Welcome to summer! The temps are increasing and there is a natural topic that goes along with that – B.O.! So, we’re talking deodorant this week.
Antiperspirant vs deodorant:
Antiperspirants temporarily block sweat-glands so they do not produce sweat (which, by the way is actually odorless*). To be declared antiperspirant, the product must show a 20 percent sweat duct plug formation, while clinical strength must show a 30 percent reduction. Antiperspirants block sweat ducts with aluminum salts which bind to proteins in the sweat gland ducts that act like a temporary sweat duct plug. Determine whether or not you WANT to block your sweat glands. Sweating occurs to regulate your body temperature and release toxins from the body. If you do use antiperspirants, it is best applied to dry skin. When applied to a damp underarm, it may not only be ineffective, but also can form white clumps that ball up under your arm, fall off onto your clothes…and who knows where else.
Deodorant works to neutralize the odor, which comes from bacteria on the skin. Make sure to choose the right one, or combo, that is appropriate for you.
Deodorant was first used in 1888; the first antiperspirant in 1903!
Harsh times, indeed…
The best way to get rid of bacteria, which causes odor in the first place, is to wash the underarms daily. Swiping deodorant over the bacteria is not nearly as effective as applying it on clean, dry, underarms. Did you know a small percentage of people don’t produce the secretions/proteins in their underarms that attract smelly bacteria?? Are you B.O.-FREE? Gross but true: white, flaky ear gunk most likely means you are one of the lucky minority. Dark and sticky wax – be sure to read on!
If you’re going to use deodorant or antiperspirant, you should probably be sure you know what is in it. Some products contain parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, and formaldehyde which some studies have shown to cause interference with your hormone system and/or are chemicals that you may or may not agree with using on your body. Do your own research and determine what is right for you. Consider natural brands like Native or Schmidt’s. Natural deodorants have come a long way in the last couple years combining coconut oil, baking soda and more: aluminum and paraben free!
Is stress making you stink?
Your body has eccrine glands everywhere which are the sweat glands that are utilized while working out to cool off. *Apocrine glands are in the armpits and groin and produce a fatty sweat that gets activated with anxiety (and arousal). Reduce BO by controlling anxiety and considering what you eat…Caffeinated beverages and spicy/strong smelling foods may make you sweat more. Garlic contains sweat-polluting sulfur. Garlic is also very healthy for you, but you may want to time your consumption…as in not the night before a big presentation for work the next day!
Another way to control your body odor is to choose clothing to suit your activity. For daily wear, choose natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool and silk. These allow your skin to breathe. For exercise wear, you might prefer synthetic fabrics developed to wick moisture away from your skin.
Have your underarms ever stung after applying your antiperspirant/deodorant? After shaving, your skin will be more sensitive and especially when using products with a higher alcohol content it can cause irritation. From shaving or not, if you have sensitive skin, coconut oil can reduce irritation and is naturally antibacterial making for a great deodorant!