Here’s a post about armpits and their stinks…
Deodorant and antiperspirant are a travelers’ best friend. They keep you fresh and confident, and no stink means you don’t have to launder your clothing too frequently. Many people, mostly but not limited to women, also shave their underarms to help with their odor problem. Some deodorants are stronger than others, some are more irritating, some don’t have comfortable texture, and some can’t even be brought on an airplane. If you are a lucky person that does not produce a lot of stink or your skin is not easily irritated like Ryan, then choosing whatever deodorant is available is probably will always turn out fine. But if you stink easily like me, and have horribly sensitive skin, choosing a deodorant that will give you adequate confidence on the road can sometimes be tricky. So, I wanted to find out what’s the best traveling deodorant. Here I compare several types of deodorant and even create a comparison experiment for some!
What am I looking for from a deodorant? Invisibility and invincibility! Invisible, so my underarms don’t look like they’re splattered with cooked oatmeal. Invincible or lasting 24 hours, so I can be confident at nighttime too without having to take an afternoon shower. It also should not be sticky or irritating. A nice smell is always a plus.
Of course as travelers, we need a flight-safe deodorant. Therefore aerosol spray-can deodorant was immediately crossed off from the list. Liquid and gel deodorants are quite flight-safe even with the TSA 3-1-1 restriction, because they are typically less than 100 ml anyway. However you want to be sure that the container will not burst open and make everything around it gross.
My favourite kind is the solid stick (like in the picture above) that claims to last 24 hours. Yes, the 24 hour claim is very important to me, since seems like otherwise my body can beat the deodorant easily. When I still lived in Canada, during the winter time, I often used the clear gel type: it smells great and is stronger than the solid type in general. Unfortunately in a warmer weather, my sweat seems to wash this gel off too quickly and leaves me stinky fast.
Alum crystal stick is also nice as antiperspirant. When living in Canada, sometimes I combined this with the solid stick deodorant to get an optimum result: long lasting and good smelling. Alum crystal is packaged different ways in different countries. So far I’ve seen 3 kinds. In Canada and USA, the white-transparent rock comes inside a twist container like a typical solid deodorant stick. Pink container for women and blue for men, even though I’m quite sure that the contents are identical! In Indonesia, I saw once sold in the shape and size of deck of cards, and the color is rather brown. In Morocco, it’s sold just like a natural rock with a scruffy surface in spice and medicine shops.
I thought the existence of solid 24h deodorant stick is a universal thing. I can understand the lacking of alum sticks, since even in Canada, there was usually only 1 kind being sold in the stores. However this turns out to be wrong. Where we were in Spain back in 2009, I had trouble in finding one in local stores. The only 24h kind they had for me was the good old roll-on. Having no other long-lasting option, I bought the roll-ons. I tried several different roll-ons, but unfortunately my skin was too sensitive to any of them, even when they claimed to be non-irritating! My pits turned red and itchy. In the end, I had to succumb to the mild (non 24h) solid sticks that turned me stinky within a few hours. Lower confidence, but what’s the use of having a flowery pit smell if you keep scratching them like a monkey!
Here’s the summary:
- Solid stick (24h):
- Pros: Long lasting, smell good, reliable, invisible and non-irritant type available. Won’t make mess in the bag. My perfect type.
- Cons: Difficult to find in some countries (I know, how could that be!)
- Gel (come in container like solid stick)
- Pros: Smell really nice (umm… some of them at least), give my great confidence level.
- Cons (Dina): Gone too quickly in warm weather.
- Cons (Ryan): Some type forming sticky glue that is difficult to wash from his armpit hair (not fun!)
- Aerosol spray-can
- Pros: Don’t know, I haven’t tried.
- Cons: Can’t fly with it.
- Alum rock
- Pros: Long lasting if you know how to apply it correctly.
- Cons: Difficult to find, and non-scented.
- Pros: Universally available,Â long lasting, great scent.
- Cons: Irritating sensitive skin.
That’s about the common type of deodorant. In Panama City, for the first time in our life, we saw “cream deodorant“, and as if that’s not interesting enough, it comes with an awesome name: YODORA! Got it? The name contain the very word “odor” within! Yodora has 24h sign in the tube, which is great, but we were skeptical about the “cream” nature of it, and therefore we bought a small tube to try. How did it work for us? Here’s our little review of Yodora!
- Container: Tube of cream like toothpaste (Not a good idea to brush your teeth with this, it feels too weird)
- Color and consistency: The white cream is very thick, just like the thick Nivea Creme
- Smell: Mild and pleasant, again just like the Nivea Creme.
Experiment on myself
I normally need a good 24h solid stick deodorant to stay fresh for 24h. I have no hair, and the experiments were conducted on low activity days.
- Application: Use your fingers like using cream in general. Yep, your fingers are going to be sticky afterwards. Fingers of both hands!
- Experiment 1: 1 pea (small amount of cream)
- Invisibility great, but start stinky in a few hours
- Experiment 2: 2 peas (medium amount of cream)
- Invisibility still good, but still start stinky in a few hours
- Experiment 3: 3 peas (large amount of cream)
- Totally visible like porridge in my pit. Definitely I applied to much here. However I start stinky quickly still, as quick as 3 hours! Compare this to my normal deodorant that lasts 24h.
- Conclusion: Yodora doesn’t work for me at all.
Experiment on hairy Ryan
I think it will be fair to give it a try in somebody that tendency of becoming stinky is lower than me. Ryan fills that role perfectly. Also on a low activity day, we did the test. One pit with Yodora, and the other one using regular deodorant.
- During the application on his hairy pit, Ryan said, “Yuck” and “It’s sticky and gummy.”
- It looked kinda crumply on his hair.
- He didn’t really like the sticky feeling in his pits during the hours using this cream.
- In 24 hours, actually he still smelled fresh, both in his Yodora and regular deodorant sides. So it can actually work, or it’s Ryan super-pit that naturally doesn’t created much stinkiness to fight like mine.
- Washing off the sticky Yodora from a hairy underarm requires scrubbing, but he got it clean. He had a stickier deodorant than this before, so he’s quite happy that Yodora can be washed off properly.
Final thoughts on Yodora
What we don’t like about it:
- The cream is really thick, I can’t wash it off my fingers. They stay sticky for long time.
- Fingers of both hands get dirty because you are using different hands for applying different pits.
- Couple that with my rubbing eyes habit and the fact that my eyes are sensitive, eyes irritation is not avoidable.
- Since it doesn’t wash off my fingers, I hesitate to eat with my hands.
- It doesn’t work for me! It does work just fine for Ryan.
What we like about it:
- The name, Yodora. It sounds like “your odor”. Genius!
- No skin irritation.
I’ll stick with the regular 24h solid stick deodorant that works well and doesn’t require our fingers to touch the substance at all. As travelers, we need to keep things simple and clean, because sometimes our access to proper washing station (shower/sink etc) is limited. Having greasy fingers and possibly irritated eyes are not fun for us.
If you want to give it a try, you can try to track it down in Panama like we did, or you can get it from Amazon here.
If any of you ever use Yodora, please share your experience here, especially if you know the secret of using this cream without mess and to make it long lasting. We might have just used it the wrong way…
Otherwise, what type of deodorant/antiperspirant are you using?