I stopped wearing deodorant and antiperspirant back in February of this year and I have been amazed and perplexed by the experience. I know the title says I don’t stink and back in the cold weather months this was most definitely the truth. But as the weather turned warmer and warmer and now it’s unbearably hot, I have struggled with not smelling like a daisy anymore. There are some days after a particularly vigorous workout that I can not even stand myself!
My journey with deodorant has been a long one.
The first time I wore deodorant was at sleep away camp one summer. Up until then I had never even heard of the stuff and had no idea what it was supposed to do. On the list they send home with you that tells your parent everything they will need to provide and pack for their little camper was the word “deodorant”. A small copper colored spray can of regular Right Guard deodorant was tucked in my black duffel bag and off I went.
I remember using most of that can of spray to kill a spider that was camped out over my bunk bed.
After that summer, deodorant became a standard item in my daily upkeep and care and I graduated to a more girly brand called Secret. I remember using Soft N Dri and Teen Spirit too. I experimented some with my grandmother’s version of deodorant, which was a cream in a white glass jar. I can’t remember the name of it, but once or twice of having that stuff get under my fingernails was enough to make me stick with a roll-on or a spray. I was a kid too, so the spray was boss in my book. Who needed wet underarms?! Kind of defeats the purpose.
As I aged it was pertinent to not smell anything at all when one lifted one’s arms. Who was excited when they came out with the new and improved “clinical” versions of underarm protection? Me! I was! I needed to be protected from my underarms! Everyone did! Even the smallest hint of BO made me gag even if it was mine, or someone else. Down with body odor!
When a friend even hinted that he had a manly smell it wasn’t body odor that I thought of, it was a cologne scent. How screwy is that? Colognes are not pheromones! Holy crap! No wonder I dated so many assholes when I hit the breeder pool!
It was when I read that Matthew McConaughey didn’t wear deodorant, that I started to wonder if I was missing something. I mean…it’s Matthew McConaughey, for feck’s sake! Seriously sex on a stick, Matthew! And here he is, not wearing deodorant! He actually does wear creams and lotions that he makes himself though.
A few years later I was visiting my good friend Sherry in Ecuador. Sherry is a love and a breast cancer survivor. I met her in Big Bend State Park when my husband and I were camping one Easter weekend. She and her sister Debbie were on a cross country camping adventure to celebrate her recovery.
A couple years later I went to visit her in the middle of the Andes mountains.
I was in her bathroom with her one morning getting dressed to go on a walk up to the local park. There were baby llamas wondering around free up there and just by chance, all of the mountain peaks were visible at one time. It was a Kodak moment in the making. Chatting, drinking coffee and washing my face, I lifted my arm to apply deodorant when she wistfully said, “Oh, deodorant. I gave that up for breast cancer.” Her face was melancholy and sad. It was something I could tell she missed, but I understood why she never reapplied it.
This made me wonder how much I might be hurting myself too.
Someone else was telling me that sweating through your armpit was the body’s way of detoxing. When you’re wearing chemicals under your arms, this process can not complete. Can you imagine all of those nasty toxins that could have naturally escaped, just stuck there inside of your body? It was enough to make me seriously consider a new plan.
When the weather is nice, this new me is a bed of rosy roses! It was the heat and this awful Southern humidity that nearly did me in and made me succumb to the deadly lure of the drugstore deodorant. The first time I smelled defeat I knew there had to be a better way of dealing with this.
You can make your own kind of organic and healthy deodorant (like Matthew does), or you can purchase some nice ones. I use a few different ones because different weather calls for different kinds of protection.
My all time go-to favorite is Botanical MD Natural Deodorant, Jasmine Grapefruit by Home & Body Company. Click the link to go to their webpage and shop. Another one of their products I like is Nature’s Element Natural Deodorant in Tangerine Mint. Both are long lasting, however they are not like your chemical filled items from the drugstore. You’ll need to wash your armpits with soap and water to kill the bacteria and reapply at least two or three times throughout the day. More than that if you’re working or playing hard. Both of these are pump sprays and the Nature’s Element comes in a glass container.
I have also started carrying a small container of wipes in my bag for fast, discrete and easy cleanups.
Tisserand Aromatherapy Rose Blend Natural Deodorant is a really nice scent, but can be overpowering if the day is really hot and humid. I reserve this one for nighttime forays. It claims to have 24 hour protection, but I’d reapply at least once a day just to stay fresh.
Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant is another favorite and I like the Bergamot Lime scent because it is citrus and light. This one, above the rest, is the most effective and has dynamite testimonials from people that have used it with great success. It lasts all day and has natural ingredients to actually keep you dry. Along with the great product, they have a rewards program and offer recycling too.
All of these recommendations are bunny approved.
I got some great advice to share with the guys out there that are going deodorant free like Mr. McConaughey. Keep your armpit hair trimmed short. You don’t have to shave it completely off, but you don’t need it long enough to braid it either. The longer it is, the more places bacteria have to hide and grow. So couiff that stuff, baby!
I am going to continue exploring my healthier deodorant options and plan to share them with you along the way. Until then my pits are chemical free and I don’t stink! It’s a miracle!