Back in 2012 when I started my nutrition program I learned from a fellow student how to make my own deodorant. Not only was it simple and cheap to make, it was effective. Gone were the days of Dry Idea roll-on which likely contained harsh chemicals and aluminum, which some studies suggest may lead to breast cancer. Making deodorant is simple: Mix equal parts coconut oil, baking soda, and arrowroot powder to form a paste, and store in a jar. Some people add essential oils, but I have sensitive skin and didn’t want to take any chances, so I kept mine to just those three ingredients.
Everything was going along swimmingly for at least 18 months, when suddenly I developed a rash under my arms. At first I thought it was die-off from my SIBO protocol. My underarms looked like they were on fire – bright red and burning – and they itched like crazy! The rash grew worse, but was isolated to my arm pits. My naturopath was stumped; he’d never seen anything like it. He even pulled out his manual on skin disorders and couldn’t find anything. After doing some of my own research, I realized I was probably reacting to the baking soda. According to my google search it’s not all that uncommon. So, I tried making the same deodorant sans the baking soda. It was a major fail in the olfactory department! In other words, I stunk!
So, I tried some natural deodorants like Toms of Maine (totally ineffective) and a couple others I found at Natural Grocers. None worked. I even read that magnesium spray could work. It didn’t. It was embarrassing and I found myself keeping my arms tightly at my sides whenever possible. I spoke to the clerk at New Season’s Market and she suggested I try a crystal deodorant which is kind of like a salt lick for your pits. (Or maybe not!) Though this was the best thing I’d tried since my homemade variety, it still didn’t offer the kind of odor protection I was hoping for.
I finally concluded that I was going to have to opt for a commercial brand of deodorant and antiperspirant if I (not to mention those around me) was going to be able to stand myself. Being super conscientious about safe ingredients, I researched the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) app called Skin Deep which rates all sorts of products based on health concerns such as cancer risk, developmental/reprotoxicity, and allergy risk. I settled on Ban Invisible Solid, Antiperspirant & Deodorant, Unscented which received the very best rating of “1” from the EWG. Easily available at Walgreen’s I gladly laid out $5.99 for my purchase and hoped my stinky days were behind me. Not only was this rated optimally, it also didn’t contain baking soda – a sure win! That was, until I peeled back the label and read the entire list of ingredients. Among them: Barley extract! (Read: GLUTEN!) Gluten is a known trigger for autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s. So, I returned it to the store.
Back to the drawing board I went. I googled “Gluten Free Deodorant” and up popped Gluten free lifestyle with a short list of 5 brands of deodorant that are gluten free across all their varieties: Gillette, Lady Speedstick, Mennen Speedstick, Old Spice, and Secret. I cross referenced each one with the Skin Deep app and found that all but Secret had unfavorable ratings. And the best of the bunch in Secret‘s line was this one:Next I went to Amazon to order it and was pleased with the 5-star ratings and positive reviews until I went into sticker shock when I saw the price: $19.99 per 2 oz. unit. WTF?!! Apparently, if it sounds too good to be true it is, and the bastards at Secret discontinued this particular product driving the price sky high for the “secret” stash of what’s left of this particularly effective odor reducer! Don’t they know the pain and suffering I have endured to get to this point? Apparently not! So I did what any reasonable consumer who doesn’t want to stink would do and I ordered two! Folks, that’s 2 cents shy of $40 for 4 oz. of pit stick and who knows if it will even work for me? All I can say is it damn well better!
I waited in anxious anticipation for the brown suited UPS driver to deliver my order as promised by 8:00 p.m. today. Shout out to UPS for having it here by noon! Though I had a house full of company (my adored “nutri-sisters”, a.k.a. my tribe from nutrition school including the one who taught me how to make my own deodorant in the first place, who by the way brought her home fermented blackberry hard cider for us all to enjoy in the middle of the day on a “school day”), I ran the package upstairs and ripped it open like a six year-old on Christmas morning. And here’s what I found:Your eyes are not deceiving you, one is missing it’s lid! Seriously UPS or Amazon or whoever the hell lost the lid to my $20 deodorant?!! And now I have to send it back. Because apparently to get my refund they want my uncapped Secret solid back in their slippery, money grubbing hands! What do you suppose they’ll do with it once they get it? I don’t even want to know. All I can say is the one I’m keeping had better f*%king work!