I don’t quite recall how this came about, but I was chatting with my wife (Gina The Gorgeous) yesterday evening when the topic of underarm deodorant came up.
No! Neither of us was accusing the other of not using enough. I think Gina had heard one of her friends say that underarm deodorant was unsafe is some way.
Now, truth to tell, I sort of thought this was going to turn out to be another "old wives' tale," but I performed a quick search on the Internet and I ran a lot more information than I really wanted to discover.
First of all, I'd never really paid attention to the fact that there are two terms that are bandied around in this context: "Deodorant" and "Antiperspirant". The idea is that a deodorant uses some scent to disguise your natural odor and make you (well, your armpit) smell nice. By comparison, an antiperspirant affects your sweat glands to stop you sweating at all. So when you see something marked as an "Antiperspirant Deodorant", this means that it will block up your sweat glands and make you smell nice, all at the same time.
So far so good, but next I discover that practically every antiperspirant deodorant that works has aluminum in it – it's the aluminum that stops you sweating – but there are some studies that link this to Alzheimer's, cancer, and a bunch of other nasty stuff. And it's not just aluminum – it seems that the majority of conventional antiperspirant deodorants contain a whole smorgasbord of other toxic chemicals, including parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan…
Having said this, I also read that these studies are inconclusive. This leaves me sitting on the horns of a dilemma, which is damned uncomfortable, let me tell you (the dilemma isn’t all that happy about it either).
Next, I took a look at the teeny-tiny writing on the side of my deodorant, and was dismayed to discover that some strange aluminum compound – that I can neither pronounce nor spell – forms the main active ingredient. The bottom line is that I don’t know what all of the substances in antiperspirant deodorants are, but I do know that I'm no longer happy smearing them all over my body, which is – after all – a thing of beauty that deserves to be treated with respect, nay, awe!
On the bright side, I also discovered that you can purchase sticks of natural mineral salts that are completely free of perfumes and chemicals. These don’t stop you sweating, but they do kill the odor-causing bacteria, thereby preventing you from becoming an outcast to your family and friends. Also, one Crystal Body Stick, which costs $6.89 from Amazon, is guaranteed to last over a year of daily use, which actually ends up being a lot less than I spend on regular deodorant throughout the year (postage wasn’t an issue, because I used this as an excuse to also order a couple of books off my Amazon Wish List, thereby moving me into Super Saver Shipping territory).
So now I'm eagerly waiting for my salt crystal bar to arrive. Are you interested in hearing my views on how well it works when it eventually gets here?
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