So I guess not everyone will understand why I am so excited to finally have found a deodorant that works, it’s just that finding one that is 100% natural has made my search near impossible.
It all began roughly a year ago, when I noticed a tiny spot in my left armpit. It seemed innocent enough, but it began to itch like crazy and torment me with wild visions of trying to cut it out. You see, I get like that – when something about my body bugs me, I scratch, and itch, and pick, and dig, until it’s unrecognisable. I just can’t help it! I know, I know – it’s both gross and bad.
Anyway, this little blemish got worse and worse, and soon my whole armpit began to itch, burn, and sting whenever I put deodorant on it. I was stuck between what felt like a rock and a hard place. I didn’t want to not put deodorant on and smell bad, but at the same time it felt as though everything I put on my skin was making the problem worse.
I’m not going to lie – those few months were horrible. The skin where the first tiny spot had appeared, well it blistered and scabbed, then blistered some more. I developed this sort of scabby rash – little brown dots that seem to spread and cause more itching. Alongside this I started to convince myself that I had given myself cancer from all the toileteries I’ve used in the past. Yes it was paranoia, but the fear was very real, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
So anyway, I finally managed to clear the problem by not using any shower products on that arm, and only using deodorant on days when I simply couldn’t bear to be without – so whenever I was in public. Luckily, I had become a new mum and much of my life was spent within five metres of our house, so I had the perfect opportunity to give my skin the much-needed breathing space. It wasn’t easy and I went to bed many times in tears, holding my hands between my knees so I wouldn’t scratch.
It took months, but after it cleared I vowed never to go back to commercial deodorants again – not just because it worried me what damage they might do, but also because I had spent weeks ‘feeling’ how bad they were by the worse reaction they caused.
And so began my quest. I understood, and slowly came to accept, that any natural product I found was likely to leave me with some disappointment. After all, they will never be anti-perspirants because the very nature of an anti-perspirant is to go against what your body does naturally. Our bodies sweat as a method of cooling, and using anything to go against nature should always be something we think more about. But that’s just it – we live our lives being led to believe that ‘growing up’ means getting to choose between a can of Sure or a a roll-on Dove. It’s never a question of should we use these products or not – it’s a question of which one shall we use.
Over the next few months I faced a different sort of challenge. Finding a product that was natural was damn hard work. You can’t just pick something up with your weekly shop, or pop along to Boots to browse the choice. The selection is terrible, and often non-existant.
I was forced to branch back out in the online world. Easy enough you say, but these things are expensive and I was buying product after product with no idea of how they smelt, or whether or not they worked. Where I usually would spent £2 or so for something that lasted months, I was now buying natural deodorants that cost upwards of £8 and sometimes only lasted a few weeks.
The search made me feel totally dispondent – it was like I was never going to find anything that didn’t just vaguely mask the smell of BO enough to make me smell like a tramp who may or may not have rubbed a vanilla cupcake under their arms. I hate to admit it, but I gave up. After a few weeks of half using a natural deodrant, then half using my old Mitcham stick because I didn’t want to earn a reputation of ‘that girl who stinks’, eventually I threw in the towel and crossed my fingers that the rash wouldn’t come back.
So this leads me to our recent trip to Florida. On heading out of Epcot after a long day tasting food from around the world during the ‘Food and Wine Festival’, Scott paused to quickly browse a lovely little stall of Rinse products. We were tired and a bit grumpy so didn’t give the stall the attention it truly deserved, but one particular product did leap out at me – the deOdor Stick (Rugged). It smelt a bit, well, ‘manly’ I guess, but I didn’t care – it was a natural deodrant that I hadn’t tried yet, and I felt compelled to buy it. I almost didn’t – because in the back of my head was a voice saying ‘nothing works’, but my voice of reason also chipped in with ‘you never know!’
I didn’t even look at the cost (it’s $10.95 / about £7.50) – perhaps because I was re-excited to go down the all-natural path again. I told myself ‘It would just be bloody typical if the one thing that works is something I can only get in the USA’.. and that my dear friends, is ‘Sod’s law’.
Rinse’s deOdor Stick is the bloody one thing that works! Just typical! (but yay!)
Now, it really is important to remember that this isn’t going to stop you from sweating. Sweating is natural – what kind of horrible stuff must they put in an anti-perspirent to stop that from happening eh?! Once you accept that, I think you’ll be pleased with these products.
The deOdor Stick comes in three scents – Original (which I stupidly thought meant it was unscented so didn’t even try it!), Lemongrass & Bergamot (very lemony) and Rugged (a bit manly, but not so much that it can’t be gender neutral) On the left is my lovely, first ever purchase from Rinse, with the Disney barcode over it. I actually am tempted to keep this empty in a memory box! A bit weird, right? But I love how this one little tube has changed my life!
To use, you push it up from the bottom (which can be a bit tricky if it gets stuck) and what you have is a roll-on sort of solid cream. It’s not creamy like cream, but it certainly goes on like a nice lotion. It absorbs well (especially if you’ve just got out of the shower) and there is none of those white specks falling out of your armpit and showering your black clothes! It also doesn’t make your nose sting and your throat tickle like spray deodorants do, so that’s a bonus!
So here’s the thing – I still sweat, and yes this is a bit annoying after spending my whole adult life blocking this natural reaction, however my sweat doesn’t smell bad. Sometiems it smells of ‘rugged’ and sometimes it smells of nothing. Either way, I’m happy with that. I’ve been using this deodorant since mid-November 2014, and it ran out completely this week. That means it’s lasted about five months.
I’m going to be honest with you. One thing you do need for this to work, is to be clean. If you’ve already been sweating and smell a little, the deOdor stick doesn’t work quite as well. For me this means washing my armpits every day regardless of whether I was going to have a full on shower – which I don’t do every day during winter because my skin dries out terribly. So on day one my deOdor stick is amazing, but the next day isn’t quite as great. There isn’t this ‘one application lasts 48 hours’ that you see on some adverts. Again, I’m now a little wary of anything that can make that claim anyway. I mean, what do those products do exactly?
I guess there isn’t really a great deal more I can say about Rinse’s deOdor Sticks – just that they work, they smell lovely, and I really wish they had a shop in the UK!!
Excuse me while I go to bed muttering ‘typical, just typical’ over and over!!