasping for air – similar to how I occasionally felt while riding European public transportation next to someone who clearly needed some form of deodorant, but I digress…
Eventually I decided my long-term health was worth a dedicated experiment to see if I could live anti-perspirant free. The good news is the experiment worked! At the beginning I took baby steps and now I am leaping like a gazelle through the wonderous world of safe, effective and non-toxic deodorant.
If you are just starting out, you might need a little hand holding to drop this toxic habit and that’s OK. We are here for you.
Why anti-perspirants are dangerous to your health
First, let’s talk about sweat. Your body absolutely must sweat to release toxins. It’s really not good to wear an anti-perspirant because it prevents a natural and normal function for your skin.
Second and most importantly, plenty of scientific studies have proposed a strong link between aluminum based ingredients and breast cancer. The World Health Organization suggested that aluminum could increase the incidence or accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s.
So no, a natural deodorant is not going to keep you from sweating. You’ll have to get used to feeling perspiration, but stick with me on this one, it’s going to get better.
The best ways give up your dependency on anti-perspirant
Baby Steps: Start weaning yourself off anti-perspirant during cooler months, particularly when you know you’ll be at home or in less stressful situations. Slowly begin decreasing the number of days you use anti-perspirant, until there are none left in the week.
Cold Turkey: If you decide to go cold turkey, just know for about 2 weeks your body will need to readjust to not having a chemical to block its natural function of sweating and will create a new “normal” that may not feel so normal to you at first.
What causes you to smell isn’t the sweat, it’s actually bacteria.
No matter which method above you choose, what will help the most is to take a few “bird baths” during the day with a washcloth and some mild soap to remove sweat and bacteria under your arms, or use these wonderful portable, eco-friendly Rose Water Freshening Cloths from Shobhha. They’ll have you feeling fresh, won’t comprise your health or that of the planet’s and will leave behind the wonderful scent of rose essential oils.
What you may find during this re-adjustment process is that you don’t sweat or smell nearly as much as you are afraid you are going to. Of course there are exceptions and some people really do have overly active sweat glands, but even traditional anti-perspirants rarely help such extreme cases anyway.
What to replace your anti-perspirant with
If you are feeling crafty and want to make your own deodorant concoctions, our article on Pre- and De- Odorizing will be helpful. Many people also like to mix in a bit of corn starch with baking soda to add an anti-perspirant effect and help curb the potential of irritation from using straight baking soda.
If you are like me and just want a ready-to-use product, stay tuned to see Effective Natural Deodorants I can’t live without.