I like to avoid commercial antiperspirants as most contain fragrances (and who knows what they are as companies are not required to individually list these) and they all have a major sweat inhibiting ingredient, aluminium salts. Aluminium salts work by creating a chemical reaction with the water in your sweat to form a plug in your sweat duct, thus creating a blockage that stops you from perspiring.
Personally, I would prefer to minimise product related chemical reactions in my body, and I believe we are meant to perspire as this is an important way for our bodies to remove toxins. There’s also a lot of talk about the possibility of aluminium salts being linked to breast cancer, however, I’ve yet to find a definitive study that can confirm this is the case.
What we do know is that once the toxins that are in your body are blocked by the antiperspirant they have to go elsewhere, and the closest glands are the lymph nodes which work as filters for harmful substances.
There is no doubt some people sweat profusely and don’t smell that great. This is due to the waste of the microorganisms which live under your arms. Once you switch to using a good natural deodorant the odour will reduce; I now find that mine ranges from mild to non-existent, and I don’t have to apply deodorant very often at all.
Could this partly be due to the toxins getting excreted and then a change in the bacteria under my arms? We know that there’s a lot of beneficial bacteria in our bodies, research has found that it is important not to kill off your body bacteria, as it’s there for a reason, to help fight infections and to keep everything in balance.
I’m not sure this applies to underarm bacteria though, one study I read didn’t come to any conclusions about the benefits of underarm bacteria (stated as ‘a high biomass bacterial community’ eeeww) but it did find that antiperspirants do a very good job of blocking pores and thus trapping toxins in the body instead of releasing them.
If you’d like to try ditching the antiperspirant but haven’t bought a natural deodorant yet, here’s a few solutions you can try – always wait several hours after shaving before applying though, your skin will be super sensitive and needs time to normalise
Pat Wendyls Premium Baking Soda onto your underarms with a powder puff or similar.
A cut lemon rubbed under your arms is great.
Make a solution of 3 tbsp witch hazel, 2 tbsp vodka, 2 tsp glycerine and 30 drops of your favourite essential oils, blended. Pour into a spray bottle and spray away. Oils particularly good for disguising odours are patchouli (although you will smell like a hippy, which could be worse than the original problem), cypress, lime and bergamot.
For more information about how antiperspirants effect your body bacteria read this article