Ditch your pit stick: Why commercial deodorants are harmful

That is a commercial stick of deodorant. With a warning label. Why? Because it’s required by law. Your deodorant stick is part of that aforementioned chemical shit storm that you should be avoiding, and this entry today will explain why.

Before you go on a rant about stinky hippies, consider this- what is your idea of hygiene? Is your idea of cleanliness to clog up your sweat glands so that they can’t cool your body, completely blocking sweat? Is it to stop your body from ridding toxic chemicals? Is it to smell like artificial perfume, which is bonded with petroleum based plastics to adhere to your skin?

To understand deodorant, one must really consider why the purpose of our underarms are and what our goal is. As I have mentioned before, your underarms are made for cooling. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling you off- it’s the equivalent of misting yourself on a hot day. If you cool off the skin, it cools off the body- remember, your skin is your largest organ. In fact, carrying a small 3oz spray bottle of “toilet water” (water infused with essential oil or flowers/herbs) that has been in the fridge, is a GREAT way to stay cool (and fresh) on a hot day.

Our goal is to stay dry (as opposed to soggy), smelling fresh, and clean.

Well that’s pretty easy if you ask me. You stay dry by not sweating- and you refrain from sweating by staying cool. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to stay cool- we have ac’s, portable fans, pools, mist-ers, etc., but the MOST overlooked way of staying cool is to stop overbaking your body. The reason I don’t have soggy armpits isn’t because I’m not overweight or because I have nuclear deodorant, it’s because I dress for the weather, which means I’m wearing breathable cotton- not plastic ie polyester or synthetic fibers- and because my clothing isn’t painted on.

And because I wear sandals. If you’re hot all the time, stop wearing shoes. Your feet are part of your body’s cooling system.

As far as smelling fresh and being clean, they go hand in hand. See, odor is actually caused by an imbalance of your body’s ph in your underarm area, which breeds bacteria. Obviously, diet and hormones play a MAJOR roll in this, but also staying clean. Friends- if your underarms start to smell, GO WASH THEM. Don’t coat them in chemicals- they just cover up the odor. In fact, deodorant doesn’t “kill” bacteria- it just covers up the smell with noxious perfume.

Yep. Some people have to wash their underarms an extra time each day. It’s just one of those facts of life. Don’t wanna wash your underarms twice a day? Get off birth control and stop eating animal products.

But I digress. Now that we’ve determined that traditional deodorant is just all wrong, let’s talk about why it’s DANGEROUS.

Findings from a different study examining the frequency of underarm shaving and antiperspirant/deodorant use among 437 breast cancer survivors were released in 2003. This study found that the age of breast cancer diagnosis was significantly earlier in women who used these products and shaved their underarms more frequently. Furthermore, women who began both of these underarm hygiene  habits before 16 years of age were diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier age than those who began these habits later. While these results suggest that underarm shaving with the use of antiperspirants/deodorants may be related to breast cancer, it does not demonstrate a conclusive link between these underarm hygiene habits and breast cancer.” Pubmed link here.

Oh yes. Cancer. Here’s another goodie:

Aluminium salts are used as the active antiperspirant agent in underarm cosmetics, but the effects of widespread, long term and increasing use remain unknown, especially in relation to the breast, which is a local area of application. Clinical studies showing a disproportionately high incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast together with reports of genomic instability in outer quadrants of the breast provide supporting evidence for a role for locally applied cosmetic chemicals in the development of breast cancer. Aluminium is known to have a genotoxic profile, capable of causing both DNA alterations and epigenetic effects, and this would be consistent with a potential role in breast cancer if such effects occurred in breast cells.” Pubmed link here.

How about neurotoxicity, neurodegeneration, and Alzheimer’s Disease?

Aluminum, present most often in antiperspirants, but not usually present in non-antiperspirant deodorants, has been established as a neurotoxin. At high doese, aluminum itself adversely affects the blood-brain barrier, is capable of causing DNA damage, and has adverse epigenetic effects. Research has shown that high doses of aluminium salts used in antiperspirants have detrimental effects to a number of species such as non-human primates, mice, and dogs.” Source: Wiki, Pubmed (1), Pubmed (2), Pubmed (3), Pubmed (4), Pubmed (5), Pubmed (6), Pubmed (7), Pubmed (8), Pubmed (9)

In case you can’t be bothered to click the above links, they’re all to numerous studies that have been done to support the above statement, and are worth a good read should you feel doubt.

But now what to do?

Get a rock salt deodorant, or an aluminum free deodorant. They look like this:

You just wet it and rub it on your underarm

This is great for young girls because they come in fruity scents

Or make your own! Here’s a great link.


3 thoughts on “Ditch your pit stick: Why commercial deodorants are harmful

  1. I’ve tried a few natural deodorants, tom’s being one of them and they’ve made my underarms smell so much worse. For now I’ve gone back to the horrible deodorants until I can find one that actually doesn’t make me smell bad. Usually I forget to put it on…I hate sweating, but I would rather sweat and be healthy…I don’t want to be smelly though…

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