Antiperspirants basically work by blocking the sweat glands so that you cannot excrete sweat. Eventually through the natural sloughing of skin these "plugs" are released from the pores. The other effect is that the sweat glands contract slightly due to the astringent effect of the aluminum, further preventing sweat from reaching the skin.
So, what to do? We all want to smell fresh! There are alternatives.
CrystalsCrystal deodorants are literally rocks that you moisten and apply to your underarm after showering. The mineral salts inhibit the bacteria that cause body odor. They are odorless and can last up to a year. Because they are odorless and do not leave residue, you can apply them to other parts of your body in addition to under your arm--the chest, feet, and inner thighs are not uncommon areas for use.
All Natural Stick or SprayThese are simply all-natural versions of the products you purchase in the grocery store, health food store, or Co-op. Tom's of Maine, Jason, Aubrey, Bubble and Bee, and Lavanilla all have all-natural aluminum free deodorants. I have used several of these brands over the years and the best advice I can give is to try different brands until you find the one which suits your body chemistry and lifestyle. Some seem to work better than others.
Creme DeodorantCreme deodorant is packaged in a small jar or tin. To apply rub a small amount on a pad, piece of cotton, or your fingers, then apply under your arms. Creme deodorant is commercially available, or you can make it yourself.
Home Made DeodorantsSpeaking of "make it yourself"...there are several options in this department! There seem to be two keys to maximizing the, er, effectiveness (shall we say) of the product: reducing bacteria and a pleasing fragrance. Reducing bacteria can be accomplished through the use of minerals, essential oils, or alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl). Fragrance is generally an essential oil--a few drops in a containerful should do the trick. There are various options for "carriers" such as liquids, waxes, and creams depending upon your preference for a spray, stick, or creme deodorant.
One very simple method for home made deodorant which is considered effective by some is to simply mix a few drops of essential oil into several ounces of rubbing alcohol, then pour into a spray bottle. One key here is that if you shave under your arms, you might want to keep in mind it will sting for a few seconds! Give it a try.
Concerned about aluminum and other nonorganics on your body? Try an all-natural or home made solution! Let me know how they work.