Primal Beauty: Who Wants to Smell Like a Dirty Hippie? *

26 Jul

(*This article in no way intends to assert that all hippies are dirty and smelly.  The author is referring only to specific hippies she has known in her lifetime.  However if you feel that you may be a dirty, smelly hippie, please know that there are other options available to you.  Thank you and enjoy the rest of the piece.)

I am definitely not the crunchy granola type.  I hate patchouli.  I love a good hike, communing with nature and all that – but by nightfall, get me back under my air conditioned, well lit, no “nature” allowed roof.  Dreadlocks always make me think of that old urban legend… You know the one, something about a girl who was bitten to death by spiders living in her ratted up hairdo.  Moral of the story?  She didn’t wash her hair, so take a shower and don’t stink up the place or a poisonous bug will take you down.  Of course, she wasn’t a hippie, she was a lazy bobbysoxer who didn’t want to re-tease her bouffant every day…but I’m sure there’s been a reboot of that legend at some point involving a Dead Head with dreads.  (Full disclosure:  I myself am a huge Grateful Dead fan and saw them in concert just before Jerry Garcia died.  But I wore a cute sundress and antiperspirant.  Whether or not I was high is irrelevant.)

OK, I may have gotten a little off-topic here, but I do have a point:  I’m all for the idea of going natural with my products, but at the end of the day I don’t wanna smell like I’ve gone a week at Woodstock without a bath.

I’m originally from the South, where women supposedly “glisten”.  I’m not sure who had the nerve to come up with this concept in a place where the humidity feels like you’ve walked outside in head to toe wool in 100 degree weather.  Maybe I just didn’t inherit the right DNA for glistening, so I’m a genetic mutant woman who actually sweats.  Or maybe it’s because my workouts tend to include sled drags and kettlebell swings rather than 20 minutes on the elliptical machine.  Whatever the reason, I wasn’t excited about giving up my extra-strength antiperspirant, no matter how much the research I was reading told me I should.

Apparently she doesn't glisten either.

I ran out of excuses a couple of weeks ago.  It’s been a hot summer here in L.A., and I started noticing that my usually reliable Secret wasn’t pulling its weight.  Time to switch brands.  But it occurred to me that if I was going to try something new, I had no good reason not to make it a natural deodorant.  The hunt began in Whole Foods, my go-to place for seeking out natural products.  But there were so many weird options I wasn’t familiar with – crystals and sprays and creams you apply with your fingers – that I got freaked out and ran back home to my trusty internet.

I’ll save you the hours of testimonials and reviews and articles and message boards I read, and skip to the one that jumped out at me – a comment claiming that something called In Love With Body Care Elite EST Deodorant not only worked against odor all day, but that it also somehow kept this girl dry.  A natural deodorant that supposedly works as well as an antiperspirant?  OK, I’ll bite.

First of all, I’m a sucker for cute packaging, and check out their logo:

Super cute.

Second, this stuff only has 8 things in it, all of which I can pronounce:

Dead sea salts (Certified aluminum free)

Partially saponified coconut oil (What’s saponified mean?)

Distilled water

Carnauba wax

Shea butter


Locust bean extract

Sodium borate

The sodium borate caught my eye, only because I wasn’t sure what it was or if I should be smearing it under my arms.  But a quick trip to The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database provided this: “Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations – Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualifications.”  It’s basically another type of salt, which could be guessed from the “sodium” part.  It was also noted that it has some usage restrictions in Canada, but being the last ingredient on the list I’m not worried about it.  Better than risking Alzheimer’s from aluminum.

So moving on to performance… The most important thing you need to know is that this stuff works.  The scent is really pleasant, just fresh and clean, and the application feels very silky.  Directions on the package advise to apply slowly for best results, and I’m guessing this is because of its slightly soft consistency.  It would be easy to over apply and/or make a mess if you just slapped this on like your typical solid.  Because of the softer texture it takes a couple of minutes to soak in completely, so I put it on first thing before tackling hair and makeup.

I had anticipated an adjustment period, not only because of switching to a new product, but also to wean myself off the conventional crap.  It worked immediately, and all I needed was that morning’s application; I kept it in my purse all day to reapply, just in case, but never needed it.  No worries about reaching for something overhead at work…No one subtly stepping away from me in a crowded elevator…No “wet spots” on my shirt either!  But that was just a typical day at the office.  It had a few serious “field tests” to pass before I was completely convinced.   So far this deodorant has kept me odor-free through: (in no particular order)  Performing an improv show under hot stage lights; A hot, traffic-filled day of errands with no AC (Brad likes driving with the windows down);  A mountainous two hour hike;  And an hour long midday park workout – which, yes, included the aforementioned sled drags.

But if you want an even stronger testimonial, here ya go – When I ordered my Elite EST, I also ordered their men’s version for Brad – Tough Love EST.  Now, we’re not talking about a guy who cares what products he uses.  He’s more of a buy-what’s-on-sale at CVS kind of guy.  But on his first day of using it (which included a trip to the gym), I received the following text:  “This deodorant is awesome.”

Oh, and again, check out the cool art:

Tough guy version. Still pretty cute.

One word of caution – be careful if you shave in the morning before applying.  Any little nick, and you’re literally rubbing salt into a wound.  But after one morning with a little stinging, I learned my lesson and haven’t had that issue since.  Bottom line, if you want a natural deodorant that works, you need to try In Love With Body Care’s Elite EST.  I can’t say that I’ve started glistening instead of sweating, but I do feel a lot more ladylike when I don’t smell like a hippie.

5 Responses to “Primal Beauty: Who Wants to Smell Like a Dirty Hippie? *”

  1. Nikki July 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    OK I NEED to try this. I am not too proud to admit I am a SWEATY girl. It’s embarrassing going through life aware of what shirts you buy because they will inevitably be ruined in two relatively visible spots. So I buy the strong stuff, knowing the alzheimer’s risk but figuring, hey, I may be crazy when I’m old but at least people can stand to be near me now. If this works, I’m gonna buy you a cocktail & we can cheers together, proud of our dry, healthy pits.

  2. theprimalsophisticate July 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Haha! If you do end up trying it, I hope you love it! And I’ll take you up on that drink. :)

  3. Thom July 27, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    I ran into Drew Barrymore at work yesterday. At first it didn’t look like her, just some cute granola girl. She was lost so I walked her out. Guess what? She smelled like patchouli and b.o.!

  4. Jean | Delightful Repast November 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    I was out for a posh afternoon tea last weekend with four friends when one (who clearly doesn’t understand what topics are appropriate at the tea table!) somehow got onto this very subject. She told us she has stopped using deodorant and is now using fresh lemon juice of all things! She told us her daughter (who I hope *knows* that her mother discusses her ‘pits with people!) is a very sweaty girl and heard about this lemon thing, tried it, and it worked like a charm. My friend says if it works on her daughter it will work on ANYone. I haven’t tried it yet. Heaven knows, I’m still fanning myself and having the vapors over hearing such talk at the tea table! :D

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