I hit the local Healthy Life Market looking for a safer, less toxic alternative. Let's face it: most of us have jobs and social lives that don't allow for embracing the "au naturel" funk that is the unadulterated armpit. I like my friends,
I tried three different products. My only qualification for the product choice was it needed to state it was paraben-free and aluminum-chlorohydrate free.
(Note: there is still some controversy that many deodorants listed as aluminum chlorohydrate-free still actually contain some aluminum in the form of potassium alum. I found this to be almost universally true in all the available options. This is still controversial and hotly debated among the holistic medical set. Some feel that any exposure to aluminum increases the risk of breast cancer and possibly early on-set Alzheimer's. Others say that the natural salt compound from which the potassium alum is derived is too large to be absorbed by the pores and only serves to neutralize the bacteria that cause odor outside of the body. They argue it does not plug up the pores or enter the system. I personally decided it was the lesser of two evils and I would try it. You need to do the reading and make the decision for yourself.)
I started with Tom's Deodorant. It went on kind of greasy and never really dried or absorbed. The initial smell was pleasant, but after four hours I was offensively smelly.
Next I tried a solid, Crystal Body Deodorant. It didn't have any scent and it was kind of like rubbing a rock under your arm, unpleasant.
My third try landed me on something sublime. The brand is Crystal Essence. It comes in a roll-on and a pump spray, and I am addicted. It still contains the debatable potassium alum, but it is paraben and aluminum chlorohydrate-free. It comes in four varieties: Lavender and White Tea; Chamomille and Green Tea; Pomegranate; and unscented.
I bought the Lavender and White Tea scent. I liked it so well I went back and bought the unscented for my husband. He likes it too. He works a labor-intensive factory job so his deodorant has to hold up. I ran these through the Environmental Working Group's cosmetic database. The unscented one has a score of zero, which is the safest rating they award. The scented versions rate between a one and a two because of the possibilities of allergic reaction to the scents.
I found that if I apply the roll-on in the mornings, after I have showered and dried off, it lasts all day. If I work out during the day, I carry the spray in my purse and spritz it on after I have exercised. These are not antiperspirants; they will not prevent sweating, but I observed that after about a month of using them exclusively, it seems that my body has regulated sweat production so I sweat less.
The longer I use this product the better it seems to work. I think I have permanently broken up with Secret, and I feel like I am making a healthy decision.
Contact Autumn D. F. Hopkins at 304-348-1249 or autumn.hopk...@wvgazette.com.