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A Natural Solution for a Stinky Problem

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I know. Switching to an all-natural deodorant is not an easy transition to make. In fact…it stinks! Literally! When we began our journey to a healthier lifestyle, deodorant was one of the first things that we decided needed an overhaul in our daily routine. For years we bounced around trying various deodorants, some natural and some not so much, only to go back to our old antiperspirant in defeat. As much as we wanted to find a healthier alternative, we had to find a product that worked unless we wanted to live the life of a hermit.

ANTIPERSPIRANT VS. DEODORANT

First of all, let’s look at the difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant. Sometimes we use the terms interchangeably, but they work in completely different ways.

Antiperspirant – a product that is applied to the skin of the underarms to prevent or reduce perspiration. Aluminum is the active ingredient used to block sweat in all antiperspirants and makes up 10-25% of the ingredients. Aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine are two of the aluminum compounds that are commonly used in well-known antiperspirant brands. The aluminum is formulated to penetrate the skin and form a temporary plug by causing the sweat glands to bulge and swell shut. This results in a reduction in the amount of sweat that is allowed to flow to the skin’s surface.

Deodorant – a product that is applied to the skin of the underarms to reduce or conceal unpleasant odors. In general terms, it is not the sweat itself that stinks, but rather the bacteria that thrives in the warm, moist environment of the armpit. Commercial deodorants use ingredients designed to kill the odor-causing bacteria such as alcohol or triclosan, a common antibacterial agent. In addition, fragrances and perfumes are added to mask any odors that might develop.

Many products on the market today are a combination antiperspirant/deodorant which attempt to both prevent perspiration before it starts and mask any unpleasant odors as they occur.

It’s a good idea to make an informed decision about a product that is used so consistently by every member of the family from young teens to the older generations. Underarm antiperspirant/deodorant is one of those products that we are exposed to every single day, 365 days per year, year after year, for a lifetime. Even a small exposure to a potentially dangerous ingredient would add up over many years of regular use. Without getting into fear mongering, the following are the top three reasons why we recommend that you throw away your commercial antiperspirant/deodorant once and for all and begin using an all-natural deodorant.

TOP THREE REASONS TO USE ALL-NATURAL DEODORANT

Chemicals in antiperspirants/deodorants penetrate the skin. A commercial antiperspirant/deodorant is specifically formulated to penetrate the skin. As a result, potentially harmful chemicals become trapped in the body when the sweat glands are blocked and may accumulate over time. Some of the chemicals to avoid include: aluminum, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, propylene glycol, and artificial fragrances. These chemicals have been linked to problems including allergies, cancer, hormone imbalance, and endocrine disruption.

Aluminum has been linked to numerous health problems. Studies have suggested a possible link between aluminum and many neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Some research indicates that aluminum applied to the skin near the breast may cause estrogen-like effects that may contribute to the development of breast cancer. With the rates for these diseases on the rise, it is prudent to avoid the use of aluminum in antiperspirants until further research is available.

Sweating naturally removes toxins from the body. The underarm area is one of the places the body utilizes to purge toxins from the body through perspiration. One scientific study found that many toxic substances that are stored in body tissues are only excreted through sweat and are not removed from the body through any other means such as the blood or urine. Antiperspirants not only include many toxic substances that penetrate the skin, but also include chemicals to block the normal cleansing function of the sweat glands. This is a double strike against the use of antiperspirants!

Recognizing that we had to find a natural alternative to our chemical-laden antiperspirants, we searched high and low for a suitable alternative that didn’t leave us with an offensive odor. Through the years, we tried many different all-natural deodorants. Some worked a little, some not at all. Some worked for us in the dead of winter but failed when summer rolled around. Some left us gasping from the pain of fiery-red pits. Finally, we said, “Enough!” After 18 months of research and testing over twenty-two different deodorant formulations, we finally developed our all-natural deodorant that lives up to its name! Our deodorant testers have put our deodorant through its paces and found out that it works every time: business and medical professionals, college students, teenagers, athletes, retirees, and homemakers--through easy days and tough work outs. If you too have faced the daunting task of finding an all-natural deodorant that really works and came up lacking, we encourage you to try Back to Basics Naturals All-Natural Deodorant Cream. You won’t be disappointed and you will never go back!

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TIPS FOR SWITCHING TO AN ALL-NATURAL DEODORANT

  1. Cleanse your armpits using a soft washcloth and natural soap each day.
  2. Wait 15-20 minutes post-shower before applying deodorant.
  3. If you have been using an antiperspirant, you may need to gently exfoliate your underarm using a bath mitt or soft washcloth and natural soap. Take it easy and rub gently to remove dead skin cells and chemical residue.
  4. When you make the switch from an antiperspirant to an all-natural deodorant, your sweat glands will begin to unclog and may release a buildup of toxins. During this transition you may sweat more and you may have increased odor while your body releases toxins. Give your body a week or two to adjust and return to normal.  Over time you may find that you actually sweat less using our all-natural deodorant than you did while using an antiperspirant.               
  5. If odor is a problem in the beginning, apply a small amount of alcohol using a cotton ball to kill odor causing bacteria prior to putting on your deodorant.
  6. If you experience redness or itching, you can balance the pH of your underarms by mixing a small amount of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with water and dabbing it on your clean underarms. Let dry before applying your deodorant.  Use the smallest amount of deodorant that is effective for you.  It just takes a tiny bit for fantastic odor control!              

Be patient and stay with it! Don’t switch back and forth between your all-natural deodorant and your old antiperspirant. It will just prolong your adjustment period. Soon you will find that you have less odor than ever before and you will never go back to chemical-laden deodorant products.