All About Body Odor: A Girl’s Journey Into Acceptance

I feel like this needs to go on my cleaning page. I feel like this is an important topic. I see everyone blogging about everything from 256,000 different types of DIY deodorant to body wash to laundry soap to cleaning products. So here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth and for how much anyone cares.

Our bodies sweat and stink for a reason. It’s what they were born doing, it’s what they will always do. We are not helping it any by slathering deodorants and lotions and creams and soaps and conditioners and makeup and perfumes and anything else you might slather on your body all over ourselves. We’re making it much, much worse.

My parents always had me using ivory soap. My whole life, it was terrible, awful, drying, disgusting-smelling ivory soap. And I have always smelled really, really bad. Plus, it’s terrible for your lady bits. So when I moved out, I explored the soap aisle. I got scented body washes, scented deodorants, scented and expensive shampoos and conditioners, lotions, body scrubs, ridiculously strong face cleansers, perfumes, etc. And eeewwww, did I SMELL. Even when I got everything the same scent, I just… reeked.

Until I met Alex, though, no one ever noticed because we all stink the same. We all stink. Really, really, badly. Alex is the best smelling person ever, in the whole wide world. “Well, yeah, duh, you’re in love with him, you live together, you’re around him all the time, of course you think he smells good.” Nope. Not even. I remember when I first met him I thought to myself, he smells really, really good. And then I noticed, no, he doesn’t smell good. He just doesn’t smell. Like anything. Ever.

His secret? I found out he doesn’t use soap. Of any sort, unless he’s really dirty. Sometimes his job has him going out to construction sites to make sure things are going well and he gets covered in mud and I make him take a bath. Then he uses a really mild hemp soap to get clean, and only a little, because a little is all you need. We use Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 hemp castile soap.

Alex does not sweat. I mean, he sweats, of course. Everyone does. But you really wouldn’t know it unless he doesn’t shower for a few days. Which, unfortunately, happens to us now and again since our house is a construction site. We didn’t have water for eight days at one point. We were very stinky. A little soap was in order by the time we got to take a shower. I also had a mountain of dishes spilling from the kitchen into the living room. But that’s a different story altogether.

Back to soap and all it’s evil-ness. Soap is very bad for your skin. It kills all the bacteria and clears your body of all its natural oils. Your body produces these oils to protect itself and keep itself clean. And here we come, washing it all off and ruining its best efforts to keep us nice and happy. So what does it do? Our body starts freaking out and overcompensates by producing even more oil than it needs to so that it can get back on track.

And antiperspirants? Not only do they contain aluminum, which is absolutely terrible for your central nervous system, they block your body from sweating. So your body produces extra sweat to break through the antiperspirant barrier. And then you stink like sweaty flowers or sweaty spices or sweaty baby powder or sweaty whatever. Sweat mixed with antiperspirant is NOT a pretty smell. It smells far worse than just not wearing anything and smelling like sweat.

On to shampoo. I am guilty of still using this. But I wash my hair about once a week. I trained myself to do that, I wash scrubbing the hell out of it with SLS-laden nasty stuff every day for my entire life. Then I decided that’s probably not a good idea. I also no longer condition, so there’s a plus. I’m stopping using shampoo. I have tried a few things, and I think I may have hit on the right one. If not, I’m probably going to shave my head to match Alex’s. Washing hair is overrated and annoying anyway. Not nearly as fun as they make it look in the commercials. And it never looks that great, either. So what’s the point?

Look, my point here is, enough with the soap and antiperspirant and shampoo and lotions and creams and makeup. We’re not doing ourselves any favors. We’re ruining our skin and making ourselves stink. Just turn the shower on as hot as you can stand it, get a coarse washcloth or body brush or scrubber of some sort and go to town. I like the washcloths because I scrub my face first then do the rest of me. For shampoo, mix coconut milk (don’t use Thai coconut milk, it contains guar gum which makes your hair icky), castile soap, and some essential oils and use that. And for conditioner, mix apple cider vinegar with some water and use that. It works, we’re all just scared to do it because we’ve been taught that we need to use harsh chemicals on our bodies. Ugh. Anything for money, I’m telling you. ANYTHING for money.

Gentlemen: skip this paragraph
The only way this will be an issue is when we bleed. Now. You may ask why. Well, that’s because you shouldn’t be using tampons, either. They aren’t good for you. There is a reason why that little toxic shock warning is on the box. I have dealt with that and I am here to tell you that toxic shock is very, very painfully and scarily real. I’ve dealt with that a few times, and Alex told me I should probably stop using tampons if they made me so sick then and wanted to know why I was being such a dork about it. So I listened. no, I don’t like pads, yes, they smell weird, yes, they look a little funny under certain clothes, but Alex doesn’t care so why should I? Who am I trying to impress? I already have my very own dorkface. Not trying to catch another one. Yes, using pads smells a little funky. But isn’t a little funk better than jeopardizing your health/life? Just a little tip: use an overnight pad. I know, I know. They’re “overnight” pads. They’re for overnight. Yes, of course they are. But they also provide lots of coverage and protection and absorb a lot more than the daytime ones. Now. I do use a feminine wash. It is soap free, pH balanced, blah blah blah. I’m considering trying not using it. Once I’m done bleeding. I do recommend using a feminine wash when you bleed. Just for sanitary reasons. Making sure it’s really all out of there. Anyway.

Gentlemen: it is now safe
Now, antiperspirant. Is evil. Very evil. Just use a deodorant. I’m about to go scrub the pits out and apply some coconut oil with peppermint essential oil in it. I use that as chap stick once in a blue moon when I remember I have it. You do need to keep coconut oil in the fridge for this, though. That’s why I forget I have it. Apparently this deodorant works really well. I’m going to try it. But for now, I’m going to try the coconut oil and peppermint. Not sure how I feel about walking around smelling like Christmas. Guess we’ll find out.

Aaaannndddd. Finally, makeup. Ladies. Please. Just throw. It. Away. You don’t need it. You know what you need? To scrub your face with hot water and put coconut oil on. Rub it in real good, all over your eyes, face, nose, mouth, neck, arms, hands, feet, knees, elbows, head shoulders knees and toes. It is the only makeup and moisturizer you will ever need. Makeup ruins your skin, no matter how natural it is, no matter if it’s Physician’s Formula, it’s B-A-D. Ever wonder why you’ve got acne? Don’t lie, you do, that’s why you wear so much. Umm, it’s the makeup. And the soaps and ridiculously strong cleansers.

Oh, and perfumes. Sure, they smell pretty. For a little bit. Then they don’t, because they’re nothing but chemicals. I will admit, I am quite partial to CK One and D&G’s Light Blue. Love them. But… I think I like just wearing a drop or two of essential oil on my hot spots even more. Alex prefers I just don’t wear anything, but, I’m a vain little bitch and I do what I want. I also paint my toenails because I think bare toenails look nasty.

I think I’m done here. Completely forgot what I was going on about. And this is why Alex calls me Gnat Girl.

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