Nobody likes to smell bad. You don’t want to be that one person, who is the smelly one in the group, so you buy chemical products to ensure that you smell great. People spend nearly $1 billion on deodorants, deodorant soaps, and antiperspirants to mask body odor.
Scary chain emails have circulated about the dangers of using deodorants and antiperspirants, but they are not one in the same. Deodorants help mask body odor, while antiperspirants help reduce wetness under the arms or other areas (such as feet). And when it comes to deodorants and antiperspirants, more expensive doesn’t mean that the product is better for you. The ingredients are what matter.
What is Perspiration?
When we perspire, we are excreting and releasing toxins. It is a healthy bodily function that has been targeted as “undesirable” by many. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and perspiration is the way it eliminates toxins. If you reduce the skin’s ability to do its job properly, it makes other organs and systems in the body work harder.
Antiperspirants work by irritating the skin to cause an inflammatory reaction, accompanied by swelling and expansion of the cells around the sweat glands. This reduces the amount of sweat that can get to the skin’s surface.
Why Do We Smell?
When we use deodorant, we are not affecting a bodily function; rather, we are masking body odor with fragrance and targeting bacteria via antibacterial agents such as Triclosan.
There are many causes of body odor:
- Underlying condition or illness, particularly in the lymphatic system
- Poor diet (e.g., meat, dairy, processed foods, refined starches and grains)
- Drinking alcohol
- Taking drugs
- Poor personal hygiene
Why Deodorants and Antiperspirants are Harmful
The vast majority of over-the-counter and prescription deodorants, as well as antiperspirants, are made with potentially harmful ingredients that can enter the bloodstream and hurt the body’s ability to function. For example:
- Aluminum chloride is a known irritant that helps reduce perspiration, but also removes color from clothing and degrades fabric.
- Propylene glycol is used to degrease engines and other industrial products.
- Triclosan is a known irritant made from petroleum. It’s a synthetic antibacterial agent.
- Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorhydrex (GLY) plugs the pores and stains fabric when mixed with sweat (It’s what leaves that yellowish tinge on your white shirts).
- Stearyl alcohol slows the evaporation rate of water (sweat)
Aluminum has an affinity for the brain and human pineal gland (our spiritual center) and large concentrations of toxic aluminum develop in these body parts. Aluminum has been implicated as the number one cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Whether male or female, the underarm lymph nodes are impaired from the use of deodorant and antiperspirants. The
Lymph nodes are ducts that throw off toxins. When there is such a backup of toxins in the lymphatic system in the chest region, the nearby armpits suffer. The lymph nodes at the armpits become swollen and inflamed.
Have you ever felt a burning, tender soreness in your underarms? Ever developed a large and painful knot or lump (that lasts for days) in your underarms? This is the result of the chemicals in commercial brand underarm deodorants and antiperspirants, which is why they should not be used.
If you are experiencing redness, soreness, and/or inflammation (in the form of a large lump) under the arms, stop using that deodorant/antiperspirant. Perform a sea salt soak to help balance your pH level. Apply aloe vera to the armpit area (throughout the day). It may be beneficial to perform either our 10-day or 20-day full body cleanse to facilitate healing. After you heal, only use a good brand of deodorant (i.e. Alvera).
Individual herbs great for cleansing the lymphatic system include:
- Echinacea root
- Goldenseal root
- Mulein Leaf
- Red Root
- Wild Indigo Bark
- Chaparral, and
- Burdock Root
Good brands include Alvera, Aubrey Organic, and Avalon Organics. Tom’s of Maine brand products are a better choice than most commercial brands, but they now have antiperspirant varieties so try to avoid those. Double-check the ingredients on the stick, spray, or roll-on.
We also have our P.M. Detox Deodorant, which helps to alkalize your underarms and remove aluminum from previous deodorants or antiperspirants. This is an all-natural, risk-free alternative to deodorants with chemicals. The ingredients are active during the night and work to open sweat ducts to release toxins.
You can also use activated charcoal as a natural way to draw out heavy metal toxins from your armpits. Then you can use one of the natural deodorant recipes below.
A lot of people resort to crystal stick deodorants as an alternative solution. Make sure the crystal deodorant doesn’t list “alum” as an ingredient. Alum is short for “aluminum”, as in ALUM-inum (Alum + inum). It isn’t beneficial to your body if you think you are using a natural substance when you actually are not. There are no real studies that show alum or even aluminum, for that matter, cause cancer as scientists will not do a peer-reviewed study on the matter. It is up to you to decide whether you want to go all natural or semi-natural. There is no one way to go on this matter as your hormonal balance as well as diet can determine your need for deodorant in the first place.
Natural Deodorant Recipes
When it comes to homemade deodorants, you may have to keep them on hand to apply more frequently when you start using them. Your body is detoxing the chemicals from the other deodorants. Here are a couple recipes that you can use.
- ¾ cup arrowroot powder
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 4 tablespoons melted organic coconut oil
- ½ cup organic coconut oil
- ½ cup baking soda
- 50 drops essential oil of your choice (cypress & rosemary for males, and lavender & lemon for females)
Mix the ingredients of whatever recipe you choose and store it in an airtight glass container. It’ll keep you smelling good and fresh when you need it!