THE SAGA CONTINUES. Not crazy about Schmidt’s even tho it mostly works! Liked the Olivina except that it didn’t work! Totally dig the Baxter of California … except it’s nineteen bucks a stick, which is mildly preposterous! Surely there’s another option?
WHAT THAT IS
It’s some boring-ass stuff from the drugstore! Actually I got it from Target for $2.89. Why did I pick this one to try? Scads of reasons! The BF uses a variety of this stuff and likes it (tho he’s not quiiiite as fussy about products as I am), the reviews I saw were pretty solid, and it seemed like it would be suitable vis-a-vis My Parameters. Which are : 1) totally clear, no white residue upon my clothing or upon my person, yuck. 2) Smells nice, or at least doesn’t smell unpleasant i.e. too sweet or flowery/fruity. 3) ACTUALLY WORKS. Bonus points are possible for very aesthetically pleasing packaging that makes me enjoy using the shit. This gets no bonus points, ugh, look at it.
WHAT’S IN THERE
Okay this stuff — the solid clear deodorant-only product — comes in three varieties : “Clean,” “Fresh,” and “Unscented.” Interestingly, the “Clean” scent is the only one of the three that A&H’s website doesn’t list under both the men’s and women’s products sections; it only appears under the men’s, which leads me to believe I will like its smell. (Will investigate and report back.)
All three formulas have the same first five ingredients : dipropylene glycol, water, propylene glycol, sodium stearate, sodium bicarbonate. All pretty standard stuff. Next up for all three versions comes a selection of essential oils/extracts : the “Clean” has lemon peel oil, grapefruit peel extract, and juniper oil (JUNIPER! YES PLS). “Fresh” has coriander, rosemary, and lavender oils (THIS ALSO SOUNDS GOOD). And “Unscented” … welp, “Unscented” is not-scented (?) with chamomile, coriander, geranium, and orange peel oils. “Clean” and “Fresh” have “FRAGRANCE” as the next ingredient in the list, while “Unscented,” which totally has a scent, does not have added “fragrance,” sooooo. Anyway, all three round out their lists with ethylhexylglycerin, octenidine HCl, tetrasodium EDTA and allantoin. Which, oh hey, octenidine HCl is the exact same antimicrobial agent found in $19 Baxter of California deo. (Ethylhexylglycerin is listed as an “antimicrobial” sometimes, but I’m pretty sure it only functions as a preservative to prevent the growth of mold/bacteria within the product itself, not as an antiseptic agent on your skin.) Anyway, the Baxter has that ingredient much higher in its list — does that make it more effective/better in theory? I don’t know! The Baxter does also have a few other things that Sound Real Nice, but I mean, this is anti-stank armpit goo, not a face serum, so I’m not too bovvered about A&H’s lack of acai and sea buckthorn, ya know?
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Is it actually clear? YES. It does contain baking soda, but apparently it’s so finely milled or else dissolved in its base that it doesn’t show up white at all. Like, at all. I applied it suuuuper heavily to my arm and then rubbed it off onto my black shirt, and I could barely see any kind of mark at all — so if that’s a key issue for you, you’re good.
Is it actually unscented? As previously noted, hell to the flaming NO while tap-dancing and banging on a pot. The fragrance is pretty much in the realm of what you’d expect from the included essential oils (again, this one has chamomile, coriander, geranium, and orange peel oils) : vaguely herbal-floral-citrus-fruity. It’s nice! It’s quite light! I like it! It’s not strong enough to fight with perfume, but it is definitely NOT unscented.
DOES IT WORK THO?
It definitely does! I feel like this works about as well as the Baxter for me, and with a similar feel — kinda a “damp gel” (duh) right after application, but it doesn’t have the tack/cling that the Olivina does, so that’s nice. The only real downside for me is that I like pretty things, and this thing is not pretty.
But as a slight mitigating factor, the label is the plastic-y zippy kind that you can peel right offa there like WOOSH, with no annoying residue or sticky gunk left behind. Ruining the polish on your right thumbnail while prying up the corner of the label is optional but recommended.
And because I am not above redecorating my personal care products — I DO WHAT I WANT — hey, there’s options!
Yeah, I bedazzled that shit. Actually I just cut a strip of glossy adhesive glitter film — with the fancy edging scissors of course — and stuck it on the cap. I mean, now it looks all glamorous so this was obviously a solid plan. I might add some rhinestones and a fringe of marabou feathers later. (Not really.) (But maybe!)
THE VERDICT : IT’S GOOD, if fug! It works well, it smells nice, it doesn’t leave weird unsightly white smears on my [almost uniformly] black and navy and charcoal tops. DO YOU NEED IT? I mean, it works well for me, it has an actual antimicrobial rather than just relying on baking soda and fragrance to combat odor, it’s under three dollars most places, and it has a pretty minimal ingredients list so if you’ve got ~sensitivities~ you should be able to easily tell whether this will be irritating for you. (I sometimes have a problem with baking-soda-laden deos, but this one doesn’t bother me.)
TRIED IT? Thumbs up or down? Obsessive as I am about making your less-attractive grooming products look nice? DISCUSS.