Sweat. It doesn't stink after all! I used to think sweat was a bad thing. In fact, most of us associate it with embarrassment, odor and stress. With all the antiperspirant choices out there, many of us never even question the fact that maybe our bodies are sweating for a reason…and we might be healthier if we quit trying to stop the sweat.
Our bodies are made up to two types of sweat glands, the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands. The eccrine sweat glands are located throughout our body and their main function is to regulate our body temperature through water evaporation of sweat through glands in our skin. The apocrine glands are found in specific areas of our body, which includes our underarms. The apocrine glands secrete sweat that interacts with bacteria, creating body odor. While body odor and sweat sounds unpleasant, it’s actually our body’s natural way of keeping our temperature regulated and detoxifying. When our bodies detox we dispose of toxins and replenish the supply of water needed to maintain necessary functions that eliminate those toxins.
So, what happens when antiperspirant, usually comprised of aluminum, is used in our underarms? It blocks our sweat glands. Considering aluminum is a heavy metal, it makes sense that by rubbing aluminum on our underarms actually plugs our sweat glands, keeping them from sweating. If we don’t sweat, our bodies can’t rid themselves of toxins, and if they can’t rid themselves of toxins, those toxins remain in our body. Toxins in our bodies can mean disease and irreversible damage. I think I’ll stay clear of that and just let my body sweat the way God naturally intended, right?!
The other main concern with using antiperspirants or deodorants claiming to be “natural” is that they can contain any or all of these ingredients: aluminum, parabens, fragrance and more. Why are these bad for you? Check out the below:
Aluminum is contained in most antiperspirants and is also often named in some “natural” deodorants as “alum”. Aluminum is neurotoxic and studies have shown that aluminum exposure has been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Parabens are hazardous because they are absorbed through intact skin and they have been linked to breast cancer. The American Breast Cancer Fund sited that concentrations of six different types of parabens have been identified in breast cancer tumor biopsies. When looking at a antiperspirant/deodorant it is good to know that parabens often begin with the following prefixes: methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl. Unfortunately, parabens are found in may commercial makeup and personal care products so be on the lookout!
Fragrance is often how antiperspirants and even “natural” deodorants list their scent composition. Listing “fragrance” as an ingredient in any product means the scent is not 100% pure or safe. In fact, Environmental Working Group (EWG) states, "The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”
Even when you are looking to use a natural deodorant, make sure none of the above are included because “natural” does not have to mean that only natural ingredients are used to produce a product. In fact, I have read that companies are allowed to label a product as “natural” as long as it includes some ingredients that can be found in nature…even if they only use a synthetic version of that ingredient in their product. Scary huh?
So, knowing that sweating is a good thing for our bodies and antiperspirants and some natural deodorants that are made to stop you from sweating contain harmful chemicals linked to disease and health conditions, why not try a natural deodorant without harmful ingredients? Of course, just using a natural deodorant will not necessarily mean you won’t get sick, but it’s a part of the big picture when taking control of your health and living a healthy lifestyle. You can sweat and not smell bad, all it takes is the right natural deodorantfor you.