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"Natural" Doesn't Always Mean "Good For You"

I love natural products. They are awesome and amazing. More often than not, they are better for our bodies and the environment than their synthetic, mass-produced counterparts. And yet, just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the right choice for all people.

A number of years ago, I developed an underarm rash. It was red, angry, and really itchy. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I wasn’t using any chemical products, my diet was the same, and I couldn’t think of anything that had changed in my routine since the onset of the rash.

Thinking that it might have been a viral or bacterial infection—or even just a simple case of irritated dry skin—I started applying virgin coconut oil to the area. It didn’t seem to improve. If anything, it got worse.

About a month later, I started to develop a rash on one of my legs. That was the wake up call I needed to go get checked out by a doctor.

Any guesses what my visit revealed?

Despite my concern about the rash spreading, it turns out that my underarm rash and leg rash weren’t related. The former was diagnosed as contact dermatitis, while the latter was apparently heat rash. Go figure. And yet, I’m glad I went in. In part because I learned that applying coconut oil to my under arm rash was just making it worse since I was clogging the skin. I was advised to stop using deodorant of any kind and wash the area with mild soap as infrequently as possible.

In the end, it turns out that my 100% natural crystal rock salt deodorant was the culprit behind my underarm rash. It was fine for a couple of months, but slowly started to dry up and irritate my skin until it progressed to full blown contact dermatitis.

Not only did my doctor agree that the rock salt deodorant was the probable cause of my unsightly underarm challenges, once the rash cleared up, I started using the rock salt deodorant again to see what would happen. And what would you know? The rash started to come back. Not surprisingly, this prompted me to throw out my rock salt deodorant and seek out an alternative.

I experimented with a few different brands before landing on one that I love: Under Carriage (Vanilla). Not only does it smell delicious, I have been using it for years without any problems. Yay!

When given a choice, I will always choose a natural product over a chemical filled one. That said, my deodorant debacle is a good example of how “natural“ doesn’t always mean “good for everyone.“

Listen to your body. It will likely do a very good job of telling you what it does and doesn’t like. It’s pretty handy like that.

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