Style & Beauty

A Month-Long Journey Without Traditional Deodorant

08/14/2014 10:23am ET | Updated December 6, 2017

I've smelled my worst during the hottest days of the summer... and I kind of liked it.

I decided in the midst of a rainy Fourth of July barbecue that I would no longer use my deodorant. I understand that sounds like the weirdest time to think about the state of my armpits, but sure enough I was Dove-free the next day.

But, let me rewind to a few weeks before the holiday, in which a pile of natural deodorants landed on my desk. I skeptically took them in, and they sat around before I considered using them. I chose the one that seemed the most delightful -- Schmidt's lavender and sage -- and on July 5th, I took underarm matters into my own hands. Literally.

What Is It?

Unlike traditional antiperspirants, natural deodorants are usually made without aluminum, parabens and phthalates, which are ingredients that can be found in your common stick of deo. Some reports have claimed that these ingredients increase the risk of breast cancer, but a study by the National Cancer Institute found the link between the two to be inconclusive.

Personally, I wanted my armpits to breathe a little bit this summer, considering my sweat glands have been clogged up with product for as long as I can remember.

How I Did It

Just because it's natural, doesn't mean it's easier to apply than the standard deodorant. The product I tried comes in a jar, so I had to use my DIY scoop, which is actually the other end of a broken makeup brush. The consistency reminded me of feta cheese.

Some days were good, some days were stinkingly bad. When I say I sweat, I mean I sweeaaaaat. It became important to give my pits some ventilation throughout my waking hours.

After weeks of hearing "don't sit by Chanel, she's not using deodorant," I got over it and frankly didn't give a hoot what people said. I got innovative; if I knew it was going to be an extra sweaty day, I added two spritzes of my favorite scents to each pit. I also came up with one of my new mantras: never, EVER apply lavender and sage to the skin directly after shaving. EVER. Burns have never felt so raw..

natural deo updated

Rating: 4 out of 5. I certainly wasn't expecting the world to change with this product. While it wasn't a stick of regular deo for sure, it did do pretty well against my extremely sweaty body. In fact, I'm going to continue to use Schmidt's; I'm trying their cedarwood + juniper for fall!

Schmidt's provided samples of their Schmidt's Natural Deodorant for review purposes.

WTF Is That??