Natural Deodorant AKA Smell-All-the-Time Deodorant

Back when I got my DNA test, I tested ridiculously high for zirconium. We’re talking off-the-charts high. The doctor told me I needed to fix this immediately. For some reason, my body was hoarding zirconium. Well, what’s it in? It’s in antiperspirant.

So here I am, for the second year in a row, trying to switch to natural deodorant. Why do I always do this when the weather gets warmer? Of course, I sweat more when it gets warmer, and it smells gross. But, I had no choice. So, I went on a natural deodorant spree.

Kris Carr has an excellent post on natural deodorants. Kris explains all of the chemicals you find in antiperspirants, why they’re bad, why you sweat, how sweating works, etc. Basically, it’s everything you’d ever want to know about, well, your pits.

The problem with natural deodorant is that you have to find something that works with you. And, yeah, it’s really difficult. And expensive. But mainly difficult. Oh, and did I mention how expensive it is?

I must come from ancestors who didn’t sweat. Maybe they lived in Antarctica. When I sweat, it smells bad. This is coming from someone who eats a whole foods based diet. I don’t eat processed foods. I use soaps with minimal ingredients. I just have really, really smelly sebaceous glands (stinky sweat glands). Of course, maybe I also have some kind of overload of bacteria (check our Kris’ post if you have no idea what in the world I’m talking about).

It goes something like this: Brittany forgets to put on deodorant in the morning. Twenty minutes after leaving the house, Brittany realizes her mistake when she raises her arm to do something. Brittany panics. Now she can’t lift her arms FOR THE ENTIRE DAY!

Before taking on the oh-so-awesome world of natural deodorants, I used Degree’s Clinical Strength antiperspirant. This was the only deodorant that worked for me. YES, THAT IS HOW BAD I SMELL! I had to use clinical strength, people.

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Alright. So, we understand now: I smell bad. Let’s review some products I’ve tried. I’m going to give some ratings on a 1-10 scale (10 is best or AMAZING, 1 is worst or SUCKY).

Crystal

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I have no idea what the big deal is about this stuff. Everyone is so hyped on it. Frankly, it sucks, and it’s really, really annoying to put on. Because it’s like a dry roll-on, you have to have a wet surface to put it onto, or it doesn’t do anything. They also make a spray, but trust me, it’s just as bad. In fact, I think I ended up with more deodorant spray on my feet (because it drips after it has been sprayed) than on my pits. And, I smelled after about 30 minutes.

Ease of use: 1/10
Smell: 5/10
Time lasted: 1/10

Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting

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More like not-lasting deodorant. While this actually smells pretty good, it hardly did anything for me. I had to reapply about 50 times throughout the day, and it just wasn’t worth it. Every time I sweated, the product seemed to go away, and I would have to reapply. Of course, it’s a stick, so it’s easy to use.

Ease of use: 10/10
Smell: 9/10
Time lasted: 1/10

Kiss My Face Active Life

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Out of all the deodorants, I hated this one the most. Why? It gave me rashes under my arms. My skin was literally peeling like a sunburn! It’s a shame because it smells relatively good. Not that it lasted a long time, anyway. And, it’s a stick, so it was easy to use. Seriously, though, I’d avoid this deodorant.

Ease of use: 10/10
Smell: 9/10
Time lasted: 1/10

Alba Botanica Clear Enzyme

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I really wanted to like this deodorant. Alba Botanica is a great company, in my opinion, and they always make their labels friendly to read. But, the deodorant just didn’t last. It’s purely unscented, which is good, but it can’t beat how long it didn’t last. Too bad. It was so easy to apply.

Ease of use: 10/10
Smell: 10/10
Time lasted: 1/10

Herban Cowboy Blossom

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This deodorant smells AMAZING! I was so excited when I first took the cap off to smell it. It smells.. clean. Blossomy. Fresh. Like a regular deodorant stick. Super easy to use because it is a deodorant stick. Not long-lasting, though. I had to reapply several times throughout the day.

Ease of use: 10/10
Smell: 10/10
Time lasted: 4/10

Lavanila Grapefruit

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A friend on Facebook recommended I try Lavanila after I whined about my stinky woes. I was skeptical. It’s $14 on Amazon, but I figured what the heck, I’ve already spent about $75 trying other deodorants. When my package came in the mail, I didn’t know what to expect. I opened the box and took the container out. Can I just say I love the container? It’s weird. It’s round, different, and fun. But when I took that top off, my god. I was in heaven. It has an oddly alluring musky fruity smell. The smell itself is actually addicting. A week later, I still take the cap off to smell it. Yeah, that’s weird, sorry. Imagine my surprise when the deodorant lasted all day. ALL. DAY. All day people. I couldn’t believe it. The trick with this deodorant is to apply about 20 strokes to each arm.

Ease of use: 10/10
Smell: 2,000/10
Time lasted: 10/10

While everyone is different, no other natural deodorant has as many positive reviews as Lavanila. If you’re going to give a natural deodorant a try, try Lavanila.

Forgive my sweats people, but I’ve found a natural deodorant I love.

If you’d like to try any of these deodorants, just click the “via” beneath the image. It will take you to the Amazon page for the product!

Adrenal Fatigue

Most people know that they have adrenal glands.

But what do they do?! you’re wondering.

And what’s this adrenal fatigue stuff I keep seeing Brittany post? It’s really annoying. I have no idea what she’s talking about!

Adrenal fatigue:

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger. You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.

That’s a mouthful. Let’s break it down.

What are the adrenal glands?

The adrenal glands are a small organ, and they’re a pair. You have two adrenals: one attached to each kidney.

Adrenals via UVA Health

The adrenal glands
via UVA Health

What do the adrenals do?

The adrenals secrete hormones, so it’s literally impossible without immediate medical care to live without them. Hormones feed the body, much like how we feed our bodies when we eat. We can’t live without food, and our bodies can’t live without hormones. The adrenals secrete a very important hormone: cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone. It helps to identify cortisol as a player in the “fight or flight” feeling we sometimes get. So, when you’re under stress, your adrenals secrete cortisol. In addition to cortisol, the glands release aldosterone, which controls blood pressure, and androgens and estrogen, which are sex hormones.

Recap: the adrenals support energy production in the body, particularly the digestion of foods.

What does cortisol do?

Cortisol is very important in the body. According to the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons:

Cortisol, a steroid, has three main functions. It causes the liver to produce sugar and causes break down of muscle and fat to create this sugar. Cortisol also helps the body regulate its response to stress. Lastly, cortisol decreases inflammation and decreases the immune system response. Excess steroids can lead to Cushing’s syndrome, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, weak muscles, characteristic bodily changes, and brittle bones.

Obviously, cortisol is important. You do need to produce cortisol, since it has so many functions in the body. It only becomes a problem when cortisol is consistently elevated.

Recap: cortisol normalizes blood sugar, controls the immune system, and regulates how the body deals with stress. Cortisol maintained at high levels is bad, bad, bad.

Why is this all so important?

It sounds great, but there are problems with maintaining high levels of cortisol. Cortisol isn’t meant to be released all of the time; we’re meant to have periods of relaxation. If you think about our ancestors, they were probably only really concerned when they were threatened in some way, enabling their fight or flight.

Let’s imagine our daily lives filled with stress. We put so much on our plate, so to speak, because we think we have the ability and technology to do so now. Jobs are more demanding; kids are demanding; school is demanding; life is demanding.

Let’s recap. I drew you guys this nifty diagram. The arrows represent the amount of cortisol released. The end result is how your body is feeling. You could view this as the amount of stress your body is feeling.

cortisolWhat happens when I have elevated cortisol levels for a long time?

Elevated cortisol levels result in adrenal fatigue, hence the very unhappy face in the diagram above. Maintaining elevated levels of cortisol has a whole list of negative side effects for the body, one of them includes fatigue. In addition to some of the excess cortisol effects listed above, elevated cortisol levels can lead to weight gain around the gut, depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy. It can also affect your metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Translation: your body doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.

Basically, your adrenals break. But! Don’t worry: with proper, natural care, they can be healed.

Do I have adrenal fatigue?

Maybe. How do you know? Doctors are very skeptical about “adrenal fatigue.” Most haven’t considered it a problem. Take me, for example; I’ve seen so many doctors and endocrinologists who tell me I’m perfectly healthy, even though I feel tired all the time. The last time I was there, the doctor I was seeing literally said to me, “There’s nothing wrong with you. Your blood work shows nothing. You’re fine. I have no idea why you’re tired. If I think of anything, I’ll call you.” I left with no answers. That was the last time I saw a Western doctor.

This article has a list that fits me perfectly (I now know I have adrenal fatigue, since the DNA test). If this sounds like you, you most likely have adrenal fatigue:

  • Morning fatigue — You don’t really seem to “wake up” until 10 a.m., even if you’ve been awake since 7 a.m.
  • Afternoon “low” (feelings of sleepiness or clouded thinking) from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Burst of energy at 6 p.m. — You finally feel better from your afternoon lull.
  • Sleepiness at 9 to 10 p.m. — However, you resist going to sleep.
  • “Second wind” at 11 p.m. that lasts until about 1 a.m., when you finally go to sleep.
  • Cravings for foods high in salt and fat
  • Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
  • Mild depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Muscular weakness
  • Increased allergies
  • Lightheadedness when getting up from a sitting or laying down position
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Frequent sighing
  • Inability to handle foods high in potassium or carbohydrates unless they’re combined with fats and protein

How do I heal adrenal fatigue?

Healing adrenal fatigue takes time, patience, and a lot of listening to your body. Most importantly, one needs to eliminate stress.

Again, this article has some great ideas for reducing stress and healing adrenal fatigue:

  • Adopting a natural whole-foods diet
  • Avoiding junk food
  • Drinking high quality water, not from the tap. Distilled or spring waters are best
  • Eating five to six servings of vegetables each day through juicing or adding them to meals
  • Avoiding white flour and other processed grains
  • Adding sea salt to your diet, replacing your table salt
  • Taking 2,000 to 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C each day
  • Taking a high strength B-complex supplement
  • Taking high quality fish oils
  • Adding licorice root extract and kelp to your diet
  • Doing a detox and using an infra red sauna
  • Replacing toxic chemical products used around the house with non-toxic alternatives
  • Spending some time in the sun each day
  • Doing something fun each day
  • Getting lots of rest
  • Laughing
  • Exercising
  • Minimizing stress
  • Taking negative people out of your life

Final thoughts:

It’s important to remember how the body works: all of the processes in your body interact with each other. It’s imperative to keep all of these processes working correctly. The adrenals are one of the most important organs in your body. Taking care of them sooner rather than later is paramount. We all get stressed, but avoiding stress is important in order to maintain good health and live a long life. Maybe Western medicine will begin to view the adrenals as important, but for now, take the advice of other people: reduce your stress!