We’re all gonna die, we get it. But almost every week new studies are published (and excitedly pounced upon by scaremongering media outlets) that suggest seemingly innocuous things like going for a walk outside or eating an apple are sending us all to early graves. And because most of us like being alive, and want to continue being so for a very, very long time – it’s pretty difficult not to get worked up about what nasty chemicals we might be inadvertently ingesting, or paranoid about the potential unknown hazards of everyday environmental conditions.
In the past, I’ve run with this anxiety by zealously over-washing strawberries (oh the pesticides!), cutting down my kale intake (thalium poisoning), avoiding exercise outside (free radicals), reducing my sleeping hours (diabetes and heart disease) and so on. Which was truly exhausting.
Thankfully, as I’ve got older I’ve mellowed out and now only really concern myself with those substantive things I can do, or avoid, to lead a smart and safe life as I hurtle far too quickly towards middle age. And for me, one of the main things is choosing a 100% natural aluminium-free deodorant.
Be Aware of What goes into your armpits
Whether or not you believe all the studies surrounding chemicals in antiperspirants, like aluminium, interacting with DNA and causing cancerous changes in cells – it does make sense to be wary about what goes onto your armpits, since the skin in that area is very thin and porous (mine’s super sensitive) and one of the main sites for the body’s lymphatic system. And given that lymph nodes transport all sorts of crucial stuff like white blood cells and fatty acids around the entire body, it’s probably prudent then to make sure that nasty chemicals aren’t being absorbed there and transported along with everything else.
Most Aluminium Free Deodorants don’t work
The only problem is that most aluminium-free deodorants don’t work. You often end up with a sweaty, claggy mess in your pits and an ungodly stench that could strip nose hairs at 100 paces. And that’s just on cool days. Add warm weather or exercise into the mix and it’s goodbye world, hello the BOcalypse.
But I’ve remained ever-hopeful, even as I racked up a small fortune in useless and expensive suggestions from friends or lifestyle blogs including: Salt of the Earth crystal (made my pits smellier than going au naturel), Weleda Citrus (useless, stinging), Aesop (great smelling but super £££ – plus, it didn’t work) and Jason Organic Tea Tree (just awful).
Which is why I’m so grateful to have discovered Fresca Natural deodorants back in January 2017, when reading one of the “world-class” interviewees profiled in Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans. I forget which person recommended the deodorant to him as the only aluminium-free brand that worked, but I’m pretty sure they were an endurance athlete of some kind.
And as luck would have it, my partner and I were already booked to visit family in Western Australia in February of 2017, which is where Fresca Natural originates. So, as is often the case whenever I go overseas, I added Fresca to a list of must-find items whose difficult, convoluted procurement makes them even more desirable to me.
My First Shopping Trip
I had already been on the Fresca Natural website before leaving the UK and found a few stockists in Fremantle (where my partner’s family lives) and chose the one nearest to all the best coffee shops: Manna Wholefoods in South Fremantle. And although I was still convinced Fresca Natural would be like all the other dud deodorants I’d tried, I had already discovered a great eye mask (Sleep Master Sleep Mask, available on Amazon btw) and productivity app (Jumpcut – for multiple cut & pasting) through Tim Ferriss’ podcast – so was at least willing to give it a shot.
On this first shopping trip, I bought three different scents: Ocean, Citrus Fresh and Unscented. It wasn’t a particularly hot summer by Australian standards but still around 30 degrees, so boiling for a whinging pom and enough heat to put the deodorants through their paces. And as I’m sure you’ve already guessed: Fresca Natural killed it!
I tried each scent for two consecutive days a piece – applying roughly twice a day after showers (to give them enough time to react to my skin – for good or bad) and was blown away not only by their efficacy but by how great I continued to smell. From the cut-through neatnes
s of Citrus Fresh with its lime and pink grapefruit scent to the cleanness of Unscented and the intoxicating mix of cypress and juniperberry in Ocean – each deodorant kept me stink-free without clogging my pores, and happy in the knowledge that they were doing so without potentially shortening my life.
I bought three more 50ml bottles on that trip, with six in total lasting my partner and I (he started using them too) about eight months, which conveniently took me to around my birthday in October when I was gifted another eight bottles from my partner’s father and wife who had just been to Western Australia. This second cache lasted a further nine months until June 2018, which is when I finally had to think about the best and most cost-effective way to order them, since Australia is no small distance.
Each Fresca Natural deodorant costs 15 AUD (about £8.40) which might seem a little pricey but is certainly cheaper than others that don’t work (FYI: Aesop’s deo costs £23). Factoring in shipping does add to the price, especially as it’s often Russian roulette as to whether customs add a hefty supplement to imports [I always dread those silver cards]. However, it’s worth checking if there are any deals or shipping discounts for larger orders.
Where to buy
Fresca Natural is available on eBay, nourishedlife.com.au and a few other outlets but I reckon the best place to order is from the website: frescanatural.com.au. I’ve just bought four bottles of Wooden Spice (my favourite scent: it has a rugged elegance, like a cowboy who wears Prada and gets pedicures), as the website currently offers free international standard shipping for orders of four or more bottles – which is a great example of a brand recognising its global appeal and catering to customers living further afield.