What's that Smell? The Deodorant Post.

I feel the need to tell you this is because I have surprised myself so completely that I don't ever remember being as surprised by something, especially by something this weird. Is it weird? It'll be weird if this topic has never crossed your mind, sure. It won't be weird if it's something you've been thinking of trying out. I'm not talking about essential oils or crystals or tarot or spin class or the keto diet or quitting facebook or even butter coffee.

Is that weird?

I stopped wearing anti-perspirant. And all of the people I interact with on a daily basis are still standing. I have exercised, been to stressful meetings, skipped a shower or two - and guess what? I'm never any stinkier than I was when I was filling my pits with all that gunky anti-perspirant that keeps you from sweating. In fact, after two workouts and a skipped shower (in 90+ degree heat) I shoved my pits into my boyfriend's face and yelled, "smell them!" And guess what? He lived. He may have even said, "you smell better than usual."  

I don't drink. I have taken exactly two ibuprofen capsules in the last 12 months. I recently weaned myself from my daily allergy tablet opting instead for an herbal antihistamine, hoping to never take allergy drugs again. The point is, I rarely put drugs or weird substances in or on my body - with the exception of the gigantic slathering of anti-perspirant I was coating my armpits with each day. Being a weirdo, I decided to quit. 

Here's how I did it.

My anti-perspirant brand claims 48-hour protection. Given that, I realized it may take some time for all that pasty crud to work itself out of my system. For a week (See! I even gave it more than 48 hours!), I wore nothing on my pits. I shaved. I exfoliated. I washed daily with activated charcoal soap. And I waited for the stink to come or the waterfall of sweat to pour out of my pits. And guess what? It never came. Could I tell that I wasn't wearing a substance designed to keep my pits from feeling even a tiny bit damp? Yes. Was I sweating profusely and pitting out and leaving work in the middle of the day to change my shirt? No. 

Next, I bought some deodorant. I did not buy a combination deodorant + anti-perspirant, no I did not. I bought natural deodorant. Deodorant only. Deodorant sans anti-perspirant. I bought a few tubes (wait, is it called a tube? A container? Is it a stick? Okay, a stick. I bought a few sticks of deodorant (still doesn't sound right)) made with coconut oil and baking soda. And some with just coconut oil. Some with arrowroot powder and baking soda. Then a few other kinds I can't remember right now. In all, I bought seven different natural products, all designed to prevent my underarms from stinking. I did all of this without consulting the internet. I did not scare myself with armpit detox stories. I did not read about the dangers of mixing baking soda with sensitive skin. I was unaware of the claims some people make that natural deodorant "darkens" their armpits (seriously, what), I did not confuse myself with the brand loyalty of strangers or the influence of natural product influencers. I did not know so much. And that, I believe, is why I did not give up. Or chicken out. Or change my mind. I designed my own cold turkey anti-perspirant plan, and it worked. (I just mentioned chickens AND turkeys. I hope you liked it.)

I have not worn anti-perspirant in over a month. And to get even weirder on you, I feel like I know more about my body now than I did before. Not the kind of "know your body now" you know after doing something like taking one CrossFit class or giving birth to an actual human. Instead it's more like the kind of "I know my house real well because I clean it myself" kind of a feeling. (I do clean my house myself because if I had someone else clean it I'd probably not realize it was filling up with crap and have too much stuff and probably another cat or a second kitchen used for baking only. By doing the cleaning myself I am constantly getting rid of crap and clutter and dumb stuff I don't want to dust. Is this what she meant by the "life changing tidying up" business? No?) Back to not-stinking: I have not worn anti-perspirant. I have worn natural deodorant, seven different types and all of them seem okay so I don't have a favorite. In doing this, I think I know my body in ways I didn't before. (Say it: You are so weird, Jami Curl.)

Between not taking allergy medicine ever again (fingers crossed!) and proving to myself that anti-perspirant is possibly a made up thing that you can probably figure out you don't need, I feel like maybe I finally gave in to self-care. Please don't tell anyone.


Jami Curl