Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Letter to the Natural Deodorant Community-At-Large

Dear Natural Deodorant Users,

I am in need of desperate help! My pits are hurting. A layer of skin is peeling off every few days. At night, when I go to bed, I put Aquaphor on in hopes that I will wake up in the morning partially healed. I am not sure what to do anymore!

I have been a faithful user of Secret Platinum Protection since it came out when I was in high school, but now wanting to be a good (future) mother, I decided it was time for a change. This originally started out because I wanted to rid my body of parabens and phalates before trying to conceive and has been a year of suffering. All the natural deos being aluminum-free was an added benefit as I am unsure if there really is a link to breast cancer, but would like to hedge my bets in case the research holds true. At this point, I will take parabens and phalates just to get a deodorant that works for me and doesn't tear my poor pits up! Additionally, I have put my hubby through the ringer on all of this with me, although he hasn't had the reactions that I have had, but does have a red ring permanently around his pit.s

My journey began probably much like everyone else that sets out on this path: with Tom's. It's cheap, easily accessible, and it seems like so many other people use it. It didn't work... I would be at the office and a few hours later, I would notice the smell. I was also sweating profusely at this time, which I knew would be a side affect of going natural.

Next, I decided to try Jason. I had to go to a very crunchy store in the middle of a bad part of town to get it. It came at a slightly higher cost than Tom's but I read a lot of good reviews. Again, it didn't work.

At this point, I decided I would try to supplement with a deodorant crystal. My method was to put the deodorant crystal on right when I got out of the shower and wait about 10 minutes for it to dry, then slather the Jason on top. This would work marginally better, but I would still be at work and notice a not so fresh smell.

Back to the drawing board... Jason and Tom's it was. Again, results were marginal. With all of the above trials, some days were better than other, but before I would get home for the day, the stink was back.

I did some research and decided that making my own deo would be the way to go. I spent way too much ordering essential oils, coconut oils, safflower oil, arrowroot powder, organic cornstarch, calendula leave, ... I should have bought stock in baking soda for how much is currently at my house. I set off to try a few, the first being a quick mixture of coconut oil, baking soda, cornstarch, and it worked! No body odor smell! Although the smell of the coconut oil takes on another smell after the coconuty-ness dissapates, something that's slightly cholorine-y and the official smell of male adolescent tube socks everywhere.

Another homemade recipe required you to put calendula in a combination of coconut and safflower oils and then store it in a dark place for 2 weeks... followed by adding essential oils, arrowroot, and baking soda. I couldn't keep the stuff from separating when the whole ordeal was over, although that's not what it looked like on the blog I found it on.

Still sweating a lot, my pits were constantly itching, in an addictive way, where all you want to do is sit down and scratch for hours, like a bear on a tree! I went back to the first deodorant, this time adding tea tree oil to it to add some flair, but the irritation was getting worse. The skin was starting to peel, but the few days before it was ready, my pits looked like a burn victim, the skin shiny and disfigured. Again, I took to the internet for research. Tea tree oil is very irritating, they said. Your pits will probably burn, they said. So, I made a new batch of the simple stuff, this time putting a different essential oil in. But the burning, itching, and peeling still persisted. My tanktops were hurting just touching my armpit area. I stopped shaving on the weekends. By the end of this, I noticed my over-sweating had balanced out.

More research... Lavanila and Malin + Goetz are where its at, they said. And boy were they pricey! I bought a small Lavanila for $8. It seemed to be ok the first day. I liked that I smelled like an actual female at the onset of my day. I bought a larger one for $14 because it was better than any of the cheaper ones and gosh darn it, I was committed to this natural deodorant venture. Still, if there was any physical activity, the outcome wasn't good.

I decided to suck it up and spend the $18 plus shipping on the Malin + Goetz... this one will work like a charm, they said. "I have tried every other deodorant out there and this is the only one that works for me", they said. I didn't get any better results than the Lavanila. I tried piggy-backing them together, to no avail. Luckily, by now, both the Lavanila and the Malin + Goetz had healed my underarms from the peeling mess that they were, but I could hear homemade deodorant calling my name again.

"Natural deodorant tearing up pits", I searched. The original website I found, the one with the complicated recipe had an update. Mix apple cider vinegar with water and put that on before you put the deodorant on... it will balance out your pH. So by joe, I mixed it up with a new batch of the simple stuff... it didn't help and 2 weeks later, I was back on the pain train. I started talking to my sister, who was using Tom's to no success. "Lush makes some powdered deodorants, you should try those."

Off I went to Lush. I bought the Greeench for me and the Guvnor for my hubby. A few weeks later, I am at the same if not further damaged point as with the homemade deodorant. The Lush deos work, but boy do they hurt. Some days I don't want to move my arms. I am putting Aquaphor on at night and trying to use the last remaining bit of my Malin + Goetz on alternating days to give my pits a break. I am shaving every other day and still not on the weekends at all. The peeling is worse than it has ever been and I am ready to give up...

I am in search of an aluminum free deodorant that will keep me from smelling! I don't want an antiperspirant, but this herbal ish isn't working! Help me! Save my pits!

If you have made it to the end, I want to thank you for bearing with me. It has been a long, arduous journey.

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