The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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The (under) arms race

Twenty minutes into my daily drive it starts happening again. Sweat slithers down my armpit hairs like an icicle in a turning season, enlarging the dark spots under my arms with wet lines reaching my hip.

Axe, Gillette, Old Spice, clinical strength, ultimate protection–it’s an endless crusade for the holy deodorant stick.

So this summer instead of waiting for ‘Speed Stick v. 10.6’ I experimented with a shoebox full of anti-perspirant and discovered the only two B.O. retardants that really work.

One of them will knock you on your ass and the other one you never even heard of.

The results–we’ll get to in a second. If my expertise is in question, you should know, like many other unfortunate men I perspire heavily. Body hair accounts for a majority of my mass and like my Sasquatch brethren’mdash;who sweat incessantly through every hour’mdash;I tuck extra shirts and deodorant into my glove compartment.

The outcome of such a lifestyle is that I’ve nearly destroyed every dark-colored tee in my closet. Thanks to Axe’s invisible/dry, Phoenix-scented stick, white crud has solidified beneath my pits, giving the appearance I’m smuggling cocaine. It gets to the point where I can crack my shirt like a saltine (it’s literally dried my tees).

Suffer, though, we shall not!

Recent trends show that spray-ons have found their place encased behind glass in the Hall of Useless Hygienic Products (or with mind-pulping huffers), and that gel deodorants are soon to join. The trends also show prescription strength sticks’mdash;thank global warming’mdash;are on the verge.

It used to be that roll-ons like Certain Dri seemed like doctor recommended, last-minute resorts for overactive sweat glands, but now the big boys have taken the reins. When Semi-Pro’s Will ‘Jackie Moon’ Ferrell did commercials for Old Spice’s Pro-Strength stick back in February, it harkened the age of a new Arms Race. Forgive the un-chronology, but soon afterwards Gillette, Degree, and Sure began strongly promoting their faulty arsenal that provide a mere temporary remedy for swampy pits, packaged with instruction booklets suffice to that of the American Constitution.

But let my results from the Great Deodorant Debate speak for themselves.

I went into laboratory mode on six brands of anti-perspirant: Axe (A), Old Spice Pro Strength (B), Degree Clinical Protection (C), Gillette Clinical Strength (D), Speed Stick Super Dry (E), and vanilla chai-scented, ahem, Secret Platinum (X).

The letters represented variables in an experiment where the quantity of perspiration would be based on a control’mdash;the control being a week where I performed my routine daily activities without any deodorant; try imagining an encounter with Howard Hughes after months spent in isolation. That’s how ripe I was.

After denoting my base, I spent one week with each variable, rating on a scale of light, average, and heavy to form some type of conclusion.

Variables A and E were less-drastic solutions to prevent monsoon-type sweat-age. They both resulted in a sticky, heavy flush of stank-osity despite Axe’s proclamation: ‘Approved for hot encounters.’

Then came the dermatologist-advocated clinical strengths B, C, and D. While it may have been weird applying deodorant before bedtime, desperate measures meant intensely following directions. Their outcome wielded respectable, and non-visible droplets ‘hellip; that lasted about four days. Afterwards, a wet black plague spread in large circumferences on my shirt.

Which leaves us heralding our dark horse for the win, X. The most widely used, women-intended stick, Secret, defeated five of the men’s leading anti-perspirants. Secret!

Although mine is disfigured with curly hairs twirling upwards (unladylike), I’ve never felt more protected and crud-free in my life.

My struggle began when the very first strands of transformed baby hair sprung from my skin. It was my dad who introduced me to Right Guard, gel form. Ever since then, half the pictures I’m in, there it is’mdash;two blobs trapped beneath my arms.

Over a decade later, I’m a happier man, more willing to give high fives as I boast about my secret. The downside: after awhile, my armpits reek of the pungent smell of burnt hookah tobacco (perhaps there’s a better choice than vanilla chai).

And, oh yeah, there’s a second remedy available, and this one’s strictly for the boys in dire need of a ‘manpon’. Try special ordering a crate of Balla Powder, which is fragrant talc applied to your ‘hellip; well, it’s self-explanatory.

And if you’re still left secreting like Niagara Falls, perhaps the best anti-perspirant is meditation. Yoga classes are still open.

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