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I Switched To Natural Deodorant For A Week & Here's What Happened

Beauty & Fashion

Ever since I could remember, I've been a sweaty person. Especially as a preteen during puberty (as most of us were).


After deodorant causing breast cancer became a big thing in the news, I remember my grandmother buying me natural deodorant to replace my Teen Spirit. I hated every second of it. When I used it on days that I attended school, I was super self-conscious because I knew it wasn't doing quite the job that my preferred deodorant did. I was used to my fruity-scented deodorant and I felt like the natural deodorant left me with wetness under my arms by the end of the day. Since that time in middle school, I stuck to my Dove and Secret, which have been my favorite deodorants over the years.

I've contemplated trying natural deodorant again as an adult but I kind of have PTSD from my childhood experience. I'd try it one day and be back to my holy grails the next. There was something major that I didn't understand about deodorant as a child that I now understand as an adult. Deodorant and antiperspirant are two totally different things. While deodorant is meant to mask the smell of odor under the arms (hence the name), antiperspirant is meant to control the wetness or how much you sweat under the arms. To me, this discovery was eye-opening and pushed me to try one of the natural deodorants that I had laying around.

One of the deodorants that I tried and gave up on was The Crystal Mineral deodorant stick. Not only was trying this pulling me out of my comfort zone, I decided to start the experiment around the time of a vacation. If worse came to worst, I could buy a new deodorant while travelling, but luckily for me that would not be the case. The Crystal Mineral deodorant stick is made of one ingredient and one ingredient only: mineral salt.

According to the label, one stick can last up to one year, can be used by men and women, and prevents body odor for up to 24 hours. Though it isn't an antiperspirant, I was still willing to give it a second chance. Here's how it went.

Day 1

I thought about totally giving up on my natural deodorant experiment...but I stuck through with it. To be completely honest, I made a huge mistake on day 1 and that was not reading the instructions. It explicitly says on the label that you must moisten the stone/deodorant in order to apply it. Oops! That explains why it felt like I was applying a dry stone to my underarms.

Day 2

I was so used to smell-good deodorant that I had to cocktail my regular deodorant and my Crystal Mineral Deodorant to get through the day. Sometimes, taking baby steps is necessary to get to the finish line. I missed the smell of my usual Secret clinical strength deodorant. It may be all in my head but getting a whiff of my deodorant is super gratifying and makes me feel extra fresh. Not having my deodorant scent linger was a little off-putting while using the mineral deodorant, so I decided to go half and half just one last time.

Day 3

Finally, I was able to go full on with the natural deodorant; I just had to suck it up. I must say I did not sweat nearly as much as I thought I would have. Being in the NYC cold and then Canada may have played a part, but usually heavy sweaters do contribute to my perspiration and odor.

Day 4

I cheated.

I started missing the smell of my Secret deodorant and just had to apply a little before heading out the door. After years of smell-good deodorant being a part of my body care routine, it's quite hard to break away.

Day 5 & Day 6

These two days were a breeze. Honestly, making the switch is mind over matter more than anything. After I embedded that in my head, it was much easier to stop myself from applying even a tad bit of my usual go-to deodorant.

My Final Thoughts

The one major downfall for me with trying out this natural deodorant was the fact that you have to wet the stone before you apply. For starters, I hate the feeling of any wetness under my arms and it was another step that I had to remember when getting ready in the morning. Yes, it only added a few more seconds to my routine but it makes putting on deodorant a bit more of a conscious effort.

Natural deodorant might not be for everyone but it's definitely worth trying out. With the exception of those who perspire excessively, natural deodorant may be good for those who just need to feel fresh throughout the day. If you're like me and choose deodorant based on scent, making the switch over to natural deodorant may be tough in the beginning, but with its overall health benefits, it might be worth the move. For me, it's still going to take some time to get used to the naturalness of a natural deodorant but I find myself reaching for it more and more.

Featured image by Getty Images

Have you ever tried natural deodorant? What was your experience and what brands are your favorite(s)?

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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