::This is a fictional paid advertisement::
Q: When did you start reading labels?
A: October of 1998. Before October of 1998, I never read labels. I couldn’t care less what I was putting on or inside my body. Whatever it was, my body could handle it. Not so much because my body could handle everything under the sun, but because there are scientific people, scientific government administrations, guaranteeing that any products good enough to sell on grocery store shelves are good enough to put on or inside your body. But it just took one day in October of 1998 to shake my confidence in the FDA forever. The FDA is fallible and corrupt. Now I question everything I buy, and then I question it some more.
Q: Can you please describe what happened?
A: I was sitting down for lunch when this guy I highly respected asked, “What kind of deodorant do you use?” “Right Guard.” My answer was automatic. I had been using Right Guard for as long as I can remember. Right Guard was reliable. I could count on Right Guard. But apparently this guy I highly respected, almost revered even, didn’t approve of my answer. He ate a cheerio, nibbled on it like it was a donut seed, shook his head, and said, “Are you wearing Right Guard right now?” “Yes, as a matter of fact I am.” He shook his head gravely, “You know what that means. The sweat glands in your underarms are being clogged with aluminum.” “You mean, like a soda can?” “That’s exactly what I mean. Bits of aluminum are clogging your sweat glands, and this is what keeps you from sweating and developing body odor. God forbid, you don’t want to have B.O. Better to jam up all your pores with a metal.” “Are you kidding me?” “Not at all. Just read the label on the back.” “Ok, I will. But what’s wrong with aluminum?” This guy I highly respected finished his cheerio and said, “Well, the bits of aluminum that save you from smelling bad eventual get absorbed and enter your body. You use deodorant everyday, so over time your aluminum level increases. There’s such a thing as aluminium neurotoxicity. Aluminum has been correlated with Alzheimer’s and brain disorders and is a possible risk factor in breast cancer, although the latter is not really proven. Still, why poison your body with aluminum when it is definitely toxic? Has our culture brainwashed us so thoroughly? Have our friends and family and media persuaded us that it is better to risk brain disorders and cancer rather than smell bad?
Q: And you just took this guy’s word for it?
A: No, I did research, and most of it corroborates his claims. But what I researched the most was the label on the back of my deodorant. Here are the ingredients:
Aluminum Zirconium Octachlorohydrex GLY 16.0% w/w… Antiperspirant
water, alcohol denat, cyclopentasiloxane, propylene glycol, dimethicone, trisiloxane, calcium chloride, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimenthicone, fragrance.
In my opinion, being a unscientific man, it seemed entirely unnecessary to apply this list of toxic ingredients to my underarms just to keep from smelling.
But, to be honest, I didn’t want to smell bad. I hate smelling bad. I just wanted to accomplish this without using a poisonous deodorant.
Q: That’s where we come in, right?
A: Yes, precisely. Tom’s of Maine, which you represent, is one possible solution.
Q: Can you please list our ingredients, for the record?
A: I’d be more than happy to. Reading your list of ingredients makes me happy for my life. Propylene glycol, water, sodium stearate, organic Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, zinc ricinoleate, glyceryl laurate, Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) flower aqueous extract, apricot fragrance, Humulus lupulus (hops) [CO2] extract, caprylic/capric triglyceride, ascorbic acide silica shells.
Q: No Aluminium?
A: No aluminium.
Q: And it works.
A: It works like a charm. I smell vaguely like apricot all day long.