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When it comes to self-care and beauty routines, one of the most underserved (and under-discussed) beauty areas is our underarms. Nevertheless, we come in contact with them every day from washing to applying our deodorants or anti-perspirants. I had the opportunity to speak with Dove Dermatologist Dr. Alicia Barba to help debunk one of the biggest misconceptions occurring in the beauty and medical world surrounding anti-perspirants.

Personally, I started using natural deodorant because I didn’t want to pour any toxins into my body or prevent my body from sweating. I feel like sweating is normal and releasing toxins need to happen. I had hopes but it left me funky and continuously worrying if I was giving off an odor. When you use an anti-perspirant, it prevents your body from sweating. Dr. Barba explained, “Antiperspirants have a clinically active ingredient: aluminum chloride slats. Basically what it does is form a little plug on the pore where the sweat gland drains into. It forms a plug so you don’t have sweat on the surface of the underarm. When you don’t have sweat, then bacteria doesn’t grow.” When bacteria doesn’t grow, then you don’t have that unfavorable odor.

Nevertheless, I was worried about cancer. I had heard multiple rumors surrounding breast cancer and anti-perspirants. Dr. Barba educated, “Anti-perspirants have never been proven to cause cancer. They are regulated as an over the counter drug. The FDA regulates these products. It’s not like we can just put whatever in an anti-perspirant. It’s been studied thoroughly and has never been linked.”

However, if you are like me, I feel your body is supposed to sweat. If you want this, then just use a deodorant. Dr. Barba explained, “If you don’t have a problem with smell, you can get away with a deodorant.” A deodorant will just leave you fresh smelling but allow your body to sweat. If you’re also like me and despite what the FDA says, still worried about aluminum, you can get a deodorant with 0% aluminum ($5.99, target.com).

There are tons of great smelling anti-perspirants like Dove Dry Spray Go Fresh Antiperspirant Deodorant in Apple and White Tea ($5.58. walmart.com) – the apple scent is great for Fall! This option is also great for people who sweat profusely and want to minimize this in an over the counter manner.

What do you prefer? Do you use anti-perspirants or deodorants? Why or Why not? Take our poll below.

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Laquan Smith - September 2019 - New York Fashion Week
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