Whole Story

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Barbara says ...
I've tried several different "natural deodorants" myself and found that EarthScience has a mint rosemary deodorant that works well. I bought it at Wholefoods for about six dollars. I only apply it once and it lasts all day.
08/11/2010 10:38:26 AM CDT
Lisa says ...
Consider emulsifying organic limes and radishes, with their anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties; and retaining in a refrigerated cruet for keeping underarm bacteria at bay.
12/04/2010 12:33:39 PM CST
Nick says ...
As I read the comments before I listened to the podcast, I wasn't expecting the information to be that great. But it was actually pretty sensible, though I'm not sure everyone really got the point. First, it's really important to distinguish between "deodorant" and "anti-perspirant". The podcast was clear that anti-perspirants are bad. So everyone is really well advised to avoid anything which says it stops you sweating. I noticed some comments about sweat marks on clothing. I would say at this point that I used to get bad yellow marking on my work shirts. Stains that washing struggled to remove. About 4 years ago I stopped using any form of deodorant (I'd never used anti-perspirants, even though I sweat quite a lot) and guess what, the clothing marks decreased substantially. So bear in mind that as well as sweat itself, a lot of what you see on your clothes is actually the chemicals that you just put onto your skin, or the resulting chemicals after natural skin bacteria process them. That brings me to the second thing. The podcast was also good in highlighting that the bad smell of body odour is caused by bacteria breaking down chemicals on your skin. I say bad smell, because smell comes from (at least) two other things. Firstly, everyone must have experienced eating garlic in a meal or curry and then smelling it on their skin the next day. Unfortunately, while most of my food is organic, garlic is just the same! So as the podcast said, we excrete toxins and other chemicals as a natural way of processing them in our body. But secondly, which wasn't mentioned at all, is that we secrete pheromones -- natural scents that are a vital part of attraction even though people don't seem to recognise them any more (because we lather ourselves in "nice" smells from soaps, deodorants, perfumes/colognes etc). Messing around with our natural systems to avoid such chemicals getting onto your skin is a bad thing. Bacteria get a lot of bad press in this discussion. Let's be clear, you have bacteria all over your skin and they need to be there. On a relatively normal piece of skin, say on your wrist, you probably have about 10 million bacteria per square inch. On more moist areas, it could be 40 million per square inch or more. When people get paranoid about bacteria it makes me laugh -- by number of cells, up to 90% of our body and skin is made up of microbes rather than our own cells, though by weight this is "only" typically somewhere in the range 3-8 pounds. Home cleaning products that don't acknowledge that our environment is full of bacteria again are very damaging to our attitudes to the environment we are part of. We cannot, and should not, aim to live in a sterile world. This is quite different from suggesting we shouldn't try to prevent harmful bacteria that cause/spread disease. So, what to do? Deodorants work in two ways: by killing bacteria or slowing their reproduction (chemicals like triclosan, witch hazel, tea trea oil) or by masking the smell (perfume). It's normally a combination of the two. Many perfumes (certainly in commercial colognes/eau de toilette) contain endocrine disruptors which are absorbed through your skin and harm your body's normal hormonal functions. Over-use of bactericidal chemicals can often just lead to colonies of resistant bacteria developing so become less effective over time -- this is causing a big problem for hospitals as well. As at least one person mentioned, it is society that is driving people's fear of smelling "bad". And consumer products companies love this because it enables them to sell you all sorts of stuff that plays on these fears. The simple answer is actually just to try to work with your body rather than against it, keeping it clean *enough* to avoid build-up of chemicals that when processed by bacteria will cause bad body odour, and also build-up of excessive amounts of bacteria themselves that will enable larger amounts of odours to be produced more quickly. The best way of doing this is washing, with non-scented soap (not chemical-laden shower gels either -- remember that bacteria will break down those nice scent chemicals themselves and potentially create BO). If you have a busy/stressful day then you may want to find ways of being able to give your armpits a wipe down during the afternoon too. And finally, bear in mind that BO may not be being caused by your armpits at all but by the bacteria that are on your clothes, and which are kept warm and moist (ideal conditions) just by being worn. So again, if you feel you have a problem then keeping a change of shirt at work for those occasions may be good. Perfumes were originally developed to mask the smell of body odour, before hygiene was even possible for a lot of society (no running water, for example). Nowadays, there's no real need for them except that society has replaced natural attraction smells for artificial ones. But, that's the way things are and I'm not saying that it is a bad thing to smell good! However, it's still good to remember that smelling good is totally different from "not smelling bad", and we don't have to use scents all the time as a routine thing. When you do though, don't put it on your armpits!! That is just feeding the bacteria! Putting scent on drier parts of your body where there are naturally fewer bacteria to break them down means that they last longer too! So, I mentioned I stopped using deodorant. Do I smell? Well, yes and no. It took a couple of weeks for me to adjust routines a bit, and I'm sure for my bacterial community to restore itself to a normal balance. If you get up close then I don't smell of nothing (that would be sterile and bad). I smell of me, but it's the natural me. It's not BO. Nobody -- including people who definitely would do without hesitation! -- tells me I smell bad. If I go out, I sometimes use cologne, but I wash it off when I get home. I generally only have to wash my armpits once a day now, with a straightforward soap, and that's enough. I have a facecloth and soap at work just in case. And some emergency cologne (a tiny free sampler from a cosmetics counter) which I've only had to use once or twice when it was actually my shirt that wasn't clean and I had no spare. A bar of soap is one of the cheapest things to buy too. Can you see why so many companies want you to buy this or that product, all based on your fear of smelling bad?
02/11/2011 5:55:02 AM CST
S. says ...
Hi, I make and use natural deo from Geseen Natural Beauty's website. It works great and even for my husband and other guys that sweat a lot.
05/08/2011 2:11:23 PM CDT