You’re probably thinking, how often do you actually forget to wear deodorant? Well, pre-baby, I forgot maybe once or twice a year (I can be a little spacey), but post-baby it happens almost once a month.
I’ll have my hand on the deodorant, just about to remove the cap, when Ansley cries, and, being the stellar mommy I am, I go pick her up. Then I finish getting ready, completely forgetting the deodorant. It’s awful. You have to spend the whole rest of the day worrying if you smell and doing surreptitious underarm monitoring.
On one such day, I confessed my lack of deodorant to a friend at work:
Me: I totally think I forgot to put on deodorant today.
Her: Ohmygosh. Now that you mention it, I think I forgot too. That’s so funny.
Me: We are both going to smell.
Her: Do you have any antibacterial hand sanitizer? Because you can use that in a pinch.
Shut the front door. You can use what?! But it turns out, she’s right. You can use antibacterial hand sanitizer in emergency situations.
Here’s the science behind deodorant:
- Sweat doesn’t stink. Not really.
- The bacteria that live in your armpits ferment the sweat (gross), and that’s what makes body odor. Kind of like what yeast does when you make wine only the end product isn’t nearly as pleasant.
- Deodorant usually contains a few things:
1) Alcohol and other chemicals that kill/slow the bateria
2) A sweat-reducing chemical or antiperspirant
3) Some kind of essential oils to make you smell like cucumber or jasmine or whatever
So, the antibacterial hand sanitizer can act as ingredient number 1 if you forget deodorant. And it works too (mostly). There are a couple of drawbacks:
1) It stings like a mo-fo. Especially if, like me, you shave your underarms.
2) It doesn’t work 100%. Don’t plan on using this in lieu of actual deodorant on a regular basis or you will become the smelly kid in class.
Armed with this information, my friend and I ran downstairs to find a hand sanitizing station. (We didn’t have any sanitizer, but we work in the same building as a clinic, and there’s one of those hand sanitizer stands at the entrance.) Then, we waved our hands under the sensor so the machine would squirt out some antibacterial foam. That’s when it occurred to us that we were about to publicly embarrass ourselves. Using our powers of stealth, we sneaked over to a nearby bathroom with our handfuls of foam concealed at our sides. Thank goodness no one walked in while we were rubbing our underarms with hand sanitizer and giggling.