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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rock-Salt Limes Alcohol and Body Odor

Growing up a Vancouverite my political and social sensabilaties seem to sway somewhere towards Noe-Liberal Socialist Hippy with a passion for some of the finer things in life. Today we will delve into the hippy side of things by exploring some effective alternatives to deodorant.

Growing up my mother would never let me use antiperspirant. She told me that the aluminum in the antiperspirant would seep into my skin and mess with my lymph nodes. Most research suggests that this is not quite true; however there is a growing body of research that would suggest you may want to be weary of aluminum for use as anything other than a hat. Since I am a good son and my mother was buying my deodorant for the majority of my high school life I wore Old Spice, black* or dark coloured shirts and drank a lot of water.
* I tell everyone in Japan I wear black shirts because I have blond hair. It is a matter of contrast. However the truth is if I wore white, my shirts would be see through after 10 minutes in the horrifying heat the Japanese call summer.

For a short time, a year or so, I went without wearing deodorant. This seemed to work as long as I kept hydrated, always sticking to my grandmother’s old rule "pee clear" and eat healthily. Then in 2007 I found beer. A drink I never thought I would grow fond of. However after 6 months of living in Germany my palate widened. Premium beers for 70 euro cents were just too good to resist.

Now I don't know if it was the beer or that i was just getting a little older but I found my body odor was starting to become stronger. My Do-Gi was also forming the dreaded brown collar of death. The one I used to look at my Senseis and Sanpais in horror for, simply assuming they were not cleaning their Gis well enough.

So what did I do? First I went back to Old Spice but after so many years of use I found myself starting to develop an intolerance towards it. That is part of why i stopped using deodorant in the first place. The smell was just a little too extreme for me. That is when a friend put me on to salt. No no not bath salts, that stuff is dangerous but salt deodorants.

Salt is a cheap, clean and natural way to treat body odor. I have had salt rock deodorants last me at least a year or so. Some people claim they last several years but I often break or lose mine. It is also really easy to use: you simply wet the bar and rub it under your arms. The salt helps kill bacteria keeping you fresh and odorless. It may not hold up for twenty four hours but you should be in the clear with only two or three applications a day. You can also use salt water; a few splashes here and there will clean you up in a jiff. I keep a bottle of salt water, which I make with warm water and sea salt, beside my bathroom sink at all times. I use this for a multitude of reasons including oral and nasel care.

More recently I have started to use limes. This is a little more expensive method than the salt but I have found it to be even more effective. Just one or two applications a day should be more than enough. You simply cut up a lime, place a wedge somewhere in the fridge, where no one will eat it, and rub it under your arms whenever you need freshening up. The citrus smell of the lime is rather pleasant and you can easily get 4 -6 days of use out of one slice.

Of course there are other alternative options to dealing with body odor including making your own deodorants (directions: here and here), but so far salt and limes have worked fine for me. You may also use the two in conjunction with each other. Clean up with a little salt and then spice things up with a splash of lime. These ingredients can also be used in many great dishes and drinks but make sure you have not been using them for body care first.

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