Cheerio and apologies for the radio silence. Suddenly things started piling up on my plate and messed up with my carefully crafted scheduling. But hey, I’m here with a London edition for pits, lips and legs. I did a short visit this weekend, part pleasure, part work. I miss the UK terribly and the looming Brexit does very little to alleviate the pain. Every visit since about 2016 has been clouded by the inevitable “is this the last time I’m doing this without a bloody visa?”
Anyway. Was lovely, as always. Books were purchased, of which later, as were beauty products. Here’s the first batch:
The Botanist Deodorant by Corpus
Finding a good, all-natural deodorant can be a full-time job, and also a royal pain in the ass. Lots of trial and error, not all of it pretty. Why go through such unnecessary bother as the world is full of non-natural deodorants that actually work, you ask.
I don’t know. Maybe to fill the gaping hole in my soul or otherwise find meaning to my life? I don’t have any specific issues with “nasties” or toxins in cosmetics or beauty products, but am curious about many things in general and natural deodorants in particular. I’ve tried many and have come to the following conclusions:
– A crystal does not work for me. It’s basically potassium alum (natural mineral salt) that looks like a crystal. It usually does not have anything else added, especially if it is marketed as “natural”. You moisten the crystal and apply. It’s supposed to remove the odour. It didn’t. It never said it would keep my armpits dry, and it didn’t.
– Baking soda can cause a reaction. Because natural deodorants don’t contain aluminium or antiperspirants, they need to have something to stop the moistness and kill the bacteria. Many natural brands use baking soda for these purposes. I experienced notable irritation after using a stick-deodorant that contained baking soda. Many say that any reaction will subside once the skin gets used to it. I did not want to wait for this to happen, and also had to go about two weeks without any deodorant because the skin in my armpits was so sore. This happened during last year’s week-long canicule. It was a nightmare.
– Natural deodorant creams contain oils that soil everything they come into contact with. Applying deodorant with one’s fingers is one thing. Having the said deodorant peel into small balls all over armpits is another. Having these greasy balls soil the underarms of every single t-shirt they come into contact with is not acceptable. Also, I was testing one that was supposed to have a fresh lavender scent. Two hours in I smelled like moth repellent.
So imagine my delight when I came across an American brand Corpus who do all-natural deodorants that smell sophisticated, don’t contain coconut oil or baking soda, come in a stick and do their job? Wait, there’s more: the packaging (which is lush) is manufactured by renewable solar and hydroelectric energy. How’s that for a speed-stick? I have one in Le Botaniste (vetiver, geranium, petitgrain) and in Third Rose (rose, Italian mandarin, cedar root) and they have both been road-tested in real-life conditions in a tube full of sweaty Londoners, followed by lugging my Waterstone’s haul in the sweltering heat of +30c. Did the job. Totally beautiful.
Olio e Osso lipbalm. I bought it not only because I needed a lip balm, but also because the packaging is different and fresh, and the product is all-natural so I don’t need to worry how much of that stuff I end up actually eating. Shea-oil based with a dash of citrus-fruit.
Express-o Scrub by Frank Body.
I have used their original coffee body scrub, which is a very nice product, but nightmarishly messy to use. It’s basically ground coffee beans mixed with coconut oil that you scrub onto the skin. I like the smell and the grit, but man does it mess up the bathroom. Maybe customers have given feedback, because there’s a new product in town, which is basically very much the same deal, but comes in a creamy format, in a container bag that reseals properly, and does not leave your bath-towels looking like you’ve had an uncontrollable bout of diarrhoea.
So, for getting your pins ready for the sun, this is a nice one. In all honesty, most of the time I’m too lazy to fuss with scrubs and such, and just go for my regular shower gel + exfoliating mitt combination. But when a scrub is called for, Frank Body do decent ones.