i've been trying to find a deodorant option that both creates less waste and also avoids possibly harmful aluminum content. i want to be as clear as i can about the perceived dangers of antiperspirant use. it is not my intention to scare anyone. there are many sites including my go-to medical site, mayoclinic.org who state, "There's no conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants with breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute and other research."
i was curious about where the thought that antiperspirant could be linked to breast cancer came from. this article from aforementioned national cancer institute was very interesting to me-especially numbers 2 and 3.
in this article, the national cancer institute states, "Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer."
they go on to conclude, "Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved."
my personal take away is not only that there is no conclusive evidence linking antiperspirant to breast cancer, but that there is no conclusive evidence to say that there is no link. i'm choosing to acknowledge this in my deodorant search. :)
ok- so... i've read many reviews of different products that don't contain aluminum and chose these three to try. it can be frustrating to read a good review and then get to the disclaimer where the reviewer reveals that they have never really been a big sweat-er. well, i sweat. i am probably a medium sweat-er. not a ton on days when i don't get hot or exercise, i guess. but when i'm hot, i sweat. when i exercise, i sweat. i don't like to sit still all day if it's hot out, so i like antiperspirant. i hate feeling sweaty, and i hate being smelly. so here are my reviews. :)
tom's aluminum free deodorant: not antiperspirant…doesn't claim to be. feels sticky. fine when i'm not hot, but doesn't do much otherwise. i wore this when i knew i'd just be sitting at home and not moving around much. i don't think i'll be buying this again.
fat & the moon deodorant cream: not antiperspirant…doesn't claim to be. most natural ingredients. i bought this thinking that if it worked as well as all the reviews i read said it did, i would try making my own deodorant with similar ingredients. ordering online and dealing with all the mailing packaging is not low-waste + it's pricey. i started wearing this when there were still warm days here and there. i would keep applying it over and over, because i could start to smell myself. my clothes started coming out of the washer with oily pits. not a huge success for me.
crystal body deodorant: this deodorant doesn't have the "harmful" aluminum, but does contain another type of aluminum with particles that are apparently too big to enter the skin and do "harmful" things. i've been using this most days. you wet the crystal and apply normally, then wipe the crystal dry. i've been using this on and off for a year and can't see any decrease in the size of the crystal. when i need to purchase this again, i will avoid the plastic container by choosing one that comes in cardboard packaging.
my conclusion, at this point, is that i will be using the crystal. if i need to, i will just wipe the sweat off and reapply during the day. if i need something stronger on some summer days, i guess i will use antiperspirant. i don't like to smell, and i will at least have been drastically decreasing the amount of aluminum i absorb throughout the year. as i write this, it seems kind of ridiculous to use something you believe might be harmful. i can always change my mind or hopefully find another alternative.
added June 2017 :: I've finally found the trick to sticking with the crystal deodorant through all the hot days...trust. Just trust that it will work. it will. The smell that broke through before probably came from wearing antiperspirant the day(s) before. If I just stick with the crystal (no switching back + forth with antiperspirant) + put it on before I start to sweat, I don't smell. :) Yay! That's a big deal for me! I'm still using the same stick of crystal. When I need to replace it, I will buy one not packaged in plastic.
have you found a great alternative to aluminum in deodorant that works on hot days? do share!
jane: i settled in to meet with the Lord. after a bit, i peeked through the curtain next to me and saw the most beautiful sunrise spread across my view. it felt as if He painted it there just for me, saying, "I'll be here every morning, will you?"
we love clothing and our simple wardrobes, but ultimately it's not about the clothes we wear. it's about the lives we live while wearing the clothes.
i mentioned my struggle to find a sweater earlier this autumn, so i wanted to let you know what i ended up with. i've been using only these 3 sweaters this autumn and winter: two cardigans and a pullover. the pullover is my new purchase, and it is merino wool. it is not from a necessarily fair-trade source. although the company does have a social responsibility statement, i would have like to have had a clearer ethical win. i feel satisfied that at least i kept my consumption low, i searched extensively, bought something made of a natural fiber and classic style that i like, so will keep it a long time. maybe i will think further ahead for next cold season and try again to knit a sweater?? for now, i'm happy and warm! :)
hope you are keeping cozy too!
this little favorite came about accidentally. we'd been enjoying avocado toast and tuna sandwiches for lunches. on this day, i realized we were out of mayo to mix with the tuna and wondered if we could use mashed avocado instead. we tried it, and now it is a staple.
avocado tuna toast
1 can tuna
1 avocado, mashed
sprouted grain bread, toasted
top with salt, pepper or pepper flakes, but also great plain. serves 3 or 4 around here, depending who is lunching at the time.
jane + jo + julia
jane: i do not know where it originated, but i imagine it was not in this internet age. this idea of choosing a single word to focus on with the new year…a word to spark real change deep in the heart and soul. some ancient farmer with time to think on his solitary, frigid walk out to feed the cows probably thought of it. a tired, overwhelmed mother waking in the wee hours to feed a fussing babe near the freshly stoked fire probably mulled it over. introspection is not a new concept...the desire to change oneself is evident throughout time…and the new year has always been a time of new beginnings.
i have not always chosen a word, but this year i have. my word for 2015 is "health". last year brought evidence that a change in my health could take place. more books were actually finished, tasks were crossed off the list with a bit more regularity, my body felt a little better and looked a little leaner, time was made for making and creating. this year, health is something i want to further apply in all the categories mentioned in my last post…spiritual health (spending more regular time in God's word and committing it to memory, praying, serving, thanking), health of mind (studying, learning, and thought on material possessions), and physical health (eating and exercising). it can be complex…there are so many areas to keep track of. but it can also be quite simple...i can ask myself, "does this decision or action contribute to my health?"
for now, i am going to schedule and plan for all areas (mentioned here) as they are all part of each day. but i think i will especially focus in on one area per month in an effort to truly reflect, educate myself, and ultimately move toward greater health. my goal is to live my life in a concert of overall health.
jo: i am taking this concept very slightly differently... i love it and i love the simplicity and the potential for layers that it brings. perhaps i am scaling it back to its base... to introspection itself. there was a time that i deliberately quieted my mind so that i wouldn't have to hear it yelling, so that i wouldn't be so sad/upset, so that i could "enjoy" being so far from home in one cold room with my family. this might have been fine for short term coping, but then i realized that i can't always turn my thoughts and feelings back on… and that that is not really okay. i wouldn't say that i don't think at all or that i don't feel at all, but i want to hear every thought and feel every feeling. my mind is quiet and i want it to speak clearly. i don't just want to stare into space and think about myself, but i want to grow.
this is what introspection really should be. awareness- but also growth. and so my word(s), my theme, is "grow the desert land".
so yes, i would love to connect again with what i think and feel and why. but i also want to grow my knowledge of global (and local) causes and my own beliefs about them. and i want to grow spiritually, because this is the core of introspection, the water by which a desert land is flourished.
so i have books to read and journals to fill... and words to whisper.
jane: you've likely heard of the idea to choose a word or phrase to guide your intention in this new year. have you chosen one? how do you intend to let it guide you, to let it change you and your perspective? we would truly love to hear!
jane + julia
i see this tag line everywhere this time of year…it's well meaning, but…really? that's a lot of pressure to come up with a whole new me every year! :)
as just the same me, i do like to get out my clean new calendar and planner at the new year and look at all the possibility in those blank pages. i like to take a deep breath and imagine that i am starting fresh (although any day can work just as well as january 1). i'm not much for resolutions, but i do like to evaluate what i'd like to improve and then make a doable plan to…well, improve.
i like pen and paper, so i have a notebook in which there is a heading, "areas i want to work on". there are categories: God, health & fitness, eating, relationships, waste, and stuff (material possessions). i visit these pages often. time is taken to think about and record what i'd like these areas to look like in my life. next i try to put these goals into actionable daily, weekly, and monthly plans. planning is a main component of carrying out my goals, so i write out times for planning and reevaluating each area too.
for example, let's look at my God category. in my notebook, i wrote that i would like to read my bible every day, do eucharisteo (thanksgiving), memorization, study (on christian life and God), and service. a couple notes and quotes are also written there…"He is my master, not my hobby." "My heart has heard You say, 'come and talk with me.' and my heart responds, 'Lord, i am coming.' psalms 27:8" my actionable plan is to read scripture, pray, write things i am thankful for in my thankful journal, and read over my memorization verse in the morning each day (a particular time and place is set). i will read a book or two related to christian living in the afternoons or evenings. at the beginning of each month, i will plan what books and scripture verses to memorize and also a service project. that way i will have a scheduled time both for planning and doing. i wrote, "commit and do!" in my planning section.
reflect, plan, commit, do…repeat.
i'm not really a rigidly organized person. i can get kind of loosey-goosey about things, so my objective is to accomplish my goals…but not beat myself up about a missed day here or there. flexibility is available, but moving forward with intention is the priority. i want my home to be clean, but most of all allow for enjoyable living. i want to be healthy and fit, but to enjoy the amazingness of cheesecake if presented with it on the rare occasion. the thing is that my house will only be clean…and i will only be fit, if i normally keep it clean and eat well.
the new year is a good time to reevaluate these pursuits...but ultimately, it's about living a good, intentional life…not becoming a new me.
i'd love to hear what areas you want to work on this year!
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time