Strangest thing, I got this letter in the post the other day:
It's been a long time since I last wrote you a letter. For that I apologize. However there are some issues that I need to raise with you. Firstly, and most importantly, I stink! How could you not notice?! I said nothing of this the last few summers but I really can't take it anymore! Now that it's warm again in London every time you get on the hot tube I instantly fill up with sweat and while most of the time that's ok, once I get past a certain thresh hold, then I well and truly stink. Secondly, I'm really a shy armpit. I get very uncomfortable when people stare at me. Ever since you ditched the antiperspirant it's all anyone ever does is stare at the big circles of sweat that dampen your top! Fine in the winter when you can cover up with a jacket but in the summer it's impossible. Don't think I haven't noticed that you've stopped wearing certain tops just because you know you'll immediately get sweat stains when you put them on. It seems to me like it's a waste to only wear half your wardrobe.
There, I've finally said it. So can I request that just for the summer you use some alum on me????
Ok I had a little bit of fun with that one but unfortunately everything my armpit is saying is true. I’m well and truly tired of having sweat stains on my clothes all of the time, and then when it’s too hot, when I get nervous, or when I work out I start to smell. So recently I purchased a main stream anti-perspirant with the active ingredient aluminum chlorohydrate which is a complex inorganic salt. I was pleasantly surprised to see that that aluminum chlorohydrate is only rated a 4 in the EWG cosmetics database. That doesn’t mean that all the other ingredients were squeaky clean but it was a bit of a load off my mind.
The problem with aluminum salts (which can be listed as chlorhide, chlorohydrate, hydroxybromide, or zirconium) is that when tested on lab animals they are a neurotoxin and have bad effects. At one point there was thought there was a link with aluminum and Alzheimer’s although that thought has passed. Some scientists think that there is a link with the increase in anti-perspirant use with the rise in breast cancer, but other scientists disagree. As usual, these things are never straight forward.
So for the summer only I’ve decided to live life on the edge and embrace aluminum. So although 75% of the year I’m still hopefully reducing my exposure to harmful aluminum, I’m upping the ante a little bit for the remaining part of the year. Overall it’s still a decrease. You can’t win them all.