The Great Deodorant Debate
A review of traditional versus all natural deodorant products
I stink! Plain and simple. I reek. The term "sweatshirt" describes any upper body garment I wear on any given day! So, needless to say, I've tried just about every deodorant, antiperspirant, body spray, and homeopathic remedy for sweat and stink known to man.
And thus, the debate begins. Which is better traditional deo or all-natural deo? And what's healthy for us females (or males) of foulness?
I used traditional deodorant/antiperspirant since the age of 13 (when my funkiness began). I always thought I smelled like a rose, or a baby's butt, or maybe a peach-mango mai tai. Whatever the scent, I thought I was covered. Well, I was covered...in a really bad smell and potentially harmful chemicals.
Traditional deodorant/antiperspirant did give me pleasant smell, for a while. Then, I began to notice sweat stains in the pits of my favorite shirts. Gross. They were all yellow-ish brown and they began to smell the moment I put them on. I tried everything to remove the stain and odor...vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, fabric softener. Nothing worked. My favorite tees were ruined. And I still smelled.
I soon learned it was the chemicals in the deo that was causing the stains and stink. They were being trapped in the fabric.
Now, after having 3 boys and turning 36, I learned a couple of things. Number one, boys are loud! Number two, I learned about the possible health hazards of toxic chemicals on our bodies and in our homes. I read many Internet articles about the dangers of aluminum in antiperspirants, especially for women. Was there a link between aluminum antiperspirants and breast cancer? Alzheimer's? Renal dysfunction? I still don't know, but the breast cancer debate scared the bejeezies out of me. I have known too many women, some younger than me, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It made me take pause. It also made me start shopping.
All Natural Deodorants
I initially researched "all natural antiperspirants". Well, antiperspirants stop the sweat by affecting the sweat glands. There really aren't tons of all natural ways to actually inhibit sweat. Most of my searches ended up showing "all natural deodorants". After much web surfing, I learned that sweat isn't actually a bad thing. Whhhuuuuttttt???? I thought sweat was the worst thing possible for my odor issues.
Turns out, sweating is a good thing. It helps your body regulate heat. But how can it be so good for you when it stinks so bad? It only starts to stink when the bacteria start to form. So you gotta curb those pesky bacteria. In other words, take a shower! Keep the pits clean and the stink stays away, right? Not so fast. Most bar soaps I owned, even the ones with "anti-bacterial" properties, didn't keep the bacteria at bay for long. By midday, I was odorific...again! Sigh. I needed something to make me smell good and keep those pesky little bacteria buggers in line.
And so began my eternal quest for all natural deodorant products that helped inhibit bacteria growth and that smelled pleasant. I tried big name homeopathic brands(Lavanila, Tom's of Maine), low cost supermarket brands (Arm & Hammer), powders(Lush Coconut Deodorant Powder), crystals(NOW Solutions) regular old baking soda, and coconut oil. I even tried boric acid. (Didn't do much for the stink, but, hey, at least I knew no ants or roaches would be crawling up in my pits when I wasn't looking.)
What Works and What Doesn't
Here's what I learned after more than 2 years of buying and trying virtually every all natural deodorant available on earth. The cheapest stuff works the best!! It's sad but true. I really wanted to find the most unique, exotic, locally unavailable, fabulous deodorant that I could brag about to all my friends who suddenly would get a whiff of me and say, "My, you smell divine. Whatever do you use to smell so heavenly?". Sadly, my reply to my envious friends will have to be Arm & Hammer Deodorant. Yes, good old, tried and true Arm & Hammer was the magic potion I'd been searching for. It's basically baking soda with some fragrance. Brilliant. But wait, I tried baking soda! Well, just dusting on the stuff didn't do it. I needed something with sticking power. And Arm & Hammer stuck.
Now, don't get me wrong. Some of the other brands I tried, I really liked. I still use the Lush Coconut Powder, just not solely for providing all day protection. I also still love the Lavanila brand of products. And, none of the natural brands of deodorant left pit stains or trapped odor in fabrics!!! Hooray!
Everybody's body is different. So, what didn't work for me may work for you. What have you got to lose except maybe a bad smell and definitely harsh chemicals?
I think it's finally safe for me to be back in public when the sun is out. Whew!