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The Stink About Deodorant

July 20, 2009

Ok, girls. Let’s get real.

For the past four or five months (actually about the past year), I have been on the search for a decent antiperspirant/deodorant. I used to be an Unscented Secret girl all the time. I didn’t want vanilla, or chai, or flowers, or powder, or anything. Just plain. It worked all the time. I was happy with it. And then… the 30s happened. Suddenly, I don’t know why, but my body chemistry seems to have changed somewhere around age 33. Now, I’m suddenly stinky. Or rather, my body + Secret (or any other deodorant) is suddenly stinky. Without deodorant I just smell like… a person. Not necessarily stinky (until I start to sweat). However, something in those deodorants are causing some ungodly chemical reaction and it’s seriously gross. I try not to be overly dramatic about things, but the smell actually kind of burns my nostrils. Embarrassing, but true. It’s really gross.

Not to mention how icky most deodorants feel. Sticky and slimy and like I have a chalky film over my armpits all the time. It’s really kind of gross. I can’t stand it.

At our last bookclub, we had a minor discussion about this. Everyone agreed that most mainstream (aluminum) antiperspirants/deodorants were stinky and gross, and most natural deodorants didn’t work. I had most recently tried Dove (two kinds) and was sort of happy with it… but in the past week or two, it’s back to grossness.


I have gone through at least five different brands in the past six months (I have seriously tried everything recommended. It was all grossness). I’ve tried the crystal (which I used to love). I’m wasting $$ left and right, and you know how much that drives me crazy. However, the horrible burned-chemical smell drives me to try anything at all. Seriously, this did not used to be a problem. Is it just me?

So, today I decided to just go crazy and try making my own. I saw a post by Amy Karol on Angry Chicken on how to make your own, and I had all the ingredients (well, mostly) here at home, so I thought I would give it a try. Also, since we are going to be moving even more towards minimal chemicals here at home, I figured since this was super-cheap and easy, might as well give it a shot.

So far, so good. It’s not terribly hot today, so I’m not sweating at all. It smells super-yummy and no chemical stink. I’m going to try it tomorrow and see how it goes out in ‘the real world,’ but so far, so good. I don’t know how much wetness will be an issue. We’ll just have to see.

Maybe I can go with this option on all but the hottest or most-anxious days. Because I would do anything to not smell that horrible deoderant-stink on myself again. Seriously, yuck.

There seem to be many variations on this out there, including how to get it into an old deoderant stick container for easy application. I’ll wait until I see how I like it before taking that step. Here’s the recipe from Amy, and here’s what I did:

* About 1/4 cup baking soda
* About 1/3 cup cornstarch
* A tablespoon or two coconut oil
* A few drops of nice rose-jasmine essential oil
* A few drops of tea-tree oil

Mix it all up to form a cream. Apply. I smell very faintly like roses and jasmine and coconut, with no burned-chemical smell. I also have a feeling this would be very effective on feet to mitigate that summer-sweaty foot problem. Even if it turns out I don’t like this for armpits, I think I’ll keep using it for the feet.

I haven’t tried the deodorant from Lush, and I haven’t tried the other kind Amy mentions in her post. I’ll give this homemade stuff a try for a little while. I’ll report back.

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