By now, most people have probably heard the claim that antiperspirants cause breast cancer. While scientific studies have yet to yield a definitive “yup, sure do!” there has been enough information gathered about the topic to scare me a teeny bit shitless.
The idea of smearing aluminum into my armpit pores makes me twitchy anyway. If I have another option, I’ll gladly take it.
So when my friend Meg mentioned she had a “recipe” for deodorant I was… well, okay, I was actually a little skeptical. If I’m being completely honest, I knew about the concern over the link between deodorant and breast cancer, but I also care a great deal – a great, great deal – about not smelling like a sweaty trucker with an affinity for garlic and onions.
So although I wanted to be supportive, my first reaction, which I did not state aloud (sorry Meg), was something to the effect of, “Girrrrrl, you stanky?”
But given what I know of Meg and her general proclivity for problem solving, I figured it wasn’t that big of a stretch for her to have mastered her own armpit. The woman knows stuff. So I asked for the recipe.
Over the weekend, I enlisted my kids to help me with my non-cancer-causing deodorant undertaking. The one ingredient we were missing was the essential oil, which Meg said was fine to do without. And okay, this is super embarrassing, but I did not know what “essential oils” were. I had to Google it. I swear the only reason I’m even half-way smart is because of the internet. Anyway, just FYI: Walmart is not the place to find essential oils. Try a hippie store or order it online or whatever.
We mixed together the ingredients and I was disproportionately excited when things started fizzing (“OMG I’M TOTALLY DOING CHEMISTRY!!!”), but… a little baffled by the end product:
I sent the image to Meg: “Is that what it’s supposed to look like?”
And then I laughed at myself for 10 minutes because what kind of idiot can’t make f*cking homemade deodorant??
It turns out I was not whisking vigorously enough. (Story of my life.)
After a minute or so of extremely vigorous whisking with my four-year-old’s tiny pretend whisker, I finally got it right:
I put my non-cancer-causing deodorant masterpiece in the fridge so it could firm up a bit before using it. <<< Okay, I’ve written that sentence three different ways and every time I end up thinking, That’s what she said. Sorry.
Because I am practically a scientist, I had the brilliant idea to go for a run in the hottest blister-hot-hot of the day (this is Florida we’re talking about) with a different deodorant under each pit. (I know, right? Gennnnnius!!!) However, I feel like I need to emphasize the sacrifice I made in the name of science, here: I am one who shrinks with revulsion at all things asymmetrical. Taking the humongous risk of having one pit markedly sweatier than the other while miles from home is nearly as repugnant as letting a spider crawl across my hand. But curiosity triumphed: I had to be able to do a direct comparison.
Before the run, I enlisted my children to sniff my pits. That’s right, we all suffered a little in the name of science. Don’t worry though, I handsomely rewarded my pit-sniffing lab rat children with extra Minecraft time. It really wasn’t that bad. Lucas and Mari agreed that the right pit (the recipe side) smelled nicer than the left. Lucas requested I tell you it smelled like lemon.
I was going to run for 30 minutes, but I got lost in the woods for ten minutes, so the whole thing took way longer than anticipated. Also, I learned that when you’re running this way and that over a soft bed of pine needles through brush that may or may not be poison ivy, every branch looks like a snake and every leaf looks like a toad. And the things that look like spider webs are actually spider webs. But I digress.
When I finally escaped the woods, I remembered I was supposed to be conducting an experiment. Tentative sniffs of each armpit didn’t reveal much, but I can honestly say my recipe pit felt dryer than my cancer pit. #Winning!!! But it was so hot out that after about 30 minutes of running, the only thing I could focus on was not passing out, and the only thought in my head was motherf@#%#@ing F@#%@#ING STUPIDASS SCIENCE F@#K YOU!!!
But I made it. Sweaty as f*ck, but I made it home. After drying off a little, I tried to sniff my armpits again to get a sense of whether one smelled worse than the other, but I think my sense of smell had been rendered useless by my body’s energy being focused on keeping my vital organs functioning during the run. My kids, however, were able to confirm that I was extremely stinky no matter which part of my body one sniffed. Not very scientific, but hey, I tried.
I’ve been wearing the recipe deodorant since my run yesterday, and, wait… hold on…
…yep, still smells like lemon. No stanky detected.
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: The recipe. Try it out and let me know how it works for you. But don’t forget: WHISK VIGOROUSLY.