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19Sep
2011

Detox Every Day 9: Stop Being So Sure

Anti-perspirant arm deodorant is a double duty detox villain.  It directly impedes your ability to sweat, while exposing you to aluminum at the same time.  Many are willing to pay this toxic price to smell pretty in our bromidrophobic culture.

Aluminum zirconium is a common active ingredient in many anti-perspirant arm deodorants.  This chemical does the dirty detox deed: it blocks your sweat glands.  Sweat is one of the best ways to detoxify, as almost every toxin studied, including metals, can be excreted through the sweat.  When you use anti-perspirant, you tell your toxins to “stay inside”.

This is one of the reasons why exercise is so crucial to detoxification; because you work up a sweat.  If you’re about to exercise, you especially should not be wearing anti-perspirant arm deodorant.

If you are daily using anti-perspirant, you are exposing yourself to aluminum every day.  While this level of exposure won’t lead to acute aluminum poisoning, it can still put you at risk for a chronic low grade metal toxicity.  Aluminum is a neurotoxin, which is why accumulation of it in the body can cause cognitive dysfunction or dementia.  Low grade aluminum toxicity can also suppress your immune system.

Using an alternative to anti-perspirant takes no extra time out of your day if you already slather on a thick smearing of the gunk during your morning routine.  All you have to do is switch it out.  No extra time required.

There are many detox-friendly options for your under arm odor.  Since this isn’t a complete review of hippie arm deodorant (maybe another day), I’ll just name a few.  I like Tom’s of Maine Natural Long-Lasting Care Deodorant Stick (wild lavender), although some of my friends don’t think that it works very well in the body odor department.  Other friends love it.  I really want to try Bubble & Bee’s Pit Putty, because I have their Coconut & Lime Lip Balm and I love it (plus, their use of the words “pit putty” would make me feel cool every time I used it).  You can also use straight up essential oil in place of a deodorant stick, since essential oil is strongly antimicrobial (it is the bacteria that make you smell bad).  I haven’t tried using essential oil yet, but if I did, I’d use the Deodorant Wellness Formula by Veriditas Botanicals.

Not ready to completely give up your aluminum containing anti-perspirant?  Consider the following options to minimize its anti-detox effects:

  • Avoid using anti-perspirant prior to bed time.  Who’s going to smell you in their sleep?
  • Do not wear anti-perspirant when you exercise.  Its OK to sweat (and smell) when you work out.  That’s supposed to happen.
  • Reserve the anti-perspirant for high stake days.
  • Test out natural arm deodorant options on weekend days or days you spend around the house.
What natural methods have you tried for under arm control?  If you haven’t tried any, why not?
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2 Responses

  1. Laura Bennet

    I use Crystal Body Deodorant Stick. It’s basically a stick of salt that you rub on wet. Works great for deodorant but not anti-perspirant. Best to use right out of the shower when underarms are still wet.

    Reply

    Dr. Archer

    Thanks for your tip, Laura! Good work avoiding the anti-perspirant.

    Reply

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