Nothing was working for me anymore, it was a nightmare! After a year or so of using a brand of deodorant, it would stop working and I would have to buy, yet again, a new stronger or clinical strength one and then, after a while, it would stop doing the job, again. It was like my deodorants were getting used to my sweat and then the odour would just get worse and worse. Has this ever happened to you?
Anyhow, I knew since a long time ago that conventional deodorants are really not that good for your health. They are toxic because they contain aluminum, triclosan, and parabens. In fact, they can even cause breast cancer! So I decided to do some research.
Here’s a little 101 on deodorants
Deodorants and antiperspirants are not the same thing. The first one tries to cover the not-so-sexy smell that comes from sweat. The second one, antiperspirants, prevent you from even sweating at all, blocking the sweat glands so that you won’t stain your shirt. Now, something you must know is that most deodorants in the market, around 90% of them, are also antiperspirants. It usually says it in small letters somewhere in the label.
Back to my story
Now that you know the truth about conventional deodorants (that they are also antiperspirants), imagine years and years of blocking the sweat from ever seeing the light of day and instead staying all warm and cozy inside your body. Well that’s what happened to me, and to everyone that has been using deodorant for years. I became aware that none of them were working anymore and I would smell bad.
Last year I read about a woman that had exactly the same problem and she had found a solution that was quite dramatic. But it worked, and I was willing to try anything at that point. I had to stop using antiperspirants, FOREVER.
The armpit detox: Month 1
When I started my - let’s call it detox challenge - conditions were ideal. It was the middle of winter and I was working from home so if things would get… rough. I wouldn’t bother anyone with my smell except for me, oh, and my boyfriend. Everything would go as usual on my daily routine, except, I would be skipping the step where I apply antiperspirant after showering. First weeks were not too bad, yet.
Months 2, 3, and 4 of the detox challenge
I started noticing a tiny problem, 6 weeks into my little experiment when I got a job interview. You know when you sweat because you are nervous it’s actually worse right? It smells twice as bad as regular sweat. After my interview I was sure everyone, including my soon-to-be new boss, noticed the smell. I knew right then and there that this would be an inconvenience, and if my detox challenge did not start showing some positive effects I would need to withdraw from it.
I would like to take a brief pause to apologize and thank at the same time, to my former boss, my friends, and my boyfriend, for standing the stinkyness and not saying anything… most times! Ha!
Once, I discovered my boss shyly smelling herself with an “what is that smell” expression on her face. I was so embarrassed I had to confess and tell her everything about my new way of life. “Are you sure it is going to work?”, she would ask me. It has to.
The challenge was painfully stinky and very embarrassing. Sometimes I would shower twice a day and even then, I would not feel fresh. It made me feel self-conscious and many times I felt like quitting. Then months 5 and 6 showed me a light at the end of the tunnel. Slowly, very slowly, I discovered that I was sweating less, and it smelled nothing at all. By the end of month 6, after a long day, I would raise up my arm and ask my boyfriend:
“What? I don’t smell anything.”
My life without deodorant
Not only am I happy to have eliminated the need for antiperspirant from my daily routine, but also very proud to have completed my challenge and detoxified my body. I do have an all-natural deodorant (not antiperspirant, of course) that I only use when I know I am heading into a situation that might make nervous, but other than that, NADA!
It is very hard to embark into a challenge like this when you know it’s going to make you and everyone around very uncomfortable, but it’s worth it. I hope my experience helps you take the leap. If you do, let me know in the comments. And if you’re not willing to try it but would like to try a natural deodorant, you should try the Vancouver brand NALA.