Every day hundreds of millions of people around the US end their bathing/showering process by applying a fresh application of anti-perspirant deodorant to the open pores of their underarms. It is very important to most that as they move around throughout their day participating in school, work, and other activities that they maintain a fresh and clean feeling and appearance. Afterall, regardless of the activities people participate in, no one wants to be caught smelling foul or drenched in unsightly arm pit stains, right? The body releases sweat as a way to cool down the internal environment as it interacts with the external environment, this process is known as thermoregulation. The armpits are one of several primary locations on the body that holds a large concentration of “eccrine” sweat glands, which produces a clear odorless fluid. The other type of sweat gland that is in a smaller concentration in this same area is referred to as the “apocrine” glands that secretes a fatty thicker fluid into the hair follicles. The difference is that the fluid released from the apocrine sweat glands produces odor when it comes into contact with bacteria found on the surface of the skin. The more bacteria the stronger the odor.
In addition to thermoregulation, both sweat glands respond to other cell signals passed down from the nervous system that involve hormonal changes, emotions, and physical activity. When the tag line, “never let them see you sweat” by Dry Idea was released in their media ads it captured the idea that as people we want to appear cool and calm even when we are not. If given the chance our armpits would reveal the hidden truth of the varied emotions we encounter throughout each day that makes us heated, nervous, and in some cases downright terrified about what is about to happen next. Whether it is dealing with a disgruntled romantic partner, a job presentation, running late for an appointment, or an unfamiliar social encounter, our armpits is one designated area that will “tell the truth” about our true level of confidence in those situations. Instead as a nation, many people have become blinded by sweet aromas of powder springs or mountain fresh scents of antiperspirant to help exude an outer confidence of looking cool at all times, even during the most nerve-wracking situations.
Every time you spray-on, roll-on, or glide-on an application of antiperspirant you are exposing your body to an aluminum-based compound that is the active ingredient designed to block sweat glands before they reach the surface of the skin. Let’s be clear that sweat is imperative to human survival so that the body can co-exist with an external environment. The sweat released from the apocrine glands contains water, sodium chloride, protein, and carbohydrate waste material. Never letting them see you sweat then becomes a problem because pores are being blocked with a foreign toxic substance and waste material is not being released from the arm pits so the problem becomes two-fold. Why gamble with your health by applying products that can slowly accumulate into an overly toxic body and the medical problems that follow. Make a more informed choice about what type of deodorant is going to sustain you during your daily activities and give you the confidence to raise your hand because you are “sure” of both your answer and your cleanliness.
Ways to support your detoxification pathways and your clean appearance
1). Find a natural aluminum-free deodorant to use daily
2). Reserve antiperspirants for special occasions like a public speaking event, 1st date, or grand social engagement.
3). Wait at least 1 hour after showering and/or shaving before applying an antiperspirant to give pores an opportunity to close and reduce the chances of the product getting into the bloodstream via nicks in the skin.
4). Participate regularly in intentional activities such as exercise and saunas to allow your body to perspire all over.
5). If you are experiencing ongoing excessive sweating regardless of the type of daily activities you participate in, consult with your medical provider for further evaluation.
6). Always remember calmness and confidence is an inside job, not a 12-24 hours armpit application.