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I Didn’t Wear Deodorant for a Week and Here’s What Happened

After listening to my constant fear mongering, my boyfriend finally agreed to throw out his favorite triclosan-containing deodorant—and then he vindictively chose not to wear any underarm products. He was convinced that, as a result, he was sweating less. So in the name of science and beauty blogging, I decided to test this theory by trying a deodorant detox for one week. Here’s how it went.


Day one:

Other than getting slightly funky after my evening gym session, it was an uneventful day. Granted, my underarms were probably still caked in a lifetime of antiperspirant and deodorant use, but I considered the first 24 hours a success.

Day two:

Before attempting a deodorant detox for seven days, I probably should have checked the weather forecast, because I picked the hottest, muggiest week of the year. The streets were swampy, the subway was an inferno, and my armpits were rank. Awesome!

Day three:

I attended two events on Wednesday—one in the morning, one after work—and nothing makes you more self-conscious about your underarms than having to be close to other people. This was the midpoint when I couldn’t tell whether I was just hyperaware of my sharper-than-usual smell or if I was a foghorn of stink to everyone around me.

Day four:

You know how they say if you skip bathing long enough, you’ll stop smelling yourself (do people say that or did I just make it up)? Lies. Every lift of my arm was a reminder that I was in no way getting used to my product-free aroma. Out of desperation, I attempted to ameliorate the situation with the makeup wipes stashed at my desk—it helped for barely an hour.

Days five and six:

I cracked.


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