It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world...

APRIL 25, 2009 12:42PM

My "natural" experiment gone horribly wrong

Rate: 13 Flag

This is kind of embarrassing, but in service to other OSers out there who may be considering what I just went through, I'll sacrifice my dignity and share my story.

I'm really into "natural" products and have successfully switched from bottled shampoo and conditioner to an all natural bar form. "Lush" products are my favorite and it's so nice to throw a couple of dry soap-like bars into my luggage when I travel, and not have to deal with leaky bottles and exploding liquids. My hair is shiny and healthy and has done really well with these products.


So, about 3 weeks ago, I decided that what's great for my hair and skin might be great for my armpits too. (Well, it seemed like a great idea at the time.) I've been reading about possible links between breast cancer and deodorants and figured I could sacrifice fruity scented armpits for the good of my whole body.  I had been using coconut powder in my sneakers for a few months and it kept them dry and smelling nice. After consulting with a sales person at Lush, I figured I'd try the coconut powder in my armpits and say goodbye to "traditional" deodorant forever. The sales person did warn me that the coconut powder isn't really an antiperspirant, it just absorbs some moisture and neutralizes odors.  "Perfect!", I thought. I'll aim for neutral smelling. Don't need any artificial scents in my pits.

The flaw in my plan was that I had no idea how much I actually sweated, as I had been using antiperspirants for 25 years or so. My last boyfriend had also told me that women's sweat didn't smell bad and had lulled me into thinking I was somehow magically sweet smelling already. Ha!!

Ha, ha HA HA HAAAAA!!!!

The first week went well. I loved the coconut-y smell  of the powder and it was really easy to control how much I put on. At times throughout the day I would occasionally catch a slight whiff of coconut as I perspired and was really pleased with the results. 

Apparently, it takes a while for the antiperspirant buildup from years of use to completely go away. Because suddenly, 2 days ago, while at work and miles away from deodorant, I caught a whiff of something foul. At first I thought it was someone else. But while alone in the ladies room, I smelled it again and realized it was ME! Yup, sniffed the pits and it was definitely me. (Women's sweat DOES stink just as bad as men's in case you're wondering.) I was offending myself. All I could picture was Pigpen from Peanuts with that cloud of stink around him.

My coworkers are either really polite or I did a great job of avoiding everyone, because no one said anything. And I kept my arms straight down at my sides all day.

Now, I had thrown out my stick deodorant and didn't have any more. I also didn't have time to go to the pharmacy. So all I could do the next day was triple up on the coconut powder and hope for the best. 

Bad, bad idea. I'm not very smart, apparently. Or I was just in denial that my experiment had failed miserably. About half way through my day yesterday, the "eau de skunk" appeared again. I was really busy at work and will have to fumigate the shirt I was wearing. And concede defeat.

So, this morning I ran out to CVS and purchased some cucumber/green tea scented deodorant. I am happily back in the land of the pleasantly scented and can appreciate all of those commercials with women smiling and waving in their sweet smelling confidence. 

And at least I can continue to enjoy my shampoo and conditioner bars: 


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Funny, and reminds me of my daughter! From the title I thought you might be disfigured. Rated
Great post ! You have a good sense of humor and a gift for telling a story.

Some people swear by baking soda, although it turned my armpits into what looked like raw hamburger.

Neosporin ointment works well, but if you want natural....

I had a friend who used one of those "rock" deodorants from Whole Foods. He swore it worked, but I can assure you it didn't.

Good luck!
LoL Funny. I'm all for going green,but this was ridiculus.
Well, at least you tried. I carry a travel-sized deodorant stick in my bag at all times, because I have a terrible phobia about sweaty, stinky armpits. Rated.
Thanks for the warning! I love women that smell like cucumber and greet tea! Now, get over here.
I was waiting for a description of the BO/coconut scented paste that accumulated in your pits... yech :)

BTW Lush is the best, I swear they get 20% of my income!
hee hee I use deodorant and not any antiperspirants for reasons that are too personal to share here, BUT occasionally, the deodorant will 'give out' and I have to find a new brand. And it always gives out in the middle of a very busy sweaty day. Alas.
Karen has just started using Tom's natural deodorant. I'm curious to see if it works? I would never be as brave as either of you. I know I'm a stinky girl.
We love Lush, too! Over here, Lush tried selling natural rock deodorants but they never caught on. Still, we are in love with the natural shampoo and soap and conditioner....
Thanks for the heads-up and funny story!
Hehehe, I hafta use the perscription strength stuff. Otherwise, things get pretty rank. I feel your pain.
I'm not a bubble bath type (male) person, but I really like their solid shampoos. They do good things to my hair. Sounds silly but a big leap for moi. Thanks for sharing your stinky pits story with us. May the cucumber be with you.
I just read a few lines in the start but there was something in the article that i couldn't stop myself until i finished reading the whole post.
You sure do have a talent to tell stories. Enjoyed it..

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