There’s a new kid on the natch-deo block, you guys, and I’m totally crushing.
But instead of the usual review style, I’ve opted for the grossly underused self-interview. Longtime readers may remember when my cofounder Siobhan introduced this format to the site. Well I’m bringing it back!
Let’s begin, shall we?
Q: Thanks for taking the time today. I’ll just jump right in and ask you: What is it about Schmidt’s that stood out from the plethora of natural deodorants popping up on the market?
A: Schmidt’s does a few things things incredibly well. The first is packaging. It’s simple but sophisticated. And, I’m not being a hater, but this category is not exactly known for its elegant packaging design. Also, while you still need to use your finger for application, I like that there’s a small spatula in the jar. It’s just a less messy process.
The second big thing that distinguishes these guys is their scent options. They have really put thought into this! I have their cedar-juniper one because cedar is an all time favorite for me. And it’s so good. But I’m also dying to try lavendar-sage and ylang-ylang… It’s just a really on-point selection.
Lastly, the price is right. Sure, I know the ingredients that go into natural deodorants aren’t expensive, but making products is hard work. These are handmade and the jar is glass—so at $8, I still feel like it’s a great deal.
Q: Wow sounds amazing, but the big question remains: Does it work?
A: Well, the first time I used it I put it straight to the toughest test: my super-sweaty dance-and-boxing class. This class literally leaves me soaking wet every time. And… drum roll… the results really didn’t wow me! I was a bit stinky by the end.
BUT, I realized later that this was user error! Cut back to that spatula for a second. See, I hadn’t read the instructions and thought that I could just use that thing to apply it. Not so. You have to use your fingers, or it won’t spread properly. The heat from your fingers is what does it.
So, subsequently I’ve tested it in a pretty sweaty yoga class and on super hectic work days in LA and SF. SF was really warm when I was there and I was walking around a ton and getting pretty sticky. The results? Really good!
Of course, it’s still a natural deodorant, so sometimes reapplication is necessary.
Q: Back to the finger thing for a second. Have you come across any great natural deodorants where you don’t have to use your fingers?
A: Ya, a friend of mine loves the Aubrey’s roller one. Has anyone here tried it?? I once borrowed it in a pinch and was super impressed but I’d need to give it a longer testing period. Also, Rebecca makes incredible DIY deos that she packages in a deodorant-style applicator. They are so great. Among the most effective I’ve tried… In fact, I keep telling her she needs to turn it into a business, but the lady has a lot on her plate. (And she won’t do anything half-baked!)
Q: Any ingredients people need to be aware of?
Yes, these do contain baking soda and I know many readers have had problems with that. Also, I know some folks are sensitive to certain essential oils… With all the shaving and sweating that happens up there, I think pits are especially tender spots. So be on the lookout for that. That said, I’ve had no bad reaction to it.
Q: Well this is all very exciting. I wonder if any of the readers have tried it?
A: I agree! Let’s ask them.
Have any of you tried Schmidt’s? If not, what’s your most beloved deodorant these days??
We love a good deodorant throwdown, and it’s been a LONG time since our last. Here’s the deal: Poor Emily can’t find a natch deodorant that doesn’t break her out in a rash. Let your favorite finds and DIY suggestions roll for this newly converted clean girl. Happy Friday!
Here’s a quick roundup of the ones we’ve tried and liked.
—Lavanila: This used to be quite spency but on their site it’s only $14 (not cheap, but not the $20 it was at Sephora). It feels the most like a mainstream deodorant and works like a star. It used to have one slightly suspect ingredient but we haven’t revisited the list in some time. (Anyone know?)
—Soapwalla: Absolutely love love love BUT don’t always love applying with a finger. Also many women (including Alexandra) have gotten rashy from it. For her it was just once right after shaving.
—Nourish: Smells and feels really really good, functional for sure but not the most powerful we’ve tried.
—Weleda: This sage one is one of the first naturals we tried, and it worked great. Until it didn’t. If memory serves the effect wore off after a little while. That sounds weird, but it happened to Siobhan, Alexandra + two friends.
Onto Emily’s email…
I’ve been cleaning up my beauty routine for the past few months, and so far haven’t had too much trouble finding clean versions of all the products I used to use – except for one:I can’t find a natural deodorant that doesn’t give me a painful, red, itchy rash.
I’ve tried just about every deodorant available at the health food store, I’ve tried Face Naturals, I’ve tried several from Etsy…everything works alright for about a week, and then comes the inevitable day when my armpits turn red and start to hurt.
The only one I’ve found that doesn’t give me the rash is the Crystal deodorant rock, but it’s not very effective against smell, for me.
So, after all this TMI, I was wondering whether you, or your readers, might have had similar problems and found a solution? I really don’t like to feel like I stink, but I also really don’t want to go back to using Secret – besides the aluminum and other gunk I don’t want to put on myself, the fragrances now give me a headache!
Hoping you can help,
This is a totally selfish post. LA has been hot as heck, and I’m basically out of all working deodorants. I’ve been testing a few I have around the house, but none are actually doing the trick. In short, I smell. Tosha, who lives by my in-laws in beautiful Midway (I’ll be there this weekend!) and whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, also has her own line called Essentially Basic. So the girl’s been cooking up recipes in her kitchen for ages and is a total pro. Enjoy!
—Name: Tosha Arnout
—Current hometown: Midway, UT
—Product name that I made up: So Fresh Deodorant
—Ingredients list: Coconut oil, beeswax, baking soda, redmond clay, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil.
—How I made It: melted the ingredients and stirred everything in
—How it smelled, felt, worked: It smelled refreshing and clean. It worked great for me, I was having a stinky problem since I had my baby boy.
Why I will or won’t do this again: I will do this again if I need it. Sometimes I don’t need deodorant, sometimes I do, crazy hormones.
Here’s the recipe!
Coconut Oil 1/2 cup
Baking Soda 3 TBS
Redmond Clay 4 TBS
Beeswax 2 TBS
Tea Tree Essential Oil 60 drops
Eucalyptus Essential Oil 60 drops
Lavender Essential Oil 15 drops
Melt coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler. I put a 2 cup glass pyrex container in a pan of water on low
heat. Make sure the water doesn’t get in the cup.
When they are melted, stir in the remaining ingredients and remove from heat. The redmond clay is to absorb
oil. You may also use kaolin clay. Pour into old deodorant containers or something that you can push up.
This worked great. It was my third batch so I learned from my mistakes! It did eliminate body odor which I have
been struggling with since the birth of my baby boy. The first batch didn’t have enough clay so I had coconut
pit stains, pretty unattractive! Adding clay eliminated that problem.
Other essential oils to add: orange, tangerine, lime, ylang ylang and grapefruit.
Sounds amazing! Sorry there hasn’t been more Alexandra and Siobhan original content this week—there’s been a lot going on! I do have a slew of things I’m dying to write about: like my new favorite cleanser (from a girl who doesn’t even like cleansers), the world’s most amazing nail file, and of course my Why Am I Like This? I look forward to some quiet writing time in the mountains this weekend—what do you guys have planned?
’Cause mine is.
I saw this article on MSN last month because—thank you!—they were kind enough to link back to us. But I didn’t really give it a proper read until yesterday morning when I got to thinking about toothpaste.
You know how it goes with this stuff. For some reason you obsess over the chemicals in your eye cream but then dutifully ignore something else—like toothpaste, which I happen to put right in my mouth at least twice a day (since this is one area of hygiene I have not forsaken).
So what’s in conventional toothpaste? Oh, just the same stuff in that body wash I threw out eons ago. Things like triclosan, an endocrine disrupter that accumulates in nature. We talked a lot about it in the book (if you’ve read it, throw down a review, would ya?). It’s actually such a powerful “germ” killer that it was once relegated just to surgery rooms, where killing germs is, well, important. But now it’s used, oh, everywhere. It’s in anti-acne products, deodorant, antiperspirant, hand sanitizer and, yup, toothpaste.
Other nasty ingredients in toothpastes include surfactants like our old foe sodium lauryl sulfate, which is often contaminated with a carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane. And of course, there are mystery flavorings that are probably made down the hall from the synthetic fragrance we also avoid.
Meanwhile, I know many of you are way ahead of me on this. So, are you still using Crest? And if not, what’s your favorite clean alternative?
I’m a bit in love with this ominous old German Colgate ad.
Last week we shared with you Well+Good’s take on this new organic deodorant. Regular readers will know that I love Soapwalla’s deodorant cream with the zeal of a convert, but when I met Lisa Wynne Salvatore, the lovely woman behind Pure Pitz who has been in the nontoxic and organic world for 30 years, I developed an instant girl crush on her and was determined to give this puppy a shot.
Since I was almost out of Soapwalla, I decided to test drive it for about 10 days, and see how it fared for me. I’m not an especially stinky person, but it’s hot and sweaty in New York, I do a lot of yoga and I the thought of being stinky or sweatringy really, really bothers me. Here’s how it did:
First of all, I love the smell. It reminds me a little of old Aveda products (in a good way) but is made with all natural essential oils. The odor-fighting baking soda is aluminum-free (naturally!) and the plastic tube is BPA-free. Also, the tube, which is the shape of a lip balm but larger, makes application very easy, as well.
But what about the real-deal road test? It worked well to combat any odor whatsoever, but it doesn’t keep you dry at all. I wasn’t a sweaty mess by any stretch, but I did notice I simply wasn’t as dry as I am with Soapwalla. That said, I highly recommend this one for anyone who is looking to try something new. The smell is just lovely, it works, and the woman behind it is the kind of woman we can totally get behind.
It costs $13 and you can find it at some Whole Foods (check the Pure Pitz link above for exact retailers).
Have you tried it?