I've never put much thought into the products I use on my pits, much less talked about them. You could find me in pharmacies reaching for just about any antiperspirant with a "fresh linen" scent that promised to tackle sweat — if it's on sale, even better. But with the boom in natural deodorant options and rumoured health implications of ingredients like aluminium chloride in antiperspirants, I've been interested in making the switch.
I've tried to trade in my deodorant stick for a natural formula before — and failed — but I decided to give it another go with the launch of Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant. The product sounded like skin-care goals just based on the name, but I was even more curious when the brand introduced me to the aluminium-free liquid with a virtual full-body workout class held by Nike Master Trainer Kirsty Godso. While I did sweat profusely, which was to be expected, there was zero odour thanks to the high concentration of alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs. The idea is that the chemical exfoliants lower the area's pH levels, making it less hospitable to the bacteria that causes BO.
I was impressed by how well the deodorant performed during a cardio session, so much so that I decided to put it to the ultimate test: a beach vacation. I was departing on my safely social-distanced getaway at the exact transitional moment when my sweat glands, which had previously been staunched by aluminium salts, opened the floodgates before they reached natural equilibrium. I'd only been using the deodorant for three days, but I already loved the refreshing feel of the cooling rollerball coated with ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. (I'm also a fan of the approachable packaging that allows me to throw the tube in any bag, because you know I had it in my beach tote the entire time, just in case.)
I was sweating an ample amount during the first half of my week-long vacation (though still no body odour), but I stopped perspiring altogether by the last few days. I've seen even better results in the weeks following: I usually relied on laser hair removal in the past, but now my underarm area looks visibly brighter and more even, without the dark shadow. Also, my pits feel much smoother, and I find myself looking like one of those dated '90s shaving commercials when I graze the skin to observe the change.
My one qualm would be that the serum takes a little while to dry down. That said, it's not more than a minute, so with all the benefits it delivers, I'll happily deal with that downtime. Ultimately, I left my holiday not only with a much-deserved tan but also brighter, smoother, non-stinky pits, all thanks to a natural deodorant — which is something I never thought I'd say.
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