Sunday Self-care, Episode 3: Don’t Sweat It

Many years ago, when a multi-level marketing stormed the country where I lived, it could have done much more damage if it weren’t for the fact that many people who would have been gullible just didn’t have enough money to participate in the game.

Most people in my circle proved to be immune to the promises of health/beauty benefits and easy earnings, not in the last place because many of us were bad at selling things. But our close friend’s mother had succumbed to the temptation and, as it often happens with new converts, not only she fully embraced ideas and products offered by the brand but she also energetically started recruiting into the enlightened lifestyle all her friends and relatives, including her son and his wife (who were our friends).

Our friends weren’t really persuaded and took most of the things ironically. I remember how our friend was telling us that after using some either face products or supplements (it was a long time ago, so details are fuzzy), his mom got a skin rash that she was explaining “The body puts up a fight.” My vSO and I still jokingly use this phrase from time to time.

I don’t remember how it happened, but I ended up buying one product from our friend’s mom – a deodorant. And I liked it. So, I bought another one. And another.

* * *

The first year after I moved to the US, to my surprise I discovered that the brand I thought was some shady pyramid scheme was a legitimate brand with a long history, and it was sold in the regular stores. The brand was JĀSÖN.

So, for years I kept buying the same two deodorants by Jason that I liked “in my previous life” – Aloe Vera and Tea Tree. Both my vSO and I went through dozens of those before I realized I didn’t like them any longer. Thinking about it, I suspect that they were just reformulated at some point, without informing consumers, of course. Probably it became even “cleaner” and healthier than it used to be. But it didn’t work for me anymore.

For several years after that I switched to the deodorant that my vSO was using (I’ve chosen it for him): Terre d’Hermes. We both still like it, but it is very expensive, it contains several ingredients that are currently are considered… well, let’s say, they are controversial, and though I do not really subscribe under all the current trends, it is hard to ignore that completely. So, at some point, I decided that I wanted to find an alternative daily deodorant.

Terre d'Hermes Deodorant

What am I looking in a deodorant? I don’t know. I do not use antiperspirants. Not because I think those are unsafe or anything to this effect – I just do not like how it feels. I do not want perfume scent in my deodorant, but I do want a pleasant scent for the scent itself, as I apply but not as much for masking any odors. It needs to work to some extent, though I do not expect miracles. And whatever it does or does not, it should feel nice on my skin.

The first one I went for was from the same brand that started this story – Jason. But I decided to try their newer item – Men’s Forest Fresh. I’m sure that the “men’s” part is a pure marketing shtick, and not just because of the “anybody can wear anything,” but because the most “feminine” aspect of their other deodorants is the packaging, otherwise they are absolutely gender neutral.

Company’s claim: Men’s Forest Fresh contains Zinc Ricinoleate, Corn Starch, Baking Soda, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Cedarwood Pine and Eucalyptus Oils. No Animal Byproducts, No Artificial Colors, No GMO, No Parabens, No Petrolatum, No Phthalates, No Sulfates, Cruelty Free.

It glides on very nicely and smells good. I think it works to some degree, but it sits on my skin slightly sticky contributing to the feeling of being sweaty even if I do not sweat. I will finish it, but most likely I won’t repurchase it.

Jason Forest Fresh Deodorant

The next one that I decided to try was Death By Lavender – Organic Deodorant from North Coast Organics.

Ingredients, according to the brand, (Vegan): 100% organic coconut oil, 100% organic carnauba wax, 100% organic arrowroot powder, 95% organic shea butter, aluminum-free, natural baking soda, & Organic Essential Oils (Lavender, Lemon, Cypress, Rosemary). It is certified organic, certified vegan, certified cruelty-free, certified non-gmo, gluten-free, aluminum-free, soy-free, and handmade.

It was just awful. The scent was fine, but it was so dry and gritty that it felt like I was rubbing a pumice stone over my armpits. My only hope is that the item I bought at the store spent too long on the shelf and that usually it is much better. But I will never know because I won’t be spending $15 more to confirm this hypothesis. Into the bin it went right after I took the picture.

North Coast Organics Death by Lavender

What I liked about (Malin+Goetz) eucalyptus deodorant was that I could get a small version of it. Of course, it is more expensive per gram than the full version and much more than many other full-size deodorants. But I hate wasting products, so after the fiasco with the previous deodorant, I was glad to get a mini.

According to the brand, it is vegan and cruelty-free. Includes eucalyptus extract and citronellyl.

eucalyptus deodorant is smooth in application and has a light, slightly medicinal scent – I wouldn’t have minded a stronger eucalyptus aroma. It absorbs well without an unpleasant residue. Once I finish the mini I have, I might come back to this deodorant if I don’t find anything better. It is good but not ideal.

(Malin+Goetz) Eucalyptus Deodorant

The most recent deodorant I tried is Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream from Drunk Elephant. I had high hopes for this one: this brand has a good reputation, and I liked a couple of other products they make.

Brand says that Sweet Pitti contains Mandelic Acid, Arrowroot Powder, Shea Butter, Marula Oil, Mongongo Oil, Baobab Seed Oil. It has a pH of 4.0 and is free of baking soda and aluminum-derived ingredients, sulfates, silicones, essential oils, fragrance, dyes, and drying alcohols. Cruelty-free.

I’m not sure if Sweet Pitti works because I really dislike the scent. I’m not sure I care about how efficiently it combats my natural odor since what it replaces it with doesn’t smell much (any?) better. In addition to that, the way it dispenses: you have to turn the pushing mechanism extremely carefully to get just a tad of the content to appear from those four holes – otherwise, you’ll either waste the product or will be covered in it. I will probably finish the one that I have (I’ll use it for when I’m exercising), but under no circumstances will I repurchase it.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream

My search continues. Luckily, working from home, I have a luxury of using a wrong deodorant, washing it off and trying another one. But I would love to find one or two deodorants to use for several years until I find something better. And I still plan to replenish my and my vSO’s favorite Terre d’Hersmes.

Do you have any deodorants you would recommend?

Deodorants

Images: my own

31 thoughts on “Sunday Self-care, Episode 3: Don’t Sweat It

  1. I can’t recommend anything. I try many things and then always return to Rexona because those work the best for me. I do enjoy man deodorants that L’Occitane makes, love the smell of the one I have at the moment, couldn’t find a name on it. :) It just says for men.

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    • While investigating Rexona, I discovered that it is called different names in different countries: “While marketed under the Rexona name in most countries, it is known as Sure in the United Kingdom, Ireland and India, Degree in the United States and Canada, Rexena in Japan and South Korea and Shield in South Africa.” Interesting.

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  2. Ah too bad about the Drubk Elephant Sweet Pitti. That is a disappointment, especially for the money.
    I have Jason Lavender deodorant and it’s useless.
    The next natural one that I have high hopes for is the Wild one which I like the sound of because of the plastic free refills.
    I currently use the Mitcham stick antiperspirant which is reliable but so much product is wasted because it only pushes up so far.

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    • It’s good that you told me about the lavender Jason because I was thinking that maybe I could try it…
      While I do not mind refills, I need to like the product first, just the idea on its own doesn’t persuade me.
      I will check out Mitchum. I wonder: is it that different from the other deodorant sticks? Or are you complaining about the concept of a stick deodorant in general?

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  3. I have had decent luck with Schmidts. Currently the coconut pineapple version. Smells decent and seems to hold up (I judge based on how I smell the next morning!). At one point, Tarte was making a deodorant that I received in a bundle of products and I liked it as well – of course now discontinued. My latest trial is a Tom’s that comes in fully paper packaging, but it doesn’t pass the “next morning” test.

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  4. Interesting! I have no recommendations and will check in to see the answers here. The natural ones I’ve tried, I feel that I might as well not really use anything. I was gifted an old-fashioned Oscar de la renta alcohol spray which actually is quite good. I then considered going back to that old-fashioned (not anti perspirant) style.

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    • I don’t have a goal to go necessarily with a natural deodorant: I’m not a fanatic of all-whatever and I don’t have fear against any of the mass-produced products. Mostly, I’m looking for something that I’ll enjoy using.
      In the USA, for so many years spray deodorants weren’t available that I completely forgot about them (though, for the first 25 years of my life I knew mostly those spray ones.

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  5. When I have stash from the States, then Dry Idea Advanced Dry, when not then a Vichy Sensitive roll on. Both perfume free, I do not use anything with a smell other than perfume! Both excellent, the Vichy probably has the edge.

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  6. I have started using Native lately and I like it, although I am not particularly sensitive to the sensations you mentioned. It is a bit dry going on but I hate the opposite, where it feels wet or sticky. They have unscented but I like their scents as they’re very light and I only smell them when I am putting it on.

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  7. I like the Malin & Goetz, started with the eucalyptus and now like the new bergamot version. I malso like the Terre d’Hermes. I tried the Hermes Jour spray and it didn’t work very well.

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  8. I have lived in the U.S. for 52 years and never heard of Jason. Maybe because it is for men? But I doubt it. No men I know use that either. I live and swear by this and got my contractor boyfriend to use it who sweats outside like a pig and he swore by it, too. It’s the only thing I have used for about 15 years.

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    • Most recently I saw Jason at Whole Foods, but I saw it elsewhere before. Since they position themselves as a healthy/natural/etc., most likely, those are available from the type of places that carry such stuff. Or on Amazon (as everything else these days :) ). Only one of them is marketed “for men,” the rest look quite regular (read “for women”).

      I forgot! In my deodorant journey I did use crystal for a while. I liked it but then something changed (either in the deodorant or in my body), and it stopped working for me. I might give it another chance at some point.

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  9. I use a Dutch brand, loveli, they have a series of great coconut, natriumbicarbonate, zinc based deo’s. I have tried all the not aluminium based deo’s you can think of, and this one is it! Scentless or barely scented, refillable and not expensive. No armpit smells detected since using it. I think Aurelia Londen comes close, but is much more expensive and comes in a jar which I don’t like very much.

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  10. I have used the Mitchum roll on anti-perspirant (unscented) for as long as I can remember. It is the only one I have found that really stops you sweating. Btw, do any older readers remember the controversial brand Tickle from the 1970s? Controversial on account of its shape, not its ingredients, hehe. ;) I did use it back in the day – it came in a range of bright polka dot colours.
    http://gbnfgroceries.blogspot.com/2014/12/from-misc-products-aisle-tickle-anti.html

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    • It might be useful to have antiperspirant “for special occasions,” so I’ll take a look at this one, since both you and Tara like it.

      I think until early 90s I didn’t know any US beauty brands at all. And approximately until the same time we didn’t have any ads either. I mean, in general, not just US or beauty ;)

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  11. I use Donna Karan Cashmere Mist and Kopari coconut-based deodorants. Both work well. The Kopari has less scent so I wear that with lighter perfumes, the Cashmere Mist blends better with winter orientals.

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  12. I’ll consider myself lucky and say I barely perspire there. I do sometimes use deodorant sometimes, especially while on vacation and in the heat of the summer. The two I would recommend are: Tom’s of Maine Uncented and Lavanillla Lavender. The lavender is very lightly scented. Both of these are inexpensive. I’ve used other brands and they actually caused rashes which we know is not.good.

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