The Deodorant Debate
For the past fifteen years or so, I've heard it rumored that commercial antiperspirants and deodorants were linked to breast cancer and generally not good for you. So, about ten years ago I made the switch to aluminum-free deodorant, much to the chagrin of my husband. I'd wake up smelly, leave the classroom sweaty, and carry around a funk perceptible only to those very close to me. My solution was to wear an antiperspirant/deodorant during the week and wear my natural and ineffective deodorant on the weekends. Then, one day, my armpits were changed forever.
While at Whole Foods about four years ago, I noticed that Tom's of Maine offered twenty-four hour protection in the form of their Long Lasting deodorant. Was it too good to be true? Mark and I have been long-time fans of the New England company, so I decided to give their new deodorant a try. It took a few tries to settle on a recipe that actually worked for me. It's a tall order to neutralize the funk.
Tom's of Maine Long-Lasting Deodorant has brought me one step closer to natural beauty. Two of their deodorant sticks that I can wear with great results are Natural Powder and Wild Lavender. For whatever reason, all other sticks just don't cut it. This is of importance because I recently tried an all-natural deodorant from a well-respected essential oil company and I found myself sweaty and smelly, again. It was worth a try. I realized, then, the effectiveness of Tom's of Maine deodorant.
I wanted to know the science behind the hype concerning the use of aluminum-free food and products. After poking around the web and looking through abstracts, blog posts, and articles, there seems to be some reason for refraining from using products containing the metal, but no reason for alarm.
The active ingredient in most antiperspirants is an aluminum-based compound that works by temporarily blocking our sweat ducts. Aluminum salts bind with water in our sweat, producing a mixture that is deposited in the sweat ducts, thereby not allowing a person to perspire.
Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer's, breast cancer, and kidney disease. In some studies, Alzheimer patients have had higher levels of aluminum in their brains. Cancer research has shown that most breast cancers start in the upper quadrant of the armpit, the place where antiperspirant is usually applied. Many women reported using antiperspirants containing aluminum that were being treated for breast cancer. Finally, since the kidneys purge our bodies of toxins, it is thought that the organs would not be able to get rid of the metal properly.
There seems to be a basis for all of these claims. Although the results are not one hundred percent conclusive, I've read enough to know that we were made to sweat and that there are natural and effective ways to deal with perspiration and odor.
I'd love to hear your take on the issue and know if you sweat the small stuff.