The Handbook
The Handbook

I’ve spent the past few months trying to achieve a plastic-free bathroom… and I’m nearly there. I’ve swapped lovely large bottles of Tresemmé shampoo and conditioners for an eco-friendly alternative in bars. My hair has lost its lustre somewhat and it’s often greasy, but I’m putting that down to the transition period of these products. Plus I’m saving jungles and the oceans with every wash – so the smugness makes up for it. Right?

Not only that, I’ve also swapped my disposable plastic toothbrushes with a bamboo version. The texture of the bamboo handle makes me grit my teeth, but once you get past that it’s fine. Plus, I’m emptying landfill sites one brush at a time. Hooray for me and these giant leaps for mankind. I imagine myself on a similar level of sustainability to Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough (apart from a few downfalls, such as buying into fast fashion, driving a car occasionally, buying broccoli that’s wrapped in plastic… the list goes on).

Next up, plastic-free natural deodorant

My small adventure of turning my bathroom into a plastic-free zone didn’t stop there. Next up deodorant. I’d tried one of those crystal things before. In fact, I think my mum gave me one as a Christmas present. I wasn’t entirely convinced of its efficacy. And testing out a new deodorant during your university years of binge drinking, lie-ins and general poor hygiene, probably wasn’t a fair place to start.

Safe to say, I went back to deodorants and antiperspirants.

But once you start reading about the world of deodorant, you can never get out.

Free those pits

What’s the different between a deodorant and an antiperspirant?

Deodorants deodorise, which simply means that they stop you smelling, and antiperspirants stop you sweating. Nearly all antiperspirants on the market contain an aluminium compound, which works by helping to block your sweat glands.

There’s load of research to show that sprays are killing the environment and that some deodorants can lead to cancer and a series of health problems. There’s also a load of research that says that’s a load of baloney.

What mattered to me the most was that I was using chemicals and plastic when there was no need to. So why not try it?

But which one, which one?

There are so many to choose from these days, it’s actually a bit overwhelming. A quick Google search and some heavily targeted Instagram advertising will tell you that Wild deodorant is the most popular. All natural and with refillable plastic-free top-ups it was definitely a contender.

Salt of the Earth offers a crystal stick, using nothing but pure mineral salt. Unscented, it sits on the surface of your skin, apparently inhibiting the growth of odour-causing bacteria (sounds gross). I couldn’t bring myself to go down that route, after previous dalliances – but it works for my mum.

I got a recommendation from a friend to try an Akt deodorant. It’s a start-up set up by two actors from the West End, and it’s in colourful packaging inspired by old theatre adverts. So I decided to give it a go.

How it’s going…

Interestingly, Akt comes as a balm. Which essentially means I have to moisturise my pit everyday. But if you’re happy to get up close and personal with your underarm, then it’s not too bad.

The first day I sweated loads. I couldn’t tell if the deodorant wasn’t working or if it was just that I was meeting people in public for the first time in a year. It was probably the latter. (Anyone else anxious about socialising? You can check out our nifty guide to help your nerves here.)

Anyway, I’ve persevered and it’s a dream! My armpit is super happy and smells of clean Japanese onsen (that’s one of the scents). Plus it comes in an aluminium tube so you can recycle it at the end – and there’s no plastic anywhere. Not even on the seal.

Long story short, Greta and David have me to thank when the temperature of the globe drops one degree… Every little helps right?


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