9 Thoughts (Good & Bad) On Natural Deodorant

August 24, 2017  |  
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There are so many thoughts and assumptions that com with the way Black women wear their hair. If it’s a wig or weave, she’s doesn’t love herself or she’s bought into the Eurocentric standard. I’ve written before that when I had a TWA, people I assumed I was lesbian or that I was mean. And now that I have locs, I’m a nuts and berries type of girl.

As much as I don’t like assumptions and stereotypes applied to me for something as trivial as my appearance, sometimes they’re right. I do prefer natural food and products. But mostly because I listen to my body. And while I enjoy trash food and trendy products, my body is very vocal. My boyfriend, who also has locs, is a nuts and berries kind of dude too. He goes the extra mile trying to avoid unnatural or unhealthy things. For instance, he bought a radiation reducing sticker for me, my sister and his cell phone. He does weird things like adding lettuce to hot egg and cheese sandwiches. And he recently got into natural deodorant. And for reason’s I’ll address later, I was open to trying it as well. But it’s an adjustment. And I have a lot of thoughts.

You’ve got to keep your armpits completely shaved

Most of us do this anyway. Generally, I’m not all that into shaving. Still, I never abandoned shaving my legs and my armpits. Armpits just have to be shaved to reduce the odor. And while you might be able to stretch your shaving days with the regular deodorants, that is not the case with natural ones. In order not to make the natural’s job even harder, you’ve got to keep the hair low.

You recognize just how much you really do sweat under there

With traditional deodorants, the chemicals form a seal over your pores which prevents the sweat from escaping. So if you’ve been wearing traditional deodorant since puberty, you likely have no idea how much you’d really sweat without that blockage. And as someone whose started this journey during the summer, I can tell you that it is A LOT. And I’m a person who doesn’t sweat that much. But let me tell you, it’s next level.

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It’s better for your skin

Most of us aren’t generally concerned about our underarm skin because no one sees it, we don’t really ever touch it ourselves. But I do now, and it’s very smooth. I noticed that when I do shave now that I’m using natural deodorant, the shave is smoother and less irritated afterward.

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You don’t have that hard to remove residue in your armpits when you shower

Before I switched over, I was having to scrub to get the residue off and that’s not necessarily a good feeling when you think about the fact that you can feel the chemicals putting up resistance.

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There are no deodorant clumps

Literally, two minutes after applying it, I don’t feel the deodorant anymore. So there are no clumps whatsoever. So you don’t have to worry about deodorant streaks on your clothes either.

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The initial smells are more pleasant

The deodorant I mean.

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There’s paranoia

Now that I’ve switched over, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve smelled my armpits in public, trying to figure out if I’m still good. I’m constantly wondering not only if I can still smell the fragrance but also if other people think I’m musty.

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You don’t stink but you’re not exactly fresh

It’s hard to explain. It’s not anything close to musty or the smell you experience when you completely forget deodorant. But it doesn’t smell powder fresh either. You smell like your natural self. And as with most natural body smells, it’s something you either continue to mask or embrace it.

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You reduce your risk for cancer

This is the point I alluded to earlier. Most traditional deodorants contain a chemical called aluminum. Aluminum is linked to skin irritation, Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.  While no one would choose to deal with any of these diseases, both Alzheimer’s and breast cancer run in my family. My paternal aunt is a breast cancer survivor, along with my mother who recently beat it for the second time this year. So with those type of genetics, I don’t need any help. So natural it is.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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