Some choices I make could potentially be classified as a bit questionable, like the decision to train for a half marathon PR through the heat of summer … in Florida. (And yes, 100% humidity is every bit as uncomfortable to run in as it sounds.)
That choice leads to lots of other decisions, like swapping Friday happy hours for early Saturday morning runs — something you may or may not find debatable, depending on your feelings about drinks with friends and early alarms. I know it might not sound like the best time ever to everyone, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m making the right choices for me.
Now, some of my choices are straight up brilliant, like opting to schedule my long runs on mornings when a friend or two can join me — like my amazing running buddy Danielle here. I mean, that’s some great motivation, you know?
Just because I’m hitting the sack early these days doesn’t mean I want to miss out on socializing, so not only do I make a point to meet up for a run, but I also try to grab a coffee or a snack after.
And that right there makes choosing the right antiperspirant and deodorant all the more important. I’ve got to trust that the product I’m using on my underarms is going to keep up with all my activity so I don’t just feel confident about my training, but also about my ability to walk into a coffee shop afterward without bowling anyone over.
The thing about choices — both the dubious ones and the obvious ones — is that making the right ones is about having your facts straight and knowing what’s important to you. That’s why understanding the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant is crucial when choosing the right product. Because they certainly are different … and it’s not necessarily a matter of choosing one or the other.
While I’ve got a deodorant I like for chill days at home, when I’m gearing up for a long run (or a stressful situation, or know I’ll be spending a lot of time out in the sun around other people), I use a combination antiperspirant and deodorant. Deodorant is designed to mask body odor created by sweat — which is obviously super helpful with that whole not wanting to knock people out with my stench thing. Antiperspirant is made to keep you from sweating quite so much — also very handy. To do that, it uses aluminum, which blocks sweat glands, keeping sweat from getting to the surface.
Now, it’s entirely possible you’ve heard some buzz about aluminum-free products being better for your body. I certainly had. But, you know what I was just saying about making choices based on having facts in hand and thinking about what’s best for me and my body? Well, I did some digging around before deciding to share my personal choice, and the FDA, American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association and National Cancer Institute, have all refuted claims linking products with aluminum to health issues; in fact, the only ingredients deemed safe and effective to temporarily stop sweat by the FDA are aluminum-based ones, so any antiperspirant that claims to help women stay dry must contain aluminum in order for the claim to be legally sound.
Does that mean you should join Team Antiperspirant? It’s not for me to say. If you have concerns about using a product with aluminum, read up on data from legit sources, talk to a doctor you trust, and make the decision that feels right for you based on facts, not fear. And, hey, let’s also remember that sweating is natural, and nothing to be ashamed of, so if you opt to let that sweat through, more power to ya!
Raise your hand if you learned a little something today — and, for extra credit, how about you share a recent choice you’ve made that’s absolutely right for you, but might be up for discussion for someone else? —Kristen