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!!!”