Let’s talk about sweat.
Let’s say I have this … friend … who happens to be sweating a lot. And let’s say that this … friend … isn’t always confident that his/her homemade deodorant keeps the odors away.
Ok, fine, it’s me. I’m the friend. I’m sweating. I fear body odor.
Perhaps I’m now suffering from acute paranoia (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking), and I’m so attuned to the goings on in my dank, dark arm crooks that I’ve begun imagining sights and smells that are not actually there. Sights being my arch nemeses, sweat stains. And the smells being – well, you can imagine.
As you know, I have been in love with my homemade deodorant recipe from the start. However, our recent weather fluctuations here inMarylandhave my pits irrigating again likeNiagara Falls. Last night I dreamt that I was applying Certain Dri under my arms with a fire extinguisher.
Perhaps it really is just the weather, but it just so happens that I recently switched from a tomato juice regimen to a vinegar regimen (2tsp organic apple cider vinegar + 2 tsp honey + 8oz water), and I’m wondering if tomato juice simply works better for my sweat glands. I’ve now switched back to tomato.
I’ve also noticed that this sweating occasionally coincides with what could be a small amount of body odor. Now I don’t want to put anyone off – which is why I continue to use words like “occasionally” and “could” and “small” – but I can’t deny what I smell. I usually notice a less-than-appetizing scent (when I notice it, that is) at the very end of the day, especially if a hearty day of sweating has washed away all my powder or if non-breathable clothing has kept my pits clammed up all day. My arm crooks just need space, people!
So my Little Maids, if the coming summer weather has you working up a sweat, here’s the best advice I could cook up from my limited experience in the nat.-deo. world.
- Drink your tomato juice (or vinegar) faithfully. Every day for one week, then every other day after that. This is, I would argue, the most important part of a natural deodorant regimen, particularly if you’re a hefty sweater. My personal choice is tomato juice, but I’m sure everyone is different.
- When you shower (if you still shower), wash your pits with antibacterial soap. Now I know antibacterial soaps are not natural (and may contribute to superbugs), but I’ve found that my traditional Dial antibacterial bar soap leaves my pits fresher than the olive oil-based soap I use on occasion. But if you don’t like antibacterial (or if you’re giving it up soon for some crazy natural experiment), don’t worry – some nature gurus will tell you that bacteria are absolutely not to blame for your BO.
- Apply deodorant morning and night. I’ve noticed that I tend to have scent issues when I neglect to apply my powder twice a day. For example, if I don’t apply after I shower, my pits could be playing host to some stench by the next morning. Most traditional deodorants and antiperspirants are recommended to be applied this way, as well.
- Use a liquid before your powder – I like lemon juice, but I’ve heard that vinegar and rubbing alcohol also work. I’ve had success dabbing vinegar on my pits with a cotton pad (the smell will go away after it dries), but I prefer lemon juice, because it leaves a faint fresh scent. Rubbing alcohol did not work for me, but try it for yourself before discounting it!
- Increase the baking soda in your mixture. If you’re using a powder made of corn starch and baking soda, the corn starch is acting as an absorbent and the baking soda is working as your deodorizer. So up your BS content to increase freshening power. I’ve read that some people have crazy success with just a small dab of plain baking soda, but I think my pits would take one look at a “pinch” of BS and burst out laughing.
- Carry an emergency deodorizer. This, however, is not always convenient. I’ve heard of people carrying sprays and powders to apply as-needed and even asking for lemon slices in restaurants to haul off to the bathroom in an emergency stench crisis. I’ve been in this position just a few times since I started my natural deo, and I’ve resorted to hand sanitizer (I think this stuff is pretty harsh though, so I wouldn’t recommend it too often).
That’s what works for me when I find myself dealing with a sweat or odor emergency. But if that doesn’t work, I usually deal with T-Rex arms for the day: Keep your arms close to your sides to hide sweat stains and smother odor.