a hippie in the making?

Lemon & Coriander Organic Deodorant

A week ago I threw away my antiperspirant in exchange for an organic deodorant I bought in Covent Garden. I had reached a point where I simply could not find enough reasons to use the icky roll-on one more time. I have changed brands and types (sticks, roll-ons, sprays) so many times I’ve lost count, getting more and more frustrated over the stickiness, the musty smell and stains my clothes get, and the itch I myself get from about 75% of the brands available. In addition, there are some studies saying that the aluminium salts they use to clog your pores (to prevent you from sweating), as well as the parabens used for preservation, can cause breast cancer. Please note that I’m not taking a stand for or against this statement, only recognising its existence.

But, why this sudden urge to go organic? Well. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but it’s really not that sudden. I just think I finally grew up. When I was younger my mother used a crystal deodorant (google if you don’t know what that is), something I back then found a bit peculiar. All the other mums used sticky deos. This was of course back when my mum made meatballs out of elk and pancakes with nettles she picked in the garden. All the other mums served processed meatballs and spinach pancakes bought in the local supermarket. Many were the times I accused my mother of being weird, and had her buy some “real” food. To me it seemed everyone else had more money; they could afford buying fast food whilst we had to sit and wait for two hours for the Sunday roast to cook.

This spring, the assistant (remember him?) laughed something about “Chia’s thought of a nice dinner is probably speed dialling the pizza dude,” and I reacted with something that can almost be described as fury. It was probably one of the worst insults I could get. I don’t even buy ready made mayonnaise, why on earth would I have someone else make my pizza? Yes of course, I do eat the odd take-away, about once or twice a year, but I do not even know what the pizza place in my neighbourhood is called, let alone the number to reach it. McYucky’s have I only once been drunk enough to visit these last 12 months…

Anyway. This little innocent comment ignited something in me. I started thinking back on my childhood, and all the tools I actually have to lead a naturally healthy life. If I’m that strict with what I put in my mouth, why do I not care as much about what I soak my hair and skin in? The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it’s been well documented that what you put on your skin ends up in your body – just think of nicotine patches. Over the last decades, tens of thousands of new chemicals have been developed, but still the quasi-scientists in us want to believe it is merely coincidences that eczemas and allergies are on the rise. We treat the symptoms with more chemicals, instead of listening to what our bodies are trying to imply.

Reflecting on how I’ve learnt to listen to my body when it comes to stress and backache, I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s more. I gathered it just might be a whole lot more. Not only was the antiperspirant increasingly annoying me, my scalp was beginning to itch more and more as well, no matter what shampoo I was using. Summertime I generally wash my hair about once a week, at one point this particular summer, I used pine soap (which we in Finland use to wash our carpets with during summer – lovely scent!) instead of volumising-silk-touch-keratine-smooth. To my great surprise, the itching stopped, and my hair kept clean for much longer than with any normal shampoo. When a close friend revealed she had not used shampoo for over a year, I began looking into options.

Sure. I realise I cannot possibly outrun all chemicals, and not all are harmful. But to me, it makes sense to minimize contact when possible. Fortunately, interest in natural remedies and a more holistic view in general, is increasing. However, unlike the food you eat, there is a lack of organic regulations for cosmetics, and many cases show that brands often exaggerate their organic status, which makes the task a little bit more challenging. By coincidence (no, really. I saw a pretty pic on Instagram, and googled the location where it was taken. It’s the pic I used for this post,) I stumbled upon a shop stating they are driven by a belief that health and beauty should be more natural and less synthetic. Sounded good enough for me, as I wasn’t ready to take the giant leap into ‘no ‘poo’-land just yet, and went there. Came home with a bag filled to the brim with stuff.

I won’t lie to you. Although I seldom wash my hair more than twice a week as it is, this will take some getting used to. My hair seems to have a totally different texture when faced with vitamin-rich rosehip, seabuckthorn and passion flower oils instead of sulfates, silicones and whatnots. I guess it’s sort of a low ‘poo alternative I’m giving myself here now..

But one thing’s for sure. After only a week with the organic deodorant, I am quite convinced I will not go back to a sticky, smelly antiperspirant unless forced to. I just might give the crystal stone a go next. Any of my readers using one of those? Don’t be shy to comment, here or on Facebook.

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4 comments

  1. Good choice… My cousin Wendy told me about these “natural” ones some time ago. Really good for travelling too and they last for ages. And they don’t stink like ehem “a pansy’s window-box” (apologies, but expressions learnt a generation earlier).
    Must congratulate you on making your own mayonnaise: the difference between homemade and potted ready-made is so enormous but so many people just don’t seem to realise or care. Ready-made stuff is so bland and uniform. Homemade is always a bit of a surprise with lots of interesting variations.
    Pine soap, eh??? Interesting, considering that I wash my hair every morning in the shower. Must study this…. But, true, shampoo makes yer scalp itch….
    Sorry, I do natter on…

    1. Haha, rant on as much as you want 🙂

      Once I made quasi-mayonnaise by surprise. My friend had asked me to mix oil, vinegar and mustard for the potato salad he was making, and as we were in the middle of an interesting discussion, I just kept on whipping until he asked what the h.. that is. It looked like mayonnaise but tasted like butter with vinegar… Neither of us understood what had happened, so we decided to throw it out and start over.

  2. Have to confess with the lovely inheritence of an overactive left pit, I only use Mitchums, have done for years and I wouldn’t risk using anything else. But I totally agree, regular brands of deodorant (and shampoo/conditioner) that you buy from a grocery store are generally pretty rubbish. On a slight tangent we’ve changed the way we feed our cats. I found out that regular pet food brands that you buy in the supermarket are essentially like Maccy D’s for cats. I was so horrified that I spent ages sourcing wet and dry foods that only contain proper ingredients. The cats protested coming off their junk food diet (my OH is convinced they put stuff in there to make the cats more addicted) but now they seem much happier and our older fatter one seems more energetic and playful. Best thing is the cost isn’t much different either 🙂

    1. I’m really liking this Lemon&Coriander spray from Neal’s Yard.. I myself suffer from somewhat overactive pits, and I’ve often felt that the normal antiperspirants really do not help at all, so I’ve learnt to dress accordingly. I can’t say there’s any difference in perspiration right now, but it feels better.. More refreshing. And my clothes do not get smelly after only a day, like I feel they do with Dove and Rexona.

      I’m not surprised to hear about the cat food.. back when I was younger we had a lot of animals, and our cat really more or less refused store bought food.. She actually preferred dry dog food, which we for both her and the dogs used to mix with leftovers and whatnots.

      It really goes for most things out there, food, make-up etc; mass-produced fast items are cheap for a reason…

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