Do you have autodysomophobia? Do you even know what that is? In its most basic sense, it is the fear of bad smells. Someone with this fear may have anxiety attacks when around something or someone that smells bad. Their phobia may cause them to wash themselves excessively out of a fear of personal odour. It is a very real disorder. We all turn up our noses when confronted by unpleasant smells, but I doubt that the majority of us are actually afraid of them. Or are we?
12 February 2012
Society's opinion of hygiene as it pertains to personal odour or body odour is complicated. Historically, in many cultures, body odour was not a big deal. It was just something that happened and no one raised a stink about it (pun intended). In many parts of the world, this is still true. In North America however, smelling good is the foundation of a billion dollar industry of body care products that cleanse, mask, remove or prevent any and all odours from leaking out of our bodies. You could almost say we are afraid of our own odour. Certainly, we are afraid of what others may think of us. Body odour is a social faux-pas sure to leave you friendless, homeless and penniless for all eternity. At least, that's what the ads want us to believe.
Your hygiene and body odour (or lack there of) are all personal choices and I am not here to judge. Then again, if you do happen to be someone who likes to smell good (in a normal, non-obsessive sort of way), especially in the underarm area, we need to talk. Especially us ladies. Guys, we're not leaving you out, but statistically, breast cancer is a girl-thing and underarm products are thought to increase our risk greatly. Antiperspirant in particular is the culprit, because most of them contain aluminum and this has been linked to cancer. Switch to an aluminum-free deodorant and you reduce your risk. Simple, right? If you don't shop at a natural health store though, you might not be able to find any. At your local store, you'll see lots of deodorant in the guy's section, but virtually none in the lady's. Maybe it is because us ladies don't like to sweat. I know I don't. It's nasty, and if we use deodorant, we're still going to sweat; it just won't smell bad. So what's a girl to do?
Sweating, as unpleasant as it is, is actually good for us. It is one of our body's ways of getting toxins out. It is the same principle as sweating out a fever; it gets the cooties and germs out of your system. I've tried a few deodorants from the natural health store and they didn't work for me. My underarms were both sticky and stinky. Recently, I tried the spray deodorant that we make here at GMSC. We have three to choose from – Freshly Floral, Heavenly Herbal and Soothing Scent-Free – and all of them are chemical-free and completely natural. Hallelujah! I finally found one that works! The scent-free is my favourite (it doesn't compete with my vanilla essential oil) because I smell great. I've accepted the fact that I might be sweaty, but at least I will be healthy.
By dumping your antiperspirant and using deodorant instead, we can't guarantee you a disease-free future, but it will definitely up your odds. Natural ingredients and no chemicals are always going to be a smart choice for your body, especially when they work. You'll have tons of friends and your autodysomophobic pals won't be afraid of you. It's a win-win situation!