So let's talk armpits! Specifically, let's talk about something you probably put on your armpits every morning: deodorants and antiperspirants. These B.O. blasters come in almost every scent imaginable, in forms from roll-ons to clear gels. Your supermarket aisle probably stocks two dozen varieties and almost every one will have this in common: aluminum chlorohdrate or aluminum zirconium. Most people have by now heard of the dangers of using anti-perspirant sprays/sticks that are laden with chemicals. Most antiperspirant worries center on this aluminum-based compound that temporarily plugs the sweat ducts and prevents you from perspiring. We just want to highlight that the following information is relevant for both men and women. Even though the focus below is on breast cancer, please be aware that the side effects of using anti-perspirants and blocking sweat ducts affect both genders equally.
A few studies in recent years have theorized that aluminum-based antiperspirants may increase the risk for breast cancer. According to the authors of these studies, most breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast, the area closest to the armpit, which is where antiperspirants are applied. The studies suggest that chemicals in antiperspirants, including aluminum, are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving. These studies claim that those chemicals may then interact with DNA and lead to cancerous changes in cells, or interfere with the action of the female hormone estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells. In addition, one common antiperspirant component, a group of chemicals called parabens, has been said to have estrogen-like qualities and linked to breast cancer.
There are so many theories flying around and many of us don't know what to believe anymore! To me, it makes complete sense that sweat glands should be left to do their detoxification work. It cannot be good for us to block our sweat glands, period. If, like me, you're concerned about the possible risk factors of commercial deodorants, you're someone with skin sensitivities or perhaps you're just looking to reduce the chemical exposure in your life, you'll be happy to know that there are much better alternatives out there. I personally use a crystal deodorant stick made of a natural mineral salt. The aluminum in crystal deodorant stones is a different type of compound known as potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.
Did you know that the smell that comes with sweating is actually caused by bacteria that forms on your skin? Potassium Alum is a natural mineral salt made up of large molecules that form a protective layer on your skin and inhibit the growth of the odor-causing bacteria. The molecules are too large to be absorbed into the skin and therefore only form a protective layer on the surface. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers as a much better and natural alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market. For the purpose of general knowledge, I just want to mention that they are not completely 100% aluminum-free, but they are by far the better choice.
It is best to use them after you shower while your arm pit is still wet, simply rub it on and voila! Alternatively wet the stick and rub under one arm, then wet again and rub under the other arm. I purchased mine at the Organic Food and Cafe Dubai but you should be able to find these crystal sticks in most health stores or supermarkets.
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