I had a “Deodorant Episode” yesterday. As I was relating the whole story to KMN this morning, I realized it was funny. (At least, it was funny to me.) I spent the day wondering if a Deodorant Episode in was blog-worthy.
Then, I sat down tonight and opened up my Google Reader (Yeah, yeah, I know. I have to migrate. Eventually. I’ll get to it…) and read 50 After 40’s rant about wearing ties. If he can rant about ties, I can rant about deodorant. I mean, just look at the word. If any word was asking for a rant, it’s deodorant, right? How did I never notice this before??
Besides, it’s my blog. As I stipulated at the start, I’ll write about whatever I want. Ready? GO:
A few days ago, the trusty stick of deodorant I brought with me from the US pretty much gave up it’s very last smear of deodorizer. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just pick up a new one!” So later that day, in the grocery store, I went looking…and found…not one stick of deodorant. *sigh*
OK, fair enough. To be honest, deodorant use among Chinese people seems to be pretty low. I’m not saying this because they stink (because generally, they don’t – in fact, the gym here is ridiculously UNsmelly). But of the Chinese people I have been comfortable enough to survey (<— friends and family, not random strangers on the street), most of them don’t use deodorant. I suspect there are both biological and cultural preferences at play here. And that’s totally, 100% OK with me. But personally? I (and those around me) will fare much better if I partake.
But I wasn’t totally surprised that I couldn’t find any in the grocery store. Unlike in the US, grocery stores here don’t always have the same selection of HBA (Health & Beauty Aid) products as specialty “personal care” stores do. So yesterday, I stopped into such a personal care store – and I specifically chose one in a place where lots of Caucasians shop (figuring they might have a higher demand/better selection). After a bit of hunting, I found this:
This section is probably 20% of what you’d find in the average US store – and I actually feel a bit bad for any Singaporean who walks into a US store looking for deodorant. S/he would probably faint at the selection. We Americans sure (think we) like our choices!! Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that more selection is always better. I’m just saying that this is…considerably less selection that I’m accustomed to seeing.
I should say – there were also some aerosol/spray deodorant choices a few shelves down that I failed to capture in the photo. But that’s not how I roll (Get it? I prefer to ROLL), so I examined these options a bit closer. And further inspection revealed that most of the options on the top and middle shelves were alcohol-based, clear-gel type products. Since we’re getting all personal here, I will admit that I’ve always found applying an alcohol-based product to my freshly-shaven armpits to be rather…painful. So those were out, too.
I’m also not into super-duper antiperspirant ingredients. I’d like some odor-control, but figure that sweat is pretty natural (annoying, but natural). So I eliminated a few options because I was leery of “48 Hour Perspiration Protection”. [And who goes 48 hours without a shower in Singapore, anyway? I can hardly go 6 hours… And more often, I’m ready to hop back in after 10 minutes! Forty-eight hours?!?] I peered more closely at my remaining options, and noticed something rather alarming:
Singaporeans, you’ve gotta help me out here. I am begging you. I understand that most people of Asian decent find lighter skin to be desirable (at least historically). But…ummm….whitening….your….armpits??? I double-checked to make sure that Dove hadn’t started making toothpaste when I wasn’t looking. Nope. Definitely deodorant. Whitening?!??!
I was – and still am – totally baffled. But seeing as how I’d like to keep my armpits the same color as the rest of me, and don’t really need to add any MORE chemicals to what’s already in the deodorant to begin with, I left the “whitening” brands on the shelf.
Apparently, I am more fussy about my deodorant than I thought.
Ultimately, two options remained: Lady Speed Stick, in either “Wild Freesia” or “Orchard Blossom”. Neither thrilled me (I prefer Unscented or Powder Fresh, in case you were curious), and since I didn’t really feel comfortable uncapping and sniffing deodorant sticks in the middle of the store, I gambled on Orchard Blossom.
I gave it a shot last night. And all I can say is . . . my armpits now smell like Starbursts.
I guess there are worse things.
Also, I’ll be picking up a few sticks of Powder Fresh the next time we are back in the US.
Every day, it’s an adventure, folks.
*OK, I’ll admit – this wasn’t exactly a rant. But it was close to a rant. Can I plead artistic license?
Anyone out there using any “natural” products for deodorant?
Preferably ones that won’t turn my clothing white (ie, baking soda is out), since I wear a lot of sleeveless tops.
Anyone going on a date tonight?
KMN and I are going to heat up some leftovers, turn off our technology, and have a read-paper-books festival.