I happened to casually mention to my brother via facebook messenger recently that I get quite sweaty. (There is context, something about exercise, I didn’t just randomly tell him I’m sweaty as that would be weird.) Some short time afterwards I saw an ad’ for Nuud deodorant on facebook itself. Ignoring the slightly creepy-stalker aspect of this — let’s pretend it was a total coincidence — my curiosity was piqued.
Nuud is marketed as a “carefree” deodorant: harmless, sustainable and revolutionary. I didn’t care for the marketing BS, but I was genuinely interested in the claim that this little deodorant was both effective for several days and actively prevented odour. Any sweaty bird will tell you that despite the supposed long-lasting effects of all commercial deodorants, they generally coat you in a sticky gunk which mask smells for a few hours, but move so much as an inch and you’re on your own. I shower daily but am usually a hot mess fairly early on.
Now that I’ve filled you all with the mental image of me dripping with my own filth…
I ordered a tube of Nuud at a cost of over £11, which is quite possibly the most expensive deodorant I’ve ever bought by more than double, and it arrived a few days later. It was a hell of a lot smaller than I expected, but more about that in a sec. I didn’t hesitate to test it to the max straight away, with a double session of taekwon-do first up and then Ironbridge Half Marathon the following day.
Nuud is not like any other deodorant I’ve tried. It’s a silver-beige coloured paste that you squeeeeeeeze out a tiny pea-sized amount of and then apply directly to the armpits. It spreads easily and is not sticky or difficult to apply. However, with it being such a tiny tube, not only have I been incredibly precious about the amount I’m applying but on the one occasion I accidentally squeezed too hard I was distraught that I’d wasted a couple of days worth in one go. It’s not normal, and probably not healthy, to be upset over deodorant.
Nonetheless, application mishaps aside, I have been genuinely surprised at the effectiveness of the deodorant. Taekwon-do, a half marathon, various gym sessions and general day to day life have put it through its paces and it has significantly decreased odour, to the point where even after 13.1 miles on a clear warm day Gaz mentioned a “barely perceptible smell”. Sexy.
In addition to the rigorous exercise test, it didn’t seem to matter whether I had shaved or not, with the first week of my self-imposed two week trial sporting a full armpit… bush? (Is there an equivalent slang term for armpit hair? Anyway…) This is a massive improvement on the vast majority of roll on and sticks that I’ve tried previously which just seem to coat the hair and do sod all for the actual armpit. As someone with a very relaxed attitude to society’s idea of what’s “attractive” when it comes to the removal of body hair, this is a problem more often than not.
I’m not surprised, however, that it definitely isn’t effective for more than one day (despite the marketing claims to the contrary). There is absolutely no way I’d get 3-7 days out of it as advertised even if I spent those days in bed (sleeping, you perv). If I worked out my usual amount over the course of 7 days on one application of deodorant I’d be a walking bug repellent by the end of the week. I prefer a thorough wash each morning and re-application, but the cost implication of this with >£11 deodorant is clearly huge.
tl;dr nuud works. It’s effective against odour by tackling the bacteria rather than just coating your skin in goop. It’s not left any marks on any of my clothes and I feel better fresher for wearing it. However, it’s fucking expensive for what you get and I’m not sure I can financially justify it with the amount I go through.
Back to being a sweaty bird I guess.
Despite my original concerns that the nuud deodorant was too expensive to regularly use, I managed to eventually fall into a routine with it. I now get about 3-4 days out of an application, which although is at the low end of their use case is pretty impressive for someone as sweaty as me. I’ve now been using nuud deodorant for nearly 6 months and wouldn’t replace it with anything else.
Shortly after I started using Nuud deodorant, I developed some lumps under both armpits. I didn’t make any sort of connection at the time but carried on as normal. After approximately 4 months (I know) I got them checked out at the doctors who suggested they were caused by an infection, but with no other signs of infection this seemed unlikely. I carried on as normal using nuud. I even assumed that they might be a reaction to me potentially over-training.
In January 2019 I came down with the flu and as I was bed bound for a week, not even getting up to wash (yuk) the lumps started to disappear. Again, I assumed it was over-training and not this gap in basic hygiene. A short time later I started re-applying the deodorant, but wasn’t training, and the lumps came back. It was then I made the connection: nuud was causing an allergic reaction in my armpit, which was giving me these large tender lumps. I stopped using nuud and by April 2019 the lumps were completely gone. I am not sure what ingredient it is that reacts with my skin but I went deodorant-free to give my armpits a break and now occasionally use my old deo again. My daughter continues to use nuud without any problems.
As several of my readers got in touch to say that they too had problems with tender armpit lumps following use of nuud deodorant, I got in touch with the nuud care team to see if they could advise. Here’s what nuud had to say:
The most plausible explanation for them lies in the type of product nuud is. Other than aerosol deo’s or roll ons based on alcohol, nuud is an oil based cream. The reason and advantage of this form of appearance is that it has a hydrating effect to the skin and makes sure nuud remains effective despite showering and doing sports. A drawback from oil based creams however is that, even more when used in abundance, it can prevent the sebaceous glands from secreting sebum. When is does, the sebum gets ’stuck’ and the natural reaction of the body is to activate an inflammation mechanism […] Although this happens in only few of the cases, we stress on our tube that one should discontinue use when (—assume they mean if… Jem) a skin reaction develops. Next to the fact than nuud is a cream it contains almond oil, so anyone with nuts allergies should be careful using our product.
So there you have it: the armpit lumps are caused by natural bodily oils unable to get out of the armpit because of the nuud deodorant. It sounds like some of you may benefit from using smaller amounts of the deodorant, but due to the severity of the lumps I’ve opted to go back to my old deodorant at this time. I’ve not had any further lumps since switching back to my old deodorant.
nuud urge anyone with issues or questions to get in touch.
Nuud product shot taken from their website.