Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Great Deodorant Conundrum: the struggle is real

Recently I ran out of deodorant.

Usually, in my cushy Western lifestyle, this isn’t a huge deal, as I’d march down to the grocery store and by a new one before the current one ran out – okay, who am I kidding, I’d likely have a deodorant stash from all those BOGO deals that I am guilty of buying into. Every. Single. Time. But where I am, currently, deodorant is one of those annoyingly “expensive” things. I mean, not all forms of deodorant are, just most. And I’ve been having a hard time finding my favourite cheap brand. 

Anyway… this lack of deodorant has left me thinking… to replace or just shower more. So I did a quick pros/cons list* and this is what I came up with:

The fine print...
*because the “cost” of water is included in my rent
**… or manly, because men’s deodorant is an estimated 473% less expensive than women’s
***… new challenge?
**** which probably isn’t so healthy.
But after completing this less than convincing or scientific list, I decided to take it one step further and conduct a mini research project on the pros and cons of using deodorant (or not). Here are my findings:

Showering, in general, is a pretty good practice. However like anything there is good and bad.

When it comes to showering less, the outcomes of doing so maintains some of the good bacteria that is needed to keep us healthy (remember, kids, not all bacteria are bad bacteria!). It also means we get to keep that protective layer of dead skin we carry around with us all day! Yeah, it sounds yucky, but they actually help prevent the bad bacteria from entering our system (or however that works… I’m just a blogger, not a skin scientist, people!)! Showering less also enables our bodies to not rid itself of the naturally occurring oils that are there to keep our skin nice and healthy.

But this doesn’t mean we should stop showering altogether. In fact, showering is actually quite good for us. Some of the known benefits of showering include the promotion of blood circulation, improves lung function, and reduces muscle tension and stress (although, I’m not so sure how much uber-cold showers apply to these categories!). Showering can also reduce sugar levels, boost the immune system, make us go night night (or get sleepy) and can even treat depression! Plus, it removes all the nasty toxins and bacteria from the exterior of our bodies! In other words, showering is good… but all in moderation.

Now, when it comes to deodorant, there’s a whole series of information that blew my mind! To start it works by eliminating the presence of bacteria (the culprits of your (or my!) smelly pits!). This is achieved through the addition of various ingredients that help to reduce bacteria formation (usually aluminum, which actually plugs your sweat glands, and sounds anything but good). Then, a perfume is generally added to keep you smelling fresh, just in case some of those pesky little buggers get in there!

With that in mind, if ever you need a reason or two to not wear the stuff this – or these – are it! The use of deodorant has been found to be one of the causes of breast cancer, and it can also change estrogen levels (like I need help with that!). It’s also been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which also happens to not be such a great potential side effect. Deodorants can cause allergic reactions, such as irritation of the skin or rashes, and it can even stain your clothes (yeah, you all know what I’m talking about… I’m sure most of us have a pile of white t-shirts with lovely yellow pit stains. Thanks, deodorant! *cheesy smiley face*). Apparently in some extreme cases, because many deodorants contain ingredients such as propane and butane (who knew?!), it can actually lead to death through inhalation of the fumes. But again… that’s a fairly infrequent happenstance! It’s also important to note that just because you use deodorant means you will definitely get cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s just to outline a few of the identified negative outcomes that can happen if it’s used.

Feeling a little down now? Well, here’s something I never knew before – did you know that when you shower a lot, it prevents your body from processing the vitamin D you absorb from le soleil? Crazy!

Ultimately, I caved bought deodorant, even though I am a little terrified of my estrogen levels blowing up even more than they already naturally do, while forgetting I have breast cancer because I’ve also got Alzheimer’s disease**. But, hey! - at least this is one thing I appear not to be allergic to?! And, really, it’s a good thing I did, too, because it’s been an average of 31°C every day for the last few weeks, which I’m sure you can only guess would have left me pretty stinky! Also, by purchasing my new thing of deodorant, it led to a delightful discussion with a gas station attendant about how he, too, uses my preferred brand. So, there – good things come out of potentially scary things. …I guess.

-the Orange Canadian

*Yeah, that’s right – I dared to use Comic Sans! What are you going to do about it?
**This isn’t actually something to joke about, and I apologize if anyone gets offended by this. But to be fair, both run in my family, so it is a possibility. 

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