Here is a subject that should prove to be interesting and even a little controversial. Well then, let’s get started. Body odor is the result of bacteria, unfriendly bacteria to be precise. Here is how it works. Odor causing unfriendly bacteria feed on things like dead skin and hair cells and when these bacteria are exposed to moisture such as perspiration they produce waste and it’s this waste that causes odor. And when there is a lack of friendly bacteria to keep the unfriendly bacteria in check, offensive body odor is eminent. Body odor can affect a variety of areas on the body including feet, the groin area; mouth such as halitosis, sinuses, and most commonly the underarms.
Everyone has some degree of body odor. In fact, on a primitive instinctive level we use body odor to judge a sexual partner or potential mate. We are actually looking for specific variants different from our own odor in our potential mate so as to diversify the gene pool and increase health and disease resistance in our offspring. But the reality is that offensive body odor was largely a fabrication. The first deodorant arrived on the scene in the late 1800’s. The marketing was designed to prey on people’s insecurities and tell them they had a bad odor that was offensive to others and they needed to take action. But people did not smell as bad as they were made out to. In fact, throughout history, there is evidence that people were actually reluctant to bath even when given the opportunity. The reason was they felt that bathing would remove their body’s natural protection and in large part they were right. We can be certain that these people didn’t smell fresh as a daisy and were probably somewhat unpleasant to look at, but they did not necessarily stink either. The odors associated with these people would have been more a result of their environment such as barn or animal odors or odors from musty living conditions rather than actual unpleasant body odor as a result of unfriendly bacteria. The protective layer that they were reluctant to wash off would have been rich in friendly bacteria and therefore offered protection against infection and disease as well as odor. Therefore in today’s modern society, bathing in some degree, is responsible for body odor in the general population, resulting from the use of harsh soaps, chemicals, and antibacterial ingredients that disrupt the skins natural chemistry and protective qualities.
Deodorants and antibacterial soaps introduced by Corporate America essentially created the condition. They effectively kill all bacteria good and bad and the instant they are used they must be used again and again to control the odor and thus, a deodorant addict is born. The more the deodorant is used the more the bacteria become resistant just as with antibiotics. And then the more the deodorant must be used. Then in an effort to control odor even more antiperspirants are added to the equation. Antiperspirants clog the skins’ pores and prevent the skin from naturally sweating. Because the skin can’t breathe it also can’t rebuild any friendly bacteria and odor causing bacteria go even more unchecked. Even more alarming is that these antiperspirants contain ingredients like aluminum. Aluminum is a neurotoxin and affects the blood-brain barrier implicating a possible connection with Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum also spikes estrogen levels and elevated estrogen levels have been linked directly to cancer, mainly breast cancer.
I’ll use myself as an example here. The other members of my household have never used deodorants or antiperspirants and they have never had any detectable odors either. I on the other hand started using conventional deodorants and antiperspirants as a youngster. Having now been in the natural food business for many years I have used and experimented with very effective and much friendlier natural deodorants of various kinds. But I decided to go all the way and rid myself of deodorants altogether. I have to admit at first it was rough going and I wasn’t sure I could pull it off as I was constantly self-conscious about any possible odor. Admittedly there was odor off and on at first. From time to time if I over indulged the day before in some maybe not-so-healthy foods and habits I would interestingly enough experience an increase in odor the next day. I experimented with various hygiene techniques as well and in the end I would eventually be successful. For more tips on living odor free naturally see adjoining article (Odor Free Without Deodorants). As I write this article it has been approximately 2 ½ years since I stopped using deodorants and I am naturally odor free. After a lifetime of dependency on deodorants it’s a real sense of freedom and accomplishment to be rid of them for good.
There seems to be a general myth that adolescents will need deodorant. It’s true that during puberty a young person’s sweat glands will become more active. But providing they have a relatively clean diet and they haven’t already set the stage for dependency by using antibacterial soaps and deodorants, they have every opportunity to live deodorant free and odor free.
It is possible to live odor free naturally. This means having no detectable offensive body odor and achieving this naturally without the use of deodorants, perfumes, or harsh antibiotics. To do this requires much consideration. Your bodily functions and systems have to be firing on all cylinders. In general your overall lifestyle has to be healthy. The idea here is to treat the whole body to effectively treat this condition. You’ll need to re-evaluate every aspect of your life and daily routine from the foods you eat to the products you put on your body. But in the end it can be done.
Written by DMK of Seven Grains.