Let's Talk Pits--Armpits, That Is!

by Lee Ann Hopkins August 05, 2019

armpits and the dangers of antiperspirant

              Armpits get such a bad rap.  Yes, they are the wettest, hairiest, and maybe, the stinkiest areas of the body, but they serve an incredible function for us.  In this small junction between the arm and the body’s torso, the axilla (yep, armpit) protects 20 or so lymph nodes and soft tissue.  Why is that important, you ask?  Those lymph nodes filter out toxins and help fight infection in the body.

              Sweat and the bacteria in your armpit area are as natural and important as other functions within our physical systems.  The hair that grows in the armpit and groin is to help wick moisture and all those bad toxins and waste products away from our bodies.  Unfortunately, for those in western cultures, having underarm hair as a woman is highly controversial.  The expectation is that we will simply shave.  “Get rid of it!” the commercials blare at us.  That too is troubling because without the hair, there is actually more sweat build-up and ruined clothes with armpit stains.  Often, more smell as well since the composition of the underarms microbiome is changed.

              Enter modern-day deodorants and antiperspirants.  Ah, but wait!  Toxic chemicals (even carcinogens) fill those plastic roll-on bottles that promise to relieve us of our pungent state. Here are just a handful of these harmful ingredients.  Aluminum compounds stop the sweating by clogging the pores, which inhibit your pits from secreting the toxins your body wants to get rid of. Since you can't secrete the toxins, guess where they go?  Back into your body! Yikes!  Parabens are preservatives that disrupt hormonal production.  Triclosan is a pesticide that kills bacteria in the manufacturing process (of product production) and on contact with skin. Propylene Glycol—also harmful to the body—causes damage to the central nervous system, heart and liver.  These are dangerous and scary ingredients to put on your skin, let alone the sensitive skin under the arm.

              So why would we ever use toxic products to stop the sweat under the arms?  Good question. (Isn’t it odd that we use toxins to STOP toxins from leaving the body?) This is something we all need to consider.  I’ve not even discussed the connection between antiperspirants and dementia, Alzheimers, breast and prostate cancer.  Let me just say that the connections are strong and that they are so strong an immediate switch to all-natural deodorants is mandatory according to most oncologists.

              The takeaway for me is that our armpits are incredible toxin releasers and that we shouldn’t inhibit them from doing their job.  Can we help with the strong odors?  Sure we can, but we must do so as naturally and as non-obtrusively as possible.  Hey, if it were up to me I’d push for keeping the underarm hair and using Do Good Soaps and Suds’ Wing Bars!  If you can’t give up shaving, fine.  Make sure that you use an all-natural deodorant like DG's Wing Bars, not an antiperspirant.

Lee Ann Hopkins
Lee Ann Hopkins


Chief soapologist and lover of all-things-Do-Good, especially those souls who cherish the earth and do their best to protect it.

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