Everyone’s experience with sweat and odor is unique because everyone’s body chemistry is different. What follows is an Ejis customer’s account of his successes and failures while transitioning from traditional antiperspirant to all natural, aluminum free deodorant.
A couple of years ago, I read about the possible link between the aluminum in antiperspirant and Alzheimer’s Disease. As a 59-year-old man with several good years of partying behind me, I thought it best for me to try to stave off one more contributing factor to my already diminishing memory.
I’d used Gillette Sport antiperspirant religiously for years. At the time, it seemed like a relatively easy task to convert to an aluminum-free product. All natural personal hygiene products are all the rage these days, kind of like parachute pants and Members Only jackets were trendy back in my prime. To boot, my wife gave up antiperspirant and deodorant completely. She just stopped wearing it one day, and Voilà! No problems with sweat or smell. I figured if she could do it, so could I.
I know I don’t have an actual medical condition, like hyperhidrosis. But without a good antiperspirant, I sweat a lot. And I stink a lot. I’m very self-conscious about it. I suppose if I worked outside or in a trade where it is commonplace, then it may be easier to live with, but I work in a medical office. I spend half of my time assisting in surgery in a small, confined space, smelling distance from the orthopedic surgeon and colleagues. I spend the other half of my time working with patients, again in a small, confined space. There’s no easy way to hide embarrassing pit stains and sweat odor.
Getting My Armpits Ready
Before I started my transition to all-natural deodorant, I consulted my youngest daughter. She lives a clean life, devoted to all things natural and organic, including her vodka. She even makes her own cleaning products and bug spray from essential oils. She converted to aluminum-free deodorant a couple of years ago. She admitted to having a couple of bad weeks. But like my wife, she successfully made the switch.
My daughter advised me that it’s important to detoxify your armpits. She suggested I first shave my underarm hair, which admittedly, I have done off and on for years. Then, she said, apply an all-natural mud mask to draw out the toxins. She also warned me against drinking too much coffee and encouraged me to drink more water to flush out more toxins.
That night, I shaved my pits, applied my wife’s mud mask to my underarms (ignoring her smirks), and downloaded an app on my phone to remind me to drink water. As far as reducing the amount of coffee I drink, I figured that three out of the four recommendations was a good enough start.
The All-Natural Deodorant Journey Begins
Essential Oils Deodorant
I first tried a natural deodorant made by a reputable essential oil company. The solid deodorant was made from masculine smelling oils and ingredients like beeswax, corn starch and coconut oil. Its effectiveness lasted several weeks. Until one day, I came home reeking. I scrub myself every morning, from head to toe, meticulously washing up every nook and cranny of my tall, thin frame. After all that work, it feels a like a gut-punch to end the day smelling like a compost heap.
I toughed it out a few days longer, until my next order arrived from the same essential oil company. This time I tried a product made from baking soda, arrowroot and a proprietary blend of essential oils. This product was effective for a few weeks longer than the first. But the result was the same: the stench of rotting produce emitting from my pits.
Crystal Deodorant Rock
Since the solids weren’t working like I had hoped, I decided to mix it up with a Crystal deodorant rock. The futuristic clear crystal fits in your palm, is free from harmful chemicals and is supposed to neutralize the bacteria that causes odor. I diligently moistened the rock and applied to my armpits as instructed for several weeks. The glowing reviews and product description must have been written by women like my wife, who don’t need actual odor control. I persevered with the not-so magic rock until I couldn’t take the end-of-the-day stench any longer.
Natural Stick Deodorant
I decided to go back to a simple stick deodorant. This time I chose a product I could buy locally. Made by well-known, established natural brand, Tom’s, the manly Mountain Spring fragrance was refreshing after using an unscented rock. At this point, I didn’t care which ingredients were all natural or organic. The label said, “Aluminum free” and that was good enough for me! I had high hopes that this big brand product would work. Like the others, it performed well for about a month, and then it stopped. My garbage pits came back with a vengeance.
At this point, I felt frustrated and defeated. I began to seriously question my decision to transition to an all-natural deodorant. Is making the change this late in my life really going to make a difference? I mean, there are so many other contributing factors to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. How much can this really help?
Around that time, I quit smoking after 40+ years. According to my daughter’s logic, this would be the ultimate detox. Finally, there would be fewer toxins needing to escape through my pits. So, maybe, just maybe, a natural product would work this time. With the encouragement, well, more like badgering of my daughter and wife, I continued my pursuit to find a new product to try.
Organic Oil & Water Deodorant
After surfing on Amazon for hours, I purchased EO organic deodorant spray that came in a pump dispenser. Made from essential oils and water, this product lasted a week before I retired it to the shelf with the rest of my collection of ineffectual products. Oil and water. I mean, really. What was I thinking?
Two-Part Natural Deodorant
The next product I tried came highly recommended by my son and daughter-in-law. Sway underarm detox deodorant is made from apple cider vinegar, which I know is touted as an effective and safe astringent. This two-part deodorant system requires an application of the pleasant-smelling roll-on, followed by a dusting of a specially blended powder. All is well and good on the weekend, when you have all day to let your pits dry before applying the powder. However, I am that guy who has his morning routine efficiently pared down to a mere 17 ½ minutes. No deviations allowed, which means absolutely no time to air out the pits. And my wife is crazy for suggesting I use a blow dryer. On my armpits?! That’s ridiculous. (Says the guy who earlier admitted to using a mud mask on his pits.) I can honestly say, I’m not sure if the two-step apple cider vinegar product works for me. All I know is that rushing the process turns to the powder to mud—and not the good kind!
Ejis Sweat Proof Undershirts to the Rescue
I’d say I ended up back to square one, battling the compost heap under my arms. But that’s not the case. Around this time, my wife introduced me to an all-natural product that I didn’t know existed six months earlier: an Ejis sweat proof micro modal undershirt with odor-fighting silver. I admit, I was hesitant at first. I probably even scoffed at the idea. An undershirt with sweat pads under my arms?
From the moment I put on the undershirt, I knew it was something special. The ultra-soft fabric felt like an extension of my skin, only softer. The extra length is a God-send for a guy with an unusually long torso. (Finally, an undershirt that stays tucked in!) Initially, my only concern was the way the sweat proof pads would feel. After one day in the office, running around from patient to patient, I came home smelling like nothing. Beautiful, sweet nothing. I have continued to wear Ejis undershirts during my workday, with the same result, for nearly four months now. Smelling like nothing. And the sweat proof pads? I barely know they’re there.
Fueled with the promised “wearable confidence” and inspired by wife’s success going bare-pitted, one day I took a leap of faith. I strutted out the door wearing only my Ejis sweat proof undershirt. No spray, roll-on, rock slime, muddy powder… nothing! Just my clean-shaven armpits and a prayer. Long story short, I still need to wear deodorant. While Ejis sweat proof undershirts are highly effective, sadly they are not magical.
I still haven’t found an all-natural product that works for me during the weekend when I’m not wearing an Ejis undershirt. But I keep looking. I just recently picked up a new product, YESto, a thick stick detoxifying deodorant made from charcoal. It’s supposed to absorb wetness and neutralize odors. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, I can strut into work knowing that I’ve left the foul-smelling pits where they belong… at home in the compost heap.