Sweating is one of those unpleasant body functions no one likes to talk about and we all try various ways to not do it , including the use of anti-perspirants which use aluminum to block the sweat glands from sweating. This differs from a deodorant whose function is to eliminate the odor caused by sweating. So, let’s delve into what sweat is and why it’s important.
Sweat is mostly water along with ammonia, urea, salts, and sugars and it is by sweating we control our internal body temperature. Sweat, and urine, are the most important body functions to remove toxins from our system. By itself, sweat does not smell. It is the bacteria on your skin and horomones that cause that awful public embarrassment of body odor. Some people sweat too much caused by low blood sugar, thyroid disorders, or nervous system disorders. Some people don’t sweat enough caused by burns, dehydration, and some nerve or skin disorders. This brings us back to the use of anti-perspirants and how aluminum is used to block the sweat glands. The question is, is this a good thing? If it isn’t a good thing, what can we do differently?
Products we use with aluminum in them are believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s. This study suggests that aluminum levels in the urine are negligible, however, so many of us aren’t willing to take that chance. It is suggested that breast cancer risks go up but, the studies don’t back this information. For me, I question everything and for studies I follow the money and who is backing the study. There is a lot to be said for scientific studies which have advanced our medicine greatly. I think our choices should be personal based on how we feel and we shouldn’t expect others to follow along nor should we just blindly read all the information and accept it without understanding it’s credibility. What it boils down to, in my opinion, is what are you comfortable with? For me, if I wear commercial anti-perspirants or deodorants, I find I can wear them for short periods of time before I start reacting to them. I also ask myself if I am willing to take the risk of introducing additional substances to my body. I am fully aware I am already exposed and I will never reach a level of no exposure. My goal is to reduce the level, not eliminate. It also involves life style changes on my part.
First, the lifestyle changes. I can’t control the weather but, I can control my diet. Spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine all affect the odor of your sweat and this is called gustatory sweating. Certain medications, illnesses, and emotions cause sweating. There are eccrine sweat glands which are all over your body and produce a light, odorless sweat and there are apocrine sweat glands which are found in your scalp, armpits, and groin area producing a more fat-laden sweat. Some of these you can control and some you can’t. One way to help flush toxins from your system to reduce body odor is the age-old adage, “Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.” Water is your friend. Second, it’s not to say you shouldn’t eat problematic foods, maybe just be mindful how much you are taking in.
Other ways to manage your sweating are to wear several layers of light clothing you can take off as you heat up, washing dried sweat off your face and body as often as possible, change out of sweaty clothing which reduces the chances of bacterial and yeast infections, and using deodorant. This brings us back to my journey to find a deodorant I could use and I tried using natural deodorants with no success. Some just didn’t work, others stained my clothes, and some were just plain messy.
This is when I stumbled upon the idea of an armpit detox to remove the aluminum plugging the sweat glands. Of course, I have to research everything before I try it and I couldn’t find any validity in it. On the other hand, what did I have to lose. So, I dove in just for the hell of it and I was pleasantly surprised. Now, to be fair, the first couple weeks are brutal. While your body is detoxing the obvious side effect is increased body odor and I used essential oils to bring that down. If you haven’t used, or rarely used, commercial anti-perspirants/deodorants, the detox only takes a few days however, long term use requires a detox period of 2-6 weeks. What I did was a nightly armpit detox for 2 weeks, stopped for a couple days to see how it affected my sweating, and than decided it had been quite effective. I did indeed also notice that a low intake of water and my diet affected my body odor so my sweat let me know when I needed to make some adjustments. I did also notice I sweat less.
Final order of business, a natural deodorant that works. I did find out baking soda was a mixed bag. It did help absorb odors however, it caused me great irritation. Even more so than an anti-perspirant. I broke out in a rash that burned and I found I needed another solution. Also, the much loved coconut oil is problematic because it doesn’t really absorb into the skin causing yellowing of your clothes, can increase probability of ingrown hairs, and isn’t as anti-bacterial as is claimed although to a small degree it can target this. So, my search continued and it led me to this recipe which has some exotic butters in it but, I was game. For those of us less adventurous people there are commercial natural deodorants that would work well. Some of these I have tried and found they didn’t work but, that was before my discovery of the armpit detox. Since I was already knee-deep in this adventure I figured I may as well finish off with a bang and make my own deodorant.
That is when I found this recipe and I will post it after I have made and tried it. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to know whether something works or not. Currently, I am awaiting the arrival of the exotic illipe butter which touts moisturizing capabilities. It also involves sage which has been used for eons as a natural deodorizing. Now, it does have some alkaline baking soda in it but, with the addition of acidic lime or lemon juice it seems they react to create the powders mixed together. So, I’m willing to see if baking soda would not create irritation in this context. I will keep you updated.