Confession: I am a smelly person. I have been since I hit puberty. My feet don’t really smell. And neither does my breath. But my armpits, WOOOEYYY! Let’s just say you definitely don’t want to hug me in an unprotected B.O. moment.
The Background: But it’s not just the smell, I also just sweat a lot. When I was in middle school, I would suffer through the 95°F weather with a sweatshirt on just so kids wouldn’t laugh at my pit sweat. My friends would stand with me in the bathroom at lunch while I squatted under the hand dryer to get rid of the pit rings for a couple hours. No joke.
Before big days like a dance or school photos I would wear CertainDry to bed. If you’re unfamiliar with the stuff, it’s like prescription strength deodorant. It contains so much aluminum that it actually kills the nerve endings in your pits and stops the sweating and B.O. It’s INCREDIBLY painful. I would fall asleep clutching my armpits like Superstar all just to wake up without sweat.
Finally, as I got to high school, I stopped caring quite so much. I dealt with the sweat by airing things out whenever I had the chance. But the smell has remained a problem.
Going Natural: So when I decided to try to go natural with my deodorant, I entered the experiment with hesitation. I have this weird theory that whatever I use on my body or in my house should potentially be edible without causing me any harm. That’s why I decided to go No Poo with my Shampoo. It’s why I now clean my apartment using vinegar water. And it’s why I wanted natural deodorant.
It took six LONG and smelly months to finally find my match. My coworkers can attest to the fact that, unless I kept my elbows to my side T-Rex style, I stunk up our office. I tried everything from salt rocks to essential oils. I tried 5 of the 7 deodorants available at our local stores … And that stuff is not cheap!
But I finally found it. Dusk from Natural Grooming. It’s men’s deodorant but it actually smells really good. A little musky but I think that’s why it works so well.
My Advice: If you’re looking to do the same, be prepared for some experimentation. Don’t give up if you smell terrible the first day. Most of the time it takes at least a few weeks for your body to get rid of the crappy chemicals. It’s like a detox for your armpits. The longer you’ve been wearing the bad stuff, the longer the detox will take.
Also, give each product at least a week. Figure out what’s not working (ie. the fragrance, gel or stick, etc) and then make sure it’s not the same with the next product you buy. It’s process of elimination.
When you finally do find something that works, it may only work for the first part of the day. If I want to keep the odor at bay I have to apply twice a day. So I just carry it around in my bag if I know I won’t be home for 10 hours.
The Funny Thing: Now that I’ve been using this for a couple months, my natural smell isn’t as bad. It’s like the crappy deodorant was making me smell worse!
UPDATE: As the comments on this post predicted, all of a sudden, three months in, my body chemistry changed. That deodorant stopped working, and quickly. I was so bummed because it took me forever to find one that worked. I figured I’d tried one more safe one and then give myself over to the chemicals. But, what do you know, the one I tried worked! It’s Arm and Hammer baking soda deodorant and it’s awesome. I love it. And I’m hoping when my body turns on me again, I’ll be able to go back to the other one. We shall see …
Honorable Mention: There was another brand (Every Man Jack) that I LOVED the smell of but it didn’t work with my body chemistry. I gave it to Mike to use and it’s heavenly. Even when his natural smell peeks through, I like it. It’s like I can smell his pheromones. Very interesting.
Do you use natural deodorant? What works for you?
I hope you’re all having happy Thursdays! Love and hugs – Ash