Monday, January 11, 2010

No One Wants to Be a Dirty Hippie

Face it, greenies.

Eco-activism has a certain image.

And that image is accompanied by an aroma ... the aroma of patchouli and unwashed clothes.

I admit, I was raised by hippies. I like the smell of patchouli. For a busy city girl, however, who is often in elevators, smelling like you've just come from Woodstock is a no-no. Natural types have told me that once they stopped using deodorant, they stopped having b.o. Hmm... I live in one of the hottest swampiest cities in America. I'm not going to test that theory out.

I am, however, committed to trying to use beauty products that are safer for my health and the environment.

In researching the safety of deodorants and anti-perspirants, I found that there wasn't a lot of agreement - some say aluminum might be implicated as a neurotoxin, others say it's safe. Some say talc may cause cancer, another says no. Basically, however, I'm working from the theory that, no matter what, life's better with fewer potentially-hazardous chemicals on your skin. Therefore, as part of my New Year's resolution to choose cosmetics, skin, and hair products with hazard levels lower than 5 on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database, I started looking at what products I'm using to de-stinkify.

Usually, I use Lady Mitchum Clear Gel Antiperspirant. Depending upon the fragrance you choose, Skin Deep rates it a 1-3. That's low-to-moderate hazard! Huzzah! Choose unscented if you want a 1 - fragrances have all kinds of scary chemicals in them. I've found that this product does the job. On the hottest of summer days, a re-application is often necessary, and you do want to let it dry before you put on a black T-shirt. Otherwise, I've found that it beats out the others I've tried.

I don't need no stinkin' aluminum.

However, I did want to see if an aluminum-free deodorant could do the trick as well. I didn't want any sissy stuff, though, so I picked out Tom's of Maine Natural Long-Lasting Deodorant. It is supposed to last for 12 hours, ,but I've found that a mid-day re-application is often in order. I chose the lavendar scent, and I like both the scent and the smooth application. I find it to be good for my skin, although I noticed on some review sites a few people said it was irritating. While I don't think it would be great for summertime wear or working out, in the winter it has been a worthwhile find.

Of course, there are those who say that we should just be less uptight and get down with our natural aromas, man. And all I have to say about that is: you go right ahead and see how that works out for you.


Unknown said...

I like this. I have been using Tom's and think it's better than some other stuff I've used. I don't have to think about this most days because I work in a stinky place with a lot of manly (dirty) men.

I switched because I found that a lot of antiperspirants really irritated my skin.

I still use the stronger stuff if I'm going someplace nice.

Commonplace said...

I was a big supporter of Tom's for a million years, but found one day that it wasn't really getting the job done. Now, I am not any sort of a stinky hippy--in fact I don't really have smelly sweat at all. That said, I prefer Jason's. It seems to work better for me.