When it comes to being all natural and avoiding toxins and all that, I go through phases. Years ago, before I was jugging a big job, motherhood, and a blog, I had lots of time to read every magazine and book and I went on a huge kick to get rid of all environmental toxins in our apartment, from replacing our vinyl shower curtain liner to buying all green, non-toxic cleaning products and clearing out kitchen of bad plastics. I eased up as life got crazier and I just got too busy to stress over it all. And realistically, some green cleaners just didn’t get my bathtub or toilet clean like Clorox. It was the same with my beauty products — as much as I was worried about certain ingredients, I pushed it out of mind because I just wanted my skin to be clear and my hair to be shinier and fuller, and my armpits not to smell or sweat, and I found the green, non-toxic products just didn’t get the job done as well, especially the natural deodorants.
I was more careful about what I put in my body and on my skin during my first pregnancy, but not as much as I had hoped to be. Again, I just got so busy. I did try to switch to all-natural deodorant but I never lasted. I just smelled like B.O. a couple hours later, and I figured it was my one thing. Plus, most doctors will tell you that there’s no link to aluminum in deodorant and any harm to your unborn child. But they’ll also tell you there isn’t a scientific link between household cleaners or parabens and hormonal issues or cancer or any of those other scary thing, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a link. It just means enough studies haven’t proven it, and well, increasingly, more studies are showing it, right?
So I sort of half-assed it. I used green cleaners except pretended like I didn’t know that my cleaning lady used Clorox on the bath tub and toilet and Swiffer wipes on the floors. I bought some green beauty products but continued use my extra strength deodorant, yummy scented body wash, and zit-fighting face washes. I didn’t microwave plastic, avoided vinyl shower curtains, and tried to avoid parabens, but I also have lived in the ignorance is bliss category of not paying too much attention to the rest.
But after struggling with infertility, I’m more cognizant than ever about what I’m putting in my body and exposing myself to and how that’s impacting my health and fertility as well as that of my family’s. I feel so strongly that it’s the environmental toxins and hormone disruptors we’re exposing ourselves to that’s causing fertility problems for an increasingly number of families not to mention acne, weight issues, and more. I know that switching to a natural deodorant won’t necessarily help me get pregnant, but with all the money, energy, time and heartbreak we have put into getting pregnant, I am starting to rethink the products we use in our house and on our bodies, starting with deodorant. I’ll fill you in more on my journey as I try different green cleaning products, non-toxic makeup and more, but the biggest and first switch for me has been deodorant, something I never thought I’d do. But if I won’t let my family eat anything that isn’t organic and won’t let James use any products that aren’t non-toxic and all-natural, why wouldn’t I stick to the same standards?
I’m not going to lie, my convert to all-natural aluminum-free deodorant hasn’t been smooth. I tried several different deodorants with varying results, but by the end of the day, I smelled like B.O. and the pits of my clothes smelled too. I’m not someone who sweats profusely from her pits — it’s just the smell that bugs me and I’m hyper sensitive about smell. I tried Tom’s and while I love Tom’s products, it just didn’t get the job done. I also tried Kopari, which smelled so lovely but as someone who is constantly running from the gym to the office to the subway to catch a cab to an event to chasing a toddler and a puppy, it just didn’t cut it for the entire day. By the end of the day, it smelled like coconut B.O. — an improvement but not enough to make me a convert from my extra strength Clinical Protection cucumber scented Dove deodorant.
But then we got a shipment of deodorant from Native sent to work. I’ve heard people rave about Native, including so many bloggers I follow who have done the switch. And the hype was true. It smells so good and it works! One of my favorite bloggers talked about her switch to natural deodorant recently and said that you have to give it at least two weeks to get all the aluminum out of your system, so I committed to trying it for two weeks to see what happened and agreed with myself to live with B.O. for two weeks if I needed to. But it turns out, I didn’t. It worked from day one. Recently, I’ve been stopping at the gym on the way to work or during lunch as a way to sneak in workouts, but that’s meant I’ve been doing a light rinse after or a sort of wipe down and towel dry after, and it’s even kept my armpits smelling fresh after that, which is frankly, incredible. It doesn’t leave residue on my clothes and I don’t find myself sweating more than usual. Again, I’m not a super sweaty person, but that was one concern I had — I was worried all the aluminum was the reason I didn’t have dripping wet pits. To be honest, I probably do sweat a bit more, but honestly, it feels natural and now I am kind of grossed out by the idea that I was supressing a natural bodily function meant to regulate body temperature.
Bottom line: This natural deodorant works and I’ve seriously tested it. Best of all, I didn’t have to wait two weeks for the aluminum to leave my body but I would recommend giving yourself that two week window before giving up. We don’t really know what the consequences may be from all the toxins we’re exposing ourselves to so if like me, you want to mitigate the effects, it seems like a no-brainer. I’ll take a little sweat in exchange for my health.
Do you have any all-natural, non-toxic products for the house or beauty products you recommend? I’m overhauling our whole house and my beauty closet and need your help. Do you want to hear more. I thought I’d share my picks for green, all-natural cleaning products, baby and kid products, and then makeup and beauty products next.