antiperspirant vs deodorant

I’ve been wanting to write a post about antiperspirant vs deodorant for ages and every time I sit down to write it I chicken out because it seems like a slightly bizarre thing to be writing about. But it is also something I feel quite evangelical about so I’m going to do it anyway!

The back-story:

Before I went to university I decided that I didn’t want to leave a boyfriend behind at home, so that I could experience all that uni-life would offer without pining for someone who wasn’t there. So my then-boyfriend soon became my ex-boyfriend, and off I went – young, free and single and determined to stay that way…

One week later I met the most amazing guy (ever!!) and not long afterwards we were living together, which was how it stayed for two years. So much for being young, free & single!!

One of the things about the amazing guy was that he was an eco-warrior, light-years ahead of his time and he was absolutely passionate about looking after the planet as well as his body & soul.

I used to laugh at him for always rinsing the washing up before it was dried, but he insisted  that chemicals in the washing up liquid were damaging to our bodies, and so I kept laughing and he kept rinsing. In the years since then I have often smiled because I always rinse any washing up that I’ve done by hand and I now believe that he was right all along.

The other ‘eco’ thing I remember about him is that he only used deodorant, never antiperspirant, because he believed that disrupting the body’s natural sweat mechanism was hugely damaging to the body. I didn’t change my behaviour on this one until fairly recently, but I have often read articles (like this one) debating the pros and cons of antiperspirant vs deodorant which brought about a gradual change in my thinking.

The present day:

I started experimenting with deodorant, rather than antiperspirant, late last year but the problem was that I couldn’t find a product that I liked enough to make the swap permanent. I tried a few brands (roll-on or stick – I don’t like aerosols) but they felt horrible on my skin. And then quite by chance I came across an online discussion and saw someone recommending a brand called Native. She said it was a brilliant product and that the company offered free shipping, so I took a look.

The first time I looked I didn’t buy anything because I saw the company is based in the USA and assumed they wouldn’t ship to the UK, or at least not for free. But on a second look I realised that they do ship free to the UK so I ordered and received my delivery. [Please don’t shoot me down for the air miles thing – I figure the plane was coming here anyway!!]

And then I didn’t use my Native deodorant for a while because I didn’t really think it would work. And then I started using it sometimes. And then I started noticing that my skin felt a bit sore on the days I used the antiperspirant instead. So now, I just use my Native deodorant all the time.

The trade off is that I do sweat a bit more – of course that’s actually the whole point, letting my body do what my body needs to do – but given that we have had some pretty extreme temperatures lately I am super-impressed by this product.

It is made from natural ingredients, contains no aluminium and is paraben-free. It has ingredients to absorb moisture and others to eliminate odour-causing bacteria.  It feels really nice to use (not sticky), it smells great (there are loads of options to choose from) and it lasts really well (which more than offsets the slightly higher cost).

So there you go. My thoughts on antiperspirant vs deodorant in case you are thinking about making the switch too.

I think the amazing guy would be very impressed, and probably quietly amused, to know that I have finally caught up with his thinking on this one, along with so many other things. If only I’d had the wisdom to listen to him all those years ago…


(PS I didn’t laugh at all his advice. I took it very much to heart when he told me that brandy was a great soother for a delicate disposition after too much cider the night before. It worked every time!)