OF ARMPITS AND ALLERGIES
“Go ahead,” my sister said.
I cautiously, reluctantly, leaned into the raised armpit of my puberty-stricken nephew and sniffed.
I leaned in some more, shoving my nose against the shirt covered underarm and sniffed again. And then I breathed in deeply.
“Incredible, huh?” my sister asked.
I nodded. “And you say, you just rub this organic toothpaste onto your pits?”
“Yeah. And not only does it take away the stink, it can even last a couple of days.”
“Where did you hear about this?” I asked.
“I’ve been looking online a while for something that will keep me fresh without putting who-knows-what on my skin.”
I nodded. As children and grandchildren of Alzheimer’s victims, the chemicals in most antiperspirants and deodorants were of concern to us, especially those with aluminum compounds.
Unfortunately, the natural products that we had tried had all pretty much failed. I used a rock crystal deodorant, but I still supplemented every few days with the questionable stuff.
“Anyway,” she continued, “I found a site that posted about using this toothpaste as a deodorant. They were so many positive responses that I decided to give it a try.”
I lifted my sister’s arm and pushed my nose in. She was no teenage boy, but it worked well with her too. I was convinced.
My sister handed me a travel-sized tube of the toothpaste. “I got you a small tube to try.”
The next morning, after showering, I opened the toothpaste and squeezed out a pea-sized drop onto my fingers. I read that it contained both peppermint and cinnamon bark oil and I could make out those scents. I spread the drop on my underarm and robbed. My other underarm followed.
It was wet and sticky. I moved my arms around trying to get the armpits to rub against themselves. It didn’t help much. Eventually, I lifted up each arm and fanned then blew on the pits to dry.
For the rest of the day, I surreptitiously sniffed my pits, like the old Arrid commercials, and had no B.O. The next day went well too. Could this be the miracle I had been hoping for?
Unfortunately, no. Oh, the smell was definitely controlled, but the same couldn’t be said for how my armpits began to react. It started out one afternoon with some slight itchiness. I gave a little scratch, which brought relief, but the itchiness soon returned. Over and over, the itchiness reappeared, becoming worse and worse and returning sooner and sooner. Eventually, not being able to stand it any longer, I ran to my bathroom to take a shower. As I stripped off my clothes, I saw that my underarms were a bright pink from my skin’s reaction and the scratching. It took a few days for the reaction to fade.
A week later, I tried the toothpaste one more time. Using a smaller amount, I hoped I’d be able to use the miracle product again. Alas, it was not to be. While the reaction was not as bad as the previous time, it was still uncomfortable.
I have returned to the inadequate rock crystal with regular supplementation from toxic antiperspirants. And the organic toothpaste mocks me whenever I open the drawer it rests in.