No Deodorant? Don't Sweat It! , 1 Comment

We here at SZL are constantly on the lookout for commercial products that we can substitute with more natural alternatives. One of the hardest for us, so far, has been the attempt to get away from traditional deodorant/antiperspirant. While health food stores and organic wellness boutiques now carry a vast array of aluminum-free options, the 12-hour performance that we’ve become accustomed to has never really been matched by these all-natural competitors. Being the sort to exercise vigorously a few times a week, I’ve experimented with various brands, and even attempted making my own (a debacle that I will not share here). I’ve also tried simply “refreshing” my underarms, aka splashing them with water, throughout the day, but that was not a convenient solution either.

When we talk about deodorant, it is important to remember that most of them today are really antiperspirants. The aluminum factor is basically a “sweat inhibitor,” which means that it physically blocks our pores, thereby stopping the wetness from escaping. When people sweat, they do not acquire a distasteful scent because they are sweating: the pungency occurs because bacteria on our bodies mix with the sweat, causing foul odors. Sweat on its own has a simple, soft smell, just of damp skin. But when you mix in bacteria, dirt, and other pollutants that attach to our bodies… whew!

This is exactly why the easy, natural solution to deodorant that I recently discovered is so effective. I am talking about none other than run-of-the-mill isopropyl rubbing alcohol. When my mother first suggested it, I baulked at the idea. After all, that stuff’s for disinfecting scrapes and paper cuts! How could it possibly work as a deodorant? But its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties are exactly what makes it work for our underarms. By killing, and inhibiting the growth of, all those nasties in our armpits, rubbing alcohol essentially nullifies the stench that we attribute to our sweat. If you are running laps, or out on a hot day, you will still sweat… but your sweat won’t smell. This is, in fact, an ideal situation, because sweating is the body’s heat regulation and toxin expellant system. When we don’t sweat (by blocking our sweat glands with commercial antiperspirants), we are really trapping toxins and making our bodies work overtime to adjust our temperature. Not the best thing to do! The solution? After you get out of the shower, simply soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, swipe it over the skin of your underarms, and let it dry before putting your arms down. Then, go forth and conquer!

- Maria Vasylivna