My Clean, Nontoxic Deodorant Obsession
Megan O’Neill is the senior beauty editor at goop. Which is another way of saying she has a passion for clean products, loves anything that reduces stress, and will happily guinea pig herself in the name of wellness.
The memory is vivid:
I was the newly minted associate beauty editor at Lucky magazine (RIP), and I was a bit rumpled and very sweaty when I arrived at my first-ever fancy-skin-care-brand event. (Beauty events where brands showcase their latest creations remain a considerable chunk of my job.) There were stone-faced butlers in tuxes offering limy water and pink spritzes, majestic sofas too crisp to sit on, candelabras, a sculpture made of macaroons. I waited in line to greet the brand’s famously sleek director of public relations positioned at the entrance.
“You must be Megan from Lucky,” she crooned. “So glad you’re joining us.”
She leaned in. I lifted my arms for the embrace. We hugged—and a whiff of acrid air coiled up between us, impossible to ignore. I swear I saw her mouth twitch, a split-second upturn; an instant later, she regained her composure.
A few weeks earlier, I’d learned that conventional antiperspirant and deodorant were alarmingly potentially toxic. In response, I’d stopped using my cantaloupe-scented roll-on and picked up deodorant at the health food store. It had a short, recognizable ingredient list, and I’d felt great about this healthier path I’d chosen. Until: The Hug.
I tried other clean deodorants—and had no luck. Dejected, I returned to my potentially toxic but surefire cantaloupe.
Even starting at goop wasn’t enough to get me to change my ways, I’m embarrassed to say. I easily switched out my conventional skin and hair care, which can contain similar cocktails of endocrine disruptors, parabens, phthalates, and fragrance. And I understood why conventional deodorant is potentially even more pernicious, because you apply it to your underarms, where there are many sweat glands and lymph nodes. (If you shave, you’re also regularly exfoliating the area, so it may become more permeable than other skin.)
Then, a few weeks ago, I spotted a new clean, nontoxic deodorant in an appealing, unusual tube at work. It was cute enough that I wanted to bring it home, in spite of my bias toward my old conventional favorite.
I was completely blown away. After an entire day of meetings, calls, writing, gnawing at my nails, and stressing, I still smelled perfectly fresh. I Rollerbladed down the West Side Highway (the best stretch in the city)—still fresh. A few days later, I tried CorePower, an ass-kicking, pulse-revving hour-long session of hot yoga and weight lifting, I still smelled like almost nothing.
The magic of Type: A is its perfectly calibrated blend of ingredients: arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, and organic glycerin all absorb sweat; aloe hydrates and soothes skin; and zeolite (a mineral compound), zinc citrate, and baking soda neutralize odor. In the past, deodorants containing baking soda have irritated me, but this one doesn’t; the formula incrementally releases small amounts of baking soda over time, so it’s never irritating. Beeswax and coconut oil, which also have odor-eliminating qualities, account for the silky, sophisticated texture that glides on so beautifully.
The cantaloupe—along with its laundry list of potentially toxic chemicals—is finally history. And even on the stickiest of summer days, I’m happy to give you a hug.