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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Search for the Perfect Deodorant

Awhile back, I posted about some handy Folk Remedies, one of which was removing deodorant stains from clothing by rubbing them with nylon. This works pretty well for surface stains, but it doesn't remove deeper stains that inevitably soil your clothing in the long term, and ultimately make them unsuitable for wearing.

Well, I decided I was fed up with this inconvenience. I was tired of throwing away perfectly good clothes that I still wanted to wear just because they had permanent caked-on deodorant stains in the pits. Furthermore, I recently learned that there is a correlation between repeat exposure to aluminum and development of Alzheimer's Disease (this is rather old news, I know). Guess what's in conventional white deodorants? Yup, aluminum.

So I decided to put aside my clothing-destroying, possibly-Alzheimer's-inducing Secret brand deodorant and begin searching for a worthy replacement.

Natural Crystal Deodorant

Made entirely of salt crystals and nothing more, Crystal deodorants are the go-to solution for people with sensitive skin and allergic reactions to traditional deodorant. The salt kills bacteria, which is the main cause of armpit odor. This is not intended to work as an antiperspirant, but quite frankly, I've never found an antiperspirant that completely keeps me from perspiring anyway, so this isn't an important factor to me. The weird thing about the Crystal is you have to get it wet before applying. That seems a little high maintenance.

The Crystal works surprisingly well... for about half a day. Then the BO sets in. It's still better than wearing nothing at all, but after about a week of pretty stinky armpits at the end of the day, I decided this wasn't the solution I was looking for.

Old Spice

I'd tried feminine gel deodorants by Degree before, and while they didn't cake up my armpits with nasty white residue, they did have the unfortunate tendency of bleaching my clothing. I had a few brown shirts that turned orange in the armpits because of gel deodorants. Not really a trend I wanted to start. And besides, anything that does that to my clothing can't be good for my skin.

But Ian told me that his Old Spice gel deodorant was different. It neither caked nor bleached the armpits of his shirts. I should try it, he said. Hmm, interesting proposition, except for the fact that Old Spice is about the most stereotypically MALE-smelling deodorant on the market. Find me one that doesn't smell like a man who's just had a run and a hot shower and I'll try it, I said.

So one day he brought me a stick of "Fresh"-scented Old Spice. It smelled gender-neutral to him. It's ok for ladies to smell "Fresh", right? Ok, so it's maybe not the most manly of scents, but this stick still smells more masculine than feminine to me. Even so, I decided to give it a try. It worked pretty well and didn't stain my clothing in any way, as promised. The downside was that by the end of the day, my body chemistry mingled with the deodorant and produced a rather musky smelling odor. It's something that would have been appealing on a man, but was rather repellent on a woman.

So I put aside my manly Old Spice and continued my search.

Tom's of Maine

I have been using Tom's of Maine's natural toothpaste for a couple months after reading a post on one of my fellow blogger's sites about how she discovered that her toothpaste had formaldehyde in it. FORMALDEHYDE! I did a little googling and discovered that formaldehyde is a common ingredient in toothpaste. Why? I have no idea. But I'm not comfortable with putting a chemical involved in embalming in my mouth.

I was already familiar with Tom's of Maine's mouthwash which contains neither sugar nor alcohol, so I turned to them for some natural formaldehyde-free, cinnamon-ginger flavored gel toothpaste. It is taste:delicious. So why not also see what they have in the way of natural deodorants?

I chose the apricot scented deodorant, and immediately fell in love with its sweet candy-like scent, which is not overpowering. TOM's uses hops as a natural bacteria-killer, and it does a fine job of keeping odor at bay. Best of all, my clothing remains unmolested.


I think I've found a winner.


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11 comments:

B.R. said...

This is all very relevant. Deodorants are never inconsequential as olfactory sensibilities do not just apply to the individual consumer but also those with whom s/he comes in relatively close contact with.
I, too, find Tom's product rather impressive. Their toothpaste is a high-frequency item as well.

Trovan said...

I had a roommate several years ago that used one of those salt rock things. It did not work, at all.

I'll have to give that Tom's stuff a try. Although, I am pretty satisfied with my Old Spice.

And thanks for freaking me out about toothpaste.

tauns said...

Where did you find the Tom's? Local grocery store or specialty market. Is it significantly more than other deodorants?

Claire said...

What about Mitchum? It's so effective, you could even skip a day!

The Alzheimer's/Deodorant connection has always TERRIFIED me. I'm so glad you did this, if only because I'm no longer caught on the horns of the "be stinky/be senile" dilemma.

Sra said...

B.R. - Olfactory sensibilities, indeed. Now that we've covered deodorant we can turn to people who wear too much perfume/cologne.

Trovan - Old Spice is my favorite deodorant for men. Not too appealing on myself ;) Sorry about the toothpaste scare, but now that you know, aren't you glad there are formaldehyde-free options?

Tauns - I bought mine at Wild Oats (WholeFoods) Market, but I've also seen Tom's in Walgreens and Albertsons. Wild Oats has the largest selection of flavors and scents. If you google Tom's of Maine and go to their website, they have a store locator. Just input your ZIP and they'll tell you the nearest store to you that carries their products. (I'd get the link for you, but I'm having a lazy moment.)

Claire - Never heard of Mitchum. Is this an Ohio thing? I frequently skip a day (or two) of showers, so I think skipping a day of deodorant is ill advised for me ;)

B.R. said...

I can vouch for Mitchum not being strictly an Ohio thing. I first saw it in Salt Lake City as a matter of fact in a place like Smith's, I believe. The packaging is aesthetically interesting but the content doesn't match Tom's qualitatively, per me, at last.

Sra said...

I've always been a sucker for aesthetically interesting packaging. For that matter, I'm a sucker for any kind of packaging that deviates from the norm, whether interesting or not.

When they came out with super large Tic-Tac packaging, for instance, I had to remind myself that I don't even particularly like Tic-Tacs to keep myself from buying them. Recently I bought a package of Kleenex that was a dollar more expensive and carried fewer tissues than other boxes just because it's in an appealing package.

Why do I do this even when I know packaging is just a ploy? Apparently it's a ploy that works rather well on me.

Sarah Bellum said...

Does Tom's hold up during a workout? I used to use a lavender toothpaste of that brand, but I haven't been able to find it lately. No one likes dead body chemicals between their teeth.

Sra said...

I think Tom's works great during a workout. You're still going to sweat, but you shouldn't stink any worse than you would using a white deodorant. In fact, I think it works better.

I know Tom's recently discontinued some of their less popular flavors. Perhaps lavender was one of them.

Claire said...

What about Mitchum? It's so effective, you could even skip a day!

The Alzheimer's/Deodorant connection has always TERRIFIED me. I'm so glad you did this, if only because I'm no longer caught on the horns of the "be stinky/be senile" dilemma.

Trovan said...

I had a roommate several years ago that used one of those salt rock things. It did not work, at all.

I'll have to give that Tom's stuff a try. Although, I am pretty satisfied with my Old Spice.

And thanks for freaking me out about toothpaste.

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