Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Evils of Antiperspirant

On with my week of the world of Ken's personal grooming.

This is a philosophy that my brother has adhered to for years, and because it is among the most counter-intuitive theories I have ever heard, I pushed back against it for many moons. This concept holds that antiperspirant actually causes the body to sweat more than just wearing deodorant. "CRAZY!" you say? I thought so too, but I am a complete and total convert to the joys of deodorant-sans-aluminum.

Steve postulates that antiperspirant, when applied, acts as a firm but extremely temporary barrier against the sweats. However, as your body wants and needs to sweat, the heat builds and it pushes against this barrier until, eventually, this barrier breaks down. At this point, the floodgates are open and you are going to have all kinds of sweaty armpits. The antiperspirant experiences a critical failure event from which it cannot recover.

Now, I have have suffered from the malady of sweaty body parts for my whole life. I had tried every single brand, scent, and type of antiperspirant out there. Solids, gels, solid gels, and soft solids have all failed in their effort to keep me from sweating. I've even tried products marketed specifically to not-men, because hell, they couldn't possibly be worse than all of the previous failures. There was a brief period of time where I experienced some success with the clickable Old Spice Red Zone, but like the borg, my body adapted and learned how to defeat this brand. Most recently, I felt optimistic when some of the more mainstream companies started producing and marketing "prescription strength" antiperspirants which recommend you go out of your way to put them on at night and slaughter a lamb as a sacrifice to ensure successful wetness defeating. I tell you all this because I need you to know that I have done, seen, and tried it all in this realm of consumer packaged goods. For business meetings, I had conceded to the fact that for my entire life, I would never be able to wear anything other than a white colored shirt.

Several months ago, fed up with years of failure, I finally gave in to at least trying Steve's anti-antiperspirant theory because, again, it couldn't be worse than the rest. After one day of trial, I was a convert. I could sit through and present in meetings with nary a wet spot. I could not believe how much of an instant difference it could make - specifically with a product intended to be the more wet version of the product that made me crazy wet. Since this time, I have continued to successfully and happily use only deodorant. I have also started to spread this theory to other people I know and, at the very least, they were happy to report that they were not sweating any more than if they were using the devil's product, antiperspirant. As added benefits, the aluminum that is in antiperspirant is what turns the armpits in our favorite t-shirts that depressing shade of yellow and, some people hypothesize, could have some sort of cancerous implications. Cancerous as in cancer, though this is still only alleged.

To this day, I continue to find it crazy that the product intended to do one thing has the complete opposite and deleterious effect. Whole world, rebel against antiperspirant. Embrace your friend in deodorant and overcome your doubt. It took me years to finally give it a shot, but now when I'm at a sporting event, I can throw my arms into the air for the wave like all the other Sure fans.


Tank said...

excellent post sir! of course, without realizing it, I had been adhering to your rules and have been using deodorant (not antiperspirant) for a long, long time.

It just isn't good to not allow the body to sweat or breathe where it is supposed to sweat or breathe. Instead, just make it smell nice.

Daniel J. said...

I already commented on this on your facebook so I figured I'd copy paste it here, oh and I did read the whole thing when I came here, Steve's on the button. Also stop using regular soaps and shampoos. Stop drinking and showering in Sodium Fluoride, a known sedative and attacks the frontal lobe (cognitive center). Stop eating gmo foods (the labeling is fraudulent because of the FDA and their con games. So much more going on become self-sufficient, grow your own food with non-hybrid heirloom seeds not gmo seeds that only last one year. I could on for days, but here's the facebook comment:
I didn't even read this beyond the first paragraph, but your brother is absolutely correct. Not only do typical antipersperants make your body less able to control sweat glands, it also contains extremely toxic aluminum that helps to control sweating for very temporary periods. Your body becomes used to the aluminum and loses it's capacity to ... Read Morecontrol sweat on it's own. It's a great business strategy because of cyclical consumption. You'll go back and keep buying more because you'll be a sweaty mess without it because you've literally altered your body's defense system and chemical composition to a small extent. I use a aluminum-free deodorant(not antipersperant) to freshen up smell every once in a while. I rarely sweat and don't use antipersperants. Business men are smarter than you think, and they literally control populations in so many more ways than just this.