Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Grand Deodorant Experiment Has Come to an End

Every now and then I make grand proclamations about how I'm going to eliminate X from my life in the name of good living and do-goodery.  One of the recent ones was "I'm going to eliminate chemicals from my life wherever I can," which lead to several wins and one significant non-win.  In the win column, we have giving up shampoo, conditioner and face wash and replacing them, respectively, with baking soda and/or cider vinegar rinses, nothing and olive oil.  More on that tomorrow and the next day.  However, the non-win column is dominated by my attempts to switch to less-chemical-heavy deodorant, which makes me sad.  I was kind of looking forward to being all hippy-dippy with my crystal deodorant.  Alas, for me, it is not to be.

Deodorant is kind of tricky, right, because everyone sweats and stinks in different ways.  For this reason, I'm going to do my best to hit up the full pros and cons of all deodorant options, because what doesn't work for me might work for you!

Deodorant #1: Deodorant Cream from Soapwalla

This was a recommendation from the lovely ladies at No More Dirty Looks, and it's actually a pretty good one for most situations. You can buy it at Soapwalla's Etsy store. It's a little weird to get used to using a cream, but it does work well, and you can kind of feel better where you're applying it.  The smell is a true unisex scent, which makes it a good option for men and women.  I will definitely use this one in the wintertime when I'm going to school.  The main problem I had was when I worked out using this cream, after a certain point it did wear out.  My personal feeling is that it's okay to get a little stinky when you're at the're supposed to be sweating, and everyone else around you is also engaged in sweat producing activities, so I don't think it's worth worrying about.  That said, I'm a chronic Doing Stuff After The Gym Person.  That means I'd really gotten used to relying on the staying power of chemical deodorants to let me pop in to CVS on my way home from the gym without worrying about smoking out the poor cashier, so I got to feeling a little gross about doing stuff after the gym.  If you shower at the gym, though, it should be no problem.  You don't need a ton, so although the $10 pricepoint is a little high, it makes up for it in lifetime.  This was the most successful of all the natural deodorants and is definitely effective.

Deodorant #2 That Weird Crystal Deodorant the Hippie in Your Life Uses by Crystal

Yep, I went there.  This has always intrigued me, simply because it sounds like such unbelievable bullshit.  What convinced me to try it was some judicious Googling to find out how it actually worked, and once I learned a little more about the mechanics, I was more convinced that it might actually work.  The crystal is actually a salt, and rather than preventing perspiration, it keeps bacteria from getting established on your skin.  It's the bacteria that make sweat smell, so if they can't set up shop, you'll stay pleasantly you-scented.  You wet the stone and swab it around under your arm and you're good to go.  I will note that the plastic packaging of this particular variety of crystal deodorant (which I was able to pick up at my local RiteAid) is EXTREMELY satisfying to click up, and it's also recyclable.  I did not find this as effective as I would have hoped, but I think for wintertime it would work fine, because there's usually a little less sweat involved with winter and fall.  I was surprised to find that it did work!  It's just not a super high-test deodorant.  It's possible that with continued use it would improve, but that wasn't my personal experience.  If you don't sweat a lot, this might work just fine for you!

Deodorant #3 Tom's of Maine Apricot Deodorant
This one was by far the best smelling option.  I've been on a big apricot kick in the past year, having also picked up the glorious Apricots and Cream Philosophy 3-in-1 shower extravaganza, so when I saw the Fresh Apricot scent from Tom's, I snapped it right up.  The scent is really lovely, but I didn't find the deodorant itself very effective.  It wore off by midday and didn't hold up at all at the gym.  I like Tom's efforts to use natural products and recyclable packaging, but this was a big disappointment.  I wish it had been better, but I think I'll stick with Soapwalla and the Apricots and Cream body spritz from Philosophy.  Better luck next time, Tom's.

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