I’ve tried a lot of alternatives to regular antiperspirant/deodorant and very few of them have yielded long-term success. You name it, I’ve probably tried it; Tom’s of Maine, Lavanilla, Naturally Fresh’s deodorant crystal, I’ve even used men’s deodorant—because apparently men are the only sex that wants just a deodorant—and of all these, I had the longest run of success with men’s Old Spice deodorant. Now I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what all the fuss is about with using a natural deodorant and I’m sure you’re expecting an all-chemicals-are-bad agenda rant. But, that wasn’t necessarily the case for me when I switched to natural deodorants, though it did play a small role.
My mom initially made my sister and I stop using conventional antiperspirant/deodorants due to its active ingredient, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly (whew! Try saying that five times fast. I’m not even sure I could spell it five more times.) This little ingredient has long been refuted as to its toxicity to humans and links to diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. While some studies have long reported that there is a link, there have been just as many rebuttal studies to say otherwise. Me, being one to play it safe than sorry, simply decided to stay away from the stuff until more research is done to conclusively say whether aluminum zirconium is safe or not. Especially considering the family history of Alzheimer’s in my family, I didn’t really want to tempt fate. In addition, I chose to switch to natural deodorants because I found that antiperspirant wasn’t keeping me from sweating at all and the pit stains I was getting from the stuff were absolutely embarrassing. (The yellow pit stains that occur on your clothing is actually a side effect of when aluminum zirconium mixes with your sweat. The stiffness that occurs in the pit area over time is a side effect too.) Not to mention, the amount of times I broke out in rashes under my arms so bad, I would scratch until I bled. Can’t apply deo to broken skin, so I would smell even worse as a result of running around deodorant-less.
Needless to say, using regular deodorant was a disaster for me, but switching to natural deodorants was no walk in the park either. I was pretty much playing the same game with natural deodorants as I was with regular deodorants; I would find one that would work for a few months then I would have to switch because my body would adjust and so on. It got to the point where I would buy a deodorant, use it once and know I couldn’t continue using it because my body was already acclimating to it. So here we are telling you about my experience with yet another local product that has brought me some beauty relief; Wild Wash Soap Co. germanium scented deodorant.
You might remember me buying this little gem at the Makers Market in my Boulevardia post, but Boulevardia wasn’t my first time seeing this deodorant. I saw it once before at a hair salon in the crossroads and remember feeling stinky and almost desperate enough to try this but didn’t as I had just bought the deodorant I was using at the time. Upon buying this, I decided I was going to try this deodorant for at least a week and see what I thought. Enjoy!
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My first day was probably the most nerve-wracking day of the entire experiment. I constantly wondered whether or not I smelled and even brought the tube along with me in case I had to do an emergency reapplication. The strong germanium scent that often wafted from my pits was a great reassurance that I at least didn’t smell like sweat and by the end of the day, I found that I didn’t smell. I even made my sister give me a whiff to make sure it wasn’t wishful thinking. The only concern I had were the yellowish marks that were on my clothes at the end of the day. Granted the deodorant itself is yellowish and none of the residue was showing through on the other side so I figured it was only residue. After running the dress through the wash, the marks came right out, no problem.
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I worried a little less about how I smelled, but I kept wondering if my body was going to start adjusting to the effectiveness of the deodorant. I also kept hoping I would sweat less as I really love the strong germanium scent this stuff has. When the smell went away, the deodorant kept working. I never found that I smelled like B.O. I just smelled like myself or whatever perfume I was wearing.
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Three days in and so far so good. However, I am noticing that the beeswax and cocoa butter is what seems to give the deodorant its density, but it isn’t very easy to apply as it doesn’t quickly melt when it touches skin and instead pulls at the armpit. However, I’m not one to just give up on a product over one minor setback. I’m going to try heating up the bar a little to make it easier to apply.
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First Friday! Had an awesome time in the Crossroads and at the First Friday block party. I typically bring my deodorant with me as back-up for fear of offending anyone with my odor. But, despite giving myself the option of reapplying for this experiment, I decided to test the limits a little. My friend, Sam and I had spent most of First Friday enjoying the block party and it wasn’t until we stopped into Snow and Co for a drink that I became anxious of my smell. I asked Sam to casually smell me and assured me she couldn’t smell anything, but I still ducked into the lady’s room to take a whiff for myself. She was right, no smell.
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Happy 4th everyone! Unlike most people who usually spend their Independence day outside barbecuing and popping off fireworks, most of my day was spent inside at my piano teacher’s house for dinner. Despite being inside most of the day, there was still plenty of observation to be had. I’m a person who sweats when she gets cold. I know that sounds gross, but yes I am a cold sweater. However, despite shivering most of the day in A/C, I noticed I wasnt sweating as much as I normally would. Even sitting in the car playing apples to apples with my family as we waited for the fireworks to start, I wasn’t really sweating much. The car was off through this, mind you, so things were getting a little toasty in there. Even so, at the end of the night, I still felt and smelled fresh.
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Sunday turned out to be a scorcher and it was my first time wearing anything sleeveless with this deodorant. While this may seem like a small ordeal to some, for me I think I tend to sweat more when there isn’t fabric to “catch the sweat” so to speak. Or maybe wearing sleeveless clothing makes me more aware of the sweating, either way I am significantly more self conscious about how I smell in situations like this, but found my insecurities were all in my head. I probably asked my boyfriend how I smelt to the point of exhaustion the whole afternoon we were together; it wasn’t until I smelled myself at the end of the night and found I still faintly smelled of germanium.
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After trying several different methods to warm up my deodorant to make for smoother application, I have found that taking a lighter to the tip to soften it up works the best. The other method I tried that was successful was taking it into the bathroom with you while you shower. By the time you get out, the deodorant is soft enough to apply without pulling at the pits as much as it would when room temperature.
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By the end of this experiment I had to make a choice what I going to continue using the deodorant or was I going to continue my search while using something that didn’t work. By the end of the day, none of my coworkers had said anything to me about how I smelt and I couldn’t smell anything either. That made me really confident in the deodorant I was using and have decided I’m going to ride this thing until the wheels fall off. Hopefully this will be my go to deodorant and I won’t have to switch anymore.
Final thoughts: After only one week, I am totally impressed with Wild Wash’s deodorant. Upon doing some investigation on the ingredients, I found the secret is in the first ingredient: coconut oil. Many of you know coconut oil is the new “it” thing in food and beauty and many bloggers have given this oil praise for its’ odor fighting abilities. The main difference between this deodorant and using pure coconut oil or making your own formula: no oil stains. This is something that I found to be a trend among the blogs I looked at and oil stains are just about as bad as pit stains. So if you’re looking for a good deo to keep you fresh all summer long, try Wild Wash, they don’t just specialize in soap as the name implies. :]
So which natural deodorant, local or otherwise, is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below and if you want to read more of my adventures around KC, subscribe!