Whether we like it or not, today we are judged by the way we look and how we smell. When you get a whiff of someone sometimes ourselves) with bad body odor, it can be pretty unattractive. This is of course why most of us use deodorants or anti-perspirants as a (sometimes desperate) bid to try and keep our pungent pits at bay. But is this actually detrimental to our health, and if so, what are our other options?
Armpits are designed to sweat for a good reason. However, a spray or roll of products designed to stop this natural process has actually become a normal part of most of our morning routines. Quite simply, sweating is good for us so by stopping this process we’re essentially blocking the exit door for the toxins in our bodies and forcing them to stay in our systems! Like the bowels, liver, urinary system and lungs, our sweat glands are supposed to help keep the body clean.
Sweat is an odorless fluid consisting of 99% water. Normal sweat evaporates from the skin very quickly, and leaves no unpleasant odor behind.An unpleasant smell under the armpits or on the skin, occurs only when your body needs to employ bacteria to eliminate excessive sweat that could not be removed by fresh air, usually because of wearing synthetic clothes that do not permit proper aeration. When there are excessive amounts of toxins that need to be “digested” by bacteria, a strong, putrid smell occurs.
Although seemingly essential in our society, antiperspirants and deodorants can also be damaging to the body. Deodorants neutralise the smell of perspiration through their antiseptic action against bacteria, while antiperspirants minimise body odor from even being released, by using aluminum-based compounds to form a temporary plug in the sweat ducts. The latter actually stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface, trapping any toxins in with it.
While this may not seem like a big problem, our armpits happen to contain lymph nodes, which act like little filters for our blood and form an essential part of the immune system. They help our bodies recognise and fight germs, infections, and other foreign substances. As you can imagine, it’s important to keep them clear of chemicals, alcohol and heavy metals if they’re going to do this well. To make matters worse, these nodes also act as a gateway, allowing these substances that are used in many deodorants to travel directly into the blood system.
One such heavy metal, Aluminum, is a hazardous material that is allowed to be added to anti-perspirants in regulated amounts. However, there is no scientific proof that these “regulated amounts” of what is essentially a poisonous substance in the human body, are actually safe. Arguments against the use of aluminum emphasise the fact that aluminum accumulates in the brain over time and may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and also breast cancers.
Deodorants are considered healthier than antiperspirants because they don’t interfere with perspiration, but many conventional brands contain harsh, potentially toxic ingredients that should be avoided. Ingredients to avoid are parabens, all forms of aluminum, and the following substances:
Propylene glycol: absorbs quickly through the skin and which has not been fully investigated for carcinogenic potential.
Talc: classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer if it contains asbestiform fibers, which are unregulated in cosmetic grade talc.
Steareth-n: may be vegetable derived but is processed with ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen.
Triclosan: a synthetic antibacterial ingredient found in deodorants that can in interfere with our hormonal systems.
Mindful of the chemicals in deodorant. I created my range with food grade oils, pure water and essential oils. My range is: The Great Australian Deodorant is made from Australian essentials it contains Eucalyptus, Lemon Myrtle, Teatree and Rosemary. It is a fresh smell that will keep you fresh and dry all day. The mixture will kill any surface bacteria. Very much a unisex smell great for anyone. Rose Damask Deodorant is made from Rose Geranium, Rose Damask, Lavender and Rosemary. It contains Rose Moldovian Floral water. This is very floral and smells more like perfume then a deodorant. It will keep you dry and smell like roses all day. Sweet Orange Cypress Deodorant is made from Sweet Orange, Cypress and Rosemary. Lovely fresh citrus smell with anti-bacterial busters as well. Aloe Vera Lavender Deodorant made from Aloe Vera this is great for the most sensitive skin underarms. It will bring any rashes that have occurred by sweat. It contains Lavender, Peppermint which will heal and disinfect. Bella Deodorant is an uplifting smell with Peppermint, Chamomile, Rosemary and Lavender.
For the first time using my deodorant products. If you have been using commercial deodorants or anti-perspirants you will sweat a bit more and smell a bit more for the first week. My products is cleaning and neutralising the build up in the sweat glands of your previous products. The following week this will disappear. So be patient!
The information presented in the article is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition nor to replace the advice or care of a qualified health professional.