Hippie chick alert - this post is full of dripping wet tidbits about air pits, sweat, and deodorant. Oh yes, I'm going to shave right through social norms and talk about body odor. Get ready!
My tentative venture into the world of natural deodorant started because of a mole. Tucked away in the crevice of my arm pit, this raised clump of cells has given me pause for thought lately as he appears to have grown a little larger. He certainly wasn't that size when I was a kid, though I'm not putting too much stock into my memory.
Couple that with my dad's recent run in with melanoma carcinoma (after years of hotly turning down sunscreen, might I add), I've been a little more mindful of my body's oddities.
I've been a user of gel deodorant for years and never had any complaints. But recently, my brand (Secret) started to burn a little when applying. I switched to an unscented version and problem solved. But it got me thinking about deodorants in general and whether there was a Mother Nature-approved version.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who thinks an antiperspirant causes breast cancer. However, I do think we humans would do well to lessen our chemical exposure in all areas. What better place to start than a part of your body you voluntarily slather chemicals on every day?
If you've never looked at the ingredient list on your stick of Old Spice or Dove, you might be surprised to know it contains synthetic parfums, heavy metals such as aluminum, and preservatives called parabens. Call me crazy, but if I don't want artificial ingredients in my food, then why do they exist in a product that's absorbed by my body?
Knowing how much more "natural" or "organic" products can cost at the store, I was skeptical that I could find a suitable replacement without breaking the bank. I was pleasantly surprised that Walmart had a nice variety to offer at reasonable prices.
They carried natural sticks from brands like Tom's of Maine, Burt's Bees, and Arm & Hammer. I was tempted, particularly when their prices were competitive with my original brand (ok, about 60 cents higher) .
But something else caught my attention - a deodorant crystal. I'd read about these substitutes before and had been curious to try them. They work by eliminating the bacteria that causes your pits to stink - sweat itself is odorless.
For $2.39, the crystal stick would keep my underarms fresh for up to a year. A pretty good value considering I spend $3.49 on deodorant every 2 months.
You just wet the crystal, apply to your pits thoroughly, and that's it. I gotta say, this stuff works fairly decently. No scents, no sticky residue, no white marks on shirts.
Having used an antiperspirant for so long, it's been weird actually sweating again under my arms. Not buckets or enough to leave a mark, but there nonetheless.
But I'm not fully sold. Even after a normal day of working at a computer, I am ever so slightly pungent at the end of the day. But that's really only noticeable when I shed my clothes for the night - it's not like Mike is starting to call me Pig Pen.
But I may not be so cool with that slight twinge in the nose come this summer, after an long night of dancing, at the end of a tradeshow, or while wearing a strapless top. Since I've only been using the crystal for two weeks, I'm going to continue testing its performance, particularly as the weather gets warmer here.
And if you think I'm being pitiless with deodorant, rest assure that I'm carefully picking my way through the rest of my bathroom supplies for alternatives to soap, conditioner, body wash, shampoo, and tooth paste. Thank goodness I don't wear makeup!
Are you concerned about chemical exposure? What natural bath products have you tried? Did they work or were they just overpriced experiments?