Ladies, listen up.
It’s time we talked about what we’re putting on our pits. But first, a little science lesson:
We have lymph nodes in the base of our arm pits. Those lymph nodes serve as a filter for the circulatory system. Lymph fluids are found between cells in the body, and they are collectors of viruses, bacteria, and of course, cancer cells. Did you know that the lymph nodes in the underarm are the first place breast cancer is likely to spread? Source
Some research suggests that the aluminum used in antiperspirants may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells. Estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells. Because of this, some scientists have suggested that using antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.
Yes, research suggests, which means it’s not conclusive. However, I feel like my spidy sense is telling me that I should care about what I dump onto my lymph nodes. We have a lot of cancer that runs in the family and has taken a lot of lives, so I should care about what I am putting so close to something so sensitive. The mere thought of caking aluminum and other harsh chemicals onto my lymph nodes completely grosses me out. And for what? So I don’t sweat? Please.
I’m not here to fear monger you into ditching your antiperspirant, but I at least wanted to make sure you’re informed so you can make your own decision. As for me? I have PCOS. It’s not genetic for me – no one in my family has it. I got it somehow… whether it’s environmental factors, stress, or the chemicals I’ve always used to “clean” myself. Cancer? Unfortunately, we have a lot of that going around. So for me, since I already have a severe hormonal imbalance and higher risk for cancer, I have absolutely NOTHING to lose by making the switch. If it’s not really making a difference, who is it harming? Definitely not me.
After reading this, this, and this, among other various articles, it was blatantly obvious to me that since I already have a major hormonal imbalance to live with that is sensitive to environmental factors, I really needed to make a conscious effort to pay attention to what I’m exposing my body to. I started with switching my shampoo, my make-up, my body wash, and now ditching my antiperspirant for deodorant. My hormones need a little help getting balanced. To be clear, I have estrogen-dominant PCOS, and guess what happens when you have excessive exposure to parabens and sulfates? They mimic estrogen and affect your estrogen levels. And guess what contains parabens and sulfates? Nearly every toiletry product and cleaning product I’ve ever used! So honestly, having estrogen-dominant PCOS that triggered without family history made this switch to living more of a chemical-free life a no brainer.
Oh, and remember when I said that estrogen can promote the growth of cancer cells? There’s that, too. My own body is already working against me, so anything I can do to help it level out, I’m going to try.
A lot of women have made the decision to quit using antiperspirant and switch to deodorant for a variety of personal reasons. The problem is the grocery stores don’t have a lot of natural options, so if we buy something there it’s almost no different! All of the labels are still loaded with junk ingredients that I can’t pronounce. They’re filled with cheap fillers to make the product cheaper to sell, and less effective so you have to buy more. I just can’t bring myself to do it. So, I turned to Etsy.
I have officially quit using antiperspirant. I am personally using this homemade deodorant I found on Etsy, because it’s all natural ingredients that I can pronounce, I understand what each ingredient is, it’s not loaded with excessive chemicals as fillers, there isn’t any aluminum, it smells good, and it makes me feel cleaner.
Our bodies were made to sweat. It’s a normal, natural process, and somewhere along the lines we were
brainwashed trained to believe it’s just gross and we shouldn’t ever do it. So, we’ve always turned to antiperspirant. For the record, I still sweat profusely using antiperspirant… so not only was it not working (no matter what brand I tried) I smelled worse because of the fake scents that were put into the products. Something about my chemical make-up clashed horribly with it. At least now I sweat the same amount but smell a whole lot better! I have fields of lavender radiating from my pits!
So what about you? Have you ever considered ditching the antiperspirant and switching to a natural deodorant? Do you make your own?