What's the Deal with Deodorant?
Posted in Nourishment for the Mind » Learn on Saturday, February 20, 2010

I read this article from Dr. Mercola  about the dangers of deodorant.  It reminded me of a story I heard Julia Roberts tell Oprah about not wearing deodorant.  Whenever she got a little 'funky' on a movie set, she would just go into the bathroom and wash her pits!  I heard the same about Matthew McConaughey. 

 

From mercola.com

Aluminum is widely recognized as a neurotoxin, which has been found in increased concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.  Unfortunately, if you use antiperspirants or some deodorants, you are most likely exposing yourself to aluminum.
 
Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants.  A review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body.
 
Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms -- with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these heavy metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.
 
It’s worth mentioning that deodorants are not the same thing as antiperspirants. Deodorants may actually be less problematic than antiperspirants, as they work by neutralizing the smell of your sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria, but do not prevent sweating.
 
 
A 2006 study found that aluminum salts can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase breast cancer risk. Animal studies have also found that aluminum can cause cancer.  Given that antiperspirants are used on your armpits, the aluminum salt concentration is highest near your breast tissue. Further, when women shave under their arms it can result in a higher aluminum-salt absorption rate due to the damaged skin. 

“Crystal” deodorant stones are a popular natural deodorant alternative, often used by health-conscious shoppers looking to avoid the aluminum and other chemicals common in most antiperspirants and deodorants.

However, if you’re looking to avoid aluminum, crystal deodorants may not be your best choice.

While many claim to be aluminum-free, they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide or aluminum zirconium.  These types of aluminum are widely used in antiperspirants and deodorants. The aluminum is taken into sweat ducts in the top layer of your skin where they act as a plug, stopping the flow of sweat to your skin’s surface.

While these crystals are probably better than using a conventional antiperspirant, they are clearly not aluminum-free and it still poses a possible Alzheimer's risk and contributes to background toxicity in your body.
 
It would seem best to exercise the precautionary principle at this time and avoid these crystal-based alum antiperspirants.
Personally, I have not used antiperspirants for over 30 years, once I realized that they were actually causing the stains in the underarm area of my shirts and that wasn’t due to my own sweat. That was a major clue to me to avoid them.
 
All I do is use simple soap and water and that seems to work well enough that my friends and relatives do not tell me I have any offensive body odor. I typically will wash under my arms in the morning and after I workout.  This approach has served me well for over three decades, however if you find you need a more aggressive approach, then try a pinch of baking soda mixed into water as an effective all-day deodorant.
 
Additionally, there are many non-aluminum or alum-based alternatives in your local health food store that would likely serve your needs, but I would encourage you to at least TRY going without before making your mind up.  Remember you will need to check the label not only for “aluminum” but also for potassium alum or potash alum, as the full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate.

 

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