This Week I Love …

500

crystal deodorant. YES IT’S TRUE I DO.

So the claims that aluminum content in antiperspirants causes cancer are somewhat overblown, but as this fabulous Hairpin post aptly points out, “rubbing a body-function-altering chemical into a crevice of my body every morning” might not be the best idea. And aside from aluminum,  you’ve got parabens. Studies are still in process and of course I expect you all to make your own decisions, but I’ve been experimenting with natural deodorant solutions for some time and since I know from Twitter and Facebook discussions that this topic is of interest, I thought I’d share my findings.

A bit about my skin and body chemistry

I have sensitive, fussy skin all over my everything, though my pits are relatively hardy. No breakouts or rashes from any deodorants I’ve tried, natural or unnatural. (Or supernatural.) I am naturally both sweaty and smelly, and even an hour without some sort of underarm product will lead to a locker-room-y odor. That said, I do not sweat through my clothes unless it is beastly hot and do not smell strongly unless I’ve worked out hardcore. Just sharing this to give you a baseline of comparison. If you don’t tend to sweat/smell, some of what failed for me may be perfect for you. If you sweat/smell more, my favorite find might not be strong enough for your needs/preferences.

What I tried

  • Trinknitty made me some of this stuff. It just plain didn’t help my stank that much, and definitely didn’t curb sweating.
  • Weleda Citrus Deodorant Spray: Man, I’m a sucker for citrus scents and this stuff smells amazing. It only does that, however, when I am sitting stock-still in a cool room. I still spray it in my pits sometimes just so I can walk around smelling orange-y. For five minutes.
  • Several Tom’s of Maine solid/sticks. My armpits LAUGHED SO HARD at these.
  • Same for two now-discontinued Body Shop options.

Why I love the crystal stuff

  • So we’re clear, I’m using the Crystal Essence roll-on pictured above. Can’t say it smells super lavender-y, but I’m OK with that. I remember trying the Crystal stick stuff ages ago, and it didn’t work AT ALL for me.
  • I hate to say this, but wiping a cream into my pits with my fingers? Not my favorite. The roll-on format is quick and easy to apply.
  • I can get it at the grocery store. Or the drug store.
  • It doesn’t cost a bundle. Around $5.
  • For me, it works. Unless it’s unbearably humid and I’m jogging,* I don’t sweat a ton and I don’t smell at all. And for the record, when it IS unbearably humid, when I’m about to hit the gym for a serious workout, or when I know I’ll be super nervous (TV and press appearances, etc.) I switch back to a traditional deo/antiperspirant. I love my crystal, but it doesn’t work 100% of the time.

Brands I’ve yet to try

  • Soapwalla gets RAVE reviews from everyone I’ve talked to.
  • Kiss My Face has gotten a few thumbs up from friends and colleagues, but I haven’t sampled it yet.

And there are many, many more options out there, including concoctions you can make at home so you can be absolutely certain they’re totally natural. I’m delighted to have found a formula that works with my unique body chemistry, but, of course, there’s no guarantee it’ll work with yours. I tried the other options because trusted sources stated that those formulas worked fabulously. And for some people, I’m sure they do! As with as any cleansing or cosmetics routine, I can only say this works for me, not that it will work for all.

Naturally (PUN!), I’d love to hear from all of you about your deodorant preferences. Anyone else seeking natural options that work well? Which brands and scents have you tried? Made any from scratch? Do you feel like the various studies about aluminum, parabens, and other potentially harmful ingredients are conclusive enough to make regular deo and antiperspirants feel perfectly safe? Or do you sweat/smell enough that nothing natural will ever work and you’d rather just stick to the products that do? Share your thoughts and resources in the comments!

* OK, OK, I don’t jog. Walking quickly? Walking quickly away from someone who makes me nervous?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

Related Posts

I Love My Knees

knees

Can we talk about knees for a moment?

Many years ago, a friend made a passing comment about her “fat knees.” I was about 22 at the time and utterly baffled. Previous to that, I’d never met anyone who felt self-conscious about her knees for any reason and figured they were not a point of bodily scrutiny for most folks. Oh, how wrong I was. And the older I get, the more women I meet who are so ashamed of their knees that they insist upon covering them with long pants or midi skirts at all times. And although most of these women are older than me – apparently knees that have passed the age of 40 are frequently assigned to the “eye-searingly gross” category – some are younger. Many, many women hate their knees. Women of all ages, sizes, and shapes.

After years of media brainwashing, I understand how we end up hating our bellies and busts and upper arms. I don’t like it, but I get it: There is enough anatomic variety and enough emphasis on how those body parts “should” be shaped to warp our views. Knee-hatred, on the other hand, continues to baffle me. I mean, have you SEEN knees? They are joints, for crying out loud. They are a body part where a whole bunch of cartilage and bone and tendon converges to enable locomotion. They are not supposed to be smooth and wrinkle-free. They would not WORK if they were smooth and wrinkle-free. There would be very little bending possible in a knee covered in tight, taut skin. And unless you have a very specific set of genetics and proportions, there will be a saggy little bit of bonus leg perched atop your kneecap. THIS IS FINE! This is how knees look. And don’t go telling me that celebrity knees are made of nothing but unbearably sexy planes and angles. All knees are a little smooshy, a little wrinkly, a little odd looking. They were designed to be that way.

I believe that my mother-in-law and father-in-law have at least three fake knees between them, and I’ve watched them endure the agony of knee-replacement surgery. Whenever my own knees get a little stiff or creaky, I am reminded to steward them well, because they are essential and somewhat vulnerable, even in a non-athlete such as myself. If you have the ability to walk unaided, you can thank your knees for that. If you can ride a bike or squat down to grab a fallen pen or bend to seat yourself in a car, you can thank your knees for all of those things, too. They may not be gorgeous, but they are little miracles of biological design.

Am I saying that you are required to massage your knees with essential oils and sing them love songs? I am not. Am I saying that if you and your knees aren’t getting along, you must immediately begin wearing mini skirts to heal the rift? Nope. But it hurts my heart to see this vital, undervalued, and amazing body part so maligned. I know that super wrinkly, saggy knees make people feel self-conscious, and if you are self-conscious about ANYTHING it is your prerogative to keep that thing private in any way you see fit. But I’ve met dozens upon dozens of women who reject skirts and dresses and shorts that look utterly marvelous on them, simply because those garments showed some knee. Wearing below-the-knee hems can make you overheat in summer, it can break up your proportions in odd ways, it can severely limit your shopping and dressing options. And hiding your knees enables you to continue feeling ashamed of them.

So, if you have been knee-shy in the past, I hope I can encourage you to practice a little knee-love. Your knees look like that because of motion, and that motion is a blessing that some are denied. Your knees look like everyone else’s, and very few people are going to scrutinize them anyway. Your knees and my knees and Shailene Woodley’s knees are all a little smooshy, a little wrinkly, a little odd looking. And that is completely, utterly fine.

Image courtesy Coba. A version of this first appeared on Huffington Post.

Related Posts

Two Stylists, Two Looks: Asymmetric Tunic

carly_alamode_sally_alreadypretty

My friend and fellow stylist Carly Gatzlaff and I have extremely similar business models for consulting with clients, but we also have very different personal styles. Naturally, we put our own preferences aside when working with clients and focus on their tastes and needs, but we definitely bring different ideas and techniques to the table. So we thought it would be fun and interesting for us both to take items from our personal wishlists, style them into outfits, then post them side by side. Today, we’re continuing this series with one of my picks – an asymmetric Eileen Fisher tunic!

Carly’s Look

c600x542

 

Details on Carly’s set here

CARLY’S THOUGHTS: A tunic length top calls for a skinny pant to balance it’s proportion. I am obsessed with loft’s darkest cranberry cord, the perfect compliment to any black or neutral top! Flip up the bottom of the cord, so it sits right on top of a lower black ankle boot. Finishing touches include two gold layered necklaces (huge this season) and a suede vest to create a bit more of a waist and provide some warmth!

Sally’s Look

c600x567

Details on Sally’s set here

SALLY’S THOUGHTS: I agree with Carly that a slim bottom is the best bet with a tunic, but I opted for faux leather-front leggings. (Love this plus option, too.) They’re also black, but the matte jersey and slightly shiny leather will create textural contrast. Also going for an ankle boot, but in suede since leather leggings and leather boots can look a bit odd butting up against each other. I would cuff the leggings under (a French cuff) so they hit at the top of the bootie – totally fine for there to be a little crumpling, too. I want to let the asymmetric hemline shine so I added a scarf for warmth (and a splash of color.) Finish it off with a slouchy, subtly metallic bag.

Definitely some overlap with these looks, but they’re quite different, too! Which one suits your taste? Or would you wear both?

Thanks again to Carly Gatzlaff of A la Mode Wardrobe Consulting, and keep your eyes peeled for the next installment!

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

Related Posts