Stop the stench before it starts
Toxic chemicals versus natural safe ingredients
The underarm huff creates a booming trade for products that claim to stop the pong, but at what cost? The more you pay the more you stink, it seems. Then they tell you that ingredients like aluminium and parabens are linked to breast cancer. What now? Are so-called natural things like bicarb and vinegar supposed to give you the same all day confidence? At best they will not interfere with perspiration and that will help to reduce your breast cancer potential, but the odour may be exacerbated. We need to understand the mechanisms behind body odours – the science of stink.
The Solutions create more problems
Solutions, products and advertising are aimed at our armpits. Some of the spray-on solutions also claim to give you sex appeal. Spray-on adoration, yet we pretend that the rest of our smelly issues do not exist. The stinky feet and fish market vaginas will continue to contribute to the malodorous bouquet that is highlighted with taints of urine and faeces. We humans have characteristic odours and this is why we take a bath, to wash away the array of waste substances that cause stinky bacteria to proliferate and infiltrate the air. Once airborne, odours gather momentum and accost our olfactory glands. We label them as unpleasant but they are actually quite natural. To animals and in primitive anthropology it is the reek of soap and perfume that’s not natural. Our noses detect all types of volatilized chemical compounds and we react emotionally to them, giving them a nice or a nasty label according to the association.
Blame it on the bacteria!Credit: Sue Visser
Perspiration is odourless and even urine is not stinky when it is excreted. But oh my, let the bacteria carried by these substances grow in an environment at a compatible temperature and pH and the pong will overpower you. Even a whiff in the freshest air can cause a turn off. We use products that kill bacteria and hope for the best. We wash with very alkaline super cleaning anti-bacterial soaps – anything they advertise, and yet the body odours persist. In some cases they even get wore. We wash even more; use the wrong soap and infections like candidiasis go rampant. A perfumed cover-up spray does not solve the problem for the mucous membranes of intimate areas that are not maintained at an acidic pH of 3.5. In this case an acidic douche and not a deodorant will do a better job. We do not need vaginal deodorants - just a better understanding of pH control. There are already special cleansers and lubricants available and the only thing to avoid is common old soap!
Understanding the carriers of an odour
The true science of stopping odours in their tracks is about trapping the volatile air borne odours where they occur - on the skin, before they begin to drift. Wow! How does this happen? It is best to first know your enemy, empower yourself by discovering what causes Body odour.
According to the research department of big international cosmetic laboratories like Schill and Seilacher we have distinct categories of odours to contend with. They are based on familiar chemicals such as sulphur (rotten egg association) and ammonia (old urine) to name a few. They claim that the new wonder chemical zinc ricinoleate that is based on an extract of castor oil will help us to overcome these stenches; so hold your nose, here they come!
Sulphur containing chemicals produce the following odours:
Rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide)
Garlic and onions (Allicin)
Cat urine (3-Mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol or MMB)
Nitrogen containing chemicals are associated with these odours:
Urine deposits (Ammonia)
Faecal / shit (Indole and Skatole)
Rotting flesh – from Infected lesions or gangrene (Cadaverine and Putrescine)
Other volatile components: Bacteria infested sweat (Isovaleric acid ) and old cigarette smoke – yuk!
Credit: Sue Visser
Introducing Zinc Ricinoleate
The wonder chemical Zinc ricinoleate is a zinc salt of ricinoleic acid, a purified fatty acid from castor oil. This well-known folk medicine is obtained from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. In our youth, castor oil was the cure for constipation and “school sickness”. Even today, many people swear by castor oil packs to relive anything from menstrual cramps to fever, toxicity or gallbladder problems. Although ricin, a chemical that is present in castor oil beans is toxic, nobody has ever dropped dead from taking castor oil. But that is because oil deactivates ricin, the poisonous component that is a water based (and deadly) toxin. In the event of a stray ricin molecule, the manufacturing of castor oil involves a heating process that neutralizes and effectively deactivates the protein. In other words, our new Saviour, the ultimate deo-buster is non-toxic. It won’t even give you a rash, but it will trap all the stinkies before they make you smell iffy!
We put zinc di-ricinolate to the test
Evaluating the trials. We don't test on animals!
I sceptically took my sample of this new wunderkind and slink into my laboratory (ahem, kitchen). As a product researcher and developer I work around the clock with no regard for public holidays and other distractions. I melted the waxy pellets into a smudge of olive oil and whisked it into a jar of mild deodorant cream we make for breast cancer patients. My husband and son refuse to use it because they say it can’t cope with the smell of a real man! I challenged them with the cream. After all, we don’t test on animals – only humans and family and friends provide me with all too honest feedback. Amazing! They were gobsmacked – how did it work? Even after a hard day’s work, behind the wheel and seeing a string of retailers, my Adonis of a son was impressed! (I can take that as a compliment.) As you know, we sweat a lot when we are stressed and whew, that one really makes us reach for a can of spray. As for the old man, he only has to use it every second day and does not have to take a bath or shower as often as he used to .The wash basket no longer knocks me out and his shirts are worn for a few days at a time. Talk about saving a marriage, saving water!
So Grandma was right, castor oil cures everything!