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Switching to a natural deodorant has been on my life goals list for a few years now, right up there with read more books and learn how to bake—all of which sound great in theory, but quickly enter the too hard basket in favour of Netflix, Uber Eats and $4 deodorant on sale at the supermarket. Said $4 deodorant is effective (it got me through puberty), convenient (right there next to the Tim Tams) and keeps you smelling ‘clean’ and ‘fresh’ (like a Dettol wipe for your armpit). It also contains a whole lot of chemicals including controversial aluminium—and while I don’t always buy into alien conspiracies, fear mongering or supposed breast cancer links, aluminium does plug up your pores (to stop you from sweating) and that doesn’t sound like a great thing.
Luckily for us, natural deodorants have come a long way from patchouli and crystal salt sticks you rub under your arms, and with brands such as Le Labo and Malin and Goetz launching luxe takes, I decided to give it another shot. I start my journey with a new brand Corpus Naturals—I’d been following them for a while, since reading about them on Allure but until now they were only available in the US (there’s that too hard basket again!).
First off, the Corpus Naturals packaging is so chic with a minimalist design and sea foam green tube. Usually I hide my Rexona under the sink but now my deodorant had taken prime position on my shelfie next to Tatcha, Byredo and Dr. Barbara Sturm. The formula contains naturally-derived enzymes and plant extracts that tackle the B.O. situation plus they’re vegan and baking soda-free. The texture was a familiar solid gel and scents were herbal like a bougie hand wash at a boutique hotel. After a quick sniff test I chose ‘N°Green’ because it had a refreshing and bright citrus scent—a tough choice because they all smell amazing...and expensive. Roll on!
From what I’d read, the transition to natural deodorant was not going to be easy. Apparently, your body undergoes a purge as it clears all the toxins that your $4 deodorant has been trapping in your body for the past couple of decades, and the first two weeks could potentially be the wettest and smelliest of your life. It may also take some trial and error to find the right one for you and your skin type. The weather is not stinking hot yet, so the timing feels right to get this underway…I hope.
After all I’d read and prepared myself for, I have to say I was pleasantly disappointed with the transition. I really wanted to write about ‘what’s that smell?’ comments and people vacating train carriages in my presence but it just didn’t happen. I didn’t smell terrible, I smelled more like me—like my natural pheromones were finally free. To set your expectations accordingly, natural deodorants will neutralise B.O. but they won’t keep you dry, and that can take some getting used to. I also found you have to apply a bit more often than your standard deodorant. Supermarket varieties might take you through all day, all night and into brunch, but natural deodorants need a little PM top up to keep you sniff-test approved. That said, natural deodorants feel like a good decision to me, something I can be proud of like walking to work instead of driving, or choosing a salad over fries and, unlike those things, I plan on sticking with it.
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