It shouldn’t be an easy sacrifice to make, but it seems a common occurrence for many to place their health on the backburner in favor of vanity. Considering all the various pressures to present ourselves in a particular way, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear of the great lengths people are willing to go to maintain a particular image.
These pressures start at a young age. For most, it all begins in Junior High—a time when our bodies start to change. A time when we feel awkward and out of place. A time when an acceptable self-image seems to be the most significant and essential component for self-preservation, and we find ourselves willing to do almost anything to save face in front of our peers.
That’s where all the makeup, hair products, and antiperspirants come in to play. As we struggle to keep up with the in-crowd and all the current trends, we lather our bodies in chemicals without recognizing that we’re doing more harm to our bodies than good. And unfortunately, these habits can follow us well into adulthood.
Our insecurities never seem to fade. We’re all aware of what can happen to the young man or woman who forgets to wear their deodorant. It’s social suicide, particularly at a young age. So, in order to save ourselves from the humiliation, we coat on the antiperspirant as thick as we can. Many of us still do it today. But in doing so, we never realize that we’re inhibiting one of the body’s natural processes.
Antiperspirants operate on the principle that if you don’t sweat, you don’t smell, and have been formulated to plug your sweat glands and pores. Aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium are the primary ingredients used to do this—toxic ingredients that target the lungs, bones, and the central nervous system, and can lead to serious health issues further down the road. Many of these health problems include: breast cancer, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.1
Animal studies show that aluminum in the nervous system results in the altered expressions of cytoskeletal genes, and damage structural proteins in brain cells, including the formation of phosphate-rich protein filaments. These proteins are seen in severe neurological diseases, including dementia, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, many people still insist on using antiperspirants and running the risk of serious health problems later in life. Why do our social fears continue to take precedence over our basic survival instinct? And what steps can we take to maintain acceptable hygiene, as well as optimal health?