Deodorant: The Natural Transition
"Aluminum and other active ingredients in deodorants applied near the breasts and lymph nodes may increase your risk for cancer."
When we talk about living a healthy lifestyle here at OPEX Regina, most of us already know what that looks like: Exercise, improving quality of food, sleep, and reducing or managing stress in our day to day lives. But what about reducing the use of chemicals we are using around our home or on our bodies?
Although the results of scientific studies have been mixed, some studies say that aluminum and other active ingredients in deodorants applied near the breasts and lymph nodes may increase your risk for cancer. Aluminum acts like a plug for the sweat glands to stop sweating from happening.
Antiperspirants were originally developed in the late 1800s. When they first hit the market, the customers were confused. Up until that point, people thought it was normal to sweat and/or smell. They didn't catch on right away, so after that deodorant was remarketed to target people's insecurities. Companies created ads that made people think that maybe their friends were talking about them behind their backs. Or maybe they were single because of how much they sweat or smelled.
Sweating is a healthy and normal process for the body! Interested in making the switch? I have been free from antiperspirant since November of 2015. Here are my tips for making the transition as smooth as possible:
1. Because I decided to make the switch in late fall/early winter, I felt like this was the best time to do it. Cooler weather=less sweat.
2. There will be a detox period in which you may notice that you are sweating/smelling more than you are used to. Your sweat glands were blocked from using aluminum, and are now over compensating. This period may last 6 months to a year. After the detox is complete, you will notice less sweating, and less smelly sweat or body odour.
3. This one may be obvious, but it's also important to bathe daily, wear clean clothes, and re-apply the deodorant as needed through the day.
Ready to choose a new deodorant? There's so many options! Here's what to look for:
1. Avoid anything with aluminum and or parabens. A lot of brands will specify aluminum and/or paraben free.
2. I would suggest a cream or roll on. I found sprays to be less effective.
3. Look for something that contains bentonite clay. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins. Key for battling body odour.
4. Two of my favorite brands are Routine (purchase online or at Dad's organic market), and local brand Naked Kitty Naturals, also available online or at various stores around Regina, including Blush Beauty bar, Excalipurr Cat Cafe and Body Fuel Organics. While the price point on natural deodorants is higher than you would see with an anti-perspirant, most containers will last 3-6 months.
Bonus: Basic recipe for laundry detergent:
Basic Laundry Detergent
2 1/4 cups Liquid Castile Soap
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 tablespoon Glycerin
3/4 cup Water
20-30 drops Essential Oil of your choice
Combine everything in a plastic container or squirt bottle. Shake once or twice every time before adding to wash. To use, add 1/4 cup per average load; 1/2 cup for extra-large or heavily soiled loads.