All-natural deodorant challenge: first wave results

natural deodorant challenge - poor and pretty

It has been just over six weeks since I announced my all-natural deodorant challenge (though I actually started in early August). Here were the first 4 candidates, as well as my notes. I tried to give each one a minimum of two weeks’ trial to give my body time to adjust, but I couldn’t get nearly that far with some of them.

1. Alba Botanica Clear Enzyme Deodorant Stick in Aloe/Unscented — this one failed miserably. I couldn’t wear it for more than 2 days. Firstly, the deodorant was hard and sticky, and made my armpits really sticky, too. Both days I wore it, I was stinky by lunch. Sticky + stinky = no-go. I give it a 0/5.

2. Mere’s All Natural Naturally Absorbent Deodorant in Jasmine & Lime — I met founder Meredith Knechel at this year’s Trashion Fashion Show, and was immediately intrigued by her lotion-based deodorant. I will admit, the idea of rubbing lotion into my armpits seemed pretty weird, but of course you’re only supposed to apply it when your armpits are clean! Overall, it held up pretty well as long as I wasn’t doing anything super active. When I first started using it, I felt like I needed to reapply it halfway through the day, but towards the end of the two weeks, my body seemed to have adjusted pretty well to it. When I did smell a little, I think it was more because of the jasmine odor than my own B.O. I’m definitely going to try the unscented version. I was surprised with how little I had to use; this tin will last for months. I give it a 4/5.

3. Body Deodorant Rock by Crystal — My friend Beata has been using a deodorant crystal for a while now, and recommended that it be part of my challenge. It did take about a week or so for my body to adjust, but I really liked using this. It isn’t sticky or powdery, and doesn’t leave any residue, so it’s hard to know if you’ve put on “enough.” The only ingredient is 100% natural mineral salt crystal, so you just wet it and apply it to your armpits. I’ve found that it stings a little right after I shave if I have any nicks. It has no odor so it won’t conflict with any perfume or lotion you might use. It looks as if I’ve barely touched it, so I’m guessing this thing would last for years! I give it a 5/5.

4. Ada Rios Aluminum-Free Ladies Deodorant — I picked up this deodorant earlier this Spring and had been using it for a few months. It smells wonderful, goes on nicely, and isn’t sticky. BUT! I always felt like I had to reapply it at least once a day, even more often during the Summer. Plus, it has Propylene Glycol in it, which brings it down to a 2/5.

Putting these in order from best to worst, we have:

I’ll update again soon with my next round of challengers. Your recommendations are always welcome in the comments! :)

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Summer skincare tips & top picks

A few of my friends have asked me for tips on getting rid of acne or basic skincare maintenance. Skin is either too oily or too dry; there’s almost never a happy medium. We all have this problem (even me!), and of course it varies with the seasons. I thought I’d share my summer skincare routine with you, along with some of my go-to products.

summer skincare tips and top picks - poor and pretty

1. I notice my skin is the clearest when I wash my face at night. Right now, I’m using a cream cleanser I’m developing myself, but my favorite retail cleanser is the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and doesn’t include harsh chemical detergents that cause your skin to dry out.

2. I always, always, always follow up with my homemade rosewater and witch hazel astringent. I used to be terrible at using astringents, but now that it’s a part of my routine, my skin stays much cleaner. It’s super easy to make — you can find most of the ingredients at your local health food store, or online. After using your cleanser, put a few drops of the astringent on a cotton ball and swipe over your face (avoiding your eye area, of course). I sometimes use the astringent throughout the day to freshen up.

3. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Admittedly, I’m still working on this one. When I do remember to exfoliate twice a week, I get less acne. My favorite exfoliating masks are both homemade: DIY strawberry mask (strawberries contain salicylic acid, which fights off acne-causing bacteria) and DIY oat & cornmeal exfoliating facial scrub & mask (this one’s easier to keep on hand).

4. Traveling is no excuse not to take care of your skin! If you need a good on-the-go cleanser, try the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes. Infused with aloe vera, cucumbers, and green tea, these babies remove makeup, soothe, and clean your skin. Plus, they smell great, too!

5. Now that you’ve got the cleaning part down, don’t forget to moisturize, even if your skin is typically oily. One of the biggest reasons why skin becomes oily is because we wash it with all of these harsh cleansers, strip its natural oils, then we don’t bother replacing any of those oils. This makes our skin work extra hard to compensate for those missing oils, pumping them out and resulting in shiny, slick, yucky skin. Gross, right? So always replenish those oils — just like you would drink water after sweating. My favorite moisturizers are both from DressGreen: Purifying and Blemish Controlling Face Serum (best for drier skin) and Calming and Clarifying Face Cream (better for oilier skin). Like most people, I have combination skin, so I use these interchangeably. They’re both 100% natural and free of toxic chemicals.

6. Of course it’s Summer, so we can’t forget the sunscreen. Dermatologists suggest wearing sunscreen on your face daily because our facial skin is most susceptible to sun damage. My natural sunscreen of choice is Naked Bee’s Face & Body Moisturizing SPF 30 Sunscreen, which contains 70% organic content and is enriched with Vitamin C. It smells lovely and has no Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Laurel/Laureth Sulfates, or alcohol.

Be safe, don’t forget to drink lots of water and share your Summer skincare tips in the comments!

Bonus: want naturally beachy hair without going to the beach? Try making my DIY sea salt hair spray!

This post is a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #104 Summer Essentials.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.