Last summer, I decided to go antiperspirant free. This is my story.
My struggle with antiperspirant has been real since I was a teenager. You see, I’m a sweater. There, I said it. I sweat. A lot. My sweat production calmed down a lot after the puberty phase (Did anyone else pit out through sweatshirts? Yes? No? Just me? Okay.), but for the most part, my pits were always moist. The only thing that ever seemed to stop the sweating was the nighttime deodorant Certain Dri. Use it for 3 nights, your pits will dry up like a desert for a week. You might get a burning itchy sensation if you apply to much, or too often, or use it after shaving or showering. You might even wake up and have itched yourself raw in the middle of the night, but speaking as someone who pitted out sweatshirts, it was totes worth it.
I was a sweater.
Until I stopped using antiperspirant.
Wait, what? Hold up. You what? Why?
I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourself why someone who sweats excessively would stop using antiperspirant. Let me answer that for you.
First, to clear things up, I still use deodorant. Old Spice in fact. More on that on an upcoming post about Pink Tax.
The main difference between antiperspirant and deodorant is that the former contains an ingredient, usually aluminum based, that prevents you from sweating while the latter does not. All of my reasons for ditching antiperspirant involve that pesky little ingredient.
#1: Health Reasons
There’s much debate on whether the aluminum in antiperspirant is linked to things like breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Do I buy into the propaganda? Not really. WebMD has a great article about the origins of these claims and lack of evidence. While I’m no saint when it comes to what I put on my body, I am health conscious, and if I can cut out a chemical, I will.
#2: It Didn’t Work
This was my main reason for cutting antiperspirant from my routine. Remember the paragraph above about how I was a sweater? Why put something on my body that doesn’t even work?
#3: It Ruined My Clothing
Technically this wasn’t a reason until after the fact, but it’s as good as any. When I’d sweat (refer to #2), the aluminum absorbed into my shirts and left nasty stiff residue that discolored the material. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
#4: Little Black Dress Approved My Ass
I’m not sure if the white residue that antiperspirant leaves behind (no matter how careful you are) is directly related to the aluminum or if there’s a conspiracy to make all female armpit products white. A chemist, I am not. But I found it impossible to find an antiperspirant that didn’t do this (and at the same time work).
At first, I went with a deodorant by Tom’s. A lot of YouTubers I watch had made the switch to natural deodorant, and they all said the same thing: It takes about a month for your body to detox the aluminum and adjust. Is that true? I’m not sure. Let me start by saying it was a rough transition, but I blame Tom’s.
I sweated like a whore in church and I smelled AWFUL. Like wash the pits when I got home awful because every time I moved my arm I could smell myself. But it wasn’t a bad BO scent; it was just… bad. One day I went without deodorant and realized that this scent didn’t plague me throughout the day. Not knowing if Tom’s was to blame or if my body had finally detoxed, I ran an experiment. I used Tom’s on one pit, and I stole Nick’s Old Spice deodorant for the other.
I’ve used Old Spice ever since.
After about a month, the most miraculous thing happened: I stopped sweating. Sure I sweat when I work out. I mean, the rest of my body sweats, so why do I need dry pits? Sometimes I get the nervous sweats, but I got those with antiperspirants. I had ALL the sweats with antiperspirants. If I forget to wear deodorant, I get a little stinky by the end of the day, but not sweaty.
Sure it’s not natural, but I was never on this journey to use a natural deodorant. I just wanted to cut out the aluminum. And let me tell you, the selection of men’s deodorant is astounding. My preferred flavor is Wolfthorn. It smells like fruit punch. And it hasn’t ruined my clothing. And it doesn’t leave white marks. The packaging isn’t feminine, and I don’t care. It keeps me smelling fresh, and that’s what matters.
If you use antiperspirant and it works for you, fantastic! Don’t change a thing. If you sweat even when you use antiperspirant, if your clothes are being ruined because of it, then consider switching to a deodorant for a month. Maybe you’ll sweat more. But if you sweat the same or less, isn’t deodorant the better alternative?
Let me know your thoughts and what you use in the comments below!