This article was first published on April 28, 2018, and updated on November 20, 2019, to include an expanded account of my experience with the product and changes to its formula.
For already a year and a half, I've been using Nuud, a new deodorant in the form of a cream that kills the odors while still allowing your skin to breathe and cool itself. Here's my experience!
Sweating and smelling
I am not a fashion or beauty guru. If I were to write a style advice book, it would probably be titled "How to look fashionably disheveled most of the time while incorporating hats in your wardrobe to hide bad hair days (provided that you already have a beard and glasses)."
However, I always had to pay some attention to my skin. It has always been super-sensitive, making it super hard to find the right products for it.
I have always been a workaholic. In my mid-twenties, I worked two jobs (both of them in broadcasting). I had zero weekends off, and several days a week, I'd spend 16 hours working. I was young and could handle that at the time, but this rhythm (and lack of showers at work) often demanded of me not to sweat. And that meant copious amounts of antiperspirants.
Until one day, my skin said, "k bye."
Like, literally. My armpits would react to most drugstore deodorants by turning into open wounds (eww, sorry for that mental image).
The deodorant I ended up using for years was Nivea Silver Protect. It was milder on my skin, but it didn't prevent me from sweating. Now, sweating is not a problem per se, but I'd still occasionally smell, and I had to develop a routine of treating those caked sweat+deodorant stains on my shirts with baking soda every two weeks. Hooray.
I was looking for alternatives, but none of the readily available deodorants were one. I looked into organic deodorants, but I've heard from friends using them that they're too mild, so I'd have to apply them multiple times a day and still occasionally smell. I also know people who use baking soda as their deodorant, but that sounded a bit too extreme.
I found out about Nuud through a Facebook ad (and that's probably the case with you if you're reading this article). The premise sounded promising: a deodorant you apply only every couple of days, that's good for you and the environment and works regardless of how often you shower. Also, it's made in Utrecht (and owners of beards and glasses like me tend to be avid supporters of the local economy).
As I wrote above, sweating is not a problem - it's a natural thing. Smelling, however, is. They say there are two types of sweat: the one that cools you down, and the one you exude when you're stressed. The first one comes from your eccrine glands, and it's mostly water, so it doesn't smell that bad. The stress sweat comes from your apocrine glands, and it's thicker and abundant in proteins and fats. It's nutritious for bacteria that live on your skin, and when bacteria eat, they release gasses — that smell.
This means you can go through a workout without stinking, but try running to get to a business meeting you're late to, and voila, stress-sweat and bacteria farts.
Conventional antiperspirants try to eliminate the sweat completely by clogging your pores using aluminum salts - and there has been much debate whether it's safe for you or not. I never found out WHICH ingredient of standard antiperspirants made my skin react - I tried, but their formulas were too complicated for me to eliminate the components one by one.
Nuud's philosophy is that you have to sweat. That's how our bodies work. But, you don't have to smell. Since I was still doing both, I thought I could at least try to eliminate the latter.
I was skeptical beforehand, but the product looked sciency enough to give it a try.
The price of a single tube of Nuud is around ten euros, and I was surprised by how small it is. You're only supposed to put very little of the product under each armpit - their instruction videos recommend a pea-sized amount. There is also a subscription service where you can define how often do you want your Nuud delivered. One tube is supposed to last months, so don't overdo it! However, there's a bit of trial and error involved until you find out the frequency that works for you.
When I started using Nuud, I was applying it every two days. Then those two days turned to three, and currently, I only do it one to two times a week! For me, it delivered its promise straight away: I was sweating, but the smell was gone.
How does it do it? The manufacturer calls Nuud a pre-odorant since it eliminates the bacteria responsible for the foul body odor. It does that by containing micro-particles of silver. Unlike nano-particles, they don't get absorbed into your skin. Silver is used in medicine as a topical antiseptic.
Using Nuud, you can sweat to cool your body freely, without worrying about the bacterial gasses. Other ingredients in Nuud support the silver micro-particles. Clay absorbs some moisture and makes it water- and sweat-proof, and so does the oil while making it spreadable.
In the beginning, Nuud contained petroleum jelly, which made some users worried. However, they have since updated the formula to remove petroleum jelly and include almond and coconut oil!
Switching to Nuud and dealing with smelly clothes
They also say that you might smell more (!) during the first couple of days using Nuud because your body is detoxing. Luckily, the latter hasn't happened to me.
I was so impatient that I decided to try Nuud immediately after receiving it, which was in the middle of the hottest week of the year (28 degrees Celsius). Frankly, I was quite nervous about doing it (I was teaching a class, and you don't want to turn into a stinky mess in front of your photography students), but in the end, it worked like a charm.
What I did struggle with were my shirts. The thing is, even though I wasn't getting smelly, my shirts did because they already had colonies of hungry bacteria living on them. The surface area of your body that you can cover with Nuud is smaller than the surface area of your shirts that contain the old bacteria your sweat can reach.
There's no one way to combat this, so it took me a while, and I still have some T-shirts that can get stinky even if I'm not. (I wear them around the house.) Between washing the clothes at a higher temperature, ironing the offending parts on high, and occasionally treating them with a paste made of bicarbonate of soda and water, I have got 80% of my wardrobe to comply with my new life choices.
I often wear generic black T-shirts, which are easier to replace than make bacteria-free, but the nice shirts were worth the effort.
According to the reviews of other people who have tried it, Nuud might not work for everyone, but for the ones it works for, it works very well. I'm, obviously, in that group. Over time, I also had to use less and less of it!
Nuud doesn't contain perfume, so it won't clash with other scents you might put on your body. The packaging is 100% biodegradable (the tubes are made of sugar cane!), the product is without aluminum salts or parabens, and I finally don't have to worry about my skin. Nor stink. Good job, Nuud!
Click on this link to try Nuud ⬇️
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