The more I travel and see the world, the more I begin to care about my impact on it. Since I have started traveling, I have started to implement small changes in the way I live my life. I try to cut back on what I need and live with less, but I also try to buy and use products that are more friendly to the environment. It may not make a huge difference, since I am only one person, but I’d like to think that my affect on the world is a positive one.
My most recent quest has been to find the perfect all-natural deodorant, but it actually started almost exactly two years ago, as I headed to Africa on my own. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the ideal situation to switch deodorants, but I figured that I would be fine, I was completely wrong.
On my first day, I boarded a shuttle to spend the afternoon at an elephant sanctuary. I sat alone on the bus, as couples and groups boarded, and I was fine being alone, but I remember there was a moment when I took a deep breath and the smell of body odor burned my nostrils.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes wondering who on the bus smelled so awful until my heart stopped. Could it be me? There was no way, I had showered that morning, and I always smelled good, at least I always had. Slowly, I motioned my head toward my armpit and inhaled. It was me, and at that moment, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I avoided putting up my arms and tried my best to not make any swift motions. Still, it was a relatively hopeless cause.
Luckily, no one from my twenty-one day tour of Africa was on that shuttle with me, so as soon as I got back to camp, I reapplied my Toms deodorant and changed my shirt, hoping no one from my trip would notice. It was the best I could do at the moment, but the very next morning, before we headed out on the road, I stopped at the local market and picked up a new deodorant, not a natural one, and that was the end of my quest to go natural.
That was until this summer, when I decided to give it another try, but this time with company. At least, if there’s a chance I was going to stink, I was going to do it with someone else and my cousin was the lucky volunteer. She, too, had tried using Toms, but not only did she have the same problem I did, but her armpits began to peel. We decided it was time to look for something better. Summer was the perfect time for this experiment, since we both have off from work, plus it’s the best time to really put a product to the test.
After three solid attempts, I’m pleased to announce that we did find the best product, and even though it was a process, I already feel better about using a product that’s not only good for me, but also better for the environment.
Lush: The Guv’ner
This was the first deodorant I tried thinking it would be perfect to bring along with me on the Mongol Rally. At first, I loved that it was a powder, but the container makes it incredibly difficult to pour out. I tried pouring some in my hands, but it would just end up on my floor. Then, I attempted to pour some out and apply with a blush brush, which was more work than it needed to be.
On the label it claims to be hardworking and super absorbent, but that’s only the case when it’s reapplied several times a day. With the addition of patchouli, it brought me right back to the days I spent at Phish festivals. No thank you, I was well past that stage in life.
Lavanila: The Healthy Deodorant
At fourteen dollars a container, I had high hopes for this deodorant. There are a variety scents, which was an improvement from The Guv’ner, and the container was adorable. While the scents aren’t entirely spot-on, I was still excited to give the new deodorant a chance.
While I no longer smelled like a concert-going hippie, I smelled like a cute elderly lady, which was an improvement, until it stopped working. In the morning I smelled decent, but a few hours later, I smelled as bad as I did that day in Africa, with a hint of vanilla. Exhausted with reapplying and never quite loving the way I smelled, I looked for another option.
Arm and Hammer: Essentials
I explained my deodorant dilemma to one of my friends who lives a really healthy lifestyle, and she mentioned to me that both her and her husband used an Arm and Hammer natural deodorant. In my search, I had never come across it, but if it was good enough for her and her husband, it had to be good enough for me and my cousin.
There were two scents to choose from, but after my experiences with smells, I was happy to see unscented, which is exactly what I chose. Aside from the fact that it’s a bit wet and sticky upon first application, once dry, it keeps me dry and smell-free, a relief after the past few weeks. I never have to worry about reapplying, and I don’t even worry about smelling because I simply don’t. Even after working out, I may be sweaty, but I don’t smell. The best part about this deodorant is that it is so much cheaper than the other two at around three dollars and fifty cents.
While it was a process to find an all-natural deodorant that actually worked, I’m so happy we spent the summer looking for one. With all the harmful chemicals in beauty products, it’s nice to know that there are companies who are working to make their products all-natural. It may be a small change, but throughout the year, I plan on making many more small changes that will affect my impact on the world and help me live an overall healthier life.