How Did We Start Using Deodorant?
If it wasn’t for deodorant, the world would be a smelly, smelly place. I’m sure most of you reading this use it regularly, whether you spray it or roll it on – after all, 95% of Americans apply deodorant in the United States today. But exactly how long have human beings been doing it? And how many today are applying store-bought deodorant without knowing the risks it brings?
The Start of a Scent-sation
You can complain about the hot summer all you want to and how much you sweat – but somewhere in Egypt, there are pyramids that had to have been built in something far hotter than a 90-degree summer day! Perhaps this was a wake-up call to hide that natural stink!
The Egyptians would mask their natural scent in many ways. One way was with outright perfume baths; other ways included the use of carob, incense, and even porridge as deodorant (Anyone else use porridge-scented deodorant? …No?), as well as sticking lumps of wax on their heads that would melt in the heat. Birthday candles do smell good…
The folks in ancient Greece and Rome had a similar idea to Egyptians’ perfume baths. They not only practically swam in perfume themselves, but they perfumed their apparel, their horses, and even their pets with it. Somehow I feel my allergies would’ve died in those days…
But in the Middle Ages, the Church made a proclamation. Being naked was wrong – period. Being naked alone in the tubby? Wrong. So people stopped taking baths! Folks who were well-enough-to-do could afford to smell nice, but the poor…had to deal with this crisis the hard way.
In the year 1888, the first deodorant was born: Mum. No one quite knows who conceived it, but it was a wax and zinc chloride solution – quite different from the roll-on stick or spray can that we have today. In the 1940s, the popular spray variant was born, but it was chilling and uncomfortable to apply. Ban introduced the first roll-on variant in the 1950s, drawing inspiration from the ballpoint pen. A decade later, an improved spray deodorant was born thanks to Gillette Right Guard; these aerosol sprays and their danger to the environment, however, scared consumers. Now these spray cans aren’t such a threat to the environment – but is it dangerous to you?
Is Deodorant Dangerous?
It has been debated whether or not store-bought deodorant is dangerous or not. The greatest concern is whether or not it can cause breast cancer. Parabens, which can be found in some body care products such as deodorant, have been found in the breast tissue of women who use these products. We don’t know what they’re doing there or what kind of danger they bring. Aluminum is also a concern – and both of these chemicals have been known to interfere with hormones; specifically, they effect estrogen. While the FDA is still looking into the matter and hasn’t made an outright conclusion, the idea that deodorant can mess with our hormones isn’t exactly something to laugh about.
Some experts on the matter are concerned about these chemicals. We don’t know for certain whether it causes breast cancer or any kind of cancer. But if you’re also concerned about stuffing these weird, hormone-affecting chemicals in your body, we’re happy to help you with a safe, chemical-free alternative.
We believe in natural remedies – and don’t worry, we’re not going to suggest you stuff porridge up your armpits! Check our alternative out here.
Thanks to Patricia Lee for her contributions to this post!