What is the most distinguished trait of the largest organ of the human body? How about the fact that the skin impeccably processes the natural detoxification and cooling of your body. However, the use of modern antiperspirants and deodorants has been scientifically proven to frustrate this natural process to get rid of toxins, potentially leading to serious health problems like Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.
Exposing commercial deodorants
The National Breast Cancer Awareness Fund has announced the possibility of cancer due to the contents of commercial deodorants:
- Triclosan: This affects certain hormones and is associated with breast cancer.
- Phthalates: These are also known as “endocrine disruptors” and linked to breast cancer. They also obstruct the hormone functionality of the body.
- Parabens: These are absorbed into the skin and mimic the body’s natural estrogen. They were also found in a range of breast cancer biopsies.
If you’re pregnant and you’ve used a deodorant with aluminum salts — a common ingredient in antiperspirants — it can pose the risk of transferring to your child.
So, are you ready to ditch your traditional antiperspirant for good? How can you ensure you don’t smell unpleasant and feel damp in your armpits?
Look for “nontoxic” on labels
A 23-year-old man from Alexandria, Virginia, filed a lawsuit against Old Spice by Procter & Gamble (P&G) for some serious damages to his armpit skin. Burns, serious rashes and itchy armpits are common complaints of deodorant users (as was the case in the Old Spice incident).
Natural, nontoxic deodorants are by far the best alternatives to avoid such injuries. By implementing natural ways to detox your sweat areas, you can avoid skin damage and have peace of mind.
Control body odor naturally
Here’s a handful of ways to address your body odor as naturally as possible.
1. Check what you’re eating
You don’t want to punish the people around you with bad body odor if you’re a frequent consumer of fried foods, pork, alcohol and caffeine. Not that I’m against non-vegetarian foods, but a neutral body odor is easier to maintain with a vegetarian diet, provided it’s clean and balanced. Leafy greens, in particular, are highly suggested if you want to smell good. However, you know how your mouth smells when you eat garlic and onion, so beware!
2. Choose natural fiber clothes
Do away with rayon and synthetic materials — go for 100 percent cotton or linen. Cotton does not entertain bad bacteria and keeps you cool and comfortable under the sun by trapping your body odor and leaving you with a fresher body smell for longer.
3. Dry yourself completely after a bath or shower
This is important if you don’t want to feel embarrassed with wet underarms and back acne. Make sure you dry off your body really well after stepping out of the bathroom; you can even use a paper towel to wipe excess sweat from your armpits.
4. Try probiotics or supplements
Add an extra layer of support to your detox diet by including probiotic-rich foods or. The strong defense mechanism of chlorophyll against bad odor is another reason to eat leafy greens or take supplements as well.
5. Drink more clean, safe water
This is one of the easiest and most natural ways to eliminate the daily toxins from your body. Drink at least half a gallon of water a day, and more if you are physically active.
6. Use apple cider vinegar or witch hazel
These healthy acids are powerful against bad bacteria and corresponding foul odor. They can neutralize them very effectively, so make sure to apply them with a cotton ball on your sweat areas or armpits after a shower.
7. Apply a bentonite clay mask
This is an advanced method of detoxing your armpits and keeping them free of bad bacteria. Well worth a try!
Deodorants, bacterial imbalance and bad body odor
When you use certain deodorants, you can actually alter the characteristics of the bacterial community or microbiome in your sweat areas, such as armpits. Some deodorants or antiperspirants are great triggers; when used consistently and dumped at once, that can change your sweat smell to smellier because of overproduction of bacteria and stimulation of microbial diversity. The result is bacterial imbalance and the less productive effort of your deodorant to fight bad odor, which makes the deodorant altogether ineffective.
Here are five natural replacements for deodorant:
1. Baking soda and cornstarch
Try mixing one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch. The mixture will help you to fight wetness and odor in your armpits without subjecting the sensitive skin to harsh chemicals.
2. Deodorant stones
Although they come with potassium “aluminum” sulfate, you can replace them with aluminum-free options available on the market.
3. Sliced lemon
Lemon or even lemon juice can remove odor-causing bacteria from the skin surface. Don’t use it on recently shaven armpits, though — ouch!
Simply spray it on your underarms using a spray bottle. Include any essential oil of your choice to add fragrance, maybe witch hazel or tea tree oil.
5. Homemade deodorant
Yes, you can prepare your own natural deodorant at home! This is one of the best ways to dodge the risk of exposing your skin to the variety of harmful chemicals usually found in commercial deodorants.
Nontoxic deodorants have this excellent attribute of rebalancing the bacteria in your sweat areas and detoxing armpits. Bacterial imbalance is a major reason why people carry a disagreeable body odor. Changing your deodorant to a nontoxic version will help to address the root causes of bad body odor and effectively combat it. Enjoy!
— Dr. Victor Marchione
Dr. Victor Marchione received his bachelor of science degree in 1973 and continued on to do his medical degree at the University of Messina. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for more than 20 years.
Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show. As well as being on the Advisory Board for Bel Marra Health, he is also the editor of the Health eTalk newsletter.