ANTIPERSPIRANTS VS DEODORANT
Antiperspirants, deodorants, or natural deodorants? Roll-ons, creams, crystals, sticks, or sprays? With so many choices out there, how do you choose? How do you know which is right for you? Because everyone’s body chemistry is different, the answer is not so cut and dry… (pun intended!). The one you choose really depends on what you are looking to achieve: prevent sweating or prevent having body odor. At first, the choice may seem rather obvious: antiperspirants! Right? Why sweat if you can avoid it? Antiperspirants prevent sweating by plugging your pores with processed aluminum compounds. Deodorants prevent bad body odor by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria.
But do you know how antiperspirants really work? Antiperspirants contain aluminum particles that enter the top layer of your sweat ducts and block sweat from escaping. There is strong evidence that the aluminum is absorbed into the body where it can accumulate in the tissue. Studies show that brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients has been found to contain high levels of aluminum. Medical researchers are trying to determine the exact link between the aluminum accumulation and the disease. Aluminum has also been linked to estrogen disruption diseases such as breast cancer.
Deodorants come in many different forms and are not all created equal. Some deodorants like antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds as well as parabens. Walking down the deodorant aisle can be overwhelming when looking for a healthy choice with all the roll-ons, creams, crystals, sticks, and sprays to choose from.
Cream deodorant was the first form of deodorant invented. Cream deodorant’s popularity has waned because it is applied by hand and can be rather messy by today’s convenience-driven standards. Look out for talc, a common ingredient in cream deodorants, as it has raised health concernsin recent years.
Crystal stones and sprays are thought to be a healthier alternative. While crystals do not contain the same type of aluminum as antiperspirants (aluminum chlorohydrate), they do contain another form of aluminum (potassium aluminum sulfate).
Crystal deodorants come from potassium alum, which is mineral salts shaped and molded during the manufacturing process. Crystal deodorants are made naturally or synthetically. When crystal deodorants first came out on the market, they were made from natural potassium alum that was extracted from the earth as a colorless crystalline stone also known as a mineral crystal. It is an anti-microbial mineral that is water soluble. They quickly grew in popularity and the demand for these crystal stones was on the rise. Companies unwilling to produce the potassium alum through the natural mineral extraction process, mass-produced potassium aluminum sulfate synthetically through a process called hydrometallurgy. This process combines sulfuric acid with bauxite ore to create aluminum oxide. The aluminum oxide is then reacted with potassium sulfate to synthetically result in potassium aluminum sulfate. Hydrometallurgy is a cheap way to mass produce these toxic stones. Many of these products are marketed as aluminum free, when in fact they are synthetically made with aluminum compounds.
NATURAL DEODORANTS THE NATURAL CHOICE
Natural deodorants do not interfere with perspiring which is your body’s natural way of flushing out toxins and regulating temperature. Natural deodorants combine moisture absorbing, pH balancing and anti-microbial ingredients that wick away moisture and neutralize odor-causing bacteria to keep you dry and odor free. Because of all the health risks, switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant is a better choice.
MAKING THE SWITCH
No matter which natural deodorant you choose, remember it will take a little time for your body to adjust from being plugged up by aluminum compounds. During the switch, your sweat glands will start to open up and function properly. This can increase the odor. Give it time for your body to fully adjust. A couple of tips I have found extremely helpful is to be sure to wash your underarms daily and dry them thoroughly. Stay hydrated – the more water you drink, the less pungent your sweat will be. Also, wearing natural fiber clothing such as cotton, hemp, bamboo or wool will wick perspiration away from your body. Synthetic fibers like acetate and polyester trap sweat in and actually promote odor-causing bacteria.