Before we dive into my week of using natural deodorant, I have something to confess: I have a serious addiction to an expensive anti-perspirant. It's Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, it costs $25, and I love it so much. It keeps my underarms dry and smelling faintly of its sophisticated, powdery scent no matter what. If I have a particularly long or active day, then the scent of Cashmere Mist might transfer to my clothes — but never any sweat stains or B.O. I love getting a whiff of that subtle scent from my underarms or my sweaters; it feels very comforting and reassuring.
However, I don't think it's good to rely on this one deodorant too much. For one thing, it's pretty expensive. One stick lasts a long time but still. For another, sometimes I feel nervous about using anti-perspirant every day. Although there isn't any concrete evidence linking anti-perspirant use to cancer or Alzheimer's, when I was growing up my mother ingrained in me that anti-perspirant was dangerous and should never be used. It wasn't allowed in our house. Now I'm an adult and can make my own decisions, and so I decide to buy and use Cashmere Mist regularly.
That said, I'm trying to relax my dependence on Cashmere Mist. Luckily I found a natural deodorant that I really love: Le Couvent Des Minimes Everyday Deodorant
Sounds fancy, right? Well, it looks fancy and it smells fancy too. If you're looking for a sophisticated deodorant for grown-ups because, like me, you'd do anything to make it seem like you're not a totally lost 25 year old, this is the natural version of Cashmere Mist. It will make your armpits smell clean and refreshing; they describe the scent as "sparkling citrus" and that's spot-on.
(Sidenote: if you're on a budget, I've also used the Arm & Hammer line of natural deodorant which is only a few dollars and very effective.)
I typically misuse this Everyday Deodorant by only wearing it occasionally, usually when I'm just hanging out on weekends and don't need the unstoppable force that is Cashmere Mist. I've never tried wearing this Everyday Deodorant for an entire week on its own though. I was curious to see if it would hold up for a week's worth of activities, particularly without any anti-perspirant properties, so I decided to give it a shot.
Here's how my week of wearing natural deodorant went.
The first day didn't go so great. I went to the gym and after my exercise class, I definitely felt sweatier and smellier than usual. I put on my hoodie and went to do errands, and by the time I got home I was feeling very uncomfortable thanks to the noticeable body odor emanating from the underarms of my hoodie. Normally my hoodie just ends up smelling like Cashmere Mist, so I was not pleased as I threw it in the laundry hamper and went to shower.
The second day went much better. I didn't work out, and mostly stayed at home working. Unsurprisingly, my underarms stayed fairly dry and fresh-smelling after spending most of the day sitting at the computer. By the end of the day I had completely forgotten that I had switched deodorants. I did notice one con in the morning, however, when I applied the deodorant: This is a very wet deodorant. It took awhile for it to dry, so it was kind of annoying to wait around for my underarms to dry before getting dressed.
I solved the issue of the drying time post-application by wearing a tank top on the third day. I went for a light run and although I did get a little sweaty, I didn't notice any bad B.O. The fresh citrus scent of the deodorant kept things from getting gross. One big pro that I noticed on this day was that my black clothing was free of white streak marks from this deodorant. If my beloved Cashmere Mist has one con, it's that it can leave white streaks on my clothes if I'm not careful. I might need to switch to this clear deodorant whenever I'm wearing black.
Yep, things got smelly again. The deodorant held up for most of the day, but all bets were off once I went to the gym to work out. By this point I was getting used to it though — after all, it's normal to get a little sweaty and stinky after working out. Also I definitely smelled better than I would have without any deodorant at all; the fresh citrus scent helps a lot with that.
For another workout on day 5, I decided to wear a tank top and see if that helped. It did! Once my underarms had some fresh air, the deodorant did a much better job keeping things fresh even through a strenuous workout. I felt confident and relaxed.
I was surprised that my deodorant failed me on the next day. It was a pretty leisurely day, but when I went shopping with a friend I suddenly got a whiff of B.O. I wish I could say it was coming from my friend, but nope, it was me. I think it may have been because of my shirt's cheap polyester material — that stuff will always make you get sweaty and smelly. Either way, I hurried home to change my shirt, feeling mildly embarrassed.
The next day I wore another long sleeve shirt, but this one was made of breathable cotton. The end result was much better. I got through my entire day without getting sweaty or smelly. Finally, I think I figured out natural deodorant! It only took me an entire week.
The Bottom Line
In the end, every deodorant is different and you have to figure out what works for you and your lifestyle. I'm glad that I decided to try natural deodorant for a week because it made me realize I'm probably relying too heavily on my expensive Cashmere Mist deodorant every day. I think I'll use the Cashmere Mist on special occasions when I want complete assurance that I'll be dry and nice-smelling. However, the Le Couvent Des Minimes deodorant will be just fine for days that I'm hanging out at home, wearing black, or even working out — after all, there's nothing wrong with getting sweaty at the gym.
Images: Kelly Dougher