The salty, tangy bouquet of fluorescent orange, liquid processed cheese product oozing on triangles of warm, toasted corn chips decorated with pickled jalapenos wafts relentlessly into my olfactory system.
My stepdaughter and her gaggle of gorgeous teenage girlfriends sit eating stadium concessions in the row of plastic folding chairs ahead of me in the cavernous convention center while "Pomp and Circumstance" fills the air. We are there to watch the class of 2012 as they are bestowed with their high school diplomas.
The girls are more emotional than on a typical day, as several of them are watching their older by one year, senior class boyfriends take one step closer towards college.
A particularly beautiful, charismatic and clever companion of my stepdaughter is directly in front of me – she is one of my favorites for her wildly funny sense of humor. This young lady is the lucky recipient of amazing genetics: 5 feet 10 inches tall, blonde, brains and beauty. The combination belies the teenage insecurity that is flooding out of her at the moment.
The corners of her mouth stained with nacho cheese, she suddenly turns around to whisper sharply to me, her breath filled with the mock-cheesy Mexican treat and tinged with anxiety, "Linds, tell me you have some deodorant with you."
Her nerves had overcome her and she had begun to excrete the damp product of emotion under her arms that terrifies teenagers across the universe because of course, sweat turns into stink. Or so they tell themselves.
I take the moment as a hippie-stepmom-on-a-soapbox moment and tell her that not only do I not carry deodorant with me, but I don't even use it all.
Her eyes go wide with horror. "WHAT, Linds? How is that possible? How do you NOT smell ... bad?"
I explain that the odor associated with sweating is actually caused by breakdown of bacteria from a type of sweat from our fatty sweat glands – the apocrine glands. That particular substance, mixed with hairs and hair follicles in the underarm area, can be perceived as malodorous. (Thank you to The Institute of Beauty and Wellness for my all-too-extensive knowledge of sweat glands and hair follicles.)
I go on that keeping your underarm hair-free helps, and that if I use anything at all it is an essential oil or an all-natural deodorant product like Tom's of Maine.
I explain that antiperspirants (which is what she was really asking me for, as they contain chemicals that STOP sweat, while deodorants just mask the anticipated stench) not only inhibit our body's natural detoxifying process of sweating, but also contain aluminum, which may or may not be connected with breast cancer.
And then, to her relief, another teenager plagued by fear of B.O. pulls a stick of Degree out of her purse. She greedily grabs the heavily scented roll-on and proceeds to generously apply the stuff to her underarms right there in front of everyone. Thank goodness she was wearing a sleeveless dress for easy access. The national anthem begins and I step off my ANTI-antiperspirant podium.
Now, before you pinch your noses and shout "PU," let me further illustrate where I'm coming from.
I personally believe body odor is greatly affected by what you eat and your personal grooming habits. So, if you eat a healthy, balanced diet full of unprocessed foods, limit animal and dairy products, consume lots of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains and shower regularly ... you should smell as sweet as what you eat.
Trim, shave or wax any body hair in areas that have major sweat glands like the underarms and groin, and – guess what – you should smell naturally wonderful.
I don't advocate antiperspirants containing aluminum because they arrest the sweating process, which means your body can't cool or detoxify itself properly. I firmly believe sweating is a good thing, even at inopportune moments or in inconvenient garments. Stopping a natural body process like perspiring signals danger for me. In fact, I try to deliberately sweat at least once per day. The more the better!
Now hold your noses, it's been over 15 years since I've consistently used a commercial antiperspirant.
But, for those of you who must put something under your arms to be "Sure," try using a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with a few drops of a pleasantly scented essential oil like lavender.
Drop both oils into the palms of your hands, rub together and apply under your arms.
The tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, while the lavender is soothing to the skin (Bye bye, razor bumps!). The combo of oils creates a pleasing, comforting, clean scent that lasts all day. Try making up your own combination of scents and benefits that suits your needs.
Try it! "Get closer, don't be shy." Now, you've got the natural "Secret."
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Lindsay Garric
Published July 25, 2014
In my eternal battle of "Bangs or Botox," bangs won yet again after months of growing out my fringe through every stage of awkwardness.
Published July 19, 2014
The Milwaukee food, music and fireworks tradition where "everyone is Italian" kicked off yesterday. Lindsay Garric had the opportunity to dive deeper into what Festa means for Italian-American culture when she interviewed Joseph Emanuele, president of the local chapter of The Order Sons of Italy in America.
Published July 15, 2014
Over the weekend, a friend posted a picture on social media that was taken at her birthday dinner with the caption "Birthday drinks with the birthday girls." I was tagged in this photo on Facebook and it has resulted in yet another episode of "everything happens for a reason."
Published July 3, 2014
Gretchen and the Pickpockets will play the Jazz Estate tonight at 9:30 p.m.
Published June 23, 2014
Try even saying the word "shorts" without the corners of your lips curling downwards and nostrils flaring. Will the weather get hot enough for you to wear shorts?
Published June 5, 2014
In this installment, Lindsay Garric gets to the specific details included in the daily training regime of a professional baseball player prepping to one day play at Miller Park.
Published May 28, 2014
On June 3, 2014 at 1 p.m., ground will break on a very special place for the families of our country's injured soldiers. Fisher House of Wisconsin will be located on the VA Medical Center grounds and will provide a "home away from home" for family members while a soldier receives medical care.
Published May 21, 2014
This is the first in minimum two-part series that will give you access into how an athlete, like a prospective Milwaukee Brewer stays strong and healthy during a rigorous schedule that often demands just one day off per month.
Published May 11, 2014
Since 1982, Kenn Miller has dazzled audiences as head of the Nicolet Theatre Department. He's the king of orchestrating every detail, so when the Nicolet High School Administration and Performing Arts Committee plotted to surprise Miller with a tribute to honor his retirement following the curtain call of his final staging of a "Midsummer Night's Dream" on Saturday, May 10, the challenge was steep.
Published May 7, 2014
The back cover of "Bring on Summer - Swim 2014" edition of the Victori'as Secret catalog brought on a whole new inner dialog for Lindsay Garric.