Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tom's Deodorant

Oh, Tom's. Tom's, Tom's, Tom's. I don't hate you. I don't even dislike you. I really don't. I swear. So, it was with an open mind that I approached your deodorant. This one was labeled as a  men's deodorant with a "Mountain Spring" scent. So, I was looking forward to seeing what this would be like. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that it's been a bit of a mixed bag for me when it comes to cruelty-free deodorant. I liked the smell of the Herban Cowboy deodorant, but it turns out that I developed a rash under my arm as a result of using it. The Burt's Bees deodorant was nice, worked well, didn't leave a rash, but was just a little bit sticky when applied. So, while not a wholly negative experience, I also haven't one that I've been completely impressed with either.

So, next in line was Tom's of Maine Mountain Spring Deodorant. On first sniff, all signs were positive. Nice, not overpowering, not fruity or flowery. Good stuff. So, the first time I applied it was immediately after stepping out of the shower and drying off. I put on the deodorant, and a foam developed. I guessed that maybe I hadn't washed all the soap out of my armpit and this was why I was experiencing this lather. So, I washed out my armpit again, dried it out (making sure that my armpit was completely dry) and re-applied the deodorant. This time, there was only a faint bit of lather. After using it several times, I realized that if my armpit was even a little bit wet, the deodorant would lather up when I applied it.

OK, so how does it work? In a word, horribly. Though it says on the label that it provides "24 hour odor protection" and reiterates that point with (in an even larger font and underlined) "long lasting", I'd smell my armpits a few hours later, and they stunk. I mean, they really stunk. And I'm not a stinky guy. I'll get some stink going, but nothing horrible or overly noticeable. But after using the Tom's, my odor was offensive even to myself. And when you can't stand your own stink, something is seriously wrong. And to add insult to injury, that rash that developed when I used the Herban Cowboy deodorant was even worse after using the Tom's deodorant.

Since I've been testing out different cruelty-free products (which has been almost a year and a half now), I have only had to discontinue using one product (the Burt's Bees toothpaste, because the seam popped open and was toothpaste was leaking out the side), until now. There was just no point in continuing to use this Tom's deodorant. Not only was it not effective, but it actually made me stink worse than if I wasn't using deodorant at all, and I developed a rash. As I said before, I don't dislike Tom's of Maine at all. I have a great deal of respect for the brand and their longtime commitment to no animal testing. So, it saddens me to have to give them another bad review. But my reviews wouldn't be honest if they weren't objective. And in my objective opinion, the Tom's of Maine Mountain Spring Deodorant is just plain awful. Sorry, Tom's.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Every Man Jack Face Wash

Face wash is not an easy thing to find. Well, let me rephrase that. Face wash - that isn't skin-clearing (meaning it contains 2% salicylic acid), isn't a face scrub, and isn't prohibitively expensive - is not an easy thing to find. Considering that I wanted to pay less than $15 for 3oz., I was left with very few choices. One of the few was a face wash from Every Man Jack. I'd been looking to try new brands, but that really wasn't an option in this case. So, I grabbed the tube of Every Man Jack hydrating face wash (fragrance free), making sure not to grab one of the skin-clearing tubes, since there was very little difference in their appearance.

I admit it, I like fragrance. Minty, flowery, fruity, something. I'm a sucker for it. I like to breathe in a nice refreshing scent. So, I wasn't thrilled about having a fragrance-free face wash, but it's not a deal-breaker either.

Performance-wise, the Every Man Jack face wash is outstanding. Nice foaming action, rinses off clean, and leaves my face feeling oil-free but hydrated and completely clean. So, outside of the fragrance thing, it's perfect. And when I think about it, not having fragrance is probably much better for my skin anyway. That doesn't mean I'm now going to be a fragrance-free guy from here on out, but I'm not opposed to it either. But this is truly a great product. No real downside at all. Given the scarcity of options in the face wash category, I'm sure I'll be buying this one again.

**Update - July, 2014 **

Sadly, it looks like this product may have been discontinued as I'm no longer finding it on Amazon or the Every Man Jack website. But it looks like they do still make the Signature Mint Face Wash. Though I haven't yet tried this one, I do like their Signature Mint scent and I'm a big fan of the unscented face wash, so I'm eager to give this one a try.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Burt's Bees Deodorant for Men

On the heels of my experience with the Herban Cowboy Deodorant, which was my first foray into cruelty-free deodorant, I was a little bit wary. I liked the Herban Cowboy, but it did aggravate the skin around my armpits. So, I was curious to see how my skin would react to a different brand of deodorant. Next up was Burt's Bees Deodorant for Men

My experience with Burt's Bees products has been a bit less-than-stellar, so I was hoping that this might be the one to turn the tide. It has a nice woodsy sort of smell, which was a good masculine scent. The texture is a bit sticky, almost. It didn't flake off or leave residue, but it certainly didn't feel like it was going on smooth. I don't know if it was the beeswax that produced this texture but it wasn't what I was expecting, and I can't say I'm really a fan. Once it's on, however, it doesn't feel sticky at all, so it's really only an issue during application.

As for the most important factor, which is its effectiveness as a long-lasting deodorant, I was very pleased with the results. My pits smelled nice all day, so job well done there. I did notice that, on, some reviewers complain that it didn't offer lasting odor protection, which was not my experience at all. My guess is that depending on a person's individual body chemistry, they may experience different results. Because it definitely did the trick for me.

As an added bonus, I had absolutely none of the skin irritation issues that I experienced with the Herban Cowboy deodorant, which was a huge relief. I don't yet have enough information to know why I was experiencing it with one and not the other, but I'd like to figure that out. All things considered, I'm glad to say that I am pleased with the Burt's Bees deodorant for men. Other than the stickiness issue, it performed very well.