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There’s really no easy way to say this…

April 24, 2010

Alright. It’s time to get honest. Here is the situation. All my life I have used a deodorant and antiperspirant combined. My parents used deodorant/antiperspirants and for most of my life I did not even know there was a difference between a regular old deodorant and a deodorant with antiperspirant. But since my recent foray into wellness I’ve discovered that there are certain chemicals and elements in antiperspirants that some believe are hazardous, perhaps even so noxious as to cause breast cancer. Geoff has always used deodorant only. In fact, one of the first times I realized that you could buy just deodorant was when he asked me to pick some up for him and naturally I bought the combo. He had this horrified look on his face like I had purchased a rabbit fetus for him to rub under his arms. But Geoff does not sweat. Literally he does not sweat. He radiates heat, but he does not sweat. I think somehow he is such a Razorbacks fan that he has evolved a pig-style no sweating gene. I on the other hand, definitely do sweat. Not as much as some of my friends, but definitely as much as your average red-blooded American female, especially one who lives in south Texas. So in an attempt to be more healthy, more environmentally conscious, and to not die of cancer or have Franken-babies, I switched to a natural deodorant. Now, before you freak out, know that I did not switch to something super extreme like crystals or peyote or whatever. I simply switched to a reputable, popular brand of natural deodorant.

Here are the problems with this switch. First, the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant is huge, real huge.  I was used to going through my life not having to worry about what kind of shirt I was wearing or how much I was running around the classroom or how many times I climb up and down the stairs between my classroom and the front office. In the non-antiperspirant world I was forced to rethink every step. Do I really need to make these copies? Do I really need to check my teacher mailbox? Do I really need to cross the room to write on the board? Maybe not.  My classroom has an old-school free standing AC unit and I found myself sitting on it while I was teaching in order to stage a preventative strike on any impending moisture. Second, fancy, synthetic, cancery deodorants have more powerful odor fighting properties than the natural counterpart I was trying. I am not someone who strives to be overly perfumey, but I do strive to smell clean and fresh at all times. Over time I began to realize that the natural deodorant I was trying was not helping me achieve my goal of smelling clean and fresh. Third, I get phantom smells in my nose. Sometimes when an idea gets in my head, then a phantom smell materializes in my nose and I loose my ability to determine if I am really smelling something or if it is the ghost of a smell. During my foray into the natural deodorant world I found myself constantly checking to see if I smelled and then unable to determine if I did smell or if I was just so afraid of smelling that my mind constructed a phantom smell to drive me back to my old antiperspirant.  I know some of the time I did really smell, and that fed the phantom smell psychosis. So for now, I am back to the good old fashioned odor and moisture fighting product, but I am happy to accept suggestions for reliable natural deodorants that will get the job done and not kill me over the course of my lifetime. Gracias.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. oh, brother! permalink
    April 24, 2010 7:14 PM

    Tom’s natural makes it smell like you have a leaf of sage stuck in your B.O. laden pit (or an orange rind depending on the flavor chosen). The “natural salt crystal” made my armpit crack and bleed (I’d rather a sweat stain in my pit than a crime scene). Jason Natural made my pits smell like an herb garden (with a splash of B.O. tossed in), and FINALLY Burt’s Bees made my under arm feel like the texture of the sticky part of a post-it note.

    As one sweater to another– it’s chemicals or puddle pits.

  2. Kelly permalink
    April 27, 2010 5:02 PM

    You know, I’ve done natural childbirth with midwives, I breastfeed, I cloth diaper, but you’d have to pry my chemical-laden pit-products out of my cold, dead hands.

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