We're used to smelly hippie jokes around these parts, but living a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle doesn't have to mean letting hygiene suffer. It does, however, mean making some informed decisions.
A Journal of Applied Toxicology study recently linked the aluminum in traditional antiperspirants to breast lumps, and that's not all that stinks in conventional deodorants. Just check out the Skin Deep listing for Secret Unscented to get the gist. Most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants aren't much better.
Here are some of my favorite deodorant options, straight from my medicine cabinet, that are easier on the planet and on your body:
- Tom's of Maine Unscented ($4) - This goes on like a traditional stick and smells a little bit citrusy, despite being unscented. I swear to you that this smells like Cheerios when you get a little sweaty. Don't ask me why.
- Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll On ($3.50) - The mineral salts do a good job of keeping you unstinky. This roll on doesn't have any scent to speak of. Ladies, if you just shaved your pits you might want to save this one for tomorrow. The salts sting a little if you've just shaved!
- Kiss My Face Liquid Rock ($5.50) - Another roll on, the Kiss My Face variety uses willow bark extract. Despite its name, it doesn't have any mineral salts in it.
- JASON Lavendar Deodorant ($6.30) - Another stick, it has a really nice lavendar scent. I usually have to reapply this one mid-day.
- Crystal Stick ($5.30) - This is the very first natural deodorant I ever tried. Rather than a stick or roll on, you dampen the rock under the tap, then apply. You'll get much, much better results if you apply as soon as you've toweled off after your shower.
If you're in a DIY sort of mood, it's easy to make your own spray deodorant! Just mix around 40 drops of your favorite essential oil in a 2 ounce spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol. For extra bacteria-fighting power, try oils with antiseptic qualities like tea tree, lavendar, peppermint, or sage.
When you make the switch from conventional to a less harsh brand, you'll want to pick up a few different types. Your body gets used to a routine, and if you use the same deodorant for too long, it won't work as well, Try rotating three or four types throughout the week, never using the same stick for more than a couple of days in a row. You'll see much better results!
Of course, you may wonder if you really need deodorant at all. If you're able to drop the deo all together, more power to you!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jekert