What is the difference between antiperspirants and natural deodorants?

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2020-07-14

Our body produces sweat as part of its natural process to keep cool when it’s hot, and to flush out toxins from the lymph nodes located just under your armpits. But the sweat itself is naturally odorless.

What causes body odor is what’s living on your skin – bacteria. Those bacteria love to feast on the proteins and acids contained in your sweat.

How do antiperspirants work?

When it comes to sweat, you have 2 choices – you can either stop the sweat or neutralize the bacteria. Commercial antiperspirants use the exact same strategy of stopping the sweat from even coming out of the sweat glands!

Check the back label of any commercial antiperspirant, and you’ll find an unpronounceable active ingredient like “aluminium chlorohydrate” or “aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly.” These chemicals interact with sweat to form a physical plug in the duct of the sweat gland. The aluminum salts also act to constrict the sweat ducts.

There’s one big problem with this: our bodies need to sweat in order to maintain proper health. Also, remember that one of the reasons you sweat in the first place is to flush out toxins. So when your body detects multiple blockages in your sweat ducts, what will it do? Sweat. Even. More.

Even if the antiperspirant stops you from sweating under your arms, you might find that you’re excessively sweating in other places, like your arms or your back. That’s an actual condition known as compensatory hyperhidrosis (where your body compensates for sweat blockage in certain areas by sweating more elsewhere), but most people just assume that they’re naturally heavy sweaters. 

Besides, antiperspirants work by plugging up the ducts of your sweat glands with aluminum compounds. Some of that aluminum gets absorbed into your body. But since your body can’t process aluminum, it stores it up in tissue deposits.

Scientific researches have concluded a statistically strong association between breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease when an aluminum compound-containing antiperspirant. 

Vegan handmade deodorant – a healthy and effective choice

Think about it: is it worth the potential long term (and significant) health risks just to avoid a little sweat? Stopping yourself from sweating seems like a no-brainer. There’s another way to control odor that doesn’t involve messing around with aluminum. Rather than stopping the sweat, you can neutralize the bacteria that causes body odor.

Natural ingredients like baking soda, magnesium, activated charcoal, or zinc oxide create an environment where the odor-causing bacteria cannot thrive while still allowing your body to sweat in a healthy way. 

If you’re making the transition from antiperspirant to a healthy deodorant, it’s true that you may feel a little sweatier while your body is flushing out those nasty aluminum salts from your sweat glands. Once you make it past the transition period, however, your body will find a new equilibrium as it produces sweat at the appropriate level it needs to maintain in order to cool you down when it’s hot.

Every day, more and more people are ditching antiperspirants for a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative, join them!