I never thought much about my armpits before. Defuzzing and deodorising was about the extent of it. Then I read The Nature of Beauty by Imelda Burke and my eyes were opened to the cocktail of chemicals I’d been swiping across my pits for decades.
The average anti-perspirant deodorant works on this principle: block the pores to stop them sweating then add fragrance to mask any BO.
The key ingredient in most anti-perspirants is aluminium salts that block and alter the function of sweat ducts. There’s been a lot of press about a possible connection between the chemicals in anti-perspirants and an increased risk of breast cancer. The science isn’t conclusive and there’s still much debate about it.
However, what I’ve learnt certainly got me thinking. Our body’s pretty amazing and it looks after itself well when we give it the right conditions. It repairs itself. Renews. Detoxifies. Warms itself up. Cools itself down.
If I’m blocking the sweat ducts in my armpits, I'm interfering with my body’s ability to cool itself. Now that's just silly.
So I went cold turkey. No deodorant for a week. I can only apologise to the people with whom I came into close contact.
Then I decided to try Aurelia Botanical Cream Deodorant for a month. It’s entirely natural, doesn’t block pores and works by absorbing sweat via a fine kaolin clay that sits on the surface of the skin. Any hint of BO is neutralised by eucalyptus oil.
It felt weird at first, rubbing a cream into my armpits. I’ve never before rubbed anything into them. Poor armpits. They’d only ever been shaved, waxed or swiped with a sticky liquid from a rollerball.
Now the morning ritual of rubbing a tiny amount (a little finger nail’s worth) of eucalyptus-scented powdery cream into each armpit feels like they’re getting the treatment they deserve. Skin’s skin after all. We lavish the rest of our body with creams, oils and ointments. Why not our armpits? It’s only fair that they get some TLC.
The verdict? Week one of using Aurelia was a particularly warm one in London and I did feel a bit damp under the arms. Now I think my pits have re-calibrated. Can they even do that? Does anyone know? And I don’t feel damp or sweaty or smelly in the slightest now.
I’ll never go back to waggling a plastic tube of chemicals at my underarms again. They deserve better. #loveyourpits