As the heat and humidity prove that summer is really here, it’s time to think of those around you. You do not want to offend family, friends or co-workers.
Most people turn to commercial antiperspirants to solve this problem, but as we have pointed out many times, they all contain aluminum salts. That is an FDA requirement or you can’t call your product an antiperspirant. The aluminum plugs sweat glands in order prevent perspiration. Some people report that aluminum is irritating and it leads to a rash. Others fear absorption of aluminum from their underarms. One reader was convinced that her antiperspirant affected her brain:
“Aluminum chlorohydrate present in many underarm deodorants causes my short term memory to be flaky. I proved it to myself by using and not using it before I heard of aluminum chlorohydrate being in the products; the results of bad short-term memory were quite dramatic…I could not hold a fact for long enough to walk across a room.” D.B.
Many visitors to this website have offered a variety of non-aluminum tips for controlling body odor.
“I have had antiperspirant itching and irritation for years. Then I tried taking clove oil and a carrier oil (I use argon) and put on a drop each day. I love the smell of cloves and it really works. The amount of each will depend on your tolerance.” S.W.
That seems a bit messy to us and we’re not sure whether clove oil (and argon) would be safe for everyone. Some people may be allergic to clove oil. Here is another suggestion:
“I believe in KISS [keep it simple stupid], so here is what works for me as a deodorant, which I only apply every four days or even less frequently. The solution of white vinegar is diluted 1 to 1 with water and applied with a small piece of reusable cloth (which I store in a small plastic bag between uses). This works, as near as I can figure, by greatly reducing the odor-causing bacteria (which I believe are alkaline loving) due to the vinegar’s high acid level. The cost of the vinegar used is only pennies. A liter of vinegar would last me probably 3 years.
“Giving credit where credit is due, I heard about using vinegar as a deodorant on The People’s Pharmacy.” Russ
Then there is milk of magnesia. We heard about using this old-fashioned laxative topically on the underarms several years ago. Since then many people tell us it is a safe and gentle solution to the body odor problem. Here is just one such message.
“I have been using the People’s Pharmacy MoM deodorant for over a year now and although I sweat, I do not have much of an odor. I am not allergic to the ingredients in it. So far so good!
“I just wish I wouldn’t have to order it online every time. I would like to be able to purchase it OTC where I live.” Renee