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Smell My Armpit—I Dare You

I’m afraid this is the post that will push me over the line into hippy craziness, but I’m so surprised at the effectiveness of the Crystal deodorant I switched to that I don’t care.

I know, I know, using a rock as deodorant? Wetting it down before rubbing it on my armpit did take some getting used to. But it works. Like all deodorants, rather than being absorbed into the pores, the Crystal deodorant stays on top of the skin and makes it too inhospitable an environment for the growth of the bacteria that’s the source of that particular rank smell.

Now there are those who argue that the aluminum in antiperspirants causes cancer, but I haven’t seen convincing evidence, and the American Cancer Society itself refutes those claims. However, there are other good reasons to switch.

  • Armpit stains – Our old dry cleaner once told us that antiperspirants are the cause of stains in the armpits of our shirts. And using bleach just makes the stain worse. The dry cleaner did a decent job of getting the stains out, but why go through the extra trouble?
  • Perfumes – Other deodorants or antiperspirants replace sweat’s smell with others. This deodorant neutralizes the smell, with no perfumes.
  • Unnecessary plastic – One Crystal deodorant stick is supposed to last upwards of a year, and at the rate it’s going so far, I believe it. How many tubes of antiperspirant or deodorant does a person go through in the same amount of time?

To give it a fair test, I first went completely antiperspirant- and deodorant-free for a week, since I’d read that it takes a couple days for the antiperspirant to be sweated completely out of your pores. I was worried that I’d stink, so I did this over Christmas break. I had Jason rate my smell each day, on a scale of 1 to 10. (He’s so dedicated!) The antiperspirant rated a 0; at some points during the deodorant-free week I rated as high as a 6.  P-yew!

I’ve been using the Crystal deodorant for a little over a month now, and even after exercising, my smell only rated a 1. Maybe a 2 during the physical exertion and stress of helping to take care of my dad. And although it’s not an antiperspirant, I haven’t actually noticed that I’m sweating more than usual. Maybe it’ll be different in the summer.

Don’t believe me? Check out Slate’s more thorough test that convinced me to try it. Or try it yourself!

Hopefully this will make my shirts last longer without having to be sent to the dry cleaner. I’ll feel good about saving the plastic, too. And I don’t feel like I’m losing any convenience in the process. I wish I’d gotten over my squeamishness and tried this before.


Comment from Erin aka Conscious Shopper
Time February 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I love my magic rock. 🙂

Comment from greenmomintheburbs
Time February 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I used one of these for ages too–lasted MUCH longer than a year for me, maybe as much as 3 or 4. I found during the summer months it didn’t have quite enough oomph to deal with my Raging Stinkypits, so I switched to the Kiss My Face crystal roll on and supplement it when needed with the Avalon spray…but for a good chunk of the year that is one seriously good rock!

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