How I stopped wearing deodorant – and you can too

image: flickr creative commons, Jakob Montrasio @yakobusan

By Kate | Beauty
Posted Apr 5, 2016

When it comes to personal care products and the amount we use – less is more. On average, women use 12 products daily exposing themselves to over 168 different chemicals and no one is really sure what the effect of all of those chemicals have on us. Concerned about that ’168′ number, a few years ago I started dropping products from my daily use – including deodorant. And you can too.

Whenever I reveal this info people are shocked (TMI?) and it might be just me, but they seem to take a little step back. I don’t blame them, society has us convenincd that certain rituals are required: brushing teeth, regular showers, some sort of hair grooming and eliminating body odor. So for years, no make that decades, I swished it under each armpit every morning without a thought to whether I needed it or whether it was good for me. But here’s the thing, I don’t have body odor. I don’t wear deodorant because I don’t need it. Since the jury is still out on the safety of deodorant and since I don’t need it – it’s gone from my daily routine.

If you are interested in joining the ‘clean pit clique’ here are some of my tips as you transition:

  1. Start clean. For most, body odor is a result of built up perspiration. This means the first ‘sweat’ probably won’t smell, but as the day(s) progress and the sweat layers up, then you are entering smell territory. Want to avoid the build up – clean the area regularly.
  2. Watch your diet. It shouldn’t surprise you that certain foods will affect your smell. And now that you are not masking it, you might notice that garlic, onions, curry and other pungent smells really do come out of your pores. The cleaner the food, the cleaner the smell. And something to consider the night before the big game or a big date.
  3. Hormones. In addition to food, hormones also affect smell. Especially the surge that comes once a month might also play havoc with your scent.
  4. Wear natural fibers. Natural fibers (cotton, linen, silk) will work with you by absorbing your perspiration whereas synthetic fibers (polyester, wicking or performance shirts) might work against you. Researchers in Belgium discovered bacteria that cause odor grow better on polyester.
  5. Give it time. Like all changes, understanding your natural smell (or lack thereof) and potential smell activators will take time but now I know when I need to be extra careful or wear a nontoxic deodorant as back up.

Once in a blue moon, if I have a stressful presentation, it’s that time of the month and I’m wearing polyester, I like to wear something. On those days I reach for a nontoxic backup. Lovefresh is my favorite because the small container (since it’s solid) can go in carry-on:

For a fuller list of non-toxic deodorant options see the #magnifecobook

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