Let's be clear: I don't typically run around my kitchen wiping random products from my cupboard on my underarms in hopes of something magical happening. I have no problem mashing some avocado and massaging it into my hair, rubbing sugar and beet juice all over my lips, or breaking out the bain marie method to create a heavenly body butter. But when it comes to my pits? Yeah…I tend to stick with plain old deodorant.
You see, I'm very particular when it comes to my underarms. I like them to be soft, hair-free and un-smelly. Clearly, I'm not alone in my armpit goals. What that means, though, is that when I find something that works, I tend not to stray from the procedure. I almost always just apply a few swipes of men's unscented Arrid and call it a day. I've been doing this for roughly 10 years.
All that aside, I do experiment every once in a while. In the past, I've tried other deodorants--even the all-natural variety--and haven't had much luck. Where one may keep me smelling fresh, it may dry out my underarms or leave a powdery residue. Where one moisturizes and smells good, it may not keep perspiration at bay. I'm sure you're very familiar with the laboriousness that is finding the perfect deodorant.
Several months ago, a friend who knows of my fondness for coconut oil and DIY beauty asked me if I'd ever tried to use the oil as deodorant. I was incredulous. I know it's a powerful moisturizer and that its scent could break me out of a deep coma, but to apply the liquidy stuff to my armpits as a deodorizer? Just pass me the Arrid and I'll leave the coconut oil to other body parts.
Then, one fateful morning, I ran out of deodorant. Well, not completely, but the deodorant was used up to the point that I couldn't roll up any new product and the plastic applicator rubbed and hurt as I swiped it back and forth. So, reluctantly, to the kitchen I wandered. I pulled out my jar, twisted off the metal cap and inhaled deeply several times, as I always do. Then, with a spoon, I gently pried a little bit of the solidified oil out, transferred it to my fingers, brought my hand up to my armpits and let it melt into my skin.
I wasn't surprised at how quickly my skin absorbed it. I expected that to happen. I was, however, nervous about whether or not I was going to get side eye from anyone in close enough proximity to smell me if this stuff didn't work. In the name of beauty and experimentation, though, I paraded through my day with only a little bit of "do I smell!?!?!" fear.
And at the end of the day? NO SMELL. And I was moisturized! And I didn't really even sweat that much! Could it really be true? Could coconut oil really be a magnificent, all-natural alternative to store-bought deodorant?
"Maybe I just wasn't that active," my skeptical side chided. So I decided to really put it to the test. I applied it to my armpits after my shower that evening and wore the coconut oil to bed. Now, this is a little TMI, but I tend to sweat like a glass of iced tea on a summer day while asleep. In fact, if I don't wear any deodorant to bed, let's just say that things get a little…ripe. I honestly think I sweat more in my sleep than I do throughout the day!
Anyway, the first thing I did the next morning was give my pits a big ol' whiff. NO SMELL.
I am officially sold. I've been wearing coconut oil on my armpits ever since and I honestly cannot believe I didn't try this method sooner. It really, truly works, and I am so tickled that I found a natural alternative--and one that's a pleasure to apply, no less. Just give one more giant point to coconut oil, the oil of the gods.