Friday, November 18, 2016

Natural Deodorant: Does it REALLY work?!?

This post is a little weird! For those of you that know me, I don't have a problem speaking my mind, even if it might be on an uncomfortable subject. But for those of you who are genuinely squeamish talking about deodorant and body odor, we probably won't be good friends HAH!

Over the last few years, I have been experimenting with different natural deodorants. A couple of years ago, I tried out Toms of Maine, and didn't like it at all. It didn't work to stop perspiration, and the scent was not strong enough to block odor. Before I go any further, I should explain how deodorant/antiperspirant works (for those who don't know). There are two types of odor/sweat blocking agents sold in stores today and those are deodorants and antiperspirants. Some of them don't contain both properties, but most do. Certain brands, like Dove, Secret, Mitchum, and Degree all contain the active ingredient, Aluminum Zirconium. This is the ingredient that sets deodorant and antiperspirants apart (There have been numerous studies linking this active ingredient to breast cancer and reproductive issues, but I won't go into that today, you can Google that on your own time). It also is responsible for darkening of the arm pit skin (which many women of color tend to get). It acts as a "plug" for the sweat pores in your armpits; first shrinking them up and then plugging them and leaving a protective "barrier". The problem with this though, is that because your pores are being unnaturally plugged, your body fights even harder to push the sweat out. This is why in recent years we have seen more and more of the "clinical strength" deodorants hit the market.

Deodorant on the other hand, is simply a scent stick that aids with odor control. It doesn't control sweat production in any way, but certain deodorants can place a protective mineral salt barrier on your skin. What I have found is that my body does not like antiperspirants. They don't work, and the artificial scents that come standard with most "traditional" deodorants on the market when mixed with my sweat smelled worse than my natural odor. So after trying Tom's of Maine and finding that it didn't work, I went back to the traditional option. After making the decision to go back to all natural deodorant, I decided to try various options to find the best one. There are people that make their deodorant at home, but I don't think that it would be anywhere as effective as what is sold in stores today, so I won't review any homemade products.

 In addition to my own personal reviews below, I highly recommend that you check out this "natural deodorant" review from  They evaluate EVERYTHING from toothbrushes, to chef knives, and the guide is really quite helpful. The team on this study hand tested 23 different natural deodorants and found the best and worst ones! Take a look, it's definitely worth it.

Here is what I found!

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

Pros: Stops excessive sweat (naturally with rock salt). It doesn't completely keep me dry, but it truly works better than anything on the market. NO WHITE MARKS/RESIDUE ON CLOTHING!
Cons: Unscented. What little sweat remains does cause odor as the day goes on. Doesn't completely get rid of the sweat. You have to let it dry for it to be effective, and you have to put it on while your arms are wet.

Crystal Essense Spray

Pros: Stops excessive sweat (naturally with rock salt). What's different is that this salt deodorant comes in spray form (the salt is in water), and is also scented naturally with essential oils. My favorite scents are fresh and natural, so I LOVE their Lavender scented spray. NO WHITE MARKS/RESIDUE ON CLOTHING! Sprays on easily.
Cons: You have to let it dry for it to be effective.

Arm and Hammer Essentials

Pros: The scent is GREAT! Easy roll on, like regular deodorant. 100% natural. Baking Soda as an odor blocker! Thanks Melanie for introducing me to this one!
Cons: No antiperspirant ingredients, not even natural ones. Limited scent options.

Native Deodorant

Pros: Great scent options, I chose Eucalyptus Mint. Not tested on animals! Rolls on easily like stick deodorant. I found this deodorant on Pinterest of all places! It is only available to purchase online, but you should totally check them out.
Cons: Expensive! It was $12. It leaves a grainy residue because of the arrowroot powder. After a while, the smell wears off and it mixes with my natural scent and does NOT smell good. My other deodorants do not have that problem.

I like to mix and match my deodorants, and they seem to work for me. It's important to note that when switching, it will take your body's sweat glands a few weeks to adjust to using natural deodorant, and during the transition process you may think the natural alternatives are not working. Just give it time! I promise it will be worth it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Flirty Women are RUINING Guy/Girl friendships!!!

They really are! Picture this: no drama, eating BOMB food, 1st hand honest guy advice and just hanging out...things that I love to do, but don't always get out of my friendships with other women. Sure I have some good girlfriends and we are friends because we are all low-key chill gals. But sometimes I really appreciate my guy friends, and I think they are just important to have, to the point where when I enter a new job, ward, etc. I tend to navigate towards the guys over the girls. To be honest, it does put a damper on my dating life. For the most part, they pick up on the vibe that I'm not interested in anything besides friendship right away, which is awesome because the alternative is them eventually hinting that we are just friends during a conversation we might have which is always awkward.

Image result for that space between a guy and girl friendzone
via Google

I have never once had one of my guy friends set me up with their friends which is LAME. Mostly because they are lazy. Other times because their friends are complete douche canoe's (which I can attest to). But they seem to always want me to set them up with my friends which is something I have no problem doing, as I love playing match maker :)

But hold up. HOLLLLLDDDD UP. Why, on Earth does it seem like every girl that I talk to these days has this overwhelming desire to falsely obtain that kind of relationship with every guy that they meet? Why do I have "falsely" bolded? Let me paint you a picture..

A girl who is well known by many as a flirt, decides that she just wants to just be friends with a guy. She sees the value of a platonic relationship but because of her flirtatious personality it never seems to work out. Why is this?? I think I have figured it out, and I will outline it below.

1. A friendship is built on mutual trust, openness, and respect. Most girls, by friend zoning a guy right away, have the best chances of maintaining that friendship. Those who don't quickly ruin it.

 "But, Natalie, what if I end up liking the guy later???"

First of all, where is there a rule that the friend zone has a one way door? It has been proven that the best relationships and marriages happen between two good friends. You can come out of the friend zone, whenever you want to. But to start in the zone is your best bet for healthy, lasting relationships. Some girls (who I am able to verrrrrrry easily identify) see being friends with a group of guys as a power play.

2. Imagine you are the only girl, friends with a group of guys. They fawn over you, buy you food, take you places  in your car because you don't have one and will do pretty much whatever you say. It might be nice, but only for you. It's sounds great, right?? Well what you don't realize is that you are literally taking advantage of people and that is wrong. That is no way to treat someone.

3. Another bad idea (especially with Mormons), is dating any guy that asks you out. For anyone who is confused, let me spell it out to you..

You don't need to go out with someone just because they ask you out. You don't owe them anything, and it is your time that you are spending. We all have the choice, and if you decide to go out with them, you might ruin a friendship or even friendships. I have been asked out by several guys who I have turned down. We were able to keep our friendship platonic, just the way I like it!

Now, it's Storytime. I am keeping the name of the person out of this to protect their privacy, and this story will hopefully help some people out there understand why they are in their current situation.

 I have a friend (well many) who is struggling with keeping guy/girl friendships. She is friendly. She is nice. She is pretty, and she is flirty. What happens is that she meets a guy, but leaves no indication that they are just friends. The guy then asks her out, which she accepts. Later when she explains that they are just friends, he is let down, but still feels obligated to maintain the friendship because she still sees them as friends. Then, the cycle continues with every guy in the group, give or take a few of them. Do you see the pattern here? Eventually, they all start hanging out, but then she actually falls for one of the guys. He turns her down because he doesn't want the same thing that has happened with them, to happen to him. All of it could have been avoided if friends had stayed friends! I hate to see my friends go down this road, but I am all too familiar with this scenario after witnessing it so many times.

The moral of the story is this: too often, girls want the friendship, but aren't able to keep their hormones and emotions in check. When that happens you can miss out on some pretty great friendships! Don't be afraid to let loose and just enjoy a solid friendship WITHOUT THE FLIRTING! There must have been something that made you gravitate towards that person, right? :)

Happy friending, y'all.