Sunday, February 3, 2008

please don't kiss my armpits

Have you heard that antiperspirants are bad for you? I never had until recently when I was made aware of the aluminum properties that prevent you from sweating. I'm not a scientist, but from what I understand the aluminum enters your body from your armpits and gets into your brain. Many studies have tried to link the aluminum in antiperspirants and even antacids to Alzheimer's disease, but have never been able to show a clear link. This article from the UC Davis website pretty much sums up the lack of evidence for this disease causing sweat fighter.

Even though there isn't a clear link, why would you want to spread your armpits with that toxin anyway? I didn't. I went cold turkey on the antiperspirants thing. Now, I'm not going to lie. I stink. Well, not all the time. But if I go too long without wearing deodorant and I'm unable to go wash myself off really fast then I'm bound to be a little stinky and maybe its all in my head, maybe I think that everyone else can smell me when they can't, but I decided not to take that risk! I went out and purchased an all natural deodorant from a company that I love, Kiss My Face. I was so proud of myself for making this positive change in my life. I sniffed a lot of all natural deodorants before I made up my mind on the lavender scented one from Kiss My Face. I used if for about two weeks and overall I was happy with the product. I found myself having to reapply it periodically throughout the day. I started carrying it around with me just in case I started to smell a little funky. For instance, I went out to a night club where I knew I would sweat a lot and I found myself in the bathroom around midnight reapplying a new layer of deodorant. This product was good for covering up stink, but did not prevent it. I used this product up until yesterday when I discovered the nastiest rash on my pits. I was shopping with my friend at the mall when for some unknown reason I was drawn to a mirror where I decided it would be a good idea to look at my armpits. I don't know why I wanted to do this, maybe something deep down inside of me was telling me something was wrong. When I looked I noticed a bright red rash on my pits! I couldn't believe it. The left one was redder than the right one for some reason, but nonetheless, RED! I thought long and hard of all the reasons I could have a rash on my armpit because I couldn't believe that an all natural deodorant would be the culprit. Was it my vitamins I took in the morning? Maybe it was something weird I caught from the gym. Or maybe I tried on a shirt and someone spread their rash to me. I got a new purse that day, maybe it was rubbing my armpits the wrong way. When I got home my armpits were bright red and burning. I took a shower and washed off whatever was on my pits and then went straight to Google. I Googled my heart away to find out what could be causing my disgusting armpit rash. Then it was evident... my new deodorant. You see, I'm not the only victim. Many people have made their red pits known and we all have one thing in common: all natural deodorant. I'm not sure what in the deodorant causes this redness. I don't think its an allergic reaction, at least not for me. One poster wrote that it was her constant reapplying of the deodorant because it just didn't last long. When I think about it, I must have applied that deodorant 3 times within a 4 hour period yesterday. I applied it before I left the house, before my workout, and then after my shower. The good news? I discovered I can go several hours without deodorant before I start to smell! The bad news? Summer is coming. I did some more half-assed research and found that a lot of people are happy with the crystal deodorant made from some salt. You have to wet this salt rock before applying it and its supposed to last all day long without getting a rash. So today I will be deodorant free until I get my hands on some of that crystal deodorant.

I'll let you know how my pits turn out. This morning I woke up and they weren't so red and stopped burning. I'll put some aloe on them before I go out. Such a shame. I was really excited about going all natural without having to actually be au naturale.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

make it yourself

Chemicals are everywhere and are virtually unavoidable here in the city. Pollution fills my lungs everyday and you never know what kind of mass produced junk surfaces the glass I drink out of at a restaurant. I never really cared too much about what I was putting in my body, but not because I didn't care. I just didn't know. I wasn't aware of the many ways I was poisoning my body on a daily basis just by using shampoo or deodorant.

I have always wanted to make my own stuff, no matter what it was. When I was little I wanted to make my own jewelry and begged my parents for a rock tumbler. I made so much jewelry out of rocks and I enjoyed doing it. A couple years ago I ventured into crocheting and made scarfs galore and even a little rug for my bedroom. The main reason for my crocheting habit was to make cute baby clothes for my friends unborn child, just like my grandmother did for me. Ideally I want to make everything all by myself. My own clothes, my own pottery, my own jewelry, and bath products. The problem is that I'm a college student and I work here and there. I don't have all the time in the world to do all the crafty things that I would love to do. I love knowing exactly what goes into the products I use and if I make it myself then I can ensure that everything I use is good and not being made by underprivileged children in my own backyard.

This brings me to a recent vacation I took to South Lake Tahoe, California. I had a lot of free time on this trip and finally decided to learn how to make my own shampoos and other bath products. I learned about all the chemicals that are put into commercial soaps and how easy it is to make your own. The main ingredient I would need is pure castile soap. Then I discovered Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. He claims there are 18 uses with this one bottle of soap and I'm fascinated by this claim. As soon as I got home I went to my local Long's Drug Store where I found all the wonderful scents of Dr. Bronner. I picked up two 8 oz. bottles of Lavender and Tea Tree to experiment with. I love the scents of these soaps that are all natural, organic, fair trade, and just wonderful. So far I've only used these to wash my hands, my face, and most recently my laundry. I'm reluctant to try this product on my hair even though Dr. Bronner claims it can be used as a shampoo. It doesn't contain panthenol (vitamin B5), which is a detaingler. I have very long and straight hair and from what I've read from other users of Dr. Bronner's soaps, this product will only dry out my hair and tangle it. I do plan on making my own shampoos out of this product though after I purchase a few items, including panthenol. In the meantime I'm using Alba for my hair needs and I love this product, but I could do without the price.

As a laundry soap I am very impressed. I read a review somewhere that the oils used to scent the soap left oil stains on someone's clothes so I decided to test it on my bed sheets first. To begin with, I love doing laundry. I can spend all day washing everything I own. I love the fresh and clean scent when I rotate my clothes from the washer to the dryer and the warm and soft feeling when I pull my clothes out of the dryer. I could lie in a pile of freshly laundered clothes all day, or at least until they're not warm anymore. We have a front loading washer and dryer, which means I get to watch my clothes get spun clean. The recommended usage, according to Dr. Bronner's website, is to use 1/3 cup for a regular load. Well, I filled my measuring cup with the lavender scented soap and started to put it in the washer, but I felt that I didn't need that much. We have one of these high efficiency washers and I don't use too much soap in them, and since this soap is concentrated, I think I only put about 1/4 cup. I didn't see the soap get sudsy and I'm not sure if it happened and I missed it or it just didn't sud up in the washer. When I pulled my sheets out they had this overwhelming scent of lavender. It was great! I didn't see any oil stains and I feel confident to use this on a regular basis to wash my clothes.

We're almost out of dish soap and I plan on trying Dr. Bronner's soap on my dishes and eventually the dogs. I'm really happy with this product, especially the price. I believe I only paid a few bucks for an 8 oz bottle of this concentrated and chemical free multi-use soap. Did I mention you can use this to brush your teeth? If anyone tries this feel free to let me know. I haven't built up the courage to brush my teeth with soap yet.

Friday, January 25, 2008

writing about nothing in the tiniest box is so difficult

My first post. How interesting. I wish I had something profound and wise to write about, but I'm drawing blanks. Its raining outside and there isn't anything good on TV, so what else is there to do? Homework? Nah. Exercise? But its raining! Clean the house? No, again, its raining. Create a blog? YES! So here it is. That was fun.