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ANTIPERSPIRANT STINKS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO

Getting ready to leave the house is something I always leave to the last second. I’m in my comfies as much as I can be. I should probably get clothes that don’t poke and squeeze me, but I’d have to change out of pajamas to go shopping at an actual store where I can try things on… 

Last time I had to catch a flight to visit my family in Chicago, I hopped in the shower at the time I probably should’ve already been out the door, and when I got out I realized Dominick (my fiancé) must have taken my deodorant by mistake. He had an earlier flight, separate from me.

Instantly I was practically induced into a nervous-sweaty panic. This didn’t bode well. I prayed that I’d be able to find a backup somewhere, but I’d recently done a “clean beauty” sweep of the house, so my searching time was for naught. 

Would you have panicked? I’m more prone to sweating than the average person and it’s not something I’m totally comfortable with doing in public. If this story isn’t landing for you just scroll down.

Anywho, finally I came up with a solution. Arrowroot powder in my pantry. I’d have to Google it to be sure, but I was thinking hmm, that’s kinda like cornstarch, that’ll be better than nothing. Keep me dry for a while?

Feeling hectic, I was a little sloppy with implementing said solution and basically threw arrowroot powder all over my body. When I put my clothes on, I realized I’d gotten powder everywhere.

Here’s a very anticlimactic ending: Everything turned out fine. All the hubbub didn’t make me miss my flight. I did sweat when I had to tow my dog to my friend’s place, lug my luggage* up down and all around, and when my backpack dug into my armpits in the TSA line. I just don’t ~think~ I got stinky.

*Woah, is that where the word luggage comes from? Lug? Or is it the other way around? 

Finally (besides reducing my overall toxic exposure of garbage straight into my bloodstream) I was noticing some actual benefits of cleaning up my antiperspirant/deodorant act. 

Let’s back it up

I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the story to explain, but yes, I did a clean beauty sweep of the house. 

Clean beauty is a trend that’s sweeping many houses, and for good reason. There’s toxic shit in everything these days. You have to be a meticulous label-reader, shop at special stores, scour Pinterest for DIY recipes, and sometimes pay top-dollar to keep from absorbing cancer-causing, vitality-depleting ingredients straight into your bloodstream from your skin.

Ditching antiperspirant was the last clean beauty mountain I scaled. Remember I’m a sweater… And also, going about this the wrong way initially left me feeling natural deodorant simply doesn’t do the job. It can turn into an expensive, embarrassing experiment if you don’t do it right.

Ugh, but it’s so worth it. Learn from my mistakes for an easier transition:

  • Pro-tip: make the switch during a cooler time of year!
  • Deodorant won’t stop you from sweating
    • Antiperspirant works by clogging up those armpit faucets (technical term) with junk that further prevents sweat, toxic junk. When cleaning up your act, you’re going to have to say goodbye to that stuff.
  • Be patient
    • While you’re clearing out those clogged armpit faucets of all the lodged toxins, you’ll be more predisposed to sweat 1) because of the clog and 2) because your body has to relearn how to efficiently use it’s cooling system. 
    • The toxins make your sweat stinker, too, but you can come out the other side like me, virtually stink-free. 
      • For this reason, don’t dismiss any new deodorant options immediately – wait it out. This can take 1-3 weeks.
  • Read the fine print
    • Unfortunately, you can’t simply trust labels that state their product as “organic,” “natural,” or  “nontoxic”. Even baby powder has fragrance in it which is like the worst thing. Read the labels and put that shiz back on the shelf if you see things like: fragrance, aluminum, propylene glycol, and triclosan. 
  • Hold off on baking soda
    • You’ll see baking soda aka sodium bicarbonate (or sodium hydrogen carbonate or bicarbonate of soda) on many ingredients lists for “clean” deodorants. It’s totally safe, but stay away from it until you’ve gone through a few weeks of detoxing or you’ll likely have what’ll look like an allergic reaction. Basically, it doesn’t mix well with the gunk you’re transitioning away from. If you get a rash from using natural deodorant, likely you just haven’t finished the detox stage.
  • Extra credit
    • If you’re not super patient or you happen to be into DIY beauty experiments, you may be able to speed up the declogging/detoxing process. I mean, it can’t hurt, but the jury is out on whether the following will actually help you through:
      • You can also apply a detoxifying mask to your pits, similar to a face mask – think charcoal, clay, apple cider vinegar. 
      • Exfoliate those underarms… 
      • Support your body’s natural detox processes by eating well, staying hydrated, and embracing anything that will help you to get your sweat on.
(are you on Pinterest? pin this image to spread the word and save the info!)

Yes, it totally sucks that we have to do so much to educate ourselves in order to make sure we’re consuming products that aren’t going to give us cancer or cause our fertility to plummet. It really does. Just do your best to stay informed (don’t worry, I’ll help), vote with your dollars, and spread the word.

Together we can create changes that will make this easier on us and everyone we share the world with.

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There you have it. If you’re a skimmer, let me tell you again in case you missed it: it’s worth the hassle of switching to natural deodorant. Can we just work together to normalize this please, so it can be less of a hassle?

Thanks for reading!
Caitie

P.S. I wrote an article on why fragrance is such a nasty ingredient that you DO NOT want on your body. It’s so prominent that you can basically bet you’ve found a great natural deodorant option if that’s not on its ingredients list. Get the full scoop on fragrance’s stinky secrets here 🙂

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