Monday, 4 January 2010

the smelly wars

I’ve written here before about trying to find SLS-free products. Specifically toothpaste. In fact, at the moment, I’m pretty happy with the baking soda toothpaste I got at Trader Joe’s. Although someone just told me now baking soda might be bad for me….

In my quest for all natural everything, I realized that I was still using commercial deodorants. About six months ago, I thought it was time I tried some options. Reluctantly. Very reluctantly.

At Whole Foods in Camden, I sought out some options. There was a travel size of one of those crystals. I bought it. I used it. With mixed results. First issue is – you have to wet it. Not always convenient and certainly a change to my routine – now you must be near running water to put it on. Second – you get wet. This is no anti-perspirant. You have to get used to being wet. Weird. Third – it doesn’t really seem to be strong enough to last all day. So you have to carry it around. And there needs to be more running water later when you reapply. At least it’s unscented.

I was told there’d be an adjustment period. For the first few weeks I felt kind of icky. Once I got the double-application down, it worked better. For a while. Then it seemed to not work again and I felt kinda smelly. Then there was the issue of laundry. You really couldn’t wear a top more than once anymore. On and off I considered giving up. I persevered, results still mixed. Not so bad in LA, in the heat, on set. Worse when wearing long sleeves, or warmer clothes.


But the endless illnesses that are supposedly caused by the aluminum and by not sweating. What to do?

Back in the day, it didn’t matter too much. As any dance teacher will tell you – dancers don’t sweat. And if they do, it doesn’t smell. Why? Well because after your first class, rehearsal, whatever, you’re pretty much sweated out. And if you sweat that much daily, you’re not moving that much out of your body except water.

I talked to a friend who suggested visiting Lush. I’m pretty much a fan of Lush products, though I think they are unnecessarily pricey for things that have looming expiration dates. I visited one, and asked about deodorants. They had several. One was a solid bar type thing that you put on. As with many Lush products, it doesn’t have packaging apart from the waxed paper they wrap it in. I asked for a sample – I really didn’t want to pay money for another product that didn’t work – and she happily obliged. She went away and came back with a chunk that I later realized would probably last a year.

It’s called Aromaco and is a little beige bar you kind of use like a solid deodorant. It tends to crumble and get on everything in your toiletry case. It has a scent. When you begin to sweat, you don’t smell like sweat exactly. You smell like a Dead show. An old hippie. Some patchouli and other smells come out that are smells I don’t particularly like. Ones that I would rather avoid. Ones that don’t really go with who I am, get stuck in my clothes.

As long as you’re not sweating, it’s fine.


For now I’m alternating between putting on one of these and going commando. I’ve discovered that if I’m really good about shaving, then I’m pretty much clear. I’ve also discovered that natural fibers make a difference.

But generally, I feel smelly and alone. I strangely have found that I get more dates now that I am au natural. Theorize as you like.

My friend Alfie posted something on her FB status about the whole natural deodorant issue. It sparked dozens of comments from people all searching for the natural alternative. It made me feel less alone. And even, a little less smelly. With enough trial and error, we may be able to solve this.

Until then…well, hmm…

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