Everlane shirt | Etsy Lee Cutoffs (remember when I broke them in?) | JCrew Thin Metallic Blush Barrette ($10) (also seen here)
True confession time. Even before my doctor told me I couldn't wear anti-perspirant I had stopped wearing it. I don't like how they smell, how they feel (moist and powdery? WHY?) or how they look. They fail on all fronts in the trifectas of how I rate products that make it into my life. But Dena, I know you are thinking - what about how you smell? What about the fact that um, they do something. TBH nobody has ever noticed. Nobody has ever once told me (or made a face or implied in any way) that I smell bad. When I tell people I am deo-free they are shocked or disbelieving, and I'm pretty sure they aren't faking. Intrigued? Here's what I think helps me pull this off...
1) I only wear natural fabrics like cotton, linen or silk when I wear things with sleeves. I usually opt for sleeveless when it's hot to let things breathe. This Everlane shirt is a personal favorite because the silk is so breathable and comfortable but also it's cut loose and airy around the armpits. The circulation of air is key to preventing the growth of the bacteria which is what makes sweat smell bad, so if the sweat evaporates quickly those suckers don't have time to grow. Breathable, natural fabrics don't trap the sweat so the bacteria has nowhere to fester and produce that "BO" smell.
2) My armpits are hairless. I had them lasered years ago with only the thinnest, finest baby hairs still left. I can usually tell when I need a touchup because I'll get a whiff of that BO smell.
3) If I am wearing something with the potential to grow the bacteria, I'll spray some perfume there. The alcohol base is anti-bacterial (think hand sanitizer) and the perfumes smell masks anything that isn't killed, plus it wafts off the body in a very natural way. I prefer to spray the clothes themselves instead of the skin, but will occasionally hit the skin. I carry atomizers with me for touchups.
4) If, on the handful of occasions something untoward is happening, I will go to the bathroom and just wash my pits. Seriously, soap + water + paper towels. Judge me all you want, but your side eye isn't going to make me sweat *anymore*.