A Tale of Two Smellys

OK, so just one smelly…me.

I much as I hate to admit it, I have a tendency to smell when I sweat.

I am not one of those people who can go without deodorant (and let’s face it, anyone I know who thinks they can…they are wrong…your ‘natural scent’ is not ‘alluring to the ladies.’).

But despite the fact that I can’t go more than an hour without putting on some deodorant, I was sick of wearing aluminum-based antiperspirants. Without getting into the whole safe/not-safe debate about aluminum in detail, my main reasons for wanting to switch were:

1. Clogging my sweat glands. In my opinion, it can’t be healthy to clog your sweat glands all day, every day. Think about it…your sweat glands were created to…sweat…

2. The aluminum-Alzheimer’s disease link. Yes, it is yet unproven. But since I had both of my Grandma’s suffer from Alzheimer’s, I have decided not to take any chances. Not cooking in aluminum pots, no aluminum in my pits. Done and done.

You may have a whole list of your own reasons for wanting to rid your medicine cabinet of antiperspirant. You may think antiperspirant is a gift from the gods to save you from social ruin because you smell like a dirty hippie-treeplanter after a week-long plant trip (don’t know any treeplanters? Head to Northern BC…you can smell them a mile off).

I, like you, do not want to smell. I don’t want to be “the girl who gave up antiperspirant” at work…only I never even told anyone, they just knew.

So I started to test out deodorants. And it was a rough road. There were days when I knew this deodorant wasn’t working…and I still had 4 hours of work left.
So I suggest…keep a stick of your tried-and-true close by…in case of a stinktastic emergency. Then once you know there is one you love, you can chuck that pore-clogging, toxic garbage you have been swiping on your underarms until now! Yay!

The Not-So-Natural but Aluminum-Free All the Same:

So I started with baby steps. These were fairly easy to find, they were cheap…you heard me…they were at WalMart.

sftndrydeo

Soft&Dri aluminumfree

I bought this one in the darling scent “Sweet Bliss,” which is a light, slightly perfume-y scent. Nothing crazy. It smelled like deodorant.
It wasn’t hugely strong in it’s ability to fight my stink. It lasted about 6 hours in that department. But the downside – this baby had ZERO absorption. So if it was hot out, or I was stressed = mega sweaty. So I may not have smelled, but I am still not a fan of sweat rings on my tops. I still have most of my stick left, which goes to show how long I was willing to put up with it.
Out of 10…I give this one a 5…nice scent, stopped some stink, but not amazing.

adidasdeoAdidas cottonTECH+ Absorbent-Deo
If your #1 trigger is cost, this is the aluminum-free choice for you. That is likely why my Mom loves it. Even after I gushed about my top pick (be patient, I will get there), she still chose to use Adidas, since it costs her around $2.50 at WalMart or Superstore. But not only is it cheap, it works remarkably well. The cottonTECH helps absorb excess wetness, there is a range of scents to choose from (okay, a small range – maybe 3), and it lasts for most of the day. Basically, if you are going dancing after work, give it another quick application.
Out of 10…this one gets a 7-8…the only downside is it is still fairly chemical-based and it does leave slight white marks.

So although the Adidas was becoming my fall-back, I did want to give some other more natural options a try…

The Hippy-Dippy ‘Natural’ Options:

I wanted something with more natural ingredients – not simply aluminum-free.

Lush’s “Aromarant”

So to start, I LOVE Lush. I cannot say enough good things about them. I am obsessed with their bath bombs, lotions, face wash, etc. It is great stuff! You know what else I love about Lush? They will give you a sample of their solid deodorant bar and you don’t have to pay to find out it doesn’t work for you at all.
I didn’t like holding the bar to put it on and getting it on my fingers (picky, picky, I know!)…I didn’t like how I felt I had to push really hard to even get any onto my pits…and the biggest one…I didn’t like stinking. I know, right? That’s such a small issue! Ummm…no.
So out of 10…I give Lush’s “Aromarant” an E for effort…sorry.

tomsdeo Tom’s Of Maine Natural – Original – Deodorant

So this bad-boy claimed it uses hops to inhibit growth of odour-causing bacteria, and is chock full of other beautiful and natural ingredients.
Normally Tom’s makes great stuff. They are a pretty big name in the natural world. You can even buy their stuff at WalMart. I KNOW! Even though it is about double the cost of the Adidas. But I was excited – a natural deodorant that I don’t have to make a special trip for – YES!!! But then… NOOOOOOOOO!!! Initially I was excited – I had bought Honeysuckle Rose. It smelled like Climb On! – a super moisturizing lotion Colin and I use after rock climbing. It smells like a clean, citrus-y hippy. I love it. But after half a day… I smelled like…well, those treeplanters I spoke about earlier. It was not good. It was really not good during hot yoga. I will take a moment to apologize to everyone around me. We were all sweaty, we all smelled. But I smelled the worst. Or at least I feel like I did.
And here’s the worst part…I kept trying! I loved the way it smelled so much, I would use it on days when I wasn’t working out, or doing much of anything. But sometimes…it would still stop working.
So for a while I gave up. I was using that Adidas stuff – at least I was fresh!
So for Tom’s…you get a 4 out of 10. Your ingredients are noble, you smell like a dream…but I didn’t after a few hours. And that is why you lose.
bodyshopdeoThe Body Shop’s “DeoDry” Dry Effect Deodorant

And then I found this. I saw a review in a discarded Best Health magazine at our campground. (Shut up…I was not garbage picking, someone had placed a pile for us all to enjoy – so I took half of them) They said they liked the Body Shop deodorant. My hope was renewed. I sang an impromptu dance number right there by the lake. OK that last part didn’t happen. Except in my head.
So after vacation, I headed to good old Body Shop. At first, I picked up the liquid kind in the Chilled & Breezy scent. I returned it. The girl had suggested the liquid over the solid since it was less likely to leave white marks. But I HATE….HAAAAAAAATE standing in the bathroom with my arms in the air, waiting for my deodorant to dry. I also hated that Chilled & Breezy made me smell like I had mouthwash on my armpits. But I wasn’t willing to give up…so I headed back and exchanged it for the solid deodorant in Fresh & Floral. And I fell in love. DeoDry contains volcanic minerals, which help absorb the excess wetness, and a bunch of essential oils, for a bunch of other things (technical, I know). The Fresh & Floral has a light floral scent, but nothing that overpowers my perfume or any other scents. It keeps me smelling fresh all day. It is wonderful! There aren’t significant white marks that I have noticed.
The only downside is that the volcanic minerals can build up if you don’t give your pits a good scrubbin’ in the shower, and that can lead to clogged pores. Note I did not say clogged sweat glands. But I scrub my pits anyways…so I have found that to be a non-issue.
So DeoDry, I give you a 9 out of 10…and a big hug for saving the day!

On a side note…don’t even bother with anything called a Crystal Stick. They are all awful. The solid crystal stick – is awful. The liquid crystal stick – is awful. Try out Tom’s; try the other kinds offered at Lush; try whatever, but save your money and ignore that crappy crystal stick. It stinks, and so will you.

So, (under)armed with this, head out and try some deodorants and throw that nasty Lady Speed Stick away! Maybe you are at the low end of the sweaty scale and can get away with the delightful smelling Tom’s of Maine *sob*. I am still sad that one didn’t work out…

*The Eco Housewives have not received any compensation or benefits from the companies mentioned in this article. Not that we would mind if we did…

This article was written by Aubrey

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