Green Beauty Review: Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant (Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, Aluminum-Free & Cruelty-Free Goodness!)

schmidts

The following is an unpaid and unsolicited review of a product that I love.

Drugstore brand deodorants and antiperspirants typically include aluminum, parabens, talc, propylene glycol, triclosan, TEA, FD&C colors, and DEA, chemicals that have been linked to dermatitis, Alzheimer’s, cancer*, liver disease, kidney disease, antibiotic resistance, and disrupted thyroid function. It’s no wonder that many people that find themselves interested in avoiding toxic chemicals in their daily body care routine opt to try out a new deodorant first. It’s one of the easiest changes to make to your routine, and considering the hefty price tags on many other natural health and beauty products, often one of the cheapest changes, too.

If you’re like me, the “cheap” aspect was a huge selling point. Thank goodness, because I went through a lot of deodorants (and had a lot of – shall we say – aromatic days) on the road to finding the perfect potion for these ‘pits. I’ve spent the better part of the last ten years trying to find a natural deodorant/antiperspirant that offered a long term solution to odor & dampness, while also smelling good, being easy & comfortable to apply, and not causing my delicate underarm skin to break out in a rash. Along the way I tried a few great brands that I thought did the job pretty well, like Bubble & Bee’s Pit Putty and Luscious Lather’s Natural Deodorant. I also tried out plenty of other sworn-by products, like Thai Crystal (meh), coconut oil (great for using after shaving), apple cider vinegar, and more. However, nothing completely did the trick, and I always ended up going back to my drugstore brand.

Then I found Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant and fell in love. Most natural deodorants I’ve tried have a sticky, waxy feel to them (if you’ve ever tried Tom’s of Maine deodorants, you’ll know what I’m talking about). The ones that aren’t sticky are often the opposite – dry and crumbly – which is hell on delicate, easily-irritated skin. Schmidt’s is the perfect texture, very similar to that of Dove antiperspirant, but not in stick-form.

There’s a small learning curve that comes with scooping out and smearing on your own deodorant after years of using a deodorant stick, but it only takes a few days to get used to the routine. The jar comes with its own tiny spatula to scoop out a pea-sized bit of the cream, and the moment it comes in contact with your warm underarm, it very easily slides on, like a slightly dry lotion. What’s best is that the deodorant contains arrowroot powder, giving the mixture a dry finish once it’s applied – and helping absorb ‘pit moisture for hours. Once applied, there’s very little residue on your fingers, and what’s there is easy to wash or wipe off.

Aside from being easy to use, not giving me a rash, and doing a great job keeping my underarms from getting swampy, Schmidt’s smells amazing. The deodorant comes in five delightfully earthy scent combinations, including Lavender & Sage, Bergamot & Lime, Cedarwood & Juniper, Ylang Ylang & Calendula, and Fragrance Free. So far I’ve tried Lavender & Sage & Ylang Ylang & Calendula, and have found that both fragrances are very true to their names. I’m crazy about lavender, and am often disappointed that lavender products in the States don’t smell very much like they plant they’re supposed to be emulating. The essential oils used in Schmidt’s are of great quality, and it definitely shows (smells?). That being said, the scents are not overpowering. Once applied, the scent is faint, allowing you to use your chosen perfumes or essential oils without being afraid of mixing too many scents on your person.

Best of all, Schmidt’s is contains no toxic chemicals, and the brand is Cruelty-Free Certified, so no poor bunnies (or any other beloved creature) was harmed in the creation of this fantastic product. The following ingredients lists are from the two types of Schmidt’s I’ve tried thus far:

Lavender & Sage: Shea Butter, Baking Soda, Arrowroot Powder, Cocoa Seed Butter, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Vitamin E & Hop Extract

Ylang Ylang & Calendula: Shea Butter, Baking Soda, Arrowroot Powder, Cocoa Seed Butter, Vitamin E, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Calendula Essential Oil & Hop Extract

If you’re looking to try out a natural, handcrafted deodorant that feels luxurious and actually works, I encourage you to give Schmidt’s a try. At $10 a jar, it’s about twice as expensive as most drugstore brands, but competitively priced for other natural brands. It’s free of parabens, aluminum, propylene glycol, phthalates, and for all of you gluten-free folks, you’ll be happy to learn that this is a safe product for you, too! You can find it online on Amazon, Anthropologie, Rodale’s, Pure Citizen, b-glowing, and Urban Outfitters, or check out Schmidt’s list of retailers by state.

*The FDA and the National Cancer Institute dispute the connection between deodorants and breast cancer, but studies have been inconclusive thus far.

Going Free

Today’s Daily Post prompt asks us if we have “junk” in our lives, and if so, how we’ll be getting rid of it. Since it might be awhile before I can afford to go to a doctor to do more comprehensive testing of my thyroid, in the meantime I’ve decided to do everything I can to keep it from getting worse.

According to experts, to 90% of people suffering from hypothyroidism have a condition called Hashimoto’s Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. There are quite a few autoimmune disorders, including Addison’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Celiac Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and others. Basically, what happens when you have an autoimmune disease is that your immune system loses the ability to tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens (which attack the body). Your own body starts to fight itself. It thinks it’s acting as a protector, but instead it’s killing you.

There are two major schools of thought when it comes to treating Hashimoto’s. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just call them western medicine and alternative medicine, although there are plenty of crossovers between the two today. I hesitate to call either “right” or “wrong,” but in the case of thyroid conditions, it seems that many doctors are happy to prescribe a synthetic hormone replacement and leave it at that. Meanwhile, many of these thyroid patients who are only taking hormones experience worsening of symptoms or, at the very least, little improvement to their current status.

Alternative medicine (along with a growing undercurrent of western medical professionals) has noted that a number of lifestyle changes can help hypothyroid patients not only feel better, but also put less stress (thus, less damage) on the thyroid. Most of these changes are dietary, and include possibly cutting back on goitrogens, soy, caffeine, and any other foods that you’ve noted stress your body (for me, that would be dairy).

Perhaps most importantly, many doctors advise avoiding gluten at all costs. To quote Aaron and Elisha at Surviving Hashimoto’s:

“Thyroid experts strongly urge people with thyroid problems to completely eradicate gluten from their diets.  Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, triticale, and spelt. Countless studies have proven that gluten and Hashimoto’s have a strong connection. Gluten actually has similar properties to the thyroid gland, making it a vile enemy to a Hashimoto’s victim, especially if that individual is already predisposed to gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. Products containing gluten weaken the intestinal walls and can facilitate leaky gut, yet another common problem for Hashimoto’s patients. When leaky gut occurs, gluten can make it’s way from the intestines to the blood stream, where the immune system likely sends out it’s immune system cells to attack it, exacerbating an autoimmune condition.”

For the last four days, I’ve been gluten and caffeine free. It’s been slightly disagreeable, but not too hard. I’m still looking for a phone app to help me track my days of detoxing, and what symptoms I’m experiencing. I’ve had a headache every day for five days, and have been tired, weak, and foggy-headed every day as well. But that’s nothing new – it kind of goes with the territory. I’ve been combatting it a bit by upping my daily Vitamin D, plus remembering to take a B complex. My mood has stabilized, even if my energy hasn’t.

This is going to take a whole lifetime to fix and then maintain. I’ve talked in the past about wanting to be healthy in order to be skinny, but this is different. This time I have to get clean of all of the junk I’ve been putting into my body, to save my thyroid and keep from getting sicker.