When my mom was receiving radiation for her breast cancer, her doctor told her to stop wearing antiperspirant and to only wear cornflower. I had heard a number of times that the aluminum (or aluminium, depending on what audience I'm speaking to) in antiperspirant wasn't good for us, and the fact that a doctor told a cancer patient to stop using it spent my spidey senses tingling.
In subsequent trawling of the internet, I read that the aluminum can interfere with radiation (something about the beam, I believe?) so the advice that my mom got was theoretically not based on health, just on the basic workings of the radiation she was receiving.
It seems that there have been loads of studies looking for a link between breast cancer and antiperspirant and, thus far, no clear link has been defined.
I've pulled up a couple of articles here and here.
Then a friend of mine with kidney problems posted in Facebook saying
that HER doc had advised her to stop wearing antiperspirant. Now to be fair, I haven't read up on this at all and haven't asked her why. But, these two instances got me reading.
We're meant to sweat. Sweating cools us off and is part of how the body releases toxins. Why are some people more sweaty than others? I don't know. What I DO know is that the kind of antiperspirant that most of us use hasn't really been used by people long enough for scientists to really have a completely accurate view on whether it's 100% safe for us.
I'm starting to come to the realization that there are a *lot* of chemicals in our daily lives that even our parents' generation didn't have around, and ultimately it's not going to do us any harm to take steps towards reducing the number of chemicals that we come in contact with daily.
So I started experimenting.
I started off by buying Tom's of Maine Calendula deodorant. Interestingly, I sweated buckets for the first couple of days off the antiperspirant but then my sweating died down. I've always been pretty sweaty -even wearing ap I would sweat through tops- so this was a pleasant surprise.
I also smelled less. With ap, I would wear a shirt once and then throw it in the wash, I could smell the ap but also the undertone of stinky sweat. On the Toms, I could smell a little swear but it wasn't stinky and it was really just a slight undertone to the lovely smell of the deodorant.
From Tom's, I moved onto home made stuff where I could have complete control over what was going on my skin. More on that in part 2.