Monday, January 14

on the merits of chucking our deodorant in the bin

Life is good in the era of minty toothpaste, anti-perspirint deodorant, and soap. I just do not know how they put up with the odours of the body in ages past. I worked in a library with a, well how shall we put it? eeeeextremely obese person, and it was such a dry retching experience I am still working through it. It was beyond bad. Give me clean, fresh, and civilized. 

As for other cosmetics, I could stand in the chemist all day long just looking at them. I LOVE being a woman, so much so that I sometimes feel sorry for men having to be men. But we won’t go into that here. I am a feminine creature who has a certain love for glossy locks, tantalising perfume, painted toe nails and did I mention lip balm? (But save me from cake-faced peroxide blonde specimens sporting oompa loompa orange skintone. Please.)

Anyway, the slight issue with all of these sparkling clean delights is that they are mostly made of toxic chemicals. And our skin absorbs these deathly substances. They don’t just sit on the outside, nope, they go right on in. Take a look at this frightening diagram, from ecomom.

My body actually took a stand on all of this last year. It is a very forthright body at times. It said in no uncertain terms that if I used any more soap on it, it would boil my hands into painful red eczema. It told me that it would certainly give me a headache if I sprayed any more toxic perfume onto my wrists and a sore throat if I used one more synthetic lip balm. I stopped committing these crimes against it because the punishment was so severe, so first I was upset that it wasn’t going to tolerate any more chemicals, but I’m actually incredibly grateful for a lesson I’ve learnt for life. I started to search for alternatives, and was surprised and amazed.

Why do people wait till they are chronically ill to start caring about what goes in and on the body? We need to care even if we are well, and so I never intend to revert to normal ways of society, not even when I can tolerate it all. 

Let’s begin with a male and female staple – Deodorant.

My brother sent me the newsletter of Chinese Medicine doctor Christopher Booth who writes:

Day in day out we massage those aluminium salts and synthetic scents (not to mention all the rest for it) under our arms - into that soft, sensitive, porous, highly vascular skin.
So is there an alternative? Yes there is! This is so ridiculously simple, and it works well.
Here's the list of ingredients:
Baking soda
That's it!

How does it work? The alkaline nature of the baking soda prevents the odour-causing bacteria from flourishing in the warm damp environment of the arm pit. Dust it on after the shower, and keep your clothes clean.

So I decided to road test it.

Day 1
I showered, and then powdered it onto my armpits. Pleased to see that it rubs in well and don’t leave a trace. Particularly excited that I don’t have to walk around with that wet roll-on clamminess! Took a closet sniff or two during the day and was relieved to find that I was scent-less, genuinely body odour free. At night, my top could do with a wash, but if I wanted to stretch it one more day I probably could.

Day 2 + intense exercise
Showered, and this time I shave. There is a sting as I apply the soda, but it’s fleeting and mild. It could be avoided I am sure by applying it a little later?

I’m apprehensive about waltzing into my intense group fitness class, nearly ‘au natural’. I just don’t want to be that putrid person who forces everyone else to exercise with their nose blocked. It’s just so vile, and cruel...and argh, will baking soda really keep me civilly scentless as I drench my clothes? I’m feeling desperately close to getting out my Rexona Mens (I don’t like the ladies), but I resist. 

End result: I smell fresher than a daisy at the end of class. I actually think I smell better than when I wear my anti persperint. Chucking my deodorant in the bin, this works.

Coconut Oil needs to be sitting in the bathroom because it is the joker of cosmetics – use as:
-          moisturiser
-          sunlotion, google it
-          anti-dandruff or anti-split ends  

Burt’s Bee’s lip balm is just edible. I doesn’t just smell better than the chemical cosmetics, all the ingredients are so natural that you could eat it for lunch. After all, most of what we put on our lips gets ingested so you better be happy for it to end in the stomach. That’s why I said goodbye to my Blistex . It’s $6 well spent in my opinion, find it here.

Hope’s Relief Hydrating Lotion, found in most chemists and pharmacies is completely natural, and heals dry skin and eczema beautifully. 

An alternative to tampons I have recently invested in...This is an Eco friendly, woman friendly invention which will pay for itself in just a few months: menstrual cup, read here.

Ecomom -  sells it all, click here. Think natural shampoo, toothpaste, soap, nail polish, make up. It’s just a matter of choosing to buy the natural, clean alternative next time the shampoo runs out. 

So, we don't have to stink and look disheveled to treat our bodies well. We just have to stop walking through the supermarket with our brains switched off. We have to take some initiative, break the mold and find the better way.


  1. Hello!
    I'm thinking that I really need to go down this track (less chemicals) in a more consistent way... are you still using all of the above?

    I tried baking soda instead of deodorant and didn't find it that effective :S so toying with whether I will stick with my Rexona women's or not!

    1. Hi :-)
      I am still using my Coconut oil (not effective as sunscreen!), Burt's Bee's, and Hope's Relief - they are all amazing. I recently bought a Lavera facial moisturiser and Curelle Energe natural shampoo from They are working well and it's a good website, though none of this is cheap.

      The baking soda was good for me from a deodorising point of view, but after a while I got infected pores from using it! Grrr. So, I am using Dove Pure which is paraben/fragrance/colorant free, but my next will be from nourishedlife.

      All the best!