Saturday, March 27, 2010

Risk Management for Arm Pits

Last January, I began making some lifestyle changes, including with my anti-perspirant. (Sorry to be writing about such a personal topic as this. If you aren't comfortable, use your browser to re-direct yourself elsewhere.) At the time, I was hard core sweaty, so I used the strongest anti-perspirant on the market to prevent "embarrassing perspiration stains and odor."

My concern was with all that "power" to prevent perspiration, I was building up more and more aluminum in my body. Aluminum is used in many anti-perspirants. Aluminum is found also in pans (even stainless steel pans may be bonded with aluminum), old home wiring, aluminum foil, buffered aspirin, and antacids. Exposure to high levels of aluminum is suspected to be a factor in Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer.

While scientists studied further the relationship between aluminum toxicity and disease, I concluded that it was time for a change. I've had my share of "abnormal" test results pointing to higher risk of breast cancer. Why increase the odds? So I went to Whole Foods and found a wide selection of "natural" deodorants, but little in the way of anti-perspirants. Deodorants mask the smell of perspiration odor. Anti-perspirants suppress the perspiration in the first place. Ideally I wanted both.

I figured a little market testing would be fun and useful, so I purchased several different brands and types. A few of my purchases turned out to be a waste of money. I smelled like fresh apricots, and sweat like a pig. But my test paid off.

What I quickly learned is that Desert Essence Dry By Nature worked as well as the anti-perspirant I had been using. What I have learned over time is that this deodorant is effective, and it lasts far longer. Previously anti-perspirant was a monthly purchase and Desert Essence a quarterly one. (If I smell bad, will one of you please let me know?) I also like Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil deodorant. These deodorants contain no aluminum, animal ingredients, alcohol, artificial color or synthetic perfumes.

A must end with a little disclaimer. Desert Essence did not pay me to endorse their products. Although I am not a scientist or a medical doctor, I love to read about medical topics, including disease prevention. Call it "enlightened self interest." I understand generally the level of scientific study required to prove conclusive association between use of a substance and onset of a disease. That said, I am not claiming that deodorants containing aluminum cause Alzheimer's or breast cancer. But the use of aluminum-containing deodorants was a risk I was no longer willing to take. Fortunately, there are at least a couple alternatives available.

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