LET’S TALK ABOUT SWEAT BABY (and you know, this picture of me in reverse warrior is relevant to this topic because my armpits are all up in my face).
I love a good chat about armpits. The health of this area (especially for women), is something that we should all be open about, for learning more about and sharing with each other. There are a lot of things going on in this space, a lot of lymph nodes here for a start. I want to break down and debunk a few of the misconceptions we have around body odour, flow, and sweat because I truly believe that a crucial gateway to getting back into flow with your body starts with those pits!
Sweat vs Body Odour
News flash: we are MEANT to sweat. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent and use this mechanism to eradicate toxins, bacteria, everything and we can tell a hella lot about our sweat and different scents of body odour. I remember when I was about 18 and wanting to train in acupuncture and went to a few open day lectures in London where we were talking about learning to smell illnesses. I remember thinking that was quite a radical statement back then and was fascinated by this idea, but now I use it on myself and am getting pretty good at self diagnosing (if I do say so myself). If you have children, have you ever noticed a slightly metallic scent on their breathe when they’re coming down with a cold? Likewise, if you’re female reading this, you’ll probably notice a heavier body odour when you are menstruating compared to when you are not (and no it’s not because you are sweating more). I would really recommend you checking out a book called The Hidden Messages in Water, showing you the different compositions in tear drops in the body when crying with laughter, grief, with pain. They’re all different. (Incredible). And as we know, as humans we are mostly made up of water (even more of a reason for you to get savvy with the water that you’re supplying yourself with, get as alkaline as possible – I’m actually going to do a separate post on this because I’ll go on for yonks otherwise), in short, we are so much more than just ‘bricks and mortar’.
First things first. ‘BO” isn’t bad. Body Odour is inevitable because it is a by product of your sweat, which let’s, again, reiterate, is NATURAL. In short, ‘BO’ it is an accumulation of stale sweat on the skin (and will vary in the odour dependant on what is going on in your body at any time). To keep on top of body odour of course we shower, we wash it off – this should be exactly what we do to our armpits! We would never think of taking a product and caking our entire body in it to stop us from sweating, right, as that would seem pretty weird / unnatural. It’s just become the norm to do this to our under arms. Let’s change this guys. Seriously.
A good re-frame for you is every time you now see the words ‘anti-perspirant’, maybe change it to read ‘anti-sweat’ – you’re literally picking up an anti – sweat device. ANTI SWEAT. You are telling your body that you don’t want it to sweat. To flow. To do it’s job. What do you think happens when you stop this flow? (This is rhetorical, you can do your own research). But think about it.
‘BO’. B.O. Body Odour. The odour of MY body. When did this become such a thing to be embarrassed about? Honestly. Change this. I spend a lot of time around sweat, most of my day actually, I sweat, I work out, I work around other people that are sweating and working out. It’s just not even something that I think about negatively any more. I appreciate now with my work it could be deemed more accepted to smell a little funky whilst in yoga gear, but when I was working in an office / retail I would work around it by learning to getting better at staying fresh and changing up my routine. It would just mean maybe a few more minutes in the bathroom just to splash a little water under my armpits – really not a big deal.
Making the Change
When making the switch from conventional deodorant to natural you need to give your body a little leeway. Too often I hear people tell me ‘that natural deodorant doesn’t ‘work’, I smell of ‘BO’ after an hour or so…’. Let’s break down what ‘work’ means. If you are asking of your natural product that is working in harmony with your body to STOP you from sweating, then no in this sense they are not going to ‘work’. However, if you are asking of your natural product that is working in harmony with your body and ALLOWING you to sweat and flow that you would like to smell fresh whilst doing so, then yes, now your natural product will ‘work’. This is because the idea with a natural product is that they work to neutralise the scent coming off of your body, and not stop the sweat altogether like conventional products.
However, this ‘work’ isn’t going to happen over night. Ask yourself, how long have you been using conventional deodorant for? For most it’s probably since hitting puberty, so do the maths! Be gentle with yourself, it may take a little time to recalibrate. For around three years now I’ve only used natural deodorant and in the beginning I was noticing a lot more ‘BO’ as my body was trying to adjust to the new found flow through my pits. But now I honestly can say that I never smell (now is the time to tell me if you hang out with me and think I pong, apparently you can’t smell your own sweat!). My body has completely adapted and I’ve created an entire new routine and found products that work for me, and also checked in with what ‘BO’ actual is. If anything I actually found that I used to have a lot more ‘BO’ when using conventional deodorants than I do now (maybe my body was having to work harder to get rid of toxins?). But really, I remember back in the day when I was almost obsessed with deodorant (the panic if you leave the house without it, right? ‘BUT WHAT IF I SMELL?!’). I can honestly tell you that you just don’t need that kind of paranoia in your life. Really, you don’t. You can let it go. 🙂
Real talk though, unless I lived like the guys in Wanderlust (if you have not watched this movie, please do its fabulously funny), I do like to smell beautiful. My favourite natural armpit aiders that keep my armpits healthy and smelling beautiful are;
PitRok – Literally go every where with this badboy. They are odourless but work to neutralise any smells from your sweat as it comes out of your body. I have had the same PitRok crystal now for nearly a year (no joke!!), they last for freakin ever I swear! You just need a little water to run the crystal under and then use it under your armpit like you would a regular roll on.
Neals Yard Remedies – their Peppermint and Lime roll on is so deliciously zesty and fresh, the Rose and Geranium roll on is beautifully feminine and great for that time of the month (rose and geranium are great for balancing hormones).
Weleda – the rose spray is beautiful, again so balancing and fresh.
MYO – you can also whip up your own natural deodorant mixing a little BiCarb, coconut oil and a few drops of essential oil to rub under your arms. I’ve never tried it as my routine works super for me but I have a lot of friends that do this.
I really hope this inspires you to consider moving over to a more natural way of caring for your armpits. No part of you is to be embarrassed of, or meant to be held back in any way. You are here to express yourself, your full self.
For those of you that are already well on your way to learning more about flow and expression throughout the body, I’d like to offer you the idea that these things, as seemingly basic as using an anti-perspirant deodorant, are all things that take us away from the essence of who we truly are – essence in the sense of smell AND sense of being. When we look more at the feminine energy, or shakti, and where that resides for us in the body, it begs to offer no end of discussion around blockages in this area when we are busy every day in our basic ‘care’ routines blocking this very thing.
Find your flow. Find your wild. (And find yourself some natural ‘deodorant’).
If you want to chat more on this and if you have anything to add, please feel free to pop me a message.
Love Emma xoxo