A couple of years ago, I started looking into having a cleaner diet. It’s not that I was eating badly, I always ate lots of fruits and vegetables, I just wanted to really know what type of ingredients I was consuming. I would do research on what food brands are better, green, organic, etc. You must know by now I’m all into food and beverage, and if I can eat cleaner, even if I have that one (or two) cheat days, the better I feel. I’ve been looking into doing the same type of search for beauty products, but seemed to never have the time. During quarantine I though, there’s no better time than now!
It seems that going natural or clean has been all the craze lately. There are so many labels out there that it gets confusing to choose the right product. I found this interesting article from Harper’s Bazaar that has short explanations for what clean, green, organic, vegan, etc products actually mean. Knowing this it’s a good way to start. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/a28352553/clean-beauty/
During my research on natural or clean products I was currently using, I found out in some instances it was not really the case. Just because a product’s labels itself as clean or natural or organic or green, or etc etc etc, it doesn’t mean it actually is. Even brands sold at so-called organic stores may not be as organic/natural/clean/or whatever other label there is, as you may think. This is due to the fact that the clean product label is self-regulated and there’s a lot of variations of what qualifies as a clean product. The label natural is used for products that are made with ingredients found in nature, not synthetics nor chemicals. And the clean label is used for products that are eco-friendly and sustainable, but can be made using safe natural or synthetic materials. Some of the ingredients that should be avoided for clean beauty are: parabens, aluminum, phthalates, ethoxylated agents, formaldehyde, refined petroleum, hydroquinone, talc, triclosan, silica. But just because you may see that a product does not contain some of these ingredients it does not make it natural or clean (Did I mention how confusing this is!)
Another thing I discovered is where beauty products are actually made. I was using a clean make-up brand that used to be made in the United States, but was sold to a big international cosmetics brand a couple of years ago, and it’s now made in China. If you prefer to support the nationally-made brands, it’s always best to do some research before you buy. In the beauty industry, small companies are often bought by big corporations. Sometimes they keep on making the products nationally, but they may also take them internationally and you, as a consumer, wouldn’t be aware of this change.
I’m still looking for my favorite brands in a lot of products, specially because I haven’t decided if I want to go the natural or the clean route. As you can see this is a work in progress because going natural is not always the best choice, and going clean may not be 100% natural. Plus all the other variations mentioned in the article above. For this post I want to focus on deodorant. When you decide to switch to a natural or clean deodorant, it may take time to find the right one. If you need to try many, it may get frustrating at times, as some of these deodorants are not cheap. And then, like me, you end up with a collection of deodorants that you don’t really like. Also, a deodorant that is good for your friend may not be good for you. It all depends on your skin’s pH level. I would like to leave a little disclaimer here, all the deodorants that I tried are good products, I wanted to find the best one for me.
And my number one pick is (insert drumroll here) … Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium. Schmidt is a natural brand that sells quite a range of aluminum-free deodorants. Most deodorants in the market contain aluminum salts. These antiperspirants work to form plugs within sweat ducts to temporarily prevent sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. Remember that sweating is good for the body, you don’t want to cover the sweat glands, you just want to neutralize odor; which this deodorant does beautifully. No odor at all, even after 8 hours of running around managing a restaurant or after a workout! Schmidt’s deodorants are not antiperspirants and therefore don’t contain any added aluminum, instead using natural plant powders or minerals like magnesium hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate to help keep you fresh. And as their website suggests, this deodorant does smell like recently fallen rain.
Runner-up: Native Lavender and Rose. Others I tried (in no particular order): type A White Floral Linen, Native Vanilla, Native Cucumber, Schmidt’s Sage + Vetiver, Toms Fresh Coconut, Toms Lavender, Love Beauty and Planet Butter and Rose.
As this is a work in progress, I would love to hear your suggestions on this subject and any recommendations of your favorite deodorant or any beauty products, specially make-up, will be greatly appreciated. I’m looking for products that are easily accessible and preferably ones that do not require a subscription or one specific website and that are not uber expensive. Please leave a comment below!