The Problem with Conventional Deodorant
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From the time we hit puberty, we’re instructed to apply deodorant or antiperspirant every single day, in some cases more than once. For something that we spend the majority of our lives putting in one of the most vulnerable areas of our bodies, most of us really don’t know anything about it.
The 3 Main Problems with Conventional Deodorants
The problem with conventional deodorants are the ingredients that they are made with. Not only do many of these ingredients potentially make body odor problems even worse, but they also can cause several different health problems, some of them quite serious.
Some deodorants and antiperspirants contain parabens. In human breast cancer cells, parabens have shown to behave similarly to estrogens and have also been found in breast cancer tumors. Though more studies are needed to be done as to whether or not parabens in our deodorants plays a role in the development of breast cancer, it is most likely in your best interest to look for products that do not contain parabens.
Aluminum is used to antiperspirants and some deodorants to block your sweat glands to prevent sweating and bad odors. Some research, however, has suggested that this may actually increase the number of bad-odor producing bacteria in your armpits and make you smell worse.
Research also suggests that aluminum builds up in breast tissue, mainly in women, over prolonged exposure that may come from daily use of deodorants and antiperspirants. Aluminum is known to cause changes to DNA, as well as disrupt estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, which may then lead to the development of breast cancer. This is primarily seen in the area of the breast closest to the armpit, suggesting that the repeated use of aluminum-containing deodorants may play a role.
Other Antimicrobial Agents
Deodorants and antiperspirants contain a number of antimicrobial ingredients that are supposed to stop the growth of and kill the bacteria in our armpits that causes bad odors. Some research is suggesting, however, that not only do some of these ingredients actually proliferate the growth of odor causing bacteria, but that they in general upset the bacterial balance of our armpits that then causes an even worse sweating and smell problem.
On top of these issues, most of these products contain other ingredients such as fragrance, which can mean hundreds or even thousands of different chemicals, all that you are rubbing into your glands each day to be absorbed directly into your body. For many of us, however, simply going without deodorant is not an option. Thankfully, there are natural alternatives to conventional deodorants and antiperspirants that will allow you to give up these products for good.
Steps to Smelling Better Without Conventional Deodorants
There is more to avoiding bad body odor than just using deodorant and antiperspirants every day. These are the steps you need to take to smell your most fresh, always.
Step 1: Clean up your diet.
Eating a well balanced diet with as little processed foods as possible, plenty of vegetables, whole foods, and water, will go a long way to keeping bad smelling sweat to a minimum. Avoid the foods you are sensitive to and cut way back on your sugar intake.
Step 2: Avoid chemical products.
Along with cleaning up your diet, you need to clean up the rest of your life. Switch out your home and self-care products, such as moisturizers, cleaning products, detergents, and soaps, for natural or homemade alternatives. Sweating is one of the body’s best detox methods, so when you overload your body with harmful chemicals, one of the places they come out is in your sweat. This can not only affect the amount you sweat, but also the way it smells. Reduce your exposure to chemical products as much as possible to reduce foul smelling body odor.
Step 3: Wear breathable, natural fabrics.
Synthetic fabrics hold onto odors and will continue to smell, often even after washing them. Wear natural, breathable fabrics as much as possible to sweat less and smell fresh.
Step 4: Use natural soaps.
When washing in the shower, use natural soaps that won’t disrupt the natural bacterial balance that your body uses to control sweat and odor.
Step 5: Use organic, natural deodorants, or make your own at home!
We are not saying to completely forgo deodorant. Many of us need to wear it, especially in situations where we will be sweating such as during exercising or on a hot summer day. There are hundreds of amazing all-natural deodorant brands and products out there.
Alternatively, you can also make your own homemade deodorants that not only fight odors but also moisturize and heal your skin at the same time. For some fantastic, easy to follow homemade deodorant recipes, check out this page.
The Bottom Line
Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are not products that people should be using everyday. The science is not clear as to how they affect our bodies and our health, and more research is beginning to suggest that they may do more harm than good. Switch to natural deodorants to better your health and your natural body odor.