By Angie House

Do you have a collection of half used deodorants in your bathroom cabinet as I do? Do you always find yourself in the deodorant aisle at Walmart or your local drugstore wondering how, with so many options, to choose the right one for you and your body? It’s a complete mystery.

So, we often resort to the trial and error strategy, which can put a dent in your wallet and harm your skin–if you’re not careful.

D.O. For Your B.O.

First, you narrow down the scent, then the brand, then the application, and the formula. The formula. Ahh! I don’t know about you, but I’m no scientist. How am I supposed to know what all those ingredients mean, let alone what all of them do or don’t do? I don’t want to stink, that’s it! But wait, do I wish not to sweat, also? Do I want both? Do I need both? Wait, is sweating healthy? Moreover, the conversation in your head carries on and on until your friend says, this is what I use: get this one. One more stick added to your collection.

I’m now forced to rotate deodorants and antiperspirants regularly, but not by choice. I can’t bring myself to throw them out.

Fight The Funk!

So, I feel you! The on-going struggle to find the perfect deodorant is no myth. There’s so much back and forth out there about the safety level of things on just about everything. These days, even the foods we consume and the type of hair dye we use are criticised.

Deodorant is certainly no exclusion on the ever-growing list as it is something we put on our skin at least once or twice a day, every single day. So, is there a cause for concern in knowing what’s real, what’s fake, what’s proven, what’s safe, and what’s not when it comes to finding a deodorant? Needless to say, it can be a bit overwhelming.

Here is the low down to answer your burning questions about deodorants and antiperspirants that might ease your struggle next time you make your way to the deodorant aisle. 

Four Common Truths & Myths About Deodorants and Antiperspirants:

1. Antiperspirants and Deodorants eliminate body odour – MYTH

TRUTH: Antiperspirants minimise sweating by blocking your sweat glands with aluminium salts, essentially clogging your armpit pores, so sweat stops secreting. While deodorants allow you to sweat, they simply mask or neutralise any odour with fragrances or essential oils.

2. Sweating causes body odour – MYTH

TRUTH: Bacteria already present on the skin actually causes body odour. However, bacteria feeds off your sweat, releasing a slew of commonly critiqued as unpleasant odours. Sweat alone actually has little to no scent, often smelling like salt if anything.

3. The ingredients used in antiperspirants cause cancer – MYTH

TRUTH: The aluminium chloride and parabens found in antiperspirants have been swimming in controversy for years, and answers to the question are repeatedly, ambiguous. Always leaving us with more questions about the “more research is needed” conclusions.

Studies have detected high levels of aluminium in breast tissue, and researchers continue to look into how the absorption of these compounds may cause estrogenic effects–something that can trigger the growth of breast cancer cells. However, the National Cancer Institute says that there’s no connection between breast cancer and antiperspirants. 

Raja Sivamani, M.D., a dermatologist and adjunct associate professor of clinical dermatology at UC Davis, has a more nuanced view,

The current evidence is not conclusive and does not prove that aluminum-based antiperspirants increase the risk for breast cancer,” he says. “This leaves us in an area where a connection between aluminum salts and breast cancer is neither proven nor disproven at this point.”

Although it may not be proven, what is certain is that many chemical antiperspirants are produced with ingredients that aren’t entirely aligned with the green-beauty movement. I’d rather play it safe than sorry, which poses the question: Why are we all so afraid of a little sweat and body odour anyway?

4. Natural deodorants are better for you – MYTH

TRUTH: Opting for a natural product really comes down to personal preference, and if the switch to a more natural deodorant appeals to you, be forewarned that you absolutely will notice a difference when you make the switch.

Chemical antiperspirant and natural types of deodorant work differently with your body composition. There may be a transitional period when you (and others) are more aware of your underarms sweating before your body balances out because your sweat glands will need time to detox all the chemical build up from inside your pores.  

If you shower and change your clothes at least twice a day and use a basic deodorant, you should in all honesty be able to keep the funk in control. At the end of the day, its bad social form to be a stinker, so unless you never leave your home, we suggest you get yourself a roll-on with ingredients you are comfortable with, stat.