I’ve been thinking about making the change from commercial deodorant to natural or aluminum-free deodorant for a while now. But I was not expecting the reaction I had. I know what you’re thinking…“but it doesn’t make sense. It’s natural”. Yes, it’s aluminum, fragrance, propylene glycol-free and made with great ingredients. It still burnt the shit out of my underarms.
Schmidts recently arrived at Shoppers Drug Mart, and when I ran out of my previous deodorant, I decided to give this one a shot. It had been recommended to me by a few people and the Bergamont + Lime scent really stuck out to me. The combination of citrus is refreshing and vibrant. Definitely the type of fragrance I want to rub all over my armpits and (hopefully) smell like when I start to sweat.
Unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me (*sad face*). And while I’m not exactly sure why, I have a few theories…
The first time I used it, I blamed the rough texture of the deodorant for causing a rug burn-like rash. It was a mild irritation. Nothing I couldn’t ignore.
I realized the texture of the deodorant was much different than anything I had used before. It’s very solid and rough! It’s got a bit of a grit to it, which I’m sure is not purposely there for exfoliation. The mixture of coconut oil, shea butter and wax is super hard – especially when cold. It does say on the…bottle?…tube?…tub? to hold it against your skin for a few moments to let the ingredients heat up
It was obvious that I rubbed the stick a little too vigorously on my delicate skin. What can I say, I’m an impatient person and I like things to be done quickly. I don’t have the time to stand there waiting for a deodorant to melt on my (usually prickly 😬) armpit.
I will say, I also decided to try giving this natural deodorant a try for the very first time the evening we attended a wedding. NOT. SMART. It does absolutely nothing to stop perspiration. And as a very sweaty human being, this is a nightmare! Plus it’s almost like once I start sweating, I get anxious thinking about it, which only makes it worse.
I suppose I have no one to blame but myself for not reading the label properly and recognizing that this is purely a deodorizer. It does smell delicious!! I can’t deny that.
When the rug burn lingered for a few days too long, I began to think that maybe it was the natural fragrance and the acidity from the lime oil to blame. You know…like the stinging you experience if you squeeze a lemon with a cut on your hand.
I really wanted to give it a fair try though, and I had done some research which stated that there’s a bit of a “purge stage” that occurs when switching from a non-natural deodorant to a natural one. It can take a couple of weeks for the body to adapt.
But when the rash got worse after nearly 3 weeks of continued use, I knew something was not right. My armpits were covered in little tiny red bumps and they itched like hell!! There’s nothing attractive about a girl scratching at her underarms like a freaking orangutang…
It became kind of unbearable, and with a trip to Vegas quickly approaching, I didn’t want to have smelly AND ugly armpits. So I decided to make a temporary switch back to my favourite, Secret Fresh Clear Gel Antiperspirant and Deodorant. The rash disappeared within 48 hours.
Commercial deodorants and antiperspirants actually block the pores in the underarm area to prevent sweat from escaping. Another reasoning behind my rash could be my due to my own personal sweat. Because I am not used to expressing such bodily fluids, I imagine the acidity, heat and dampness are all culprits for chaffing and bacterial growth. Sounds gross, I know. But our bodies do strange things.
Too Much Baking Soda
I was truly disappointed when this natural deodorant didn’t work, so I did a ton of research to see if anyone else had experienced a poor reaction like me. Turns out, it’s pretty normal. This is due to the fact that natural deodorant contains baking soda, and too much baking soda can sometimes react with acidic sweat, causing irritation.
Which means, there’s a chance I may be on the hunt for a different natural deodorant! Which also sounds like a pretty good blog series if you ask me. It shall be titled: On The Hunt: Natural Deodorant. I would love to know if you’ve tried any natural deodorant brands before and if you’d recommend them to me to try. I’d prefer to try those with limited amounts of baking soda. Leave me a comment below!
Disclaimer: Just because this particular deodorant didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I have friends who really enjoy the product and had zero issues transitioning to it. This post is purely to share my own experience and research for those who may be thinking about making the switch or have had a similar reaction.