Antiperspirant Detox: Day 3

antiperspirant detox day 3

Note: I’m doing a month of mini fresh starts, including removing a chemical from my beauty or cleaning routine. Here’s the whole list of mini fresh starts if you want to join in.

The weather forecast calls for snow over the next three days. So, naturally, I decided to take advantage of cold temperatures and start an antiperspirant detox.

Sounds awesome, right? Here’s the backstory…

I’ve never been a fan of antiperspirant

It’s sticky, it stains my clothes, and it gums up my razor. Over the years I’ve tried a lot of alternative options to get away from the stuff, including various deodorants and one armpit crystal.

All of them were total failures. This created a dilemma because…

[More backstory] During the second week of my freshman year in college I was at a party awkwardly trying to meet people and fit in. I was feeling that familiar tension between excitement over my new campus life and loneliness, and was hoping to make some new friends.

I was also wearing a fuzzy red cardigan that wasn’t going the distance. After a couple hours packed into a warm room, I was getting a little…um…odorous. Not oblivious to this unfortunate development, I was strictly keeping my arms pinned to my sides like a serial killer in a straight jacket. (Ahem–I’m sure this posture was not helping me make new friends…) And then I overheard the following from a small group of girls to my left:

“Do you smell that?” one girl said, sniffing the air with a sour look on her face.

“What?” said another girl.

“It smells like B.O.,” whispered the first girl conspiratorially, looking around for the source of the offensive odor.


I don’t think the group ever actually pinpointed me as the stinky culprit, but needless to say, it was an emotionally damaging event for a lonely eighteen-year-old.

I don’t want to be the smelly girl. Ever.

I share this to make a point: I don’t want to be the smelly girl again. EVER. As far as I’m concerned, that one time was enough, thank you very much. So when I started toying around again with the idea of using a natural deodorant, I had one rule: No. Stinky. Girl.

This brings me back to today. I’m officially on day 3 of an antiperspirant detox (I found this post by Kathryn to be very helpful) and though it’s been fairly benign, I’ll confess that I’m back to my serial-killer-in-a-straight-jacket posture just to be safe.

Here are the rules for an antiperspirant detox:

Wear no antiperspirant or deodorant of any kind until you quit being stinky. Only then can you start wearing a natural deodorant and expect it to work. Allegedly the process takes 1-3 weeks, and can be sped up with a mixture of bentonite clay (a natural detoxifier, pictured below) and vinegar applied under the armpits and then rubbed off.

antiperspirant detox day 3

Needless to say, I’ve been religious with the bentonite.

So far I can report that I am not appreciably smelly-er than I was wearing antiperspirant. Yes–by the end of the day I need a shower but that’s not unusual. Tomorrow, however, is the real test since I’ll be heading back to work at my day job where I’ll be around actual people who know me and aren’t obligated by matrimonial law to tolerate my smells. We’ll see how it goes…. I’m bringing a washcloth for an emergency mid-day freshen-up session just to be safe. Stay tuned as the antiperspirant saga continues…

Related: a month of mini fresh starts

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Would you try a spending freeze?

spending freeze

spending freeze

Note: I’m doing a month of mini fresh starts, including trying a spending freeze. Here’s the whole list of mini fresh starts if you want to join in.

After fifteen-ish years of being an adult, I’ve come to a conclusion about myself: I’ll never be a good budgeter. I’ve tried several attempts at it over the years to no avail. Budgeting just doesn’t stick. My saving grace for this deficiency is that I like simple living, which means my spending rarely exceeds my means.

In other words, minimalism is a cheater’s way of getting out of budgeting.

In spite of my aversion to budgeting itself, I love reading stories about people who do crazy things with their budgets–like pay off a bunch of debt and go travel around the world on a barista’s salary. Recently I read this story about a young woman who got rid of 70% of her possessions and lived on 51% of her income. Her trick was a year-long spending freeze.

Oddly, budgeting and me don’t get along but a spending freeze…now that’s something I can do.

I’ve read about spending freezes before and have always been intrigued by the challenge of them. So–inspired by the story of the young woman–I sat down the other day and made a list of possible things to NOT buy in the coming year. I won’t bore you with the whole list, but here are some notable items:

Three things I’m thinking of NOT buying for a year

  1. No clothing or shoes. Could you go a whole year without buying any new clothing or shoes? After starting my capsule wardrobe two years ago, and then whittling down to an all-season minimal wardrobe from there, I think this goal could be a possibility for me. My biggest challenge? Not getting bored…
  2. No beauty products. I spent all of last year gradually acquiring the supplies to make a lot of my own natural beauty products at home, so with the exception of an SPF foundation (which is hard to make on your own), this challenge is less about spending and more about me using what I already have. The great thing about natural ingredients is that they last A LONG time, so a year with nothing new excluding SPF foundation seems feasible to me. I guess we’ll see…
  3. No books or magazines. I’m rather bookish so this one will be challenging. When I’m feeling an inspirational lull, my go-to pick-me-up is usually a new book. I also love new cookbooks, and owning copies of my favorite reads so that I can underline them and mark up the margins. That said, I’m intrigued by the idea of re-reading books I already own, and frequently patronizing my local library.

Other things on my spending freeze list include no new technology, no accessories, and no jewelry. All total, my list has fifteen “freeze” categories on it. My plan is to try to stick to the list for twelve weeks and then evaluate how it’s going, what’s working, and what’s not.

Also, I did make a short list of “Yes” categories that I do want to spend money on. They include food, nature (ex. national park passes), trips and travel, and home updates.

The long-term goal of this challenge is ultimately to pay down our mortgage debt and save for a few upcoming big expenses (ex. much needed new carpet). I’ll check back in next quarter with an update. Until then, what about you? What category would you freeze if you had to?

Related: a month of mini fresh starts

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A month of mini fresh starts

[NOTE: keep scrolling to see the full list of mini fresh start articles below]

I think it was the cadre of sketchy leftovers in my fridge, plus the sticky dark slurry pooling beneath the vegetable crisper, that officially triggered the “oh man, I’ve really got to get myself back together,” sentiments that I’m feeling today.

In other words, it’s time for a fresh start. Or, in my case, it’s time for a month of mini fresh starts. Here’s a list of 30 things I’d like to try in the next 30 days to give this upcoming new year a simple living, fresh-start feeling.

Join me! Follow along on Instagram as I share more details about these simple living fresh start ideas, plus share your own experiences with January, dealing with long winter days, and how you’re keeping things simple as you start off a new year.

a month of mini fresh starts

1. Clean the fridge
2. Give your skin a break and go bare-faced
3. Try hot salad
4. Find a south-facing window and soak up the sunshine
5. Get outside
6. Take a 60-second clutter-busting pass through the room
7. Try a convertible garment
8. Update a corner in your home
9. Replace a disposable with something reuseable
10. Clean an overlooked space
11. Light a candle
12. Eat a fancy dinner at home
13. Get a plant
14. Drink a new hot drink
15. Bake a cake
16. Try/learn something new
17. Unsweeten something you normally sweeten
18. Remove a chemical from your beauty or cleaning routine
19. Replace a synthetic with something natural
20. Play a game
21. Give a gift for no reason
22. Write a note to someone
23. Power down your screens
24. Take a spending break
25. Go to bed early
26. Make bedtime luxurious
27. Leave something undone
28. Leave something empty
29. Have a “nowhere to go” day
30. Make something smell good

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