a natural deodorant update

a natural deodorant update


A year ago, I wrote about my experience using natural deodorant, and things have changed a lot since then. (I also can’t believe I wrote that a year ago.) So, I thought I’d share an update since I’ve tried a couple more options and like what I’m using now a lot more than what I was using then.

After I last ran out of my Crystal roll-on, I decided to try Schmidt’s when I saw one in Marshalls’ big discount beauty products section. I’d heard good things about it, so I picked up one in Rose + Vanilla. The scent didn’t end up being my favorite thing ever once I started using it, but I did notice that it actually kept my armpits dry. This was quite a revelation after I’d basically accepted that using natural deodorant meant not being smelly, but still being sweaty.

And then, I started getting a rash on my armpits. Things got kinda… red and peel-y. (I’m only describing this in case other people have a similar symptom.) I couldn’t know for sure, but I suspected that I was having an allergy to the baking soda, as I’d read that some people react poorly to it as a deodorant ingredient. So then, I saw that Schmidt’s does a sensitive skin formula and when I saw it in the store I noticed that it has less ingredients and doesn’t include baking soda. It was time to test this out.


I got the sensitive skin formula in Geranium Flower a couple months ago, and so far, I love it. My armpits aren’t soaking wet! It’s a miracle! The scent is nice, but a little stronger than I’d like. I picked up a Coconut Pineapple one when I saw it on sale recently, and at least from smelling it in the container it seems like it will be lighter than the Geranium. (Gonna use that one up first before I start the new one.)

Another thing I noticed throughout this is that a couple of my white shirts started getting a little yellow in the armpits. As I noted in the previous post, with Crystal deodorant, I didn’t have any issues with staining, but since switching I’ve noticed it staring back up again. Schmidt’s isn’t supposed to stain (since it doesn’t contain aluminum), but since it is happening, I’m now wondering if it was the original formula, the sensitive skin one, or both. Will have to keep watching on this point and report back. For now, I’m glad to have found this sensitive skin formula of Schmidt’s that’s keeping me dry — At least in my armpits. Boob sweat abounds! — in this very hot summer weather. I hope a year from now, it’s still working out.

package-free soap

package-free soap


When it comes to changes I can make in my life to be more eco-friendly, something I keep in mind is just going ahead and doing things that are already going to be pretty easy. (This is was also my thought process when I became pescatarian.) And one change I made last year was to start buying package-free bar soap for the shower.

(I always feel the need to disclaim this stuff — which in itself is probably a bigger issue for another day — but I am just a regular person who is trying out stuff and learning. Anyway…)

Michael and I had already been using bar soap in the shower — often Dr. Bronner’s — but it was when I remembered that Whole Foods sells Good Soap without any packaging that I decided to just keep up with buying those. They’re three for $6 (this last time I got them, they were on sale for only $1.50 each), and you can put them in one of the little paper bags the store supplies — or not. I’ve been taking back the same bag since I just kept them stored in there under our sink, anyway. The soap comes in a wide variety of scents, including cucumber, lavender, and lemonade. I usually go for coconut, because I usually go for coconut in everything.

soap flat

Related: I also have always liked Sappo Hill soaps — especially the almond one — and they don’t have packaging either.

I am not someone who can preach a package-free life AT ALL. AT ALLLLLL. And, as far as showers, specifically, go, I do still keep around a bottle of this Aveeno body wash since I get really dry, itchy skin in the winter. (I’ve had the bottle I have now for two winters.) But, again, this was just a small place where I was easily able to be more mindful and I feel like that’s where a lot of change could add up. After all, things that don’t need to have packaging… shouldn’t have packaging. (This also feels like where I would naturally launch into my rant about biodegradable chip bags, so I’ll leave things here.)

a year of empties

a year of empties

Last April, I decided to document my year of empty beauty products after watching a video from one of my favorite YouTubers, Stephanie of Soothing Sista. Obviously, hers was in video form, but I was intrigued by the idea of tracking something like this over such a long period. I was curious about what I went through and what I liked, but it was through actually doing it that I realized that I didn’t have a totally clear idea of what I was doing when I set out.

For example: soap. In tracking one’s “beauty products”, do you count soap? I didn’t. I use bar soap that is shared with my partner and I just didn’t even think about it until halfway through the year of doing this. (Also, they don’t have packaging, so nothing was really… empty.) Or what about razor blades? I didn’t go through many of these, but I also definitely didn’t count them because I didn’t know if they… count.

I realized that the divisions between “beauty product” and “toiletry” are confusing. Eva Chen certainly isn’t (wasn’t?) uploading photos of her floss containers when she reviews products with her empties posts. So, what I realized is, my project lies somewhere between seeing which products I enjoy and seeing how much stuff I go through. Which, while that makes this whole thing incomplete on the latter point, feels pretty appropriate for where I and this blog currently stand.

So, yeah, anyway, here’s a list of a bunch of shit I used and either liked or didn’t like.

Aveeno Moisturizing Bar

Would I repurchase? Maybe. It was fine, but, as seen below, I’ve been using another cleanser since I had this and I like it better.

Bag of Ulta Cotton Balls

Would I repurchase? I have repurchased cotton balls since this, yes. I don’t use as many cotton balls as some people do, but I am interested in looking further into washable cotton pads. I’ve just been unsure since I don’t have my own washing machine. (P.S. Clearly, I forgot to take my own photos of these first two.)

Aussie Miraculously Smooth Conditioner

Would I repurchase? Maybe. I used Aussie brand shampoo and conditioner since high school and was unwavering on it. Last year — yes, it took this very curly-haired person until the age of 29 — to be sure to use sulfate-free shampoo and Aussie shampoo has sulfates, so I just stopped getting the conditioner along with it, too.

Aussie Mega Moist Shampoo

Would I repurchase? No. See above

OGX Coconut Curls Shampoo

Would I repurchase? Yes! And I have. This is currently “my shampoo”.

Crystal Essence Vanilla Jasmine Deodorant

Would I repurchase? Maybe not this scent. My natural deodorant journey is still very much a journey.

Crystal Essence Chamomile & Green Tea Deodorant

Would I repurchase? I did repurchase this, but I also have been trying Schmidt’s and can’t tell if it gave me a rash so… Yeah, I want to know the answer to whether I’ll end up repurchasing this again, too.

OGX Coconut Curls Conditioner 

Would I repurchase? Yes, and have.

Maybelline Great Lash Big Mascara in Blackest Black

Would I repurchase? Yes. And I have. Many times. I have used this since I started using mascara and only this year did I decide to try a fancier one — Lancôme Monsieur Big — and I really feel like it’s not the same. Not as in it’s bad, but as in the brush doesn’t feel the same in my hand and, apparently, I have a fully formed sense memory for Great Lash.

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream

Would I repurchase? No. It made my face feel sweaty at times when it wasn’t sweaty, and the packaging was inconvenient as far as being able to get all of the cream out and being able to tell how much is left.

La Roche-Posay Toleraine Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Would I repurchase? Yes, and have. It does what the name says and doesn’t make my skin red and irritated, which is something I’d had a problem with.

Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette

Would I repurchase? Yes, but don’t plan to right now. As you can see, there is still a lot left in this, which means it’s not “an empty”. But the thing is, I had this what felt like… too long to keep something that goes on a sensitive part of your body. While I think this is a really great palette, I decided to try this Rimmel one out in Blush, just because I’d never tried Rimmel stuff before and it had comparable colors. I like it, but I liked this Maybelline one better.

OGX Coconut Water Conditioner

Would I repurchase? No. It was like if the Coconut Curls one was trying less hard.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Would I repurchase? Yes, this is great for my dry ass skin — unscented and soothing.

Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Body Cream

Would I repurchase? Well, I didn’t purchase this in the first place. Got it from the beauty closet at my old work and just used it for my dry hands at night. But no, I would not spend my money on this. It kind of smells like Play-Doh, and also I have recently started using the Lush Sleepy lotion on my hands at night and it’s actually helps me sleep.

Kat Von D Ink Liner

I took a photo of both of these together because they both needed to go, but the Revlon one was another beauty closet find and I never used it and it totally dried up, so no need to even talk about that. As for the Kat Von D liner…

Would I repurchase? No. But, I did happen to be given a free sample of it at Sephora recently and have been using it… I didn’t feel like I wanted to give money to this brand after the vaccine stuff, so this is definitely, like, a convenient situation Iv’e found myself in, and it is a very good liner, as everyone and their grandma knows. But, there are also lots of other very good liners, and I’ll be interested in looking into them once my sample runs out.

Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Oil

Would I repurchase? Maybe. I did like this, but also there are soooo many products like this, so I’d probably just try out a different one. Need to do that soon. My hair is thirsty and doesn’t like what I’ve been using in the meantime.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB

I never purposely made Maybelline my drugstore brand of choice, but clearly, it happened.

Would I repurchase? Probably not. I was really into this for a while and this was my second bottle, but I have other things I like now.


OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo

Would I repurchase? Probably not, just because I like the Coconut Curls one better. And can I just say, OGX might have too many coconut shampoos/conditioners. I’ve listed three varieties here and I know for certain there is at least one more.

So I have to say, this is really less than I thought it was going to be. As I was taking these pictures throughout the year, I felt like there was so much, so I’m pretty relieved at that. It’s clear that I go through shampoo/conditioner more than the other stuff and that I basically never get to the end of makeup. I think there were a couple lipsticks I tossed, but they weren’t empty and, clearly, I didn’t have clear rules for this because I took a pic of the non-empty eyeshadow palette. I think I’ll try this whole thing again for this year, just to see if there are any changes or anything I’m more consistent with.

Also, I am interested in trying shampoo bars to save on plastic. Lush has a bunch of them, but they all have sulfates. But also, Lush really emphasizes that sulfates aren’t that bad in this case because you’re only using the foam on your hair and not directly putting the product? My issue with not wanting sulfates is because I have curly hair, which means they make it more frizzy and dry. Anyone ever use the Lush shampoo bars or anything else similar? 

things i am currently putting on my face

things i am currently putting on my face

skincare main

I thought I’d write out my skincare routine, because I like reading about other people’s (or watching videos about them on YouTube). That’s also a big reason for why I do any blog posts: I like reading about these things from other bloggers, so maybe people will like reading about them from me.

The thing with my skincare routine, though, is that if I’m comparing myself to other people of the interwebs, it feels like one or both of those words should be in scare quotes (“skincare routine”). More accurate would be to call it Things I Am Currently Putting On My Face (*edits title*). I don’t use a ton of products on my face, but I do have a few things going now that I’m liking.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

This I started using a couple months ago after hearing about it on Emma Hill’s YouTube channel. (And I just checked and she was talking about a different one from La Roche-Posay… oops.) Toleriane is La Roche-Posay’s product line for sensitive skin, and I like that this one is also good for dry skin. It doesn’t feel like it strips my skin or leaves it dry. Previous to this I was using the Aveeno Moisturizing Face Bar, which I do still like, but I’m liking this better and think it’s gentler. Plus, it’s oil-free.


Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel

I’ve written before about how much I love this as a toner, and nothing’s changed. It’s so refreshing, it smells so good, it makes my skin smoother, it leaves my face feeling really clean. It’s great.

Lumene Valo Glow Boost

I first got this at a very odd event: a viewing party for Nick Viall’s Bachelor season finale held at the Finnish consulate. This was in the gift bag and I didn’t try it for a long time after I got it, but once I did, I was into it. Unfortunately, that one fell on the floor and the eyedropper shattered inside the bottle, so I had to buy a new one. I use a couple drops of this about three times a week.

St. Ives Green Tea Scrub

This is another one that I only use about three times a week, and usually not at the same time that I’m going to be using the Lumene Valo. This has salicylic acid helps prevent breakouts and also makes my face feel really smooth.

skincare 3

Trader Joe’s Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer

Now onto moisturizer, which is an area that I am not totally happy with right now. It’s been a journey, and one that started with my decision to try to find a moisturizer with physical SPF. I had been using this Neutrogena one during the day and the non-SPF version at night, but when I decided to start searching for mineral SPF that kicked off a whole trying-other-moisturizers thing. Anyway… now I’m using this Trader Joe’s moisturizer I’d hear good things about. I like it good enough for now, but think I’ll probably try something else once this is gone. Also, no, it doesn’t have SPF, which leads us to…

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

I was so happy when I found this physical sunblock for your face, made by Aveeno, and supposedly “ultra-calming.” I really want to like this and I have been using it, but I just feel like my face gets so sweaty! Granted, it’s often 90 degrees out lately and humid, so maybe no physical sunblock is going to not make me sweat more? This whole sunblock thing has been a journey and it’s one that continues and that will at some point be it’s own blog post. I will say, this one does blend in well without the white cast, so might be worth checking out if that’s been an issue for you.

And that’s it! If anyone has suggestions for physical SPF for your face that doesn’t make you sweat and actually blends in, please let me know!

i’m into it #1

i’m into it #1

faves 1.1

Decided to try sharing some of the products/items I’m into lately. Here goes… (They are in no particular order, except the first one!!!)

1. Megababe Thigh Rescue

I thought of writing a post about just this because it’s that good. As one does, I started looking up anti-thigh-chaffing products last year when I realized that that was what was going on with my legs, but didn’t buy any because what difference does it really make anyway might as well suffer and not wear the stuff I wanna wear when I wanna wear it 😦

So then, this year, I got a bit less self-deprecating and looked up anti-chaff options again. Megababe Thigh Rescue seemed to have the best reviews, I put a container on hold at Ulta, and went all the way to 86th street to get it. IT WAS WORTH IT. I went out that very humid night in shorts and walked around a lot (this just happened to happen, but made for the perfect test), and I WAS FINE. No chaffing, no nothing. It smells good too, but very light, which is perfect. If you are in denial about the cure for thigh chaffing and don’t want to wear bike shorts, buy this!

2. Urban Decay Beached Vice Lipstick in 100 Degrees

faves 1.2

This I got from the beauty editors at my now-old job and it’s great. It goes on so smoothly, is the perfect amount of color, and isn’t matte but also isn’t too glossy. It also doesn’t wear off in a weird uneven way.

3. Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel

I never used witch hazel before getting this, but since I was wanting to buy a toner again and heard good things about this one, I thought I’d try it. I’m really loving it. First, it smells so good. I never thought I was a rose person, but between this and the rose scent of the Dr. Bronner’s soap, I’ve changed. My skin texture had been feeling really uneven and I think this really helped. And, it’s really refreshing!

4. Dove Body Polish

faves 1.3

Dove was giving these out in my office building, so obviously I was going to take one no matter what. I tried the Pomegranate and Shea Butter and it is pretty strong smelling (kind of like cake icing?) and not the sort of thing I’d normally go for, but something about that makes it feel extra pampering. My skin feels super soft after using it and some, but not too much, of the smell remains.

5. Target Slide Sandals

faves 1.4

I went back and forth on these for a while. Would they stay on? Would they get dirty immediately because they’re yellow microsuede? Well, yeah, they did get a little dirty pretty quickly, but I still really like them. They’re so easy. And they do stay on. (Btw, they come in five colors and I may or may not have just also bought the red ones…)



How I Switched To Natural Deodorant

How I Switched To Natural Deodorant


I bought The Crystal about a year before I ever actually used it. I was in Virginia visiting my parents, saw it on sale at Kroger, and figured I’d pick it up just in case I ever wanted to try it out.

The idea of using natural deodorant had appealed to me for a while, but my previous attempts (with Tom’s) weren’t successful. Part of this was that I’d for a long time used unscented Dove, so I was trying to switch to an unscented natural deodorant. But the other issue, which a lot of people don’t seem to mention when talking about switching to natural deodorant is that your armpits smell stronger at first, as you adjust. Because of this, I think that what I ended up doing to switch  — about a year and a half ago now — actually ended up working out pretty well.

Before I switched to the Actually a Crystal Crystal — and then to the liquid scented Crystal — I briefly used Tom’s in the Beautiful Earth scent. I was looking around the beauty section at Whole Foods one day because I had a gift certificate and found that Beautiful Earth actually smelled good and pretty light despite it’s incredibly vague name . I thought if I could use a scented natural deodorant, maybe that would actually work — there isn’t a chemical antiperspirant, so maybe I could do with some scent, anyway.


I started using the Tom’s and liked it fine for a while, even though I’m not big on the texture since it’s kinda gel-y. But I decided to try out the Crystal I had on hand, thinking maybe my body had adjusted already by using the Tom’s. And it had!

Crystal is a stick of mineral salt you wet and rub on your armpits after showering. I’d read online that it left you not smelling like anything, and it’s true. It’s really something. You do sweat, though. This isn’t an antiperspirant. But when you sweat, it smells like… nothing. Not long after I started using it, I went on a trip to Mexico where it was sweltering and thought, oh, well this is the real test, and it was totally fine. The other big benefit is less armpit stains on white shirts since that tends to happen more frequently from the aluminum in antiperspirant mixing with your sweat. Since I’ve switched to using Crystal, this hasn’t been an issue for me.


For months I was totally fine using the traditional Crystal and could have easily gone on with it, BUT! One day I saw liquid roll-on Crystal for sale, which means it cuts out the step of having to wet the actual salt stick each time. I’ve only ever used the scented ones, but the Crystal website shows that an unscented roll-on is also available. (It also shows cute new packaging that I’ve never seen before and new solid versions that look more like “normal” deodorant and apparently even wick away moisture.) I’ve tried the lavender, vanilla jasmine, and chamomile & green tea liquids, with the chamomile & green tea being my favorite.


The only negative with the liquid is that it goes a lot faster than the hard Crystal, which can last over a year, but they really work for me. I’m glad to have found something to stick with, and I would imagine that using liquid scented Crystal would help a lot during that smelly transition phrase (especially since I’m def not suggesting anyone go buy a Tom’s simply to ease into things). I hope this helps anyone else who is curious about natural deodorant. (Especially if you don’t want to use a paste, I’ve read some good reviews, but they seem very unappealing!)