I was probably around 14 the first time I heard about deodorant being linked to breast cancer. I walked into the bathroom, and Mom was holding a small plastic container with two tiny glass bottles and a makeup sponge in it.
"What is that?" I asked while pre-rolling my eyes because she had recently started her journey of a healthier lifestyle that I'd make fun of, calling her things like Granola Barb.
"Tea tree & lavender essential oil. It's my new deodorant because regular deodorant causes cancer. Here- smell it."
It smelled like I was sweeping my nostrils with a rotten flower dipped in pond sludge while chewing on a turd. It smelled like dirt. It smelled like Earth.
"I'll stick to my 48-hour anti-sweat, anti-stank, cancer-causing, smells-like-teen-spirit pit stick, thank you." and continued rolling my eyes thinking, come on Granola Barb. Barbarian. Barbwire. There's no way they'd sell this shit EVERYWHERE if it causes cancer.
But they did.
And they still do.
I share this story because it sticks out in my mind as a seed being planted. The pit stick seed, and the essential oil seed that would later become a massive part of my daily living.
I used conventional antiperspirant/deodorant for several years after this, but I thought about what it was doing to my body every time I put it on. Search it up once.
"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-containing underarm antiperspirants, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and have estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen can 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. In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast." -www.cancer.gov
And that's just one side effect. There are about a bazillion others.
What blows my mind, is that Mom knew this back then. This was in the late 1900's. The times of Oregon Trail and glow-in-the-dark stars on your bedroom ceiling. Before the interwebs had Gs. When every other ad in Seventeen magazine was for something to help you not smell like adolescent, locker room, hormonal stank.
As part of her new way of living, Mom began taking vitamins and supplements, replacing soda with water and cleaned up her diet, eating only whole foods that come from God's vagina, which meant the rest of our lives were slowly being cleaned up in the process. At the time, I'm just like BUT PRESERVATIVES ARE SO DELICIOUS. AND IM NOT GOING TO SCHOOL SMELLING LIKE A DIRTY HIPPY. But hind sight, I can't help but be grateful for this transition in her, it eventually helped me see how I wanted to live my own life.
Now, if I do wear deodorant, it's a safe version without a bunch of garbage in it, but I usually just use whatever essential oil is handy, if anything at all. What I've noticed is, I only really stink if my diet is shitty. Makes sense, right? If I eat a bunch of sugar or anything with fake-ass ingredients in it, my body responds by sending it right out my pit holes. I eat a cake and bag of Doritos for breakfast and I totally see my body rolling its eyes at me the same way I used to at Barb. But since it can't roll it's eyes, it shoots foul-smelling body secretions out my crevices. You're welcome for the visual.
This totally turned into a PSA, which wasn't my initial intention. But here we are. Consider it a bonus. While you're at it, consider everything you put on your body on a regular basis. Chances are, it could be doing more harm than good.
There's a website you can check to see the potential danger in most products you use. And an app so you can scan it right from the store before you buy it. You'll be surprised at how unclean your daily body-care ritual actually is. I'm not trying to scare you, but to help you be more aware so you can make better, healthier choices for yourself and your family.
Back to my initial intention, my sweet little love nugget, Granola Barb, is my whole reason. She's my gateway granola. I'm so grateful to have been taught and brought up this way. She taught me early what she learned late. And she still does. Now, I'm able to make better and healthier choices for my family based on what I've learned from her. Not only that, it's helped me delve deeper into the world of natural healing and remedies, which has played a massive role in me saving my own life.