I think it’s time we’ve had a talk, my friends. It isn’t easy for me to tell you this but friends tell friends hard truths. You ready? Here it goes: Your deodorant is terrible. I’m only telling you this because I care (and because that smell is offensive).

Well now that you’ve made it past the cut, I should be a little more truthful. All deodorant is terrible. I have never used a single deodorant that I loved for more than a week.  I’ve tried most, if not all, of the major brands of deodorant in my life and I feel pretty confident that you have too. That’s because they all suck and we always think that if we just switch from Lady Mitchum to Secret, all of our armpit woes will end. And now that you can smell my Passionista Fruit pits from the next train car, no one will notice that my right armpit smells weird even before I towel myself off from my morning shower, never mind 12 hours later!

The intense deodorant/antiperspirant scents have always choked me and I felt that the more I sweat, the more pungent the scent became. The only thing the intensifying Va Va Vanilla was doing was screaming my sweatiness from the rooftops.

OK, I thought, maybe in adulthood I have become particularly sweaty? even though I have never been particularly sweaty (the exception being during grueling workouts). I tried Secret Clinical Strength in whatever the least offensive scent available at the time was and it worked, sort of. By which I mean, it worked slightly better than the regular Secret deodorant except now I was paying twice as much for it. Fantastic.

Last summer I got a part-time job at LUSH and decided that I’d try one of their natural deodorants. I was sick of slathering expensive, heavily-alchemized products all over my body with lackluster results. I began using their solid Aromaco deodorant which worked about as well as the Secret Clinical Strength but it had several other selling points in its favor:

  1. Price - It lasts forever! Nine dollars can get you through three or four months of deodorant, easy.
  2. All natural – Which means I’m not blocking my armpit pores with aluminum. Yes, there is no solid link between antiperspirants and breast cancer, but I still don’t like the strategy of just blocking my pores. This is why I don’t use any skincare based on petroleum. Aluminum is also what turns your white shirts yellow and that sucks.
  3. Packaging (or lack thereof) – The salespeople will cut off a slice of deodorant from a heavy block of the stuff and just wrap it in a bit of butcher paper. No annoying, environmentally unfriendly packaging!
  4. Skin – This is the truth–after two weeks or so, my armpit skin had noticeably improved. I stopped getting ingrown hairs and other yucky razor bumps and discolorations. It felt softer.

I was very happy with it though like I said, it’s not an antiperspirant so I was still sweating a bit. I just stopped giving a fuck. We’re human beings! We sweat! And one other huge negative for me–it smells like patchouli. GROSS. I mean, the patchouli scent isn’t terribly strong but I just hate patchouli with the fire of four trillion suns. I started patting on a bit of this vanilla dusting powder after applying the deodorant to combat that scent.

After about a year of this, I was getting tired of the process and the scent and of going into LUSH all of the time (those salespeople are a pain in the ass) so I wanted to try something new without reverting to ye olde aluminum stick. I remembered reading something about natural deodorant on The Hairpin a while back and decided to look it up and see if they had come up with any decent solutions. And I almost gave up hope until I saw the tiny little addendum at the end of the article: Edith had found her Holy Grail and it was Soapwalla deodorant cream. I was skeptical because really? You want me to trust an etsy seller to make really great skincare? I’m not dissing etsy sellers (I have an etsy store myself!), it’s just that there are so many of them out there selling skincare that it’s really hard to trust that one of them is making a magical product that no one else is making. How can you even know where to start?

I am devoted to *~*armpits*~*, though, and I was convinced by the product list (I had to learn a lot about the properties of natural products while working for LUSH) so I shelled out $12 and waited for my package to arrive. I received it about two weeks ago (which was only two or three days after ordering it) with a warning that I should put it in the freezer for a few minutes if it was in transit during hot weather–it was!–and tried it out after my next shower and have been using it since.

You rub it on with your fingers (guys, stop it, that’s not gross) and it dries immediately. It can be a little tingly, especially if you just shaved (in which case you should probably wait at least 15 minutes before applying?), but I know that’s the tea tree oil and therefore am pleased with it because everyone knows that tea tree oil is the shit. It doesn’t have quite the oooh my skin is so lovely now! effect as the LUSH deodorant I used to use, but I suspect that if you’re switching from a standard deodorant/antiperspirant to Soapwalla, your armpit skin will feel much better than it does now.

Verdict:

I love it so far, but ask me in a few months. It’s definitely worth a try if you don’t completely sweat through shirts (consider Botox?). Based on the usage so far, I think that this 2 oz of deodorant cream with last for at least two or three months. I give it four out of five sexy hippies.

If you have an idea you would like us to write about, please email me at [email protected] or the fabulous DancingQueen at [email protected]

[Image sources: Mary Catherine, Soapwalla, hippies]