Usually my blog posts focus on food, mindset and movement. But there's another aspect to your health that I haven't really touched on yet. And that's personal care products. Your skin is the biggest organ, so it's important that you are mindful about what you put on it. I want to jump to the stinkiest area first: yo' pits!
Deodorant + antiperspirant are not the same thing. But they often travel together in a handy dandy stick or spray. Antiperspirant actually stops your body from sweating. It uses (usually aluminum being the primary ingredient,) to plug up the sweat ducts in your pits, thereby preventing any wetness.The stink doesn't come from the sweat itself, it comes from the normal bacteria living on your pit-skin. Sounds gross, but it's natural! So deodorant simply de-odorizes. It masks the natural scent with something external, and sometimes uses chemicals to prevent the bacteria from growing.
But obviously none of us like to be stinky all day. There is some big debate on whether or not antiperspirants (mainly the aluminum) is a contributor to breast cancer. Either way, it freaks me out to think of doing something to stop our bodies from excreting the way the naturally do. To me, it's doesn't feel right to prevent part of the natural detoxification that our bodies have done since forever. So over the last year, I've weaned off antiperspirants. The big companies sell a few deodorants without antiperspirants (although I've noticed that there are more available in the "man scents" than for women, which really fires me up... why is it ok for men and not women?!... anyways, I digress...) So whenever possible, I'd recommend ditching the antiperspirant.
As an honest health coach, I'm going to tell you like it is. When I first stopped using antiperspirants, I felt kinda gross. I thought I couldn't do it – feeling sweaty/wet in the heat. But then my body adjusted, and it got better! I think this time of year would be perfect for the transition! Not super hot outside, and not super hot inside from businesses over-blaring their heaters. I weaned by starting only using them if I was working out, and then eventually, not even then.
I know this might be too hippie-dippie for some, but this summer, I made the switch to completely natural deodorant. And I love it!
I first tried a popular brand that's known for their natural toothpaste (which I really like), but again, I'm being totally upfront here, I didn't like their deodorant at all. Yes, it's convenient because it comes in a stick like a traditional, but I felt like I was smellier at the end of the day than I'd be using nothing! A friend suggested I try another brand which was nice because you can order samples, and it was fine, but it had a very subtle scent.
But thennnn I found out my friend, Kendalyn, has a deodorant in her line of natural skincare and had to try it. It's lavender-citrus scent...yum-freaking-city. (I actually don't recommend you eat any deodorant, even if it's natural, regardless of how good it smells.) The scent is stronger and lasts longer (both priorities when we're talking about smelly pits, right?) It doesn't go on/stay that color - it rubs right in to the skin! And it didn't seem to melt as quickly when I accidentally left it in my purse in the depths of summer. Yep, I did that... if you do too, just pop it in the fridge to firm back up; yay coconut oil! And no pit-irritation for this very sensitive skinned-girl, although I do play by the rules and wait a bit to apply after shaving. After using this deodorant for the last month, including some days over 90 degrees, I'm 100% converted! Check out her etsy shop at Sage and Sea Apothecary... I also love the lavender/sage meditation candle!
Bottom line, for deodorant, (like my philosophy on food) less chemicals = better!