Let’s be real! Few people like the feeling of sweaty armpits and even less so the appearance of wet patches, or the embarrassing hint of body odor. But for far too long we’ve been led to believe that sweating is somehow bad and must be stopped…by any means and at any cost. Even at the cost of our health!…
In our quest for looking and smelling beautiful, many of us have ignored a basic biology lesson and that is that sweating is a very natural, normal and essential way of ridding our body of toxins. It’s good to sweat! Why would we tinker with what appears to be a perfectly brilliant detox system?
Enter the age of anti-perspirants, created to block sweat ducts and reduce the amount of sweat that reaches the skin’s surface. As body odor is produced by the bacterial breakdown of sweat on the skin, this ‘blocking’ of sweat at first seems like a perfect solution, except for the fact that the ‘blocking’ agents are actually very dangerous chemicals, which we’re unwittingly admitting into our bodies. Do we really want to do that?
The worst of the worst of these blocking agents deserve a mention at this point: Aluminum and Parabens. Aluminum is used in antiperspirants to block pores to reduce the amount of sweat we produce. Here’s an irony though – blocking our pores can actually cause our bodies to produce even more sweat to try and push through the Aluminum barrier! This blockage and build up of sweat and aluminum in the body can affect hormone levels, creating a greater chance of developing breast cancer. Oh, and by the way, aluminum exposure has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Parabens are used as preservatives in beauty products and among other hazards have recently been linked to the disruption of hormone regulation. Breasts have a large amount of estrogen and other hormones that need regulation, so any interference with these can make it possible for cancerous cells to form.
Here’s where it gets really disturbing! It’s regularly stated that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Most breast cancers start to form at the outside of the breast, near the underarm. It seems we could not be using toxic products in a more sensitive area.
Our lymph nodes are located throughout our body but the largest groupings are found in the armpits, neck and groin areas. Lymph carries white blood cells, which are responsible for protecting the body against viruses and bacteria (and may trap cancer cells) – one very important reason why we don’t want to apply any more possible cancer-causing chemicals in this area.
Fortunately with the emergence of more natural self-care regimes and products, many people have stopped using antiperspirants and switched to deodorants. A deodorant basically does what is says it will do, and that is prevent unwanted odor (it does not prevent us sweating…and that’s good!). Ingredients in deodorants are essentially designed to eliminate or mask the smell caused by the bacteria.
Unfortunately, with the proliferation of chemicals in the beauty industry, a switch to deodorant may not be enough. You see, not all deodorants are created equal! Many regular deodorants are still filled with a plethora of toxic chemicals, including Triclosan, Phthalates, Fragrance, Steareths and Propylene Glycol.
The good news, however, is that we’re all learning to be less tolerant of toxic products and today there are so many alternative natural deodorants that are not made with harmful ingredients. The base ingredient in most of these is a seed oil (coconut, jojoba, or sunflower), and they’re scented with essential oils, not synthetic fragrances. They also use natural ingredients such as baking soda, arrowroot powder or charcoal to absorb sweat and moisture.
We need to be just as mindful of what we put on our body as we’ve become about what we put into our body. Switching to a natural deodorant is a great start! Click here to see the natural deodorant brands that we carry.