Don’t Sweat Over Antiperspirants

August in Morgantown means shorts, sunglasses and tank tops, while winter chills have students bundled from head to toe. With both the change in weather and wardrobes in mind, should we also be changing our deodorant?

During the warmer months antiperspirant is almost as important to me as remembering your student ID—especially if the day involves a hike up and down High Street—but as it grows colder, do we really need them? Are they as harsh on the body as people say?

There are typically two options to choose from when it comes to masking unpleasant smells: antiperspirants or deodorants. While both usually kill smelly bacteria, only antiperspirant products stop sweat production. What concerns many people about antiperspirants is the aluminum component. This ingredient is what saves your favorite shirt from developing stains in unwanted areas as aluminum temporarily blocks sweat glands.

For most, it is not the health of an armpit that raises red flags, but rather a fear of breast cancer since the armpits and breasts are located close together. Estrogen, a hormone found in a woman’s body, can help the development of cancerous cells. If absorbed by the skin, many worry the aluminum will act similarly to this hormone. Luckily, according to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, there are no recent studies heavily suggesting this to be true, but if anyone is considering a more natural approach for reasons like skin irritation or PH levels, there are plenty of organic products to investigate on the market.

According to New York Magazine, one of the best alternatives to an antiperspirant is a baking soda based product. Arm & Hammer’s Essentials Solid Deodorant is highly recommended on their website with a review of 4.7 out of 5 stars. It is made from natural plant extracts and pure baking soda. The deodorant provides a clean smell without any aluminum, parabens, colorants or animal-derived components.

Other products to test out are those that are corn, magnesium, charcoal or eucalyptus-based. Amazon provides a perfect platform for comparing prices and ingredients as their inventory for natural deodorants is expansive. When searching these products, buyers can even check off boxes next to components they feel are important. For example, one might select organic, ammonia free or fragrance-free to receive more tailored results.

Another helpful aspect of researching these products on Amazon are user reviews. A highly rated product on Amazon is MagSol’s Magnesium Deodorant. This product is made without aluminum, triclosan (an antibacterial and antifungal agent), parabens or other harsh ingredients. Based on consumer input, it seems like a nice smelling, non-irritative product that could replace an antiperspirant.

With all this in mind, it is important to consider personal preferences. Independent research is a good way to determine what you are comfortable applying to your underarms.