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.
Reader–I WANTED TO DIE.
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.
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…