Regime Change

The stink of my armpit used to be pretty constant. I'd do my shower thing, plaster it with pore blocker like a good worker drone, and maybe knock it down for a couple hours. But I believed what the TV said about "stress sweat," and our bacteria are practically a part of us, after all. The ones that stank found a mighty fortress in my axial Brillo bushings.

Eventually, I realized pasting them over with commercial, perfumed goo was pointless. I thought I at least had better comfort with alum, and freedom to choose my own masking scents in the form of Eau de Toilette. Coexistence, detente -- on the bright side, women would have no difficulty assessing my genetic compatibility.

Then I got into wet shaving, and adopted a slide-preparation model, from foggy college memories, to envision the interplay of oil, glycerin soap, alcohol, and water in my skincare regimen. I remembered how "wash" concentrations were raised gradually to preserve specimens, and media that wouldn't mix were transitioned by intermediates that mixed with both. Formaldehyde fixes the tissue, alcohol displaces water, paraffin preserves the specimen... or something like that. After shaving, I displace soap with alum, water, alcohol, and oil "washes." I imagine the effects of each shave component on a mental thin section of my face, same as the imaginary closeup of stubble being cut.

With the cheap, old-fashioned (pure) soaps, I often have lather left over to do some washing at the sink, and I haven't much use at all for some of my wonderfully perfumed glycerin soaps, so my pits have benefitted both materially and by gains of mindfulness. I may have reached the pinnacle of pit cleanliness recently, when I started using moisturizer instead of oil, and completed the skin conditioning cycle with water as a final "wash." I mean, think about it: why would you put some chemical crap on your skin and just leave it there? It stinks of an outdated, medical "magic bullet" mentality.

So try this. Give each wash 30 seconds to reach equilibrium before mopping it off with a wrung cloth. Plain water first, just removes the unbound stink. Rewet the skin and rub in some soap like a shaving stick... but no need to lather. Drive the oil cleansing home with Dollar Tree "lubricating" moisturizer. Follow all that glycerin with a dilute mix of water and Duru limon in a cloth, bringing antiseptic death even deeper than the normal extent of rot. Get back to nature with water alone, or finish with alum... even a deodorant, if you still believe.

I've edited the previous paragraph three times, because, like shaving, cookbooking is the wrong approach. Just keep at it, and know that armpits need be no stinkier than one's groin. (Well, I shouldn't say that, because there's always that one guy, with a whole different funk. Same technique applies to him.) The point is this: if you're wet shaving, you probably already have every product you could possibly need.

UPDATE:  Antiperspirant treatment I found on the hottest day of the year -- Witch Hazel, alum, moisturizer, cologne (no rinses, makes a tough film).

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