Sunday, July 5, 2015

How (or perhaps why) I haven't bought deodorant since last year

Crazy right? I know. You thought sleeping on the floor was nuts, but now this! Fortunately for you, and more specifically for people that have to be around me, having not bought deodorant in the last year does not mean I haven't been wearing it, at least not everyday.

I made the plunge away from commercial deodorant after reading one too many articles about aluminum, parabens, and propylene glycol, I decided to get back to the basics. While WebMD would have us believe that "There is no convincing evidence that antiperspirant or deodorant use increases cancer risk," (Ted S. Gansler, MD, MBA), I am not so easily tricked. I went to college. That's just one doc, and one resource. Without getting too technical here's a few things I found on the anti-deodorant side of things. Be forewarned, I looked up what specifically in deodorant contributes to health concerns because I totally believe in not smelling like you slept in an alleyway.
  • Parabens. They mimic estrogen and can increase human breast tumor cells to grow and proliferate in vitro.
  • An earlier age of breast cancer diagnoses is related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving
  • Also found on the page are a list of other chemicals that even with low-dose exposure have negative effects. This includes BPA (found in plastics), alkyl phenols (found in hair products and cleaning agents), and rBGH (found in dairy products), amongst others. I think it's good to know the negative side of those hard-to-pronounce-ingredients. They aren't just chemicals, they have crazy effects on our bodies. If there are 1,000 pores or so per square inch, and an average armpit takes up, uh... um... 10 square inches? That's like 10,000 pores. Each one can become clogged by chemicals, which is bad. I repeat, clogged pores equals bad news. 
I think that with all of the experience I have in hospice, exposed to young women with cancer, I'd like to think that I am terribly motivated to follow healthy habits. Many of those women are actually big supporters of alternative deodorant, so it can't hurt to try. 
Last fall I quit deodorant. I'm not proud of it. okay. I am actually. And during winter coconut oil was my friend. However, we are not in winter and my sweat glands are done hibernating. So I've been investigating 'all natural' deodorants and here is my review:
 LuckyVitamin sent me TWO! free samples of Tom's Naturally Dry and I was more than happy to oblige. CONFESSION: my skin is not the same color as white deodorant, using it always turns out to be a failed covert operation. I did like the scent and the overall texture but half way through the day my pits start to rev their engines with a flaming vengeance. This means white clumps in my skin creases and I still stink. So attractive. Unfortunately I will not be trying this scent again, but I may be tempted to try a different type of Tom's in the future, like Long Lasting.
Three Comforts Sample Jasmine Deodorant - my mom's own concoction. Lucky for me my mom makes bath and beauty products and decided to give deodorant a try. While this was simply a tester and is a work in progress, I did like that it has amazing ingredients, like baking soda and jasmine. Also a little goes a long way, it went on easily and actually lasted most of the day. She's still working on the formula so if you are interested let her know here or see the other items she sells here. Otherwise I will keep you posted.
My first attempt at all-natural deodorant was actually some stuff that I bought at Whole Foods - Herbal Clear 24 Hour Natural Sport Deodorant - that came 'highly' recommended. Of course this just means that the sales girl was reading the same label that I was looking at and figuring that because it said 'sport' and 'all natural', it was exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately it smelled a little to manly for my taste (uh, for my smelling?). The positive it contains tea tree oil, the negative it didn't really work and contained a few too many hard to pronounce (but supposedly safe) ingredients - this includes propylene glycol.
So I'm almost out of the Tom's and NEED deodorant. Seriously, I can go without in the winter, but now that the temperature is heating up, I think it's only fair to mankind to keep up with my personal hygiene (even if I am trying to be a minimalist). I've heard great things about Primal Pit Paste, plus the name insinuates that it will be both lacking in chemicals and strong enough to handle my sweaty pockets. Any suggestions out there!? I know some people have tried just essential oils, but working in hospice we aren't allowed to wear scents... the amount of oils I would need would be noticeable, even if your 90. Please help! One last CONFESSION: To be honest I didn't try the stuff in the last photo, that spray on stuff, I just wanted 3 pictures. 

Need not,

Oh good, you're still reading. To be fair Dr. Ted Gansler encourages us to seek more proven techniques for preventing cancer: eat right, exercise and limit alcohol consumption. Because after all our bodies do have the ability to detox on their own if we give them the right fuel and the right tools. That is all.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the Meow Meow Tweet brand over the winter. It is a white paste, but goes on clear like a coconut oil. They also have a baking soda free version for people who are sensitive to that. The lavender scent is a little strong when first applied, but dissipates fairly quickly.