There’s conflicting evidence on the danger that industrial deodorants and anti-perspirants pose to humans. Some studies suggest there is an increased risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s and allergies; others find little or no evidence that the numerous chemicals (aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan, TEA, DEA, FD&C colours etc) harm you.

We prefer to use the precautionary principle and not use industrial deodorants and anti-perspirants.

However, it’s hard to find an eco deodorant that works. Some work as a deodorant for a few hours (although much less if, like Blanche, you’re on your feet in front of a classroom of children all day); none, as far as we can tell, prevent you from perspiring.

Alexis uses a rock crystal deodorant, but he works from home and, as long as he doesn’t produce adrenalin by drinking coffee, he doesn’t perspire. Or if he does, he can always take a shower or change his shirt.

Blanche uses an industrial deodorant very occasionally when she knows it’s going to be a long day and she’s likely to perspire.  The rest of the time she’s become used to using no deodorant. An ex-girlfriend of Alexis’s takes at least one spare top with her to work every day and washes her armpits when she changes her shirt.

A little research on the internet turned up one possible solution: bicarbonate of soda and essential oils. So we’re going to try that. We’ll let you know how it goes.

[Thanks for asking the question, Camille.]

Update 31 October 2017

After long reflection, our two experimental science experts, Prof Blanche Lepetit and Prof Camille Rouze, arrived at the same conclusion:

Prof Lepetit said: “Since I stopped using deodorant, I think I don’t perspire as much and above all I think the perspiration doesn’t smell too bad.”

Prof Rouze said: “Three days of cold turkey from chemical deodorants – you have to steer clear of people for those three days – and afterwards you smell of roses despite wearing no deodorant!!! It’s crazy how well-designed nature is!!!”