The Pit Switch

Once I ditched all the candles and scents, I started swapping my Personal Care products.  Some of these swaps were much easier than others.

The trickiest for me was deodorant, but also the one I consider most important. 

Our armpits are so close to the mammary glands.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that 8 times more women develop breast cancer in the part of the breast nearest their armpit?!?  

The problem is that from a young age we are told we shouldn’t smell so we start coating our teenage armpits in fake scented deodorant, or worse, anti-perspirant.  Our bodies grow accustomed to this ‘cover up’ and because BO is a sensitive subject, we won’t even consider swapping deodorant, not to mention talk about our pits (smelly or not).  

I was this way for a long time.  Even when I knew I should make the switch, I had a hard time committing because none of the products seemed to work.  It takes time and trial and error, but it’s worth the time invested because you really don’t want any of these ‘nasties’ on your skin!  

Here’s a run through of the most commonly found toxic ingredients:

Aluminium – compounds that enable anti-perspirant to do what it needs to do.  Essentially they trap the sweat in the eccrine-gland ducts.  Research shows that they may be a risk factor for developing breast cancer.  

Parabens – artificial preservatives that mimic estrogen and are linked to the development of breast cancer.  A reminder that women are 8x more likely to develop breast cancer in the part of the breast closest to the armpit!  

TEA & DEA – adjusts the pH and used over a long period of time, DEA can cause kidney and liver damage whilst TEA causes allergic reactions.

Talc – used as an absorbent and colour additive and considered a carcinogen if it contains asbestiform fibers.   Talc is unregulated so if it is listed as an ingredient there is no way to tell if asbestiform fibers are used.  Whilst some evidence is inconclusive, is it worth pushing your luck???

Triclosan – artificial anti-microbial chemical used to kill bacteria on the skin and other surfaces.  It’s a skin irritant and may cause contact dermatitis.  Recent studies also indicate it disrupts thyroid function and other important hormones.  As of 2017, the FDA banned the use of triclosan in cleansers and handwashes, which suggests we shouldn’t use a deodorant that lists triclosan as an ingredient either.  

Prypolene Glycol – a humectant that keeps substances from drying out and originally developed as anti-freeze.  That says it all for me, but  in case you need more proof… it’s also a neurotoxin proven to cause contact dermatitis, kidney and liver damage.  Workers have been urged to avoid skin contact with this chemical as it can cause eye/skin irritation, gastro-intestinal irritation, nausea, headache, vomiting and central nervous depression.  Don’t think you need any more reasoning after that!!

Crazy that any of these are allowed as ingredients, but they are so now that you know the facts isn’t it worth taking some time to find the natural alternative that works for you?  To get you started, here are my two favourites, but remember that our bodies (and pits) are all different so what works for me is not necessarily what works for you.  

Ringana Cream Deodorant 

This was the deodorant that did it for me!  After trying so many other brands that didn’t even last through lunch, I was a bit discouraged.  This cream deodorant was different.  In the first few days of using it, I would put it on at 8am and go straight through o 4pm before I felt a bit of dampness in my armpits (fortunately no stinky smells!).   After 5 days, it lasted from morning to evening no problem.  It took a bit of time to adjust to the manual application, but again time solves that issue!

To use, one pump on your fingers and then rub under your armpit.  Leave it to air dry before you put your top on.  Remember a little goes a long way! 

FRESH deodorant

Weleda Sage Deodorant

After I did an armpit detox (more on that later) I found I didn’t need a heavy deodorant like Ringana.  I still wanted something just in case – for those unexpected moments!  This one does the trick and is light, fresh and smells herbaceous.  I like that it’s in a glass bottle, but good to note Weleda also has roll-ons if you prefer that style, as well as different scents including pomegranate and citrus.  

Sage Deodorant 100ml

Practical Recommendations

Read labels!!

Give yourself time.  Time for your armpits to adjust and also time to find the right brand that works for you.  

Try an armpit detox to cleanse your armpits from all the toxins stored up over time.  Take advantage of time during a holiday… or better yet as we are in another lockdown when you’re not seeing as many people.