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Friday, April 13, 2012

122

An Interview With Natural Deodorant Wizard Rachel Winard of Soapwalla

Rachel Winard makes a line of natural beauty products called Soapwalla, and one of those products is a natural deodorant that changed my life. Is there a way to say that without sounding like a crazy person? I don't know, but it's true. Apply directly to the armpit, apply directly to the armpit.

I'd wanted to avoid the aluminum in traditional deodorants/antiperspirants (even though it's not scientifically proven to be harmful), and because I am a sweaty, smelly person, I'd been looking for a good, actually functional natural deodorant for years. (I found one that was all right, and have chronicled my obsession on this website.) But nothing was quite the baby-bear porridge of natural deodorants, until the lovely Emily Gould mentioned Soapwalla in a blog post last year.

I ordered it from Etsy (it's $12), applied it (it's a nice, unisex-smelling peppermint-lavender clay-cream), and haven't smelled bad since, as far as I can tell. It is extraordinary. I know these things don't always work for everyone — different bodies, different personal chemistries — but the handful of people I've shared it with have had the same reaction (e.g., "I am wearing this deodorant at this very moment sitting at my new desk on my first day of work, I have a dope computer and a huge desk and a window and really nice smelling armpits!!!"). Who knows, maybe it does work on everyone. Grateful to and fascinated by Rachel, I got in touch over email about how she created this body odor holy grail, among other things. (I am a shameless hippie now, yes. Join me!)

You make organic face and body products. Since when, and what did you make first?

I started experimenting in the kitchen about 10 years ago when I was going through the protracted process of being diagnosed with systemic lupus, an inflammatory chronic autoimmune illness that manifests in a number of ways but often includes very sensitive skin. My first products were my lavender and french clay soap and restorative face serum, as those were the products I desperately needed to calm my skin down. My line grew with me — whatever product I needed, I created. I perfected the line over 7+ years and premiered it November 2009.

How did you discover/create the sorcery that is this natural deodorant?

Ha! I spent many, many, many months tweaking the recipe until I felt it was just right. I tried every natural and sorta natural deodorant on the market, and they were all wanting in some area — I swear, some made me smell worse than if I'd gone au natural. [Ed. – RIGHT?!] I spent about six months researching deodorant properties of essential oils and played with different concentrations of foodgrade powders and clays until I landed on just the right combination of both. Then I took another six months amassing feedback from friends and family (they're always my guinea pigs :-D) until I was hearing 100% satisfaction across the board. Only then did I premier the product on the market.

I like that there's that mildly off-putting factor — that you have to apply it with your fingers — because it almost makes it seem like you're earning it, if that makes sense. Like it's the one extra step that keeps you "in the club." Because it only sounds weird before you do it, and then you do it, and it's like, ah, that's nothing. And it's actually nice at this point. Feeling more in touch with my body/armpits, maybe. I don't know. But I know that I love it.

I tried other application methods but ultimately nixed the for a few reasons: (1) I like the minimalist packaging — I think it's a nicer design and is much lighter on plastic usage; (2) the user has much more control over how much and where they'd like to apply the deodorant. It means you don't get random white streaks on your clothing, and you can cover the entire armpit; (3) there's nothing weird about touching one's armpits. I promise.

You also make many things besides deodorant, like body oil, soaking salts, vegan lip balm — which are your most popular? Do you have a favorite, or are they like children?

My deodorant cream is the most popular, followed by the moisturizing body oil and shea butter, and the tangerine and clay soap bar. However, the new Lip Locked are quickly gaining a following, which makes me SO happy. I spent about 18 months on the recipes (tweaking about 2,500 times) before I was absolutely satisfied that I had a great vegan lip balm. I'm really happy to hear positive feedback from customers about 'em, because I love them, and I'm crazy particular about my lip balms — they must have staying power without coating or making my lips feel waxy, and they must stay put (I hate when lip products migrate into my mouth. Who wants to eat lip balm?). And they must be vegan. Virtually every high-end lip product on the market has beeswax or honey, and I was adamant about using a foodgrade wax that would provide coverage. Finally, I wanted scents that smelled delectable and appealed to everyone.

I'm trying hard not to make this sound like a frenzied infomercial, but it's difficult, because I think what you do is so awesome. Natural stuff that's not bad for your body that actually does what it claims. It's incredible. Usually these things just sort of croon in earth-mother voices that they've got you covered and now everything's perfect, but then they never do and it never is. (*long look at the many natural deodorants that have betrayed me*) So, thank you.

I SO know what you mean. This is exactly why I started making my own products.

You started out making everything in your Brooklyn kitchen, but you just moved into a new warehouse/production space. How is that? Do you work with anyone else? I'm envisioning it like a brewery, except instead of beer samples, you'd hand visitors tiny thimbles of body oil.

I adore my new work space! I was away this past week and took photos so I could swoon over my gorgeous space while I was away (I know, I'm odd). The space is 430 square feet, and our apartment is 425 square feet, so I feel like I've gained a new apartment AND workspace. I'm a very organized person by nature, so it's also satisfying for everything to have its own home (and not tripled up, like in the apartment). My girlfriend Stacey helps me every second she's not at work (she's a librarian at Queens Public Library) and I have a super intern named Farrell one day a week.

I love the thimble idea! I haven't had many visitors yet, but will have an open house early May. I've been playing around with the idea of providing samples of unscented body oil and body wash and a buffet of essential oils for folks to create their own flavors. Or having a loaf of soap and cheesegrater for folks to slice off a small sample to take home with them. Maybe I'll create a whole skin cafe!

[YES!] And Soapwalla is your full-time job?

Soapwalla is three full time jobs :-)

To help counter the frenzied-infomercial aspect of this, please tell me something bad about Soapwalla. If there even is anything, which there probably isn't. Child labor? You sold your soul?

My boss is a hardass, never gives me days off!

I'm sad that this interview is coming to an end, because that means I can't interview you again for the first time about natural deodorant. Sometimes all I want to do is talk about natural deodorant.

I totally understand, I could talk about natural deodorant all day long.

Rachel Winard makes Soapwalla.

122 Comments / Post A Comment

raised amongst catalogs

Oh my god, I already placed my order. Lordy.

Jinger

@vanillawaif I somehow anticipated this article and ordered mine last week. It arrived yesterday and it smells so good! I got some lip balm, too.

carolita

@vanillawaif I love this stuff! I smell cleaner at the end of the day than when I put it on in the morning! Seriously. I don't know how, but it's great.

OhMyGoshYouGuys

Yay! I wear Soapwalla deodorant every single day! Love, love, love.

chevyvan

So is there such a thing as natural *antiperspirant*/deodorent? Does this make you sweat less? That's the thing that holds me back from going natural. I mean, I know sweat is healthy, etc, etc, but I have mondo boobage which means wearing serious underwire bras every day. Adding armpit sweat to that equation is super uncomfortable.

parallel-lines

@chevyvan I was just wondering the same thing. I don't stink (shut up) but I will sweat right thru a shirt and I'm more worried about wet pits than stank pits.

sarah girl

@chevyvan Yes yes yes, came here to say this. The smell isn't really a big issue for me, but I have serious, self-esteem-damaging underarm sweat issues. I use Certain Dri, and I would love to go to an organic brand, but I also love not crying every morning in frustration trying to figure out what to wear that won't show pit stains.

Tuna Surprise

@Sarah H.

If you have real issues, see your dermatologist. I was diagnosed with hyperhidrosis and over time have used both Botox (paid for by insurance) and prescription antiperspirant. I have to tell you, after I got the Botox, I was wearing Oxford shirts and long sleeved shirts for the first time in years. It was awesome.

LeafySeaDragon

@chevyvan when i switched to natural deoderant (i use lush coconut poweder on cool days and toms unscented the rest of the time) i sweat less. i used to sweat through everything. i do want to try the soapwalla, i'm excited!

MeghanElizabeth

@parallel-lines Ulgh me too. Not smelly, just really sweaty.

CurlsMcGirlypants

@chevyvan I was also wondering the same thing, so I checked out their website. This is what she said:
"Soapwalla's deodorant cream is effective at absorbing moisture; because I do not use aluminum, it is not an antiperspirant."

So, if you tend to have problems with super-sweaty arm pits (like myself) and are mortified by large sweat stains, this doesn't seem to be the optimal thing to use. I read one of the testimonials for it as well (also on the Soapwalla site), and one woman said "I know I'll be fresh, stink-free, and even fairly dry all day long!" That last part doesn't sound the most reassuring.

Alas, I was really thinking about giving this a shot, too. My guess is that the clay she uses is what's absorbing any moisture.

Judith Slutler

@chevyvan I'd like to know too. I import Lady Speed Stick in large quantities every time I go home to the US, because it seems I'll sweat right through the Nivea etc. stuff they sell over here

WaityKatie

@Tuna Surprise But on the botox thing, doesn't that just make you sweat out of different parts of your body? This is why I fear it. And I can't use certain dri, etc., because I have really sensitive skin. So I'm basically just a pale, sweaty mess for about 4 months out of the year. Come and get it, boys.

parallel-lines

@Tuna Surprise It's not a problem if I wear antiperspirants - usually a little swipe of secret and I'm good for the day. But if I only use deodorants hoo boy, sweat city. I've just never been able to find a natural combo antiperspirants unfortunately.

redheadedtwit

@chevyvan I've had the same expierence with natural deoderant, I switched to natural about a year and a half ago. I was SUPER sweaty before I switched, the first month or so I was sweating the same amount but not smelling as much. Now I hardly sweat at all. I think my glands/armpits were just overreacting to all the chemicals in antipersperant. Also a cool thing- at least to me- I don't smell much, but I can tell if I've been over stressed because my scent changes. It is just one more heads up my body gives me to chill.

thebestjasmine

@chevyvan Yep, I'd be happy to be natural, if there was some natural anti-perspirant out there. It's the sweat that bothers me.

planforamiracle

@thebestjasmine I'm pretty sure that antiperspirant + natural is not possible/a contradiction in terms. sweating is a natural process and you'd be hard-pressed to find something natural to stop it, I am guessing. The only natural solution I can think of is to use a body powder (or cornstarch/arrowroot powder) but chances are good you'd have to reapply like 50 times a day (if you're me).
And to add to the chorus of anecdotal evidence, I also experienced less sweatiness after switching to natural deodorant (crystal) and also after stopping shaving my armpits (whee hippie!)

Tuna Surprise

@WaityKatie
It didn't make me sweat any more or less. My issue is less heat related and more hormone related. I'm a sweaty mess every morning around 10 am and again at about 4 pm regardless of what I'm wearing or how hot/cold I am. So the botox really worked for me. It just killed the overactivity (which no amount of antiperspirant ever did). People are super freaked about it, but to me, it's the same as getting a vaccination.

annejumps@twitter

@chevyvan I have found that applying less antiperspirant (I use Secret but I forget which type) helps me sweat less; like, when I apply a lot it's like my body overcompensates by being determined to sweat through a larger amount.

Lucienne

@chevyvan There are some men's deodorants that use silver instead of aluminum and might be worth a look if antiperspirant power is a concern. I imagine they make them in unscented ... scents.

carolita

@chevyvan I wonder if sage would help. I've read that it reduces sweating.

chancel

I heartily concur; this deodorant is the best! I've been using it for maybe two months? and it is awesome. Well worth $12. Plus Rachel indulged my Brooklyn nostalgia and promised to go get a veggie burger at the restaurant I miss most. :)

stuffisthings

Is it just me, or does the name conjure an image of a young Indian boy darting through Mumbai traffic with bars of soap balanced on his head?

nyikint

@stuffisthings Well, it does literally translate to 'the soap guy'!

Although in my head, it's an older, ironically smelly and sweaty man carrying bars of soap.

chevyvan

@stuffisthings For me, it conjures mid-to-late '90s radio friendly indy pop which "edgily" refers to God as a female.

stuffisthings

@nyikin



GOT YER SOAP HERE!!!

Judith Slutler

@chevyvan Yeah what were those expensive natural juice things? Odwalla?

spex

Does the deodorant work for unshaved armpits? I'm trying to imagine massaging a "clay-cream" into my hirsute underarms and it just seems...messy.

raised amongst catalogs

@spex I will let you know when mine arrives!

spex

@vanillawaif Thx!

dracula's ghost

@spex Still works!! Maybe use a bit more than recommended, just to make sure you get an even distribution. But when mine are hairy, the deodorant works just as well

The one thing I DON'T recommend is putting it on right after you've shaved--it's abrasive and HURTS!

planforamiracle

@spex was just coming down here to ask that! I've been using the crystal for about 2 years (I know some folks haven't had success with this, but it started working much better for me once I stopped shaving my pits--not really sure why)
Keep us posted, fellow hippies :)

chancel

@spex It works fine on unshaven armpits, but I found that my perspiration ran down the hair and got my shirt all wet. But it's not antiperspirant! so no surprise there.

raised amongst catalogs

@spex It is working very well on my unshaven pits! I smell great at the end of the day despite the fact that it's not an anti-perspirant. I use a very small amount and really rub, rub, rub it in. I am sure that all of this pit massage is beneficial to my health.

spex

@vanillawaif Glad to hear it! Odor control AND a lymphatic workout.

stuffisthings

Also, what's so unnatural about aluminum? It makes up 8.3% of the Earth's crust and has been interviewed on this very blog.

Lorelei@twitter

@stuffisthings I tend to roll my eyes at most "natural-only" philosophies (everything is a chemical! water is chemical! your body is entirely composed of chemicals! you will never be able to find a "chemical-free lifestyle" because you would have to be a collection of photons in a vacuum!), but I had to stop using aluminum-containing antiperspirants because they started making my armpits ridiculously itchy. I haven't found anything with aluminum that didn't irritate the shit out of my skin.

But! I discovered that baking soda is just as effective at deodorizing armpits as it is deodorizing anything else. I put a little bit in a tiny bowl, sprinkle on a few drops of water to make a paste, rub the paste on my armpits, and have 100% unscented armpits for the rest of the day. I'm sure this stuff is nice for people who want some kind of scent, or moisturizing effects, but if all you care about is not smelling like BO, baking soda is magic. Cheap, streak-free, non-irritating magic. Some people also mix it with body butters or cornstarch to make the texture less gritty, but so far I have been too lazy to bother.

stuffisthings

@Lorelei@twitter I tend to agree, though I've got nothing at all against natural soap/shampoo/whatever people, as long as they don't hang around me reeking of patchouli.

Plus, I use Old Spice, so I don't really have room to talk.

Lorelei@twitter

@stuffisthings yeah I mean, some chemicals are clearly more harmful and dangerous than others, and it's good to be aware of what you're using and what effects it could be having on you, but that requires like, research and critical thinking, not just "if it came from a plant it's good for you!" Which to be fair is far more of a marketing sentiment for "natural" products than one that I see real people offering, but at the same time I see a lot of people expressing a desire to use "less chemicals" in their life, and I just...argh. head explode!

I friggin love baking soda for like, everything, but it's sodium bicarbonate. That's a chemical. I am not avoiding chemical cleaners, I'm just using a safer one.

stuffisthings

@Lorelei@twitter Can't talk now, I just ingested dihydrogen monoxide and need to call Poison Control.

area@twitter

@stuffisthings I'm all about the better living through chemistry, myself. I switched to a non-aluminum deodorant because (1) I kept hearing Edith talk it up on here, yes, but mostly because (2) a friend of mine did her doctoral research on the effects of aluminum on cell growth. While the results weren't conclusive enough to say "omg, throw out all of your aluminum-containing deodorants", it was enough to make me think that hey, maybe here's something minor I could do that might reduce my risk of this disease. Or it might not, but it can't hurt? I don't know, I just keep thinking of Richard Doll. (Short story: He agreed to work on an epidemiological study of lung cancer patients; during the course of the study, it became clear that the common thread linking patients was not, as he thought, exposure to road tar, but a history of smoking, which he (and most other people at the time) thought unlikely. He quit smoking once he saw the data.)

stuffisthings

@area@twitter That's why I figure as long as I smoke, I don't have to worry about any other carcinogens because the smoking will get me first. PROBLEM SOLVED.

(Also I seem to recall hearing that mainly lady deodorants have aluminium, and my [manly] deodorant doesn't. That strikes me as odd.)

area@twitter

@stuffisthings Yeah, and I drink diet soda and eat red meats and do all those other things that are going to make me keel over at an early age too. It's really a case of picking your poison here- in my case, it was kind of a "ehh, this is a pretty minor change, won't hurt, might help". Though not as much as regular preventative care will, that's for sure.

"mainly lady deodorants have aluminium, and my [manly] deodorant doesn't. That strikes me as odd"
Really? That is odd. :la Any guesses as to why?

Lorelei@twitter

@area@twitter science! woo!

@stuffisthings the aluminum is an antiperspirant, it's what blocks the sweat glands from releasing sweat. So technically anything that is labeled as a deodorant and NOT antiperspirant shouldn't have aluminum in it, but in practice nearly every mainstream product sold for women is antiperspirant (and the few that aren't are way too scented fo me, at least). I've never looked for men's products without aluminum, but since sweating is like, manly, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a bigger market for strictly deodorants among men.

planforamiracle

@stuffisthings personally, I don't like to put non-edible things on my skin/hair/body. That's where I make the distinction between which "chemicals" are OK and which "chemicals" aren't OK. also making things myself is funnnnn!

MollyculeTheory

@stuffisthings Context! It's like how NaCl-chlorine is table salt, NaOCl-chlorine is <3 u bleachie, and Cl2-chlorine is a lethal gas.

DrFeelGood

@area@twitter So I'm curious. Did you're friends research touch on the fact that we use shit tons of aluminum in cooking? Aluminum pots, pans, baking sheets, foil... all these things come in direct contact with food, and yet except for my mom telling me about the whole "aluminum pans give you alzheimer's" scare of the 70s, I have only heard people discuss the possible effects of aluminum and antiperspirant. I would think, that it aluminum really was a neurotoxin to the extent of exposure we're talking about with deodorant, our contact through cooking/food would be much greater than through antiperspirant.

area@twitter

@DrFeelGood Hmmm...no, I don't believe so, and that's a good point. I'll have to ask her. I would suggest the antiperspirant hypothesis might have to do with dose effects and proximity, but cooking in aluminum pans on a regular basis seems like it would expose you to similar quantities of aluminum. I wonder if the chemical makeup in the aluminum used in antiperspirants is the same as the aluminum we see in cookware and aluminum foil as well? Has anyone done studies on the chemical composition of cookware and the extent to which it leaches into food?

lenka_V

@stuffisthings Supposedly it's aluminum chlorohydrex that makes antiperspirants possibly dangerous, not necessarily aluminum alone. I've been trying to use more natural products ever since my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Maybe the research will prove that there's no link, and yeah, I guess I'll have lost money then. But if there is a link, then maybe I'll have gained a few more healthy years.

ohyeahmetoo

@stuffisthings I don't know about it being harmful or anything, but a friend of mine (also a lupus sufferer, actually) told me she stopped using it because she was taking some kind of medication that caused water retention and using aluminum deodorant causes water retention? i don't know if that makes sense, of if that's a normal problem for people to have, but i guess if you can't sweat you retain the water and get puffy? who knows, i still use it cuz i don't like sweating up my shirts.

StandardTuber

Not to be weird, but I would totally sign up to sell this stuff a la Mary Kay. Which is weird for me, because my sister sells Mary Kay, but the chemicals freak me out.
Anyway, where I live, I could totally make a living for myself and turn a profit for Soapwella by selling this stuff at parties.
Just sayin'.

hotdog

@Mabissa I was JUST thinking this.

StandardTuber

@Mabissa: D'oh, I misspelled Soapwalla, sorry dudes.

hotdog

Yes! And on payday, no less! I bought the travel size lavanila, and though I love the smell, it's a bit lacking in the all-day good scent way. I'm super excited to try the soapwalla, AND I just ordered the lemongrass/tea tree soap because my skin has been so sensitive lately that even my clothes are hurting it.

Nutellaface

WHO JUST BOUGHT THE LAST ONE WHILE I WAS SIGNING INTO PAYPAL.

hotdog

@Nutellaface There are 100 left?

Nutellaface

@Nutellaface She must have re-listed it! It was gone for a minute there.

Killerpants

I drank the soapwalla deodorant kool-aid months ago thanks to 'pinners talking about it, and I'm glad I did. It is truly awesome.

stuffisthings

@Killerpants They make deodorant kool-aid?

Killerpants

@stuffisthings It is delish!

dracula's ghost

I bought this deodorant after that same Emily Gould post and it has LITERALLY CHANGED MY LIFE. It's been months and I STILL have a little shudder of pleasure every morning when I apply it, because after years of searching in vain for a natural deodorant that actually works, I found one that actually works.

I am a professor and I sweat balls every time I teach. For years this has meant that, no matter WHAT deodorant I wear, by the end of my day I am a stinky blob. NO LONGER. How is it so fucking magical? How is it possible it is so much better than all other deodorants ever made?? What does this say about every other product I use? Is there some sort of Platonic Ideal of toothpaste or face wash that is so much better than anything I've ever previously experienced that it is like a whole new world opening up? Kind of terrifying.

Also honestly I'd say the soapwalla deodorant works better even than non-natural deodorant. Even when I was desperately wearing, like, Old Spice for men Xtra strength I would still be stinky by the end of the day.

GET IT. BUY IT!

One question/suggestion.......can/could we send our containers back for re-filling? Thus being more eco-friendly maybe? This seems cool. Then again, would entail at least a week of no deodorant, whilst waiting for shipping/refilling, so maybe not.

Edith Zimmerman

@dracula's ghost "NO LONGER. How is it so fucking magical? How is it possible it is so much better than all other deodorants ever made?? " I DONT KNOW AND I DONT UNDERSTAND! It's a little scary, right? To find true perfection in one corner of life shines a weird light on everything else!

dracula's ghost

@Edith Zimmerman "What else have I been missing?" It's like those old 1960s Betty Dodson testimonials about 50 year old women having their very first orgasm and being like "my god i've wasted my life"

maybe SLIGHTLY less emo than that, to be fair

CurlsMcGirlypants

@dracula's ghost Wait, since it's not an antiperspirant are you still a sweaty blob by the end that just smells lovely? I'm not trying to be a juicebox, it's just that I also tend to turn into a sweaty blob (if I forget to put on my antiperspirant) and would like to try this, but would also like to not be a sweaty blob. Ahhhh, I sound like an asshole. I'm sorry!!

ALSO! You should check these out: http://www.lushusa.com/Toothy-Tabs/toothy-tabs,en_US,sc.html

I've heard great things about LUSH's tooth tabs.

I also think your re-filling idea is great! What if you had two containers of the stuff so that while one was away you could use the second one and then just continue to rotate? That would still be a lot fewer containers in the world!

dracula's ghost

@CurlsMcGirlypants brilliant. Can this happen????

Also yes I am still a sweaty blob but just not stinky. After 14 years of trying to stop my nervous-sweating I have decided to just embrace it and only wear black when I teach. It was just the smell that was stressing me out!

Some people report less sweating with this product but I think my sweating is just more powerful than normal humans', because even when I use shit like Certain-Dri it makes LITERALLY no difference. My sweat glands were perhaps bit by a radioactive spider or something.

SarahDances

Here's what I want: I deodorant that is not a "different-odorant." You know what I want my armpits to smell like? NOTHING. I don't want them to smell like vanilla, or lavender, or mint, or fruit, or baby powder, or rain. NONE OF IT.

Recommendations, anyone? Please?

sarah girl

@SarahDances It's in no way natural and very strong, but I use Certain-Dri and it's unscented!

LeafySeaDragon

@SarahDances toms unscented. it's literally unscented. :) i'm sniffing my underarms to double check but all i can smell is the dream cream (lush) i've slathered myself in.

dracula's ghost

@LeafySeaDragon I use this soapwalla, and I just sniffed my armpits and don't smell anything.

When you first apply it, it definitely has a strong (but to me very pleasant) odor, but over the course of an hour or so I think the odor really dissipates.

Lorelei@twitter

@SarahDances plain old baking soda! it absorbs odors and leaves your armpits smelling like any other part of your skin. I commented farther up, but you can just sprinkle some water into a little dish of baking soda to make a paste and then rub it on, or if the texture is a problem, mix the baking soda with cornstarch (or something like shea butter if you want to get real fancy) and then rub a little bit over your skin.

Edith Zimmerman

@SarahDances Yeah, this only smells lavender-minty upon application and then it just sort of neutralizes everything. For me at least!

PotatoPotato

@LeafySeaDragon: Have they changed their recipe? I tried Tom's Unscented a couple years ago. It 1) definitely had a scent, 2) LISTED a scent agent in the ingredients and 3) didn't work worth a damn. I was sad.

thebestjasmine

@SarahDances I use Dove Sensitive skin unscented (wait, or Secret? Why can't I remember...I will check when I get home), and it smells like nothing to me.

StandardTuber

@SarahDances: If worse comes to worse, slap some hand sanitizer on your underarms, and voila, no smell (flowery or otherwise).

Creature Cheeseman

@SarahDances Mitchum is unscented and, though it is not natural, works very well.

Xanthophyllippa

@SarahDances Trader Joe's has an unscented that really is unscented. I was apprehensive, because I can smell a lilac bush from a mile away (and once smelled a gas leak in the lab two days before anyone else; at which point the building manager sternly told my labmates NEVER to doubt me again if I smelled gas), but it really has no scent.

Exene

"Apply directly to the armpit, apply directly to the armpit." Is this a Dr Bronner's homage? Dilute! Dilute!

PotatoPotato

@Exene: TAKE CARE OF GOD'S SPACESHIP EARTH.

mirror_father_mirror

@Exene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_SwD7RveNE

Anji

@Exene Awwww, rats, mirror_father_mirror beat me to it.

StandardTuber

@Exene: OK? OK! Good!

Nutellaface

@Exene ALL ONE! OR NONE!

iceberg

Rachel, I want to redesign your labels!

planforamiracle

@iceberg they're nice! kinda remind me of Kiehl's.

emilyc

I bet I spend at least ten minutes every single day thinking in a dedicated way about how much I love this deodorant cream. It's totally changed my life, too, after I'd given up hope that anything could. My doctor kept pushing Drysol, which terrifies me. Then I discovered this. I was SO EXCITED to read this interview - my only fear is that if she gets too much press she'll run out! I just ordered two more just in case, though I have a decent stock at home. This cream has made maybe the biggest positive difference in my life of the last year. For real. (p.s. you can use it everywhere, too, not just your armpits! On your feet in a pinch, under your boobs, etc. It's the BEST.)

dracula's ghost

@emilyc seriously. I concur 100%, even about the 10 dedicated minutes a day. God I'm thinking about it again RIGHT NOW

I am a bit of a pinko marxist hippie/tomboy and am almost NEVER excited about "products." AND I have traditionally had the most intractable B.O. no matter what I tried, and I have tried EVERYTHING, even the most non-hippie-approved gnarly antipersperants, including one PRESCRIPTION one, that also did not work. So imagine how amazing this product must be to overcome both of those factors in my life!!!!!!!!!! Give this woman a nobel peace prize

emilyc

Oh, and @draculas ghost makes a good point about containers. Or, I'd be happy to buy in larger bulk. I go through this stuff fast, I use it so much.

Nicole Cliffe

AHHH okay, I'm gonna do it. And I always buy the ones that say, like 'dangerously high experimental levels of aluminum.'

Edith Zimmerman

@Nicole Cliffe You're gonna love the way you smell, I guarantee it.

Edith Zimmerman

@Edith Zimmerman Wait, does everyone get Men's Warehouse jokes, or is that a Massachusetts thing??? Anyway, Nicole, seriously. You're gonna love the way you smell. I guarantee it.

Oh, squiggles

@Edith Zimmerman Cannibalism: you're going to love the way you taste. I guarantee it.

hotdog

@Edith Zimmerman How deep is that man's voice!

faustbanana

@Edith Zimmerman People in Chicago are gonna love your Men's Wearhouse reference. I guarantee it. (Wait, except I think the ones here say "like" instead of "love"? Is it possible that George Zimmer wants people in MA to enjoy their suits more than those in IL?)

anachronistique

@Edith Zimmerman My undergrad advisor looked uncannily like the Men's Wearhouse guy. It was a little unsettling.

DrFeelGood

@Edith Zimmerman We've had Men's Warehouse in the mid-atlantic since I was a kid. I thought the guy was dead, then I saw him on TV the other night.

RocketSurgeon

All right. I've been considering buying the Soapwalla deo cream for a couple months, but wanted to wait until my less-than-stellar Tom's ran out. But really, the Tom's (why did I buy the apricot scent?) does not do it for me. Here's hoping the Soapwalla works as well for me as everyone else.

emilyc

@RocketSurgeon Tom's smells nice but for me it sucked. I threw away like 17 different half-used deodorants after I discovered the miracle of Soapwalla. I felt a little bad about the waste, but no more!

Edith Zimmerman

@RocketSurgeon Tom's IS GARBAGE.

Xanthophyllippa

@Edith Zimmerman Plus, their toothpaste tastes like Kaopectate. And not the kind of okay pink kind of Kaopectate, either.

Olivia2.0

I also have the same kind of lupus! Its so hard to fine stuff that doesn't irritate...I may be making some purchases soon!

stealthkitten

Another reason to ditch aluminum deodorents: they cause the yellow pit stains! I am a sweaty lady who didn't wear white for years because I knew I would ruin a shirt after a few wears. Once I got rid of aluminum deo the stains disappeared as well.

Nutellaface

@stealthkitten Yes!! I was totally shocked by this, but my white tank tops last forever now.

Princess Slaya

I went crazy for natural deodorant when I was in college, and I tried every one out there. I thought I found a good one, until my family had an intervention. (Deodorant Failure) This sounds cool though, so I'ma be looking into it.

DrFeelGood

@Princess Slaya heh Deodorant intervention.

Xanthophyllippa

@DrFeelGood Deodorvention!

JennyM

I just bought some, and now I'm nervcited to find out if it works for me!

Megasus

I don't have any money on my card to buy anything until next month, but totally going to give the magic deodorant a try!

Oh, squiggles

I want to buy, like everything. But cost prohibits that. Also, I keep thinking I just need to reduce the amount of products I buy and use all the time. I put so much gunk on myself!

:Cinnamon Girl:

I cannot believe I just paid $16 for deodorant.

:Cinnamon Girl:

Clearly I trust you Edith/Hairpin

:Cinnamon Girl:

Advertisers should be kicking themselves to get endorsed by you.

raised amongst catalogs

@:Cinnamon Girl: Right? What can we invent that people will shell out the big bucks for?

queenieliz

Why does it have to be Peppermint/Lavender scented? I really don't like smelling those things...Does the smell stick around? If it fades quickly I could consider this. Lavender is for your pillow to help you sleep, and I don't even like it for that!

raised amongst catalogs

@queenieliz The scent (to me) is actually very mild and not at all overpowering, even when first applied.

Waiting

ORDERING

ORDERED

CELEBRATIONNNNNNNNNNNN

Waiting

I should mention that I LOVE this article and it makes me very very happy that other people struggle with natural deoderant as much as I have. I hope I have found my ONE TRUE DEODERANT!

Waiting

ohhhh and one more thing... I really would like to know how is it she was able to start mixing her own stuff? Like, how she got the know-how? Phd in Chemistry?

corinnecidence

I heard on NPR a few weeks ago that milk of magnesia works as a natural deodorant. I was fairly skeptical but tried it anyways, and OH MAN does it work. It doesn't stop the sweating, but there is NO odor in my pits (I'm not big on scents, so this is a plus). It's also a little strange to put on, but I bought a travel size lotion container and squeeze a couple drops onto my fingers and apply. I can go 24 hours + without smelling a thing in my pits. Apparently it's an alkaline solution which prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing. It's super cheap and also leaves my pit skin silky smooth.

Meaghan

My dermatologist recommended Lavilin. It's an all-natural deodorant that has been around for a while. Very reputable product. www.lavilin.com

I usually buy mine on Amazon. Although some people seem to be able to last a week per application, I usually last 3-4 days.

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