The first line of defense against underarm sweat and odor are antiperspirants and deodorants. Non-invasive, topical and available in a number of different strengths including regular and clinical strength over-the-counter options, as well as prescription options. However, many are deciding to ditch traditional deodorants and antiperspirants in favor of something either more natural or less intrusive to their health and lifestyle for various reasons.
Why Choose an Alternative to Deodorant and Antiperspirant?
First, a growing number of people have increasing concerns over the health risks involved with the regular use of deodorant/antiperspirant, as aluminum-based compounds are the main active ingredient in virtually all high strength antiperspirants. The US FDA allows over-the-counter antiperspirants to consist of between 15 and 25 percent aluminum, which temporarily plugs sweat ducts, stopping the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. In recent years, fears have been raised that frequent application of aluminum-based antiperspirants on the skin near the breast may lead to significant absorption by the body and result in estrogen-like hormonal changes, potentially leading to the development of breast cancer. It’s important to point out that the American Cancer Society has noted that the research is inconclusive; nevertheless, many women, especially those at high-risk for breast cancer, would prefer to not chance it. Second, certain ingredients, such as alcohol, aluminum, and baking soda can irritate sensitive skin. Some deodorant substitutes that are derived from gentle ingredients can help keep sweat and irritation at bay, but only very temporarily, with frequent re-application required. Third, many find that the daily application of deodorant (or even re-application!) is just not enough to control their excessive underarm sweating, also known as auxiliary hyperhidrosis, which affects just under 3% of the population. Finally, many are just tired of fighting deodorant residue stains, as well as yellow underarm stains on their clothing.