Sunday, August 17, 2008

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Have you sent in your comments yet? If not, go do that first, before you read this post. What the hell, I'm not going anywhere.

Thanks.

OK, we're still working on personal hygiene. You know, cleaning up our environmental act while letting go of some advertising-induced notions about beauty. Hopefully by now, we're all old enough to know that personal beauty is not something that is painted on, shaved clean or polished. Personal beauty lies within.

Smell, however, is right out there.

Nobody likes to be a Stinky Pete. Nobody likes to sit next to a Stinky Pete. I am not advocating Stinky Pete-ism here. I am, however, suggesting alternatives to traditional underarm deodorant. Here's why (from an article at Green is Universal):

Thirty years ago researchers first detected significantly elevated aluminum levels in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, and subsequently proposed a link between the heavy metal and the disease. Though scientists still debate the connection, certainly aluminum is a toxic heavy metal that has no useful biological function, and which we don't want building up in our bodies, ever.

Manufacturers long discounted any such effect from aluminum salts in deodorants, which they claimed would not be absorbed through the skin. This assumption has proven wrong, and over time users of commercial deodorant do accumulate the stuff, sometimes in significant levels. A recent medical report described a woman who ended up with severe aluminum toxicity directly as a result of her deodorant use.

Most commercial deodorants also contain parabens, which act as preservatives and stabilizers, but which like aluminum can be absorbed with systemic effects. Parabens mimic estrogen, and though the amounts we absorb on a daily basis might be small, over time, the accumulation can be significant. A report from England in 2004 documented a relationship between parabens and breast cancer.

Yeesh. That can't be good, right?

So, from my extensive research (reading other blogs), I've come to the conclusion that there are three commonly used alternatives to mainstream deodorant. They are:

Baking Soda
Deodorant Stone
"All-Natural" Commercial Deodorant

I switched to the deodorant stone in May. Worked great until the really, super hot weather hit. I've since switched back to traditional deodorant, but will be going back to "the rock" in September, when the cooler weather sets in.

So, three months with commercial, toxic crap / nine months with a kinder, gentler solution. I can live with that. As I've said many times - being green does NOT have to be an all or nothing proposition. Do the best you can but don't make yourself crazy because that's when you'll feel like quitting. And you don't want to quit. Because quitters smell worse than anything!

15 comments:

Chickpea said...

I think it was my folly to try the stone just as the heat wave hit. My other natural deodorant quit on me, and i thought "hey! This will be an awesome time to try the stone everyone's been raving about." Nope.

However, hearing that the stone is just fine during the fall and winter (which are predominantly the seasons here in Canada) gives me hope for September.

organicneedle said...

I use Tom's when necessary. (I'm not much of a stinker and only use it a handful of times during the summer months.) My husband, however, out stank the powers of Tom and switched to one called Herbal Clear, which works but has some questionable ingredients.

curiousalexa said...

Thank you for the reminder about the Endangered Species Act! I went the easy route, and used the NRDC form. I'm easing my way into this political action concept! I find making changes at home much easier and more satisfying, but it's time I start diversifying my efforts.

green with a gun said...

Just wash under your arms each time you shower, and shower after heavy exertion, like the gym, planting or tree, or hot sweaty horizontal jogging with someone you're fond of.

You don't need that junk.

Heather @ SGF said...

I've been using just plain ole baking soda when I first get out of the shower (when my pits are just a little moist from the warm heat. Works like a charm and it's 90-100 degrees here and super humid.

Harper said...

I tried a natural deodorant and it wasn't quite doing the job so I've started using commercial deodorant twice a week and naturals the rest of the time and that works pretty well. I'm using 'Kill It Dead, a Natural De-Funkifier' and I like it although the sprayer is a little anemic. I also have Weleda Sage Deodorant but found the scent of sage to be too strong so I keep it at work for those "Uh, oh" moments

Kim from Milw said...

I'm with Heather, using the baking soda, and it's passed the '8 mile biking in 90 degree weather' test. I could hardly believe my nose! I'm now a 'til death do we part' believer. No more commercial deods for me. Ever. I even seem to sweat less...how? I don't know.

ib mommy said...

I found this interesting..... after I switched to baking soda if I use my daughter's Secret, and no, I can't make them stop using it, they whine like there's no tomorrow, I smell like a son of a gun. Weird.

jcatawba said...

I use Burt's Bees with Lush power on top or Lush's deo with powder on top. Works like a charm. The Lush deo is almost too strong so I don't use it when I shave.

jcatawba said...

I use Burt's Bees with Lush's Greeench powder or Lush's Aromacreme deo with the powder. I don't use the Lush Aromacreme after I have just shaved my armpits. They both work awesome... ALL SUMMER LONG!!

Robj98168 said...

I aint stickin no rocks under my arms. Nu Uh. Not gonna do it and you can't make me. I don't use deodorant cause I wash under my arms well, I don't sweat much, so don't need it. And I aint sticking no rocks under there!

Heather said...

I found a great recipe for deodorant that is amazing! It's roughly equal parts of coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. Just put a little bit on and it keeps you stink free all day!

Commercial deodorants/antiperspirants just made me stink more; with this deodorant, I smell nothing but clean!

Wendy said...

I've tried a bunch of these, but I sweat tons, so nothing really works as well as the commercial crap. In the summer, I use that stuff several times a week, staggering it with various natural versions.

I'll have to check out the plain baking soda as that's the one thing I haven't tried.

jennconspiracy said...

Don't forget the fourth option: NONE! No meat, no stinky. :)

mama k said...

Yup. I do the same thing. Save the chemical crap for days at the beach and special occasion.