October is finally here, Fall is in full swing and the weather outlook promises fall storms, crisp mornings and house windows always open. October is Zombie preparedness month in Kansas, but it is also recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’ve cared for countless cancer patients, family members and friends and watched them suffer through chemo and pain. So, color me intrigued by the claims made by a lot of people that deodorant has cancer causing properties. In my non medical opinion, everything seems to cause cancer, but that’s just my opinion, and why not? It may, we just havn’t tested it all yet. But I step down from a small soap box and continue on point; Deodorant.
From pastes to sprays to gels to solids, deodorant has separated us from the dark ages, and a world of pungent bodily odors since 1888 (thankyou Mental Floss). While eliminating bodily odors can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Rome, the first underarm product was designed to stop your odor and to stop you from sweating through your shirt sleeves. Over the years new developments came through, different forms of application were marketed and people began to smell better and their clothing armpits last longer. But at what cost? While there has not been a conclusive and rock solid medical study linking increased breast cancer risk to deodorant or antiperspirant use, an article on Cancer.gov’s website does raise a few eyebrows, and did give me a bit of an excuse to conduct my own smelly experiment.
I have tried 3 different natural deodorants thus far. Crystal, Jasons and Native.
Last year, I started using Crystal deodorant as an attempt to be more cost effective and to lessen my potential risk of cancer. The Crystal product I decided to try is a small rock like structure formed into a tube. The company claims the product is, “Made from natural mineral salts, Crystal’s hypoallergenic deodorants do one simple thing that makes them better than the rest: they neutralize bacteria at their source to prevent body odor – even after strenuous activity. Hypoallergenic, Gentle on skin, Dries instantly, Never tested on animals.” All promising things here. While it does not contain any of the “cancer” causing ingredients, it also doesn’t stop you from sweating. This is probably why the natural store i purchased the Crystal from sells shirt pads right next to the deodorants. Luckily for me I don’t sweat too badly for most activities. I was pleasantly surprised that this product worked. But it does have it limitations to odor control. It must, and I repeat, MUST be applied to a clean, freshly showered body. Its not one of those, oo I smell after work, lets touch it up a bit and re apply type deodorants. It will not work, if you already smell. It does require you to get the crystal wet first, so running water is a must. This isn’t a product you would take on a week long nature hike or back woods camping trip where water resources are limited. But for everyday, post shower use, It does the trick. It even seems to work the next day, when you are home in your Pj’s and decided showering is pointless as you are going to clean the house and not go anywhere or change, but it does wear off after about 48 hours. (Yes, I have tested this aspect of the deodorant)
Jasons Natural Deoderant solid. I purchased the Purifying tea tree stick from Natural Grocers, hoping this would cover the days my Crystal failed, ie the dab some more on and go fresh. Sadly, this has to be the worst results I have encountered. I smelled an hour after applying to a clean showered underarm. I wasn’t stressed, I wasn’t exerting myself, I was simply grocery shopping that day, and I lifted my arm to get something from the top shelf and ICK I could smell myself. Hoping this was just a fluke I continued to use the stick for another week. After a week of smelling, sweating and being sticky, I tossed the deodorant, and informed a few friends who were thinking about trying it.
Native Deodorant, the last in my short study is a recent purchase. I had first heard rave reviews from several co-workers and my last hospital. This peaked my interest, but after a quick internet search and a saddening and spit take worthing price, I put it on the back burner. Until recently that is. Between my Jason’s fiasco and trying Native, I had gone back to using my solid favorite Dove sensitive skin stick. It smells nice and kept me dry and odor free for work. But again, I’m wanting to find that natural deodorant that decreases my sweat when my crystal doesn’t cut it. So after Native launched their Pumpkin spice latte stick, I caved. After all, I love my pumpkin spice lotion, and how it makes me smell, why not have my armpits spread fall cheer? So, as stated in my last post Pumpkin spice is life, I purchased a $12 stick of deodorant. I was so happy when it arrived, but quickly disappointed in the smell. It didn’t have a strong perfume, it was more like a very very very light whiff of vanilla and coffee. Sadness aside I began trying the deodorant in hopes it will at least do what I need it to for $12. I began using it Last week and am still using it. Though I will caution you, as my co- worker cautioned me, there is a detox period where your armpits will leak sweat and smell for about 2 days with use. And it isn’t right away, it seems to start about 5 days into using it. My armpits began to smell, first my right then my left. They were sweating a thicker sweat that smelled like stress body odor, even though I was not stressed. Lucky for me, I was at home and not working when this started and besides my husband and dogs, no one was around to smell me. Once they seemed to “detox” their strong odor out, the Native deodorant has worked really well. I do get a little sticky when I begin to sweat from activity or sitting in a hot labor room for 3 hours, but I don’t notice armpit marks on my scrubs, and I don’t smell anything at all when I do the sniff test. Will I buy the PSL version again, No, not unless they promise to make it smell stronger. But I did buy a tea tree mint one and got a travel size of the coconut vanilla that do smell amazing and strong! The have a lavender rose that looks promising too. So I shall continue to use the PSL until it is gone, and then move onto the next fragrance before I try another product. Who knows, maybe Crystal and Native will be the only two I ever use again!