Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plug your noses...

Because I'm going to talk about natural deodorants.  If you don't like hearing about stinky 'pits, then this probably isn't your post!  For those not faint of heart, read on, my friends...

I've had issues with getting the sweats (and not the comfy kind you wear while laying on your couch) since I was in middle school.  I am a carbon copy of my dad in looks and genes, and it shows in my sebaceous glands.  When I was younger I used to giggle because after a long day of working on the car, he would come in with a face and shirt full of sweat, and his shirt would often look like a heart pattern in the way he sweat.  Then I got older and realized I had those genes too.  Ugh.  I've tried just about every deodorant product out there, including women's deodorant, men's deodorant, certain dri, and even those patches you can put under your arms on your clothes that absorb the sweat so you don't have sweat spots in your clothes.  My main problem had been, all of these deodorants with their harsh chemicals had been really damaging my underarm skin.

So I decided to make a switch.

Since the CVS down the street from us carried Tom's of Maine products, I thought I'd give those a try.  I really like the Tom's brand (I've previously tried their toothpastes, mouthwashes, and soaps, and liked how they list all their ingredients on the package and on their website).  So I picked out two deodorants of theirs to try.

The first was Tom's long lasting 24 hour odor protection in lemongrass, above.  
The second was Tom's long lasting 24 hour odor protection in apricot, below.

I used these deodorants for probably a few months, alternating between the two, with no trouble and a nice scent on both of them.  While these ingredients were certainly better than those of deodorants like Secret or others with harsh chemicals, they really worked just like all of the regular deodorant brands.  The problem was, that after a month or two, I started to notice I was having the same problems I had with previous deodorants: red, scaly, bumpy skin underneath my arms, that was very uncomfortable.  So, I did what any crunchy mama does, I followed the advice of my fellow tree huggers and tried crystal deodorant.

Crystal deodorant was a new concept to me, I had never heard of it before I had trouble with the Tom's deodorants above.  Basically, crystal deodorant is made of natural mineral salts that form a barrier on the skin so that bacteria cannot form and create odor.  Typical deodorants usually just rely on scents to mask the odor that had already been produced.  (Again, I'm talking deodorant here, not antiperspirants)

After my run-in's with the Tom's deodorants above, I contacted the company and they very happily sent me replacement products of my choosing and requested that I send them the above deodorants that caused me the fierce dragon scale pits I described to them, as they apparently test the products that consumers complain about/get refunded for.  The new products they sent me out were:

This fragrance free natural crystal deodorant 
this 24 hour fragrance free sensitive deodorant.

While I have not had any reactions to the sensitive, fragrance free deodorant, I will say that I am 100% a crystal deodorant girl now.  I apply the crystal deodorant right after I take a shower at night and I do not have to apply it until the next night.  My underarm skin is the softest and least irritated it has been in years.  I have tried using the sensitive deodorant a few times recently, and all it feels is so sticky and gross.  The crystal deodorant dries within a few minutes and there is NO smell for 24 hours, which is a far cry from some of the other 'hippie' deodorants I've used, and even some of the other Tom's deodorants I've used.  While the crystal deodorant is not meant to cause less sweating overall (since it is not an antiperspirant), I was surprised to find that I have actually been sweating less since starting to use it.  Maybe it could be because of less chemicals irritating my skin?  

Tom's crystal deodorant is also a level 1 on the cosmetic database, which I try to use to rank the toxicity of all my products, and it is also only $3.59, which is actually less expensive than the $6 deodorant I was using before I switched to Tom's.  

Even if you don't decide to give crystal a try with it's five ingredients, when you go to put on your deodorant tomorrow morning, take a peek at the ingredients or go to the cosmetic database and see just what it is you are putting into your body, the answers may surprise you!  

( now, didn't that post surprise you in that I didn't say I'm a complete tree hugger who either doesn't wear deodorant or makes my own?  ....option number two may be coming soon! )

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