Have you ever gone camping and didn’t have an outside shower available? Being hot, sticky, covered in bug spray and dirt is no fun when you crawl into a sleeping bag. We’ve moved to a remote cabin in the woods, and our current living situation is somewhat like glorified camping. No bathroom, no running water, and no bathhouse. The camping shower bags and our outdoor shower setup allows us to wash up outside and keep the whole family clean. They are a lifesaver!…
I remember my mom telling me a story about grandma’s underwear. Grandma was walking across the street in our small hometown of Weyerhaeuser when the elastic gave out at the top of her bloomers and they dropped around her ankles (she was wearing a dress). Grandma, being the practical person that she was, stepped out of the garment, tucked it in her purse to be repaired later, and kept on walking.
What does this have to do with preparedness? Underwear is one of those things that most people take for granted – until you don’t have clean dry ones available. The same goes for socks. In case of emergency, spare pairs of each will go a long way towards keeping you healthy and comfortable. In this post we’re going to do a quick overview of health risks associated with wet and dirty underwear and socks, and recommendations for the best underwear and socks for health, durability and comfort….
Homemade deodorant recipes are a great alternative to standard deodorants. Regular deodorants can be pretty nasty. The aluminum and other chemicals in standard deodorant have been linked to breast cancer. Even the crystal deodorants (which I had been using recently) contain aluminum compounds. One study I saw recently indicated that the crystal deodorants may actually be more dangerous than regular deodorants. (This ticked me off when I read it, truly.) My grandmother battled breast cancer, and I lost my older sister to internal cancer, so I’ve been working to detox our home, diet and our personal care products.
Armpits don’t smell like roses, but everyone has them and I think it’s time we made peace with them and quit embracing the notion that all odor not chemically synthesized in a lab is bad. In fact, in any number of cultures over the course of history, body odor was known as an aphrodisiac, or at the very least a normal part of life. Perhaps one of the most famous body odor references was a note from Napoleon to Josephine – “I will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Don’t wash.”
When it comes to figuring out what factors influence body odor, think inside before you think outside. Your diet directly influences your body odor, and a healthy, well balanced diet generally means you will be smell less gamey. Highly processed foods don’t just make you sick, they make you stink. Medication can also influence body odor. Turn to diet and healthy lifestyle choices first before turning to pharmaceuticals.
While I’m not advocating that you give up bathing entirely, I do recommend more environmentally friendly cleanliness options. Skip antibacterial products. You don’t need them, and they can contribute to antibiotic resistant strains of nasty bacteria and attack the helpful bacteria on your body. Look for plain soap. Not deodorant, not antibacterial – the simpler, the better. Read the label. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, that’s generally a bad sign. I’ve included a link below to some of the top offenders.
As for deodorant products, consider skipping or reducing your use of those that also contain antiperspirants. Most antiperspirants contain aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Applying antiperspirant to your armpits basically mainlines the aluminum into your lymph nodes and through them your immune system. I have found that Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll-On with chamomile works well and does not irritate the skin after shaving.
UPDATE: I no longer use the Crystal Roll-on deodorant. I didn’t realize this earlier, because the label boldly states “No aluminum chlorohydrate”, but the crystal deodorants do contain aluminum, just in a different (supposedly less absorbable) form. In spite of the crystal deodorants claims that they are not harmful, at least one study has shown that they may cause more damage than standard deodorants. Instead, I’ve switched to Herbalix deodorants, which heal and detoxify. I have also used homemade deodorant (recipe here).
The ‘Dirt on Clean’ in an Oversanitized World – Excerpt from a fascinating book on human hygiene.
In Defense of Dirt and Grime – Why I don’t keep my house super clean.