Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Healthy Dose of Sarcasm - Baking Soda: A Pit's Best Friend

I've been told my last post was a bit morbid so I decided to tackle a problem everyone faces: BO.

As a general statement: people stink. People stink more when they sweat. Here's why.

Body odor - or technically bromhidrosis, osmidrosis, or ozochrotia - is an unpleasant smell given off when the bacteria living on your skin break down the proteins found in sweat. Perspiration itself has no odor until the bacteria transform it into thioalcohol. Armpits stink more than other body parts because it’s warm, moist, and usually dark: party central for bacteria. Shoed feet have the same issue.

Big Vanity - corporations specializing in makeup, soap, deodorant,  toothpaste, etc. - produced a wide variety of products to keep humanity from an odorous existence. They approached the problem with antiperspirant, to keep you from sweating, and deodorant, to cover the smell.

According to WebMD, antiperspirants work by forming a chemical reaction with the water in perspiration to create a physical plug in your sweat ducts. Their answer is pretty simple - stop sweating. Deodorant masks the sweat making it through the chemically clogged perspiration plumbing.

Despite various reports linking antiperspirants to cancer, Alzheimer's, and kidney disease - the only common side effect to antiperspirant is occasional irritated or swollen skin. The few medical reasons for avoiding antiperspirants include kidney disease or those undergoing radiation therapy for cancer. The radiation beams will heat the aluminum in the antiperspirant causing burns.

After reading an interesting section in Baking Soda: House and Home, I decided to try another approach: kill everything living in my pits.

The book stated you can use Baking Soda like talcum powder, dusting it over areas generating more odor than socially acceptable. Armpits and feet are the most common areas for treatment. The book claims Baking Soda makes skin inhospitable to the thioalcohol-creating bacteria.

I’ve used it for a while now and there is literally no smell from my pits for days at a time. And when I say no odor, I mean it - even with my daily trips to the gym.

The benefits of Baking Soda over Big Vanity products include:

  • No artificial perfume smell
  • No gooey feeling from stick deodorants/antiperspirants
  • A nice dry feeling upon application
  • It's incredibly low cost
You can also use Baking Soda for:
  • Toothpaste
  • As an exfoliant in your bath
  • To sooth rashes and bug bites
  • In laundry to remove smells and sweat stains
  • As a counter cleaner
So you can stay smelling fresh, brush your teeth, and clean the bathroom sink and counter - all with one substance. Pretty impressive for something that's been used by man since Ancient Egypt.

Baking Soda is cheap, available in large containers, and useful in the kitchen, bathroom, garden, and tool shed. You can even use it on pets to prevent fleas. Check it out if you want to give your pits a break from Big Vanity.

Body Odor: Causes, Prevention, Treatments - Medical News Today
Antiperspirant Safety: Should You Sweat It? - WebMD (short answer - no)
Meet The Bacteria That Make A Stink In Your Pits - NPR
Baking Soda: House & Home - Amazon Link
“Baking soda is far more than a baking ingredient – it can be used in all manner of household tasks including cleaning, laundry, animal care, and health and beauty. This is the essential guide to maximizing the potential of this cheap, environmentally-friendly and multi-purpose product. Tips range from removing baked-on food from pans to making your own facial scrub, from getting stubborn stains out of your clothes to shampooing your dog. "Baking Soda" also gets the kids involved, with some fun science experiments and sweet treats, as well as providing culinary tips and a few tasty recipes for breads, cakes and cookies.”

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