Breaking Up with Antiperspirant

by Jessica Mishra on September 14, 2011

A while back I made the decision to break up with my antiperspirant. I said, “AP, it’s not me, it’s you!” Although you do good things for me sometimes, you are stifling me. You prevent me from sweating and eliminating toxins. You prevent my lymph system from operating as it should. To make matters worse, you add aluminum, a harmful heavy metal into my body. Sorry AP, but this is a toxic relationship, and I will have no more of it.

In all seriousness though, antiperspirants are quite bad for your health. They are designed to release a type of pore blocking agent (usually aluminum) into your sweat glands to prevent you from sweating. This is great for social situations, but not so great for the normal functions, which must be performed by the body.

Think about it, your body is just going about its business trying to excrete toxins and other waste products. It does this through sweat and several other functions that I won’t get into here. When you wear an antiperspirant, those toxins cannot be excreted. In turn, they build up in the surrounding tissue.

This is particularly worrisome as some of the most sensitive (i.e. breast tissue) is closely located to the lymph nodes in your armpits. Many people feel that this accumulation of toxins can lead to an increased chance of breast cancer. Harmful heavy metals, such as aluminum, also have a cumulative effect on the body. We are exposed everyday to heavy metals. However, it is important to do everything we can to lessen our exposure. If these metals levels get too high, it can result in conditions such as infertility, digestive issues, and autoimmune conditions. This is no joke! It is time to consider a change.

I can personally vouch for this as I was tested for heavy metals levels in my body about a year ago. I had an abundance of different types of toxic metals, and it was making me quite sick. I had digestive issues, a weakened immune system (I was sick about once a month), and I was chronically tired. One of the metals that was found at fairly high levels in my body was aluminum.

Many people hesitate to stop using an antiperspirant because they are afraid they will sweat profusely or smell. I will say there is a little bit of an adjustment period, but after a couple weeks, the body adapts and actually begins to sweat less. There are several natural deodorants on the market (mostly at Whole Foods or other health stores).

I simply use a little vanilla essential oil that is combined with jojoba oil. Other people I know use a blend of lavender oil, coconut oil, or peppermint oil. Experiment a little a find an option that works for you! If you have a day where you smell a little more than usual, dab a bit of apple cider vinegar under your arms (diluted in some water), let it sit for a bit, then wash it off. Since these oils are quite natural, you may need to reapply mid-day.

If you find that you are sweating excessively or are overly smelly after removing the antiperspirant, it could be a sign that your body is a bit toxic. It might be time for a cleanse, eating change, increase in exercise, or a few visits to the sauna. Work with a health professional such as a health coach or naturopathic doctor to address this.

So, is it finally time for you to end this toxic relationship? Allow your body to do as it pleases and protect you in the way it knows how? Yes, I do have an occasional affair with my antiperspirant if I have an interview or 1st date (I get a little nervous on first dates). However, in general, that relationship is a thing of the past! Goodbye AP!

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