By: Zoja Popovic
The summer months are upon us and parts of Canada are sweating buckets! While sweating is a totally natural and healthy bodily function, the smell, feel and appearance of sweat, most of us can agree, is not at all appealing.
What’s a green girl to do? Truth be told I tend to stick to the basics, the tried and true products that you can grab at any pharmacy. But the safety of these chemical sweat busters worries me. Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of hype around ditching the antiperspirant and making better, greener choices for your pits, but, the pungent question remains: how well do chemical-free deodorants and antiperspirants actually work?
I decided to trade in my aluminum-chlorohydrate-filled antiperspirant stick for a sweat-test of 5 chemical-free pit savers.
The challenge: Five of Toronto’s sweatiest days so far, reaching record temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (with the humidex).
1. Crystal body deodorant (stick form)
$6.99 at any health food store
Claim: Unlike most products, Crystal claims to prevent odor before it starts by creating a layer of odor-killing barrier that lasts all day. The salt mineral in the stick is said to have antimicrobial properties.
Sweat Test: The anti-microbial effects of this seemed to have worked in the beginning, but stopped doing anything about half way through the day. Not recommended if you’ve got a long day ahead. Unlike other products that you can re-apply to get a boost, with this deodorant you really need to be smell free upon application.
2. Liken Plant natural deodorant, unscented
$6.99 at any health food store
Claim: This product is crammed full of herb-y goodness, which appeals to me. I took a deeper look into some of the herbs and how they allegedly help with sweating, and found claims of Sage and Goldenseal working to reduce sweat production. Sage is said to help reduce sweat production by drinking a tincture or tea, and Goldenseal can be applied topically.
Sweat Test: I liked this product. I was in cottage country during this test, and I did a lot of sweaty sitting, dancing and jumping. It worked pretty well, but needed another application at the end of the day. It did actually help to reduce wetness, which I must admit took me by pleasant surprise.
3. Kibio, protective care deodorant
$20.00 at Shoppers Drug Mart or Mural
Claim: This product promises dryness, and freshness all day. The sweat busting ingredients are cotton, witch hazel, and bisabolol. Bisabolol has been used for many years in cosmetics because of its perceived skin healing properties. It’s also known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. In addition to those first three ingredients mentioned, this spray is full of essential oils that add a boost of freshness.
Sweat Test: I really like this product. It gets my seal of approval! It kept me nearly as dry as my regular drugstore antiperspirant. It also has an awesome citrusy fresh cent, and it worked … all day! But at $20 a pop, I’m not sure I would continue to purchase it regularly.
4. Thursday Plantation, tea tree organic deodorant
$6.49 at any health food store
Claim: The tea tree in this product is supposed to kill odor-causing bacteria.
Sweat Test: I really love tea tree. I keep the oil stocked in my home at all times. I use the ingredient to make my own version of air fresheners and it’s a great addition to any first aid kit. So with all this tea tree love that I already have in my heart, I thought that this would be the winner. I had high hopes. Upon first application, I liked the scent. (With tea tree you either love it or hate it) It was very cooling, but as the day wore on, that smell I loved so much became quite overwhelming, especially at it began to mingle with sweat. The bonus was that I could re-apply and get a boost of freshness through out the day, but by the end of the long day and night, I found myself a little self-conscious of my pits. Not a winning feeling.
5. E Plus High C
$8.39 at any health food store.
Claim: Essential oils like Calendula, Jasmine, Juniper and chamomile boast freshness while vitamins E and C care for the skin.
Sweat Test: This might be a biased rating, based on one thing and one thing alone. The smell! Interestingly the ingredients listed sound like something I would love. But I hated it. So much so, that I didn’t even give this product a real chance. I tried it for a half a day but had to wash it off before it drove me completely insane. Personally I couldn’t stomach the scent, but that’s not to say that other people wont like it. I spoke to a couple of regular users and they claim its effectiveness. Not for me, thank you.
Have you tried any of these? What are you trusty sweat busters for the summer season?