You know what would be deeply unlucky? Imagine if you never touched a cigarette, worked out five days a week, had a weird Tom Brady-type diet, and drank all the teas. Then, when you kick the bucket and meet St. Peter at the pearly gates and ask what exactly took you out, he tells you it was because you used Old Spice.
It’s a fear I know plenty of y’all have, of aluminum and various parabens in antiperspirant deodorant giving you cancer or some other life-threatening illness. But you know what would suck worse than that? If St. Peter stops you at the gate like some swole bouncer and lets you know you aren’t getting into Club Paradise tonight—you’re going straight to hell for all of the pain and suffering your musty ass put people through by wearing natural deodorant in the summer months. You plead your case, waving your arms, talking about you were kind and volunteered at the shelter. And all he says is “Sir, I’m going to need you to please keep your arms at your sides and get into that line.” You walk over and stand behind Ben Shapiro.
It’s understood that some of y’all have concerns. In recent years, there's been an influx of “natural” deodorant brands and their loyalists touting the idea that we can mitigate the perceived adverse effects of chemicals seeping into our armpits. It’s a noble pursuit to take your well-being seriously. However, like a lot of fad diets, the notion that natural deodorants are safer is mostly bunk science. They really don’t do much besides have cooler packaging and cost more money, so you get to feel luxurious. And they also make you stink.
Apparently, the link between breast cancer and aluminum in deodorant began as an urban legend sparked by an e-mail chain in the ‘90s. Science says there’s no actual connection between the two, as the amount of aluminum absorbed by the skin is so minute it would not make any notable difference on your health. “To date, there’s absolutely no evidence that breast cancer is caused by exposure to anything in antiperspirants or deodorants, full stop,” said Dr. Harold Burstein, a breast oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School told the New York Times. Cancer sucks and it makes sense that we’re always finding ways to try and duck and dodge it, but you can literally get cancer from just being in the sun (yes, even Black people). Melanin is just a Kevlar vest and sunscreen is just a military-grade one (wear your sunscreen, my brothers and sisters!).
Links between Alzheimer’s disease and toxins in deodorant are dubious too. Allergic reactions to ingredients in deodorant could be harmful, whether natural or of the Speed Stick variety. The most common ingredient to cause allergic reactions is fragrance, which is in most deodorants across the board. When it’s in natural deodorants, it’s there to mask your funk—and it’s not working.
Well, it kind of does. In the winter months, nobody could be the wiser about what you’re putting under your arms. I’ve tried natural deodorant during the fall and thought this was going to be a whole new world for me. It feels a lot better than the caked-on stuff. It’s almost like you’ve got nothing on your pits at all—and that might as well be the case. Because once the kids get out of school, shorts come out, and the NBA Finals are on TV, that natural deodorant works about as well as manifesting the stink away.
If you feel more comfortable using natural deodorants, love the aura of Goop-type luxury they give you, or aren’t convinced about the science behind what makes deodorant harmful, that’s all good. But in the summer, they just don’t work well. You have to be a good samaritan and wear the drugstore deodorant, or else your underarm funk is going to emanate all of your immediate surroundings. You can’t walk around these streets looking like a Saturday morning cartoon with the green gas coming from under your arms. If you must wear natural deodorant, please use it like the old oyster-eating tradition: only in months that have an r.