Thursday, January 20, 2011

Herban Cowboy Deodorant

I hadn't really realized how long a stick of deodorant lasts until I decided to completely make the switch to products made by companies that don't test on animals. I've gone through several bottles of body wash, a number of shampoos, face wash, shaving cream, and toothpaste, all while working off the same stick of Old Spice deodorant. So, finally the time came when I could finally see the little plastic platform beneath the cake of deodorant, and I actually got excited that I was about to step into new territory. I did some poking around on Amazon and there were some very solid review for Herban Cowboy, so that's what I was going to go with next. I've been using it for about a week now and first impressions are that it's pretty impressive. The first use was a little rocky, however. Like some deodorants, it was flat at the top (rather than rounded), so when I first applied it, those hard corners broke off in my armpit rather than pressing down and forming a rounded edge. So I was concerned that I might be dealing with a flaky mess of a deodorant that would be perpetually leaving chunks of itself in my pits. But that concern was quickly allayed after subsequent uses. It went on smooth with no flaking at all. Now, the main concern about deodorant is, of course, its effectiveness in actually deodorizing. And in this area, I think Herban Cowboy's Dusk really shines. Though I kind of enjoy some of the more floral scents in my body washes, I really prefer to have a more masculine scent with my deodorant. I don't really have any solid logic behind that preference, but for whatever reason, that's what I like. I had only tried one cruelty-free deodorant in the past, which was Tom's (of Tom's Natural Toothpaste fame). I was in a pinch and needed a deodorant, and was in a Whole Foods, and Tom's was the only brand I saw. So, I grabbed one (I think it was a peach scent), and it did a fine job of keeping me stink-free, though the scent just didn't work for me. So, I was excited about Herban Cowboy's offerings of more traditional masculine scents. The Dusk scent reminds me of the first stick of deodorant I ever used, which was an Old Spice musk scent (I believe), which brought back fond memories. But the ultimate test is not how it smells when first applied, but how it smells at the end of the day. And after a solid pit check at day's end, I still got a nose-full of musk, so a solid success in that regard. It doesn't, however, go on quite as light as Old Spice does, as I tend to feel a slight bit of residue after applying it, though not enough to be annoying. All in all, I am very pleased with Herban Cowboy's deodorant and wouldn't hesitate buying it again. I wouldn't call it perfect, but I would certainly put it in the very good category.

**Update** I've now moved on to a new deodorant, but I did feel obligated to report that my skin around my armpits had been a bit aggravated while I was using Herban Cowboy. I had to chalked it up to the fact that I had started running again on a regular basis, and figured that my shirt, or the running motion was aggravating the area. However, after moving to my new deodorant, the aggravation completely went away. I'm not going to say that, without a doubt, the Herban Cowboy was responsible for this, but I'm inclined to believe that.
has now become...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Burt's Body Wash

I really hadn't paid much attention to Burt's Bees, or the number of skin care products they make. In fact, I can't honestly say that I was aware they produced more than lip balm, but now that I've taken a look at their website, the number of products they offer is astounding. They even have a dedicated line of men's care products which, as I mentioned in my previous post, is nice and somewhat uncommon to find among natural, cruelty-free skin care products. In need of new body wash after finishing off my bottle of Every Man Jack, I purchased a bottle of Burt's Natural Skin Care for Men Body Wash. I've been using it for three days now, and I'm still not sure what I think about it. As with the Every Man Jack body wash, the Burt's for men body wash has a distinctly different scent than the more floral scented ones that I'd become accustomed to. Though, unlike the somewhat musky aroma of Every Man Jack, the Burt's body wash smells like an interesting combination of citrus and pine
(though the product description suggests that it's likely fir needle oil rather than pine that I'm smelling). Honestly, I don't know if I like it or not. There's something very refreshing about it, but the combination of those two scents is dangerously close to a patchouli-like scent, which I absolutely hate. Patchouli, in my opinion, is one of the worst, most offensive aromas known to man. Now, I'm not saying that this smells just like patchouli, but I had to check the ingredients to make sure it wasn't hiding in there (it's not). So, I'm mixed on this. It's growing on me a little, but after using it for three days I can't yet say I'm a fan. Maybe once I've gone through the bottle, I'll have changed my tune and, if I do, I'll be sure to post an update.

I will say that it does do a great job cleaning my body, and I appreciate that my skin is never left feeling oily. It may be among the best of the body washes I've tried in that respect, which is certainly what it promises in its product description: "Get an intense clean with this naturally invigorating body wash that cleans away dirt and odor, leaving skin refreshed. Coconut, sunflower and citrus oils cleanse while cypress and fir oils energize for skin that looks, smells, and feels its natural best."

This is certainly why I'm mixed on the Burt's body wash for men. It delivers an outstanding clean with a smell that doesn't really work for me. But scents are really a subjective thing, and many other reviewers seem to like it. So, I would definitely suggest people to give it a good sniff first. And if you like what you smell, it's well worth buying.