Have you ever caught a whiff of yourself and instantly wondered,” Do I stink?”
I feel like most of us have waged the battle with body odor pretty much since puberty. We can obsessively shower and use deodorant and antiperspirant and still not smell like a rose. It can be down right frustrating!
I wanted to write about this, because I’ve been on a mission to get healthier, which led me to start using natural deodorants that are free of aluminum, etc. But can they really work?
A few things I’ve figured out…
Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so if you use perfume, cologne or scented deodorant, you need to find a smell that matches your natural smell. Ever notice that your best friend’s perfume smells great on her, but makes you stink? That’s individual body chemistry for you! I love the scent of lemongrass and fresh citrus, but if I put it on my body, I smell like someone sprayed me with air freshener (boo!) I seem to be able to work with warmer scents like vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. It takes some trial and error to figure out what works, so give it time. Unscented deodorant is always a good option!
What you eat matters. I think most people have noticed that after a spicy meal with garlic or curry, that they kind of smell like that spice. It really does matter what you eat, because the by products of your food may be excreted as sweat. My personal revelation? The less dairy I eat, the better I smell. And, yes, I do miss cheese and ice cream! Generally, I also think the less chemicals and preservatives we eat the better, which leads to my next point…
Chemicals! I’m going to link to an article below which talks about a number of factors, including chemicals in medication, deodorants and antiperspirants. While I was testing different natural products, I would alternate with traditional antiperspirant. Over time, I was surprised to find that I actually smelled worse at the end of the day when I used the chemical based products. Not lying, and I was baffled! I guess artificial = bad when it comes to smell.
Clean yourself better. I have probably used hundreds of products over the years from shampoo and conditioners to soaps and body washes. Let’s face it, some just work better than others, and I’m sure it varies from person to person. (Did you ever notice you still kind of smelled after a shower? So annoying!) I recently stumbled upon detox soap. I think you can buy detox deodorant, too. They have been using charcoal and activated charcoal in clay face masks for year, and now they put charcoal into pretty much any product you can think of.
I started using a charcoal soap and have been very happy with the results. I have used it from head to toe, and it has thoroughly cleaned my skin without stripping the natural oils. My pits smell totally fresh and clean after each wash, no matter how dirty I was before. This is the kind I’m using right now.
See the difference between regular vs. activated charcoal here.
It’s your clothes, too. Are you wearing too many synthetic fabrics? I find that if I’m not wearing a cotton blend, then my skin isn’t “breathing” enough, and I start sweating buckets. This, of course, is a problem, since many cute new clothes are made of rayon and similar fake fabrics. When I need to wear a fancy dress or something that doesn’t come in cotton, I use my natural deodorant to keep down the smell, and I regularly blot the sweat with tissues in the bathroom. It’s not ideal, but that approach works better than layering on more commercial deodorant. I’m jealous of people who can wear any fabric without breaking a sweat!
Last, but not least, I have found a natural deodorant that works for me. There is definitely a transition phase from commercial deodorant to natural deodorant, so give it a week or so for your body to adjust. And remember the difference between a deodorant, something that keeps the smell away, and an antiperspirant, something that stops you from sweating. I know it can be super annoying, but our bodies need to sweat in order to moderate temperature and excrete waste, so it’s not a great idea to blunt the sweat glands.
I have used a few kinds of Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant, as well as a product called Primal Pit Paste. Both of these were OK, but they didn’t work as well as Native. I tried this on a whim and was shocked at how well it worked. I started with the unscented and am starting to try some of their other scents. I just can’t believe how well the unscented native deodorant works. End of story, it just works magic in my opinion!
To wrap up this smelly subject, check out the shape article here. My apologies to any guys reading this, because it’s aimed at women, but the general points are universal.
May you have a healthy and sweet smelling day!