Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant

This has been the hardest post to write because Schmidt's natural deodorant has been getting a lot of positive attention in the Green Beauty Community. After seeing Chesca’s review (Fern & Moss) I decided to order a couple of travel sizes. I went for Lavender & Sage and Bergamot & Lime. My experience of natural deodorants is limited and this is the first time I have tried a solid “paste” rather than a liquid roll on. 

The main ingredients in Schmidt are shea butter, baking soda, arrowroot and cocoa butter. Some people do report sensitivity to baking soda so I was a little concerned. I experienced very mild irritation but nothing of great significance. It could simply be from the action of rubbing the product onto my skin as I do find it is a little “gritty”. The scents are delightful and the Bergamot & Lime took me by surprise. I was not sure if it would suit my taste but I’m hooked and will look out for this combination in other products. 

Unfortunately, I find the application of this product infuriating but I am the first to admit I have very little patience. You need to scrape the deodorant out of the jar and collect the shavings into the palm of your hand. At this stage I usually ended up with half of it on the carpet. I was given the tip to roll into a ball (Thanks Naturally Paula) which does work as the product becomes tacky with warmth, you can then rub onto your skin. 

Once I tackled application next up was the stink test. I managed half a day at work and started to notice a little personal whiff, bearing in mind I have an office job and spend nine hours sat at my desk, I was disappointed. I don’t regard myself as a stinky person and sweat is only a problem when it's a hot summer day so I was a little shocked when I noticed I started to smell like Stig of the Dump. Okay joking aside, I probably was the only one picking up on my odour but it plays on your mind and I did become self conscious. The Bergamot & Lime failed me quicker than the Lavender & Sage so I guess my body chemistry is reacting to the essential oils. 

Now I know from past experience it is not unusual to have to re-apply natural deodorant because they are not antiperspirants. However I have to be honest, between the annoying application technique and needing to strip semi naked in the loo at work, I cannot be bothered with the hassle and conventional roll-ons involve less drama. 

I am sorry Schmidt’s I really did want to be part of your fan club. I certainly don’t want to put people off completely. There are many very positive reviews out there but I needed to share an alternative perspective on this one. Have you tried Schmidt's deodorant? What are your views on this product, good or bad?

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Monday, 29 September 2014

Favourites for September 2014 (Video)

Sugarpuffish Favourites for September 2014
Products Mentioned in this Video

National Geographic Magazine -
M&S Large Contrasting Purple Gingham Pencil Case -
Green People SPF25 sun lotion* -
Chilly B Lavender Bath Soak* -
Chilly B Mint & Rosemary Foot Butter
Pure Thoughts Soaps -

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Disclaimer - products marked * PR samples, no affiliated links

Thursday, 25 September 2014

To Review or Not To Review - #bloggerproblems

To a small company a popular review post can be of enormous value. It's one of the reasons I am selective about who I support. I accept samples in good faith. I do not take lightly the decision to publish my thoughts and opinions. When working with brands, I endeavour to keep communication open and usually provide private feedback or ask questions before a blog post goes live. 

A few weeks ago I responded to a request for bloggers with eczema to review a balm. I knew the company and I had brought products from them in the past so I was more than happy to volunteer. As I sat down to write my review, I remembered I needed to query the ingredients label. I emailed and enquired if the lack of INCI (ingredient only stated in English) was an oversight or did I have outdated packaging (I had agreed to accept a sample that failed quality control). I also did not recall this problem when I purchased one of their other products. 

I was surprised by the response, in their opinion the label was compliant (they had received legal advice). I directed them to the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008. The next email received proudly informed me that they had done their own research and referenced that the July 2013 regulations (EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009) do not stipulate INCI so they are not in the wrong over the labels. I am not surprised by the conclusion made, as they referred me to an unofficial website. However, if you research thoroughly, you will discover statements that the requirement for INCI remains unchanged. (In April I wrote a blog post on the regulations click here)

At the point where you get told "I thought getting a free sample would be beneficial to you, this has perhaps not being the case.” I am willing to throw in the towel. I would rather concentrate my time on brands that are not afraid of feedback be it good or bad. 

This company expects a review but I have been put in an awkward position. The frustrating part is the dilemma between supporting this company (as they do have good products) and fighting the nagging feeling that I can’t recommend a brand failing to meet regulations. Giving this company a recommendation is a disservice to all the brilliant brands I have work with who I know are diligent about regulations. The other sticking point is purely personal. I don't want to feel the wrath of an angry company because I have to be truthful in a review and they clearly disagree with me. I have gone there in the past and whilst my readers are hugely supportive and commend me for it, I'm the one that has to manage the furious emails.

This experience has highlighted to me that there are major flaws in how the cosmetic regulations are managed and enforced. Can the fact that a company is small and laws are complex really be an excuse for getting this wrong? I do sympathise to an extent but with the internet at our finger tips we can unravel most things. All my knowledge comes from asking people in the industry, reading books and the internet. I also want to highlight that if a company can't get labelling correct what other elements of the regulations are they failing to comply with? Are they keeping batch records or registering their products with the CPNP?

I feel the need to stress to other bloggers that cosmetic regulations are important. I’ve been informed that some don't care about lack of INCI. I understand where this derives from because English is easiest to understand, but the bottom line is regulations are in place for consumer safety. Consider this, you choose a product, you are happy it's suitable for your needs and then you mysteriously react to it. You just placed a huge amount of faith in that product because of the information provided on the packaging. INCI labelling, expiry dates and listing allergens protect the consumer and company alike.

I want UK bloggers, especially those of you who use natural skincare, to be more aware of the whole picture when reviewing products. Natural and Organic skincare is on the rise, we want it to continue that way and in order to get it on the shelves of big stores, companies must get regulations right.

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dr Bronner's Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray

Dr Bronner's Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray
Dr Bronner's castile soap has been a staple part of my routine for a long time. I have recently started to branch out and explore some of their other products. When I travel, I like to carry with me a hand sanitiser. Normally I favour wipes but this time I decided to buy Dr Bronner’s Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray because it comes recommended by my blogger pal, Rachel (All Natural Aspirations).

Pardon the pun but I found this sanitiser spray very handy. I am not a fan of public toilets, you are guaranteed a lack of hand soap and loo roll. A hand sanitiser obviously does not compensate for properly washing your hands but at least it gives peace of mind in these awkward situations. I was concerned the spray may dry out my skin but I did not notice any problems. It's mildly moisturising probably from the glycerine (Ingredients: 62% Organic Ethanol, Water, Organic Glycerin and Organic Lavender Oil). I am a huge fan of lavender so I love the fragrance. I also ended up using the spray as an air freshener and bedtime sleep aid. When travelling with cabin allowance it is nice when you can make a product multifunctional.

I think Dr Bronner's Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray is a great product for a good price (£2.99). It would be lovely to see it available in more fragrances because I know not every one is keen on Lavender.

Have you tried this product?

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