Posts Tagged ‘aluminum’

I take my mission to live more naturally pretty seriously. It’s never been a fad for me. I didn’t just jump on the, “green,” bandwagon because it was cool (ask my friends, they can tell you I never do anything just for cool points. I’m anti-cool, lol). I’ve cut nearly all the chemicals out of our lives, I admonish convenience even though it requires more time and energy and I strongly dislike buying anything I can make myself. My motto? Simple, natural, frugal and healthy. There are items, however, I have been less inclined to give up. My hair color, for instance. I am dying to dye (lol!) my hair with henna the next time around though, so maybe I’m evolving!

When I first heard that there was aluminum in deodorant I was shocked. I didn’t know! I mean, deodorant is such a staple item I never questioned it. I did my research and found that aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s and brain disorders and there is a possible link to breast cancer. So aluminum is a toxin? In 1993, the World Health Organization said, “There is a suspected link between Alzheimer’s disease and the toxicity of aluminum.” The Agency for Toxic Substances and & Disease Registry reports that “Exposure to high levels of aluminum may result in respiratory and neurological problems.”

Well that’s no good…

And the problem isn’t just with the aluminum, but with how the deodorant works. Aluminum compounds or aluminum salts, such as aluminum oxide (Al2O3), are key ingredients in almost every antiperspirant. They are powerful astringents that close pores, stopping sweat and odor from escaping the body.

Antiperspirants may leave the outside of the body smelling fresh and clean – but inside, the toxins that would have escaped the body in the sweat have nowhere to go. For this reason, antiperspirants have been linked to problems with the sweat glands and lymph glands in and around the underarms. What’s more, “antiperspirants are designed to be absorbed”; the aluminum and many other chemicals are taken into the body and may affect the endocrine and lymphatic systems, as well as being a potential risk factor in breast cancer.

Oh no… It’s really one thing to have this substance ON the skin, but to be absorbed? That’s so much worse.

So what does the frugal, crunchy person do? Deodorant without aluminum cost significantly more. Some might argue the cost is worth the benefit and of course, I agree but I still wondered if there was something better and more cost effective to keep me from being the stereotypical smelly hippie. More research!

What I found were testimonials from other people who use grain alcohol or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) in a spritzer in place of deodorant. The alcohol works to break down the bacteria that thrives in the warm, damp arm pit. Sweat itself doesn’t stink, you see. The bacteria that feeds on what our bodies secrete is to blame for the dreaded body odor. The bacteria munches it then emits an odor! We didn’t learn this in biochem! The alcohol creates an environment that is uninhabitable to this bacteria and the smell is averted.

My interest was piqued for several reasons. The anti-chemical reason was the first, obviously. The other reason this theory fascinated me was because I am a huge proponent of treating the cause of something by working with the body and it’s amazing functions rather than merely using the proverbial band-aid to fix a broken arm. In addition, using deodorant clogs pores and prevents the body from releasing toxins causing them to build up in the body and changing the physiology of how they are removed- much to our body’s disdain.

I love the human body. Anatomy and physiology has always interested me. I believe in holistic treatments when available. So the alcohol works with the body and it’s functions- not against it. Score for A/P nerds everywhere.

The only supplies needed: a small spray bottle and some Isopropyl Alcohol

I started my experiment several weeks ago. I wanted to give my hypothesis a nice long run and put it through all of the paces. Did I mention this experiment started during one of the hottest heatwaves we have seen in NE Ohio in a long time? Perfect timing, I’d say. I picked up a travel size spray bottle for about 88¢ and already owned some isopropyl alcohol. It costs about $3.00 for the big bottle so I was already seeing savings.

I used it once a day for two weeks and I was pretty impressed. My mom had always told me to never use deodorant over night- but hippie husband is like sleeping next to a volcano, so I had started breaking that rule nine years ago (were you as pained by that statement as me? Especially after what we now know about deodorant. Exactly.) After the initial two weeks, I would apply the alcohol twice daily. Once in the morning and once after my shower in the evening. It’s been incredible.

First, no smell. Second, no white residue on dark clothing. I haven’t picked up a white shirt yet (I want a brand new one for this next bit of the test) but I have read that the alcohol trick keeps the whites from being stained as well! I’ll keep you all updated about that one!

I can say that there is an adjustment. I’m not going to lie, it’s a big change. Using isopropyl alcohol means I smell pretty strongly like the stuff until it dries. It takes just a minute or two, but it is there. This is one of the main reasons people use grain alcohol, it doesn’t have such a pungent odor. The other thing I learned the hard way is that after shaving when applied it can burn for just a second. I have yet to find a solution to mitigate this one. It’s nothing bad and not intolerable- you just notice it. The image of Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone always springs to mind and by the time the image goes away, so does the burning.

I also noticed that I smell human. Not floral or like baby powder. Now when I sweat there is a slight salty scent- one I don’t even notice until I stick my nose in my arm pit anyway. And I did this move a lot throughout this experiment, I assure you. I like smelling real. Like an ocean breeze on a deserted tropical island.

All in all I think this is advantageous to anyone trying to live more naturally and frugally. It’s hippie tested and approved!! In the words of LeVar Burton from reading rainbow, “don’t take my word for it,”! Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes!




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