This product was purchased by myself, and all opinions are my own. Now, when you see the word "detox", I'm BEGGING you not to close the browser in exasperation, this is NOT your regular detox. I'm not drinking smoothies or putting crystals in my underwear, this is merely about the process of shifting from conventional antiperspirant/deodorants (which usually use a lot of aluminum and other irritating substances) to a more natural product. So if you're still here with me, stick around for awhile!
Why am I making the switch?
Over the years I've suffered from unpredictable sensitive skin, and even had a few major bouts of excema in my twenties. It calmed down a bit in my thirties, but over the last few months things started to change. I've used conventional deodorants for over 20 years at this point, normally using a stick deodorant but occasionally using a spray, and starting this year I began developing rather itchy armpits. And I mean ITCHY, it didn't matter whether I used stick or spray, my armpits were uncomfortable and noticably itchy throughout the day. There was no rash, or anything out of hte ordinary, but I was just. SO. ITCHY and sometimes sore. I've been considering testing out natural deodorants since earlier this year but dreaded the "detox period' and never commited. But after the last few momnths of unbearable itchiness, I had to bring myself to make the swap.
How did I pick the Takesumi Detox?
To decide what to do, I sat down and read and read and read and read about natural deodorants, the "detox process" of making the switch, and possible side effects that could arise. Quickly I learned that I would want to avoid baking soda based natural deodorants as I generally seem to be very sensitive to baking soda in my skincare skincare, so I looked into charcoal options instead. I was very lucky to find rave reviews for Kaia Naturals and the Takesumi Detox in particular, and made my way over to The Detox Market in Toronto to find out more. Upon arrival, the staff member helping me was ACTUALLY someone who used the product herself. She had tried several of the scents but recommended Sakura Blossom as it was floral but not too strong. She advised me that it would take 3-4 weeks to adjust to the deodorant but it was the most popular one they sold with a lot of people returning to repurchase it, so I took the leap and bought it.
I had fully expected week one to be the WORST WEEK of my detox and even joked with my coworkers about sitting too close to me in meetings. But I have to say, while I felt sweatier, and definitely a little stinky but it was significantly easier than expected. Turns out, I was way too optimistic!
HELLO STINKY. So this week was, what I later realized when I read more personal experiences online, the hardest week. I was SO SWEATY and felt SO SO STINKY, like onions, and was super self conscious about raising my arms above my head. I begged my boyfriend and friends to be brutally honest with me if I smelled bad, and only ONCE did my boyfriend (who is regularly brutally honest with me) say I smelled a bit ripe. So this made me think of how hyper-conscious we are of our own bodies and how they smell, while others who are physically separate, may not pick up on it.
From Week 2 onward, I started carrying my deodorant with me to work because I generally bike to work and even when using conventional deodorant would re-apply post-cycling. But I did notice that the odour was lessened from Week 2 and that my self consciousness also lessened. Not once had I felt itchy or uncomfortable in my armpit area and was ok with carrying a product in my bag for easy reapplication. (They also sell tiny versions that are way smaller than the tube, if you really want a versatile "on the go" option.)
This was when the payoff happened. I LEFT my deodorant at home once or twice after biking to work, and didn't even really care. My sweat levels have regulated, and I also think I've gotten used to the slight natural smell I have now? It's SO light and barely there that I can't even really remember how fragrant I felt in week two. At this point, my "detox" is complete. Whether or not I continue using Kaia, I think it was a great product to get the ball rolling!
What did I learn?
Body odour is SO personal and SO different and we're conditioned to be hyper-aware of it from such a young age. When I thought that I was NOTICABLY smelly, I was really barely noticeable to even the closest people in my life, and that made me rethink how much body odour shaming is from people trying to sell products. That may be something more intense to think about later, but for the moment, my armpits are ITCH FREE and while I may test some other deodorants in the future, I like this one for now.
Final Thoughts & Update
I initially tested this product in June, writing up the blog post about a week afterwards in July. Then I procrastinated for awhile. By the time I finished the review, temperatures in Toronto rose to the high 30s and flirting with the 40s, and I must say, this product just couldn't keep up. I'll still use it again in the fall or on cooler days, but I did have to find another product to make up for those steamy, sticky hottest days of summer!
I purchased this product from The Detox Market where you can buy the full-size product for $22CAD, or the smaller travel-sized for $10 (perfect if you want to give the detox a try!). You can also purchase it from KaiaNaturals.com or Well.ca.