In my attempts to clean up my beauty routine, deodorant has been the biggest challenge. I’ve spent a lot of money trying a lot of products… and most don’t seem to work, at all. I’ve know that sweating is good for me so I’ve accepted (begrudgingly) the lack of antiperspirant in natural products, but I’m unwilling to put up with something that leaves me sticky and smelly after a few hours of normal activity (maybe even less than normal – I work at a computer all day!). The few products I’d found that were acceptable were available only online, which is great in theory, but who has the time to be proactive about things like reordering deodorant? I’d finish the jar and then find myself at my co-op, desperately looking for a similar option and ultimately wasting a lot of money.
I’d given up and accepted that my deodorant choices would be less than natural… But it always came up when discussing natural products and I knew there had to be a better option. I saw Schmidt’s Deodorant at a local spa a few months ago – the shop girl raved about it – but I chose not to try it because I assumed it wouldn’t meet my expectations. Soon after, the team from Schmidt’s contacted me and asked if I’d like to try the products… I remembered what the woman at the spa had said, so I decided to try them out. Matt and I tested the products for about a month before I got back to Schmidt’s – I have to love a product to personally recommend it, and I wanted to make sure this line made sense for me. I was skeptical and assumed I wouldn’t like the product, but Matt (who hadn’t given up on natural products when I did) immediately liked it… it took me a while to get used to it (I still wish it came in a stick option!) but I can officially and truthfully say I’m a convert – I love this stuff! It manages the smell, doesn’t irritate my skin, and doesn’t stain my clothes. Easily the best natural deodorant I’ve ever tried. I’ve worn it consistently for a few months and am ready to reorder – but it’s also readily available in stores all over the country. The founder of Schmidt’s, Jaime, answered some questions about her background and natural deodorant (thank you to those of you who submitted questions via twitter!) – read on to hear from her and for an exclusive 20% off coupon code for the entire month of August!!
What is your background?
I grew up in Michigan and have an amazing family there. After finishing grad school in Chicago, I worked for a major charity there for several years, then made the move out to Portland. I worked in psychological treatment centers here while developing the product and meeting my husband; today we have a happy 4 year old son, Oliver.
What led you to start Schmidt’s? How did you learn how to make natural deodorant?
I started making personal care products for my family several years ago, and did a lot of R&D on various beauty products in the process. After sourcing and testing the highest-quality ingredients I could find, I developed the Schmidt’s recipe. It was really exciting because I had tried many natural deodorants on the market and they never worked for me, but the one I made did, and extremely well. I started sharing the product with others, and they had the same reaction–shocked and relieved that a natural deodorant could work for them. So I began selling it, and it was a hit locally here in Portland, OR. That was in 2012. Since then, the brand continues to grow and evolve, and we’re hearing every day from people who love the deodorant.
If you knew then what you knew now, would you do it again?
Even more so.
Why is it important to use natural deodorant? What are the concerns with conventional deodorants/antiperspirants?
The underarm is a sensitive area for humans, and we need to be careful about what we allow it to absorb. Conventional deodorants are not natural, and full of dangerous things you don’t want in there–parabens, phthalates, aluminum, etc. Furthermore, you often have to reapply them, and they may have a sticky or unpleasant feel on the skin. The deodorant industry has really been ripe for change for some time–the old ways of making it aren’t completely effective, and they can be harmful to your skin. People are ready for a change in the way they do deodorant.
Are there things we can do to manage body odor naturally? (diet, etc?)
A clean diet and staying well hydrated are crucial. Also, exercising will help the body sweat which is critical for eliminating toxins and bacteria that cause odor. For women, menstruation and stress often dramatically increases the degree of body odor. (note from Rita – I’ve also noticed that my arm pits seem stinkier if I use traditional (not natural) soaps – I’ve seen some people say that a secret to managing odor is not use soap at all in the armpit area, but I’m not ok with that… but when I use a natural, green body wash, I don’t have an issue.)
Is natural deodorant like shampoo, where you almost have to switch brands every year or so?
We have not found that to be the case with Schmidt’s. Our formula remains effective for an unlimited amount of time. Our bodies will, without fail, always take in things that are healthy for it while keeping it in balance. The great thing about the Schmidt’s line is that if you are looking for a change you can easily switch between our variety of scents.
My biggest issue with natural deodorant is the application process – it’s just not as convenient. The consistency feels similar to deodorant that comes in a stick – is there a benefit to applying with your fingers? I’d pay more for a stick form – is this something you have considered?
I cannot speak for other brands, but we package our deodorant in jars for several reasons. We don’t use any chemical stabilizers, which means the consistency of the product will fluctuate with temperature changes. We chose glass specifically because we hate seeing all those plastic applicators going to waste. Our jars are a more sustainable option and can be reused for a multitude of things! Lastly, in the words of our customers and the point I find most rewarding, is that the process of applying quickly becomes an anticipated daily ritual (we hear this regularly from men and women alike!). I love that a normally monotonous and mindless task can be transformed into an enjoyable personal routine.
Thank you, Jaime and Schmidt’s Deodorant! For the month of August, use code ALISTSCHMIDTS for 20% off your order. (I’m personally a fan of the Fragrance-free and Bergamot + Lime versions!)