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Author Topic: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?  (Read 10397 times)

Offline thedoc

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Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« on: 26/07/2013 14:30:02 »
Rafa  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
The other day the BBC echoed some research that suggested that more then 100 different species of fungi inhabit in our feet; and that some of them have positive effects on our health:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22622689

Additionally, Wikipedia (and some other not-so-reliable sources) give some information about vinegar, and the many uses beyond dressing salad: mainly cleaning and disinfecting --but also of use as deodorant.

Intrigued by the potential to substitute a heavily-marketed product full of chemicals compounds and fragrances that are alien to me, by something from natural origins, I have been using vinegar in my armpits as deodorant (un-diluted) during the last few weeks. The results are significant: I have noticed a substantial decrease in the transpiration (ie sweating) of my armpits (from levels that I would describe as average.

The question is whether you think that is counterproductive because of its side-effects for our fungi: it basically will eradicate some / most of them. And in such case, whether it is better to use a diluted solution, or even continue to use the more commercial solutions, the heavily-branded products that we all see in the supermarkets.

Thank you v much for accepting questions in your wonderful programme.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,
Rafa

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/07/2013 14:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #1 on: 27/07/2013 13:18:29 »
I think you need to realise that vinegar is made entirely of chemicals.
I also think you need to learn about the placebo effect and confirmation bias.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
Then, I think, you should look up the meaning of transpiration
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpiration
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #2 on: 28/07/2013 01:35:24 »
Mammals sweat for a reason. Before applying any antiperspirant, ask how much harm you may be doing by interfering with nature.
 

Offline rafaelos

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #3 on: 08/08/2013 17:50:12 »
Thanks for your responses so far (I am Rafa).

I acknowledge that I only have 'anecdotal evidence' of the results of my experiment, but I am convinced that these would have been statistically significant --had I tried / been able to quantify them-- if I would have measured a combination of odor and transpiration / sweating.

@alancalverd: it is very difficult to abide by the standards of your colleagues and people near to you without deodorant --or at least for some people. My question is whether you would have an inclination towards one rather than the other.

Agree that vinegar is full of chemicals, argument was more along the lines of 'how many degrees of separation' are there between those found in vinegar vs deodorant. Which ones are potentially more hazardous (as suggested by alancalverd:)

Thanks again,
rafa
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #4 on: 08/08/2013 19:33:33 »
Almost all the components of vinegar are volatile- it's mainly water with some acetic acid and a little alcohol.
Once it has evaporated there's (nearly) nothing left to act as a deodorant.
How could it work?
 

Offline Mazurka

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #5 on: 09/08/2013 12:34:55 »
Not sure, how it could work as an antiperspirant, although it might work as a deodourant by reducing the populations of micro-organisms that cause malodour (sweat itself is broadley odourless) when it is applied.  Simialrly Potassium aluminium sulphate ("crystal deodourants") work by disrupting the micro-organisms abillity to reproduce.




 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #6 on: 10/08/2013 14:01:17 »
The bacteria are likely to come back, but in the case of alum, the active material is still present to disrupt them.
In the case of vinegar, it will have evaporated.

The alum may be a practical solution from the OP's point of view- It works and only 1 chemical might be seen as an improvement on a collection of many chemicals.
 

Offline rafaelos

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #7 on: 12/08/2013 15:08:54 »
Thanks again everyone. Summarizing, it seems we shouldn't be concerned about the chemicals present in vinegar – in what concerns its interactions of with our skin. But (going back to the original question) what about the potential harmful effects they could have on the natural fungi of our body?

The BBC piece echoed the positive effects of many of those found in our feet: newbielink:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22622689 [nonactive] 

Considering the effects upon both skin and fungi, what's our call?
Better to use vinegar –which might be more chemical light with our skin but more aggressive with the fungi—or rather, better to use the household products from the big multinationals (PG, JNJ, Unilever, etc)

N.B. for anyone interested in experimenting themselves: vinegar is quite odorous until it evaporates (a matter of hours). I applied it (un-dissolved) before going to bed, during one or two months.
Thanks again,
R
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #8 on: 12/08/2013 20:40:58 »
How did you look at what's in this thread and come to the conclusion that it's better to use something which probably doesn't work? (even if it kills the bacteria that cause odour, it's not clear how it can act as an antiperspirant.
How does something which is no longer there reduce sweating?
Also "more chemical light" is meaningless.
All the options are 100% made from chemicals.
The commercial antiperspirants contain a handful of chemicals.
Vinegar will contain thousands.

 

Offline altarianf

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #9 on: 29/07/2015 02:59:07 »
I believe 'more chemical light" means, chemicals that are less harmful to the skin. I am guessing that RAFA speaks English as a second language, or is from a place where English is on an equal footing with some other indigenous language.

I recently had a severe plant allergy rash on my hands and arms and at one point when it was mostly healed I applied vinegar, knowing that the acidity of honey is one of the facets that facilitates healing, I thought vinegar might be a less sticky solution. It's such a pity when accommodating the placebo effect stands in the way of progress, as honey is denied the credit it is due for wound care due to the fact that it is difficult to hide from people about what is being applied to them and avoid the placebo effect. newbielink:http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/2041 [nonactive]

Apart from my rant on honey, I want to say, after thoroughly washing my hands, they still smelled like vinegar for about a day and a half. This leads me to conclude that the vinegar is somehow absorbed into the skin and doesn't just remain on top, therefore the fact that what remains at the surface level evaporates does not necessitate the notion that it must not work since it is gone. Apart from this, there is the idea that one topical application could change the balance of the micro biota to such an extend that the change would carry on throughout an entire day.
 

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Re: Is vinegar a good antiperspirant substitute?
« Reply #9 on: 29/07/2015 02:59:07 »

 

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