The Battle of Underarm Armor

To stink or not to stink... that is the question I'm sure you've asked yourself every time you've considered making the switch. We've all been there. Having a more natural sense of living in many other areas of life, it is only a matter of time before we give deodorant a shot. After all, we call pit stick "deodorant" regardless of whether it is actually deodorant or antiperspirant. So our main goal is to destinkify the pits. Right?

So why was success with deodorant important to me? Well, I've always gravitated towards minimizing unnecessary chemicals in my house and on my body. I'm also sensitive to many chemicals. Plus, I've been super annoyed by the glittering underarms of my dark tops and the yellowing underarms of my lighter tops. Who wants to toss their favorite top because it's been ruined by antipersirant? Or who wants to avoid wearing their best for fear of unsightly underarm stains? Certainly not me. 

A little bit of science goes a long way. The quick explanation for the difference between the two is that deodorant tries to minimize underarm odor while antiperspirant does the same plus minimizes underarm wetness. Who wants stinky, wet armpits? Certainly not me. So instinct would tell you to grab the antiperspirant. Meanwhile, your crunchy composting gut is yearning to succeed at simply deodorant.

More fun with science... The normal bacteria in our underarm area are what causes that au naturale odor. Those who have been using antiperspirant have a different bacterial composition under their arms than those who use deodorant or, perhaps, nothing at all. So, unbeknownst to me, at first, there is a "detox period" that you must venture through before successfully transitioning to deodorant. It may take a month or more to notice, or not notice, that odor change. 

I have tossed so many deodorant sticks thinking they weren't going to work for me when I should have just stunk it out to see if I could win this battle. That being said, the Rule of Thirds still applies for underarm effectiveness. Think about pharmaceuticals, in general. We know that there are so many variations of drugs because they work on about a third of the population. So, apply that principle to deodorant, and you may or may not fall into the lucky third. 

How do you know if you'll be successful? Well, the only real way is to try it out and stick it out. I'd love to be able to give you a definitive Yes or No based on your sweat style, but sweaty doesn't necessarily mean stinky. You can give your standard retail store deodorants a shot, or you can venture out into the realm of homemade and boutique deodorants. There are so many options out there because each type helps a sliver of our diverse pool of people. 

At this point, I've tried so many different deodorants that I've compiled a list of tips for success. If you're willing to commit to deodorant for a trial detox, NOW is the time to do so! We're fast approaching winter and typically do not sweat the same as we do all summer long. Plus, we have that extra layer of clothing covering our underarms that can shield a little more than the airy tanks and tees. 

Tips for Winning the Battle of Underarm Armor:

1. Commit to detox. It will take a month or longer to change the body chemistry of your underarm area.

2. Dry before you apply. This is sooo important! Do not trap moisture under your deodorant (or even antiperspirant).

3. Be open to different sticks. You may have to try more than one before your find your formula.

4. Do not worry about workouts. Everyone sweats and stinks! A gym does not smell like roses. Embrace your hard-earned sweat and simply shower after your session.

5. Avoid talking about trying deodorant. People won't notice a soft odor unless you point it out. Just try it and share your success instead. Besides, there are very few people in your life that get up close and personal in your space. Surprisingly, they can swing either way in support.

This last time around, I did not tell my spouse that I was trying deodorant. I just did it... in the middle of summer... with breastfeeding hormones still at full rage. And I am now happily at an underarm odor minimum and rarely suffer from uncontrollable sweat. At the end of the day, we all smell a little more like us. And that's okay! You still won the battle! Stop fighting it! It's time to rest up for another day of adventure.

Heart-Hugs Product Review:

Heart-Hugs currently offers two types of deodorant. One is by Honey-Dew Naturals. This is my personal preference. It seems to work as an antiperspirant for my body chemistry! I love that! It goes on a little cakey, but the scents are amazing and the odor-fighting effectiveness is by far the best I have ever tried in a natural deodorant. The second is by Lil Pit Stick. It glides on very nicely and has a great scent, as well. The effectiveness is standard for wetness in a deodorant, which normally does not target wetness, and a little above average for my personal odor protection. Don't hesitate to try both to see which works best with for your body.

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