The Sweet Smell of Natural Deodorant
Guest Post by Autumn Bear
An Alternative Point of View
Several years ago I made the switch to using natural deodorants as part of a personal experiment. The idea that there are many controversial components about antiperspirants was something that concerned me and I wanted to explore what other options I had out there. The hot topic of aluminums in antiperspirant and their correlation to alzheimer’s disease has been around for many years as well as other ingredients being on the “carcinogen” list of life.
In looking at it from a chinese medical perspective I began to think about our body systems and how they work to help us live healthy. For example, sweat is linked to our lymph system and is one way we utilize the body’s natural mechanism to rid ourselves of toxicity. Realistically there are only a few ways in which we can eliminate any toxins from the body; sweating, bleeding, urinating, and defecating. The body in all of its brilliance has a few built in systems so that no one system is required to do the job. There is, however, another reason that these systems are in place. The directionality of our detox system is also important. Sweating, especially in the armpits, is for the upper region of the body and allows for things to move up and out. There is a good amount of space and organs between the upper and lower body so why should we have to send everything down and especially when there are so many obstacles in the way? This concept of directionality is important in understanding how the natural order of the body flows. When we plug up one area that means the body will do one of two things, it will have to compensate or it will get backed up.
This idea of compensation is not new in the body. In fact, many systems will do double duty for a while to help another system play catch up. However, what happens if we plug up one system for years and years and years?
So after years of using antiperspirants I made the switch to natural deodorants. It certainly took some adjustment but I played around with various brands and found several I liked very much that didn’t leave me smelling “earthy” or too natural if you get my drift! However, a year or so ago I ran out of my normal natural deodorant on a trip so I stopped at a pharmacy and bought antiperspirant. Within a week I started to notice that I had a nodule on the side of my breast. It was hard and painful and certainly gave me a lot of concern. I did some work on it with essential oils and acupuncture but I couldn’t seem to get rid of it. Meanwhile I was continuing to use the antiperspirant because I felt like I had bought it so I didn’t want to waste it. Several weeks had gone by and obviously my concern was mounting. I finally got around to getting my natural deodorants and within a week of returning to these natural products my nodules had all gone. I thought, huh, that’s interesting. This happened, in some varying shades, several other times and each time the same result.
This pattern struck me as being really interesting and spurred several conversations with some of my colleagues. Most of them had made the switch and several like myself had had the same experiences.
It certainly is something to give pause for thought. As breast cancer continues to make a rise in our country and among the women we love, could these small cysts that may be related to our antiperspirant be a platform for the continuation of altered cells?
This is something we should all consider as we use hundreds and hundreds of products each year. Studies have shown that our skin absorbs 100% of what we put on it, and while our bodies do a great job of detoxifying the things that we use on a daily basis, wouldn’t it be better to use something that is neither toxic nor interfering with the body’s detoxification system?
As we are moving into the realms of conscious living, we should take into consideration all the aspects of our health and choose our products with love. We should choose that which moisturizes us, cleans us, deodorizes us, and leaves us looking our best. However we should also expect that what we choose and what we love to make us look, feel, and smell great also keeps us healthy for many years to come.
Natural Deodorant Picks:
- Waleda: At $15 a bottle, Waleda deodorant spray is not cheap. But it lasts quite a bit longer than most high end, paraben free stuff, so we’re keeping it. It comes in three different scents: sage, rose, and citrus. We like citrus but to each their own.
- Lafe’s Natural Crystal Deodorant: This deodorant stick isn’t an anti-perspirant. It only masks odors. But it’s a very cheap option ($6.19 on amazon) and highly recommended for those who are allergic to the traditional kind.
- Burt’s Bees Herbal Deodorant: As pure as they come. Although owned by Clorox, Burt’s Bees is one subsidiary that isn’t as harmful as its parent company. The scent is rather unisexy but it still smells good! And the price is decent ($8).
- Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant: the cheapest of the lot ($2.99). It also only has two ingredients: baking soda and natural plant extracts. Does not contain aluminum or parabens. If you’re strapped for cash and don’t care much about smelling like heaven, this is excellent.
- Tom’s of Maine: For $4.40, this product definitely delivers bang for your buck. Aluminum and paraben free. As they say on their site, it is made “entirely from ingredients derived from plants and minerals.”
- Bubble and Bee’s Pit Putty 100% Organic Deodorant: Definitely the strangest of the lot. It looks and feels a bit like, well, putty. You swipe it under the armpits like regular deodorant and then rub off the putty until it disappears into your skin. Made entirely of organic ingredients.
Here is our recipe for a homemade deodorant*. It’s simple (only uses three ingredients) and easy.
Coconut Oil ½ a cup
Baking Soda (make sure it’s aluminum free or else it defeats the purpose!) 1/3 of a cup
Arrowroot powder: 1/3 of a cup
Since the coconut oil tends toward the wet, mix the dry ingredients first. That is, the arrowroot powder and the baking soda together. Then add the coconut oil. Make sure and keep it in a dry, cool place as the coconut oil can melt in heat. You may add essential oils to make it smell pretty if you wish.
Image courtesy of [nuchylee] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net