Deodorant is a daily ritual for most, and sometimes, during high noon on a summer day, we will find ourselves hating that big guy on the bus who smells like he forgot to apply his Old Spice. Or maybe he swapped his Speed Stick for a fish stick...but I digress.
Our offense to odor has grown incredibly since the time of our first pheromones. This is evidenced by the mass amounts of sweet scented lotions and soaps available for our slathering. Though many consider an individual's body odor to be repelling, recent studies indicate that what we use to cover up or prevent our smells are full of equally unattractive chemical ingredients.
Deodorant products in particular have been under question as of late. Research has uncovered concerning ties between cancer and common ingredients, such as parabens, which are used as antimicrobial preservatives to promote shelf life. Parabens are absorbed through the skin every time deodorant is applied and, as their preserving nature suggests, have been found lingering in the body, disrupting cellular function. Whats worse is this and other harmful chemicals don't only exist in deodorant but are allowed by the FDA to be used in many other cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and even in some food items. Our exposure is at an all-time high, and we don't even realize it.
Did you know that deodorants and antiperspirants are two separate product categories with two different chemical compositions? I didn't until I started looking into potential health risks of our trusted daily odor defender. Apparently antiperspirants are for the most part comprised of the same harmful ingredients as deodorants, but in addition also contain aluminum salts. These are used to block the pores from which our sweat is excreted, thereby preventing the release of fuel for our BO fire. Aluminum is also a nuerotoxin, and has been linked to nuerological diseases, including Alzheimer's. Though some stakeholders argue antiperspirants are safe for use, you cannot ignore the vast amount of aluminum people are exposed to daily:"It is often used in cooking utensils, containers, appliances, and building materials. It is also used in paints and fireworks; to produce glass, rubber, and ceramics; and in consumer products such as antacids, astringents, buffered aspirin, food additives. Another use for aluminum is in water purification, and it can therefore occur in your drinking water." Phew.
I encourage a glance at this insightful article to get the rest of the facts on deodorant/antiperspirant health concerns.
This is where I put down the Dove and begin my pursuit of a finding my deodorant soul mate. I hypothesize there is a product out there that works without health implications. I also believe that pleasant body odor can be achieved through a combination of natural products, hygiene and a healthy diet, as corroborated by Bubble and Bee.
The first product I will test is Aloe & Almonds Natural Deodorant (seen here for under $3!) that my sister recommended. Check back for updates and reviews.
Wish me luck on my quest. I hope I do not scare away my future husband...but if he can't deal with this he's not man enough anyways.