I mulled over writing this for a while because I wasn’t sure if deodorant counted as a beauty product. It’s not as alluring as a lipstick or an eyeshadow palette, it’s not something you make an instagram post over or gush over to your friends. But for a gal with an anxiety disorder and a complex derived from childhood classmates repeatedly pointing out that her name rhymes with “smelly,” deodorant gives me the same confidence boost that a red lip provides.
I am a fan of science — I subscribe to a number of science podcasts and I have been known to fangirl over the likes of Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I believe that if ingredients have been tested and proven to be effective, they don’t necessarily need to be natural for me to be willing to rub them all over my face. Part of the appeal of the natural deodorant is its lack of aluminum, the chief ingredient in antiperspirant. A lot of people believe that there is a link between aluminum in deodorants and certain cancers, however, scientists have never found evidence that this is true. [Ed.: The FDA, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, and the American Cancer Society all concur that aluminum in deodorant/antiperspirant products has not been conclusively shown to have adverse health effects … unless you’re allergic!]
To clear the air, I don’t use antiperspirant because I’m allergic. It gives me an exciting combo of red rash and deep-rooted cysts. For a long time, I was a proud user of Old Spice in either Fiji or Citron (the big brands of deodorant for women all contain antiperspirant, as if ladies are NOT ALLOWED to sweat ever). Then, I decided to go cruelty-free, and what was left were the naturals. And what a stressful journey that turned out to be — I pored over ingredients lists and reviews and dropped countless dollars trying brand after brand. I tried sprays, jar formulas, sticks. Natural deodorant is expensive and wildly unpredictable; some of these deos made me STINK. I ranged from vaguely musty (Lavanila) to outright STANKY (Tom’s of Maine). The crazy thing is that I don’t really smell. I sweat like a Jew in 15th century Spain (note: I am Jewish and of European Spanish decent so not only can I make this joke, I am a product of this joke). I sweat like the outside of a beer can in a TV commercial. But I don’t really smell all that bad if I skip deodorant. And to add insult to olfactory, natural deodorant is not cheap. The average price of a stick is about $14, about 3 times more than you’d pay for that Secret.
I discovered Schmidt’s deodorant when I was about to give up. This was my one last hurrah, and ended up being the One Stick to Rule Them All. They come in both jar and stick format (I prefer the stick because jar deodorant is oogy) and in a variety of scents that appeal to all kinds of noses. They also have a regular and a sensitive formula. Both start with a base of coconut oil and shea butter, with arrowroot powder and baking soda as the odor-absorbers. The sensitive formula uses less of the baking soda and adds in magnesium hydroxide for something easy on the pits and the nostrils. I love the Bergamot & Lime and Ylang Ylang & Calendula scents, but my absolute fave is the Charcoal & Magnesium. I’m not 100% dry, but the Schmidt’s formula does the best job at lessening the sweats and lasting throughout my work day. And no cysts! Honestly, that’s all this gal can ask for.
I have 2 complaints about the Schmidt’s deo and they’re pretty generic and can be said about all natural deodorants. I think it’s still expensive, even though it’s a lot cheaper than most natural products, clocking in around $8 a stick. [Ed.: In stick form, these run about $8-12 on Amazon, where you can also find a number of variety packs and so forth. But most of the scents are just $4.99 at Target!] Mainly I’m salty that I can’t pay the same as the big brand kind, although it is worth a few bucks more to not have a painful rash under my arms all the time. The second complaint is that the formula is a little melty, and as such it tends to end up on the outside of the plastic container. It can be easily contained with a paper towel, but it’s a little annoying nonetheless. But that’s it!
I am notoriously brand disloyal; I love trying new products in search of the next best thing. But I will wear this deodorant till it disappears. I love it, and any time I stray I regret it immediately.
Anyone else have weird allergies (this isn’t even my weirdest allergy)? Anyone use natural deodorant, or swear by any other natural beauty products?