Monthly Archives

October 2017

Health and Wellness

Breast Cancer Stinks; You Don’t Have To

As most of you have probably heard by now, there are certain ingredients in most deodorants that have been linked to breast cancer; particularly parabens and aluminum. Some studies have shown increased absorption of these substances through the axillary (armpit) skin. Why is that bad? Well, parabens have weak estrogen-like properties, which can be a concern to some because excess estrogen in the body can lead to breast cell replication. On the flip-side, the estrogen-like effects from parabens alone has not demonstrated any relationship to the development of breast cancer, and estrogen we make in our body is much stronger than those from any outside sources.

Aluminum, which is added to deodorants for its antiperspirant effects (i.e. they block the sweat glands), has been shown to cause changes in the estrogen receptors on breast cells. Though, like parabens, the absorption of aluminum through the skin is very minimal, and most of the aluminum found in our bodies is actually due to ingestion (from foods) or other sources as well. In addition, other studies have shown no difference in the amount of aluminum found in breast cancer tissue compared to normal breast tissue. So again, we can’t really confirm (or deny) the exact link between aluminum absorbed through the skin and its effects on breast cancer development.

All of this being said, there are many people out there, including myself, who would prefer to not take any chances. With breast cancer being as common as it is (1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in there lifetime), why add any extra potential risks. So, in light of breast cancer awareness month, I decided to do a little self guided research study to find out which (of 3) natural deodorants works the best. I chose my three based on amazon reviews, recommendations from friends, and price. I wore each of them for one week (this included work, gym days, painting my bedroom, football games, etc) to see how they held up. I’m going to give you the pros and cons of each, and let you know which one I will be using from now on.

Crystal Essence:

Crystal Essence was created by Jerry Rosenblatt in 1984, when he went to France and discovered a mineral salt that worked to purify water and worked as a deodorant as well. He brought this idea to New York, where sales began at Henri Bendel. Now, with the success of his original products, the line expanded and today there are over 25 different Crystal Deodorant products. The one I decided to try was the roll on, which comes in several different scent.

I purchased “Vanilla Jasmine” because it seemed to have the most reviews, but to be honest I think it really just smells like some sort of lime concoction. I do tend to like the fact that it’s a roll on since it goes on super easy, but that also means it takes some time to dry, and my armpit area felt sticky for a few minutes afterwards. Lastly, I didn’t find that I stayed smelling fresh the whole day, especially not on days that I went to the gym (sorry to those who were working out near me). If you want to try it out, but you’re not sure which product to purchase, they do sell a trial pack to test out a few different items.

-Comes in 4 different scents
-Super cheap ($4.75 on their website, $3 on Amazon, for 2.25 oz.)
-Quick and easy roll on formula
-No residue left on clothing

-The scents (to me) don’t really smell like what they’re supposed to
-Needs some time to dry, sticky underarm feeling for a few minutes
-Doesn’t really last the whole day (especially not with any physical activity)
-Re-application needed for better effect

Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant:

Bali Secrets is an all natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free deodorant line. They’re a small company from California, but the products are available on their website. I actually purchased this deodorant because of the seriously ridiculously amazing reviews on Amazon. So while it was a little bit pricier, I still decided to give it a go. I tried the Aloe Delight scent, which to me, kind of just smells like soap. I also read great reviews about Delicate Rose, and Sandalwood for men, so I got that one for my boyfriend (it kind of smells like baby powder?).

Like the other roll on, it went on smooth and easy, but did need a few minutes to dry completely. I found that it worked O.K. Definitely better than the crystal essence (which I would hope, since it’s 3 x the price), but I didn’t feel like I smelled super fresh the entire day. I think I might try another scent to give it another chance, since the reviews really are so so good.

-Comes in 5 different scents (some for men and women)
-Quick and easy roll on formula
-No residue left on clothing

-Like the other roll on, needs time to dry
-Expensive ($13.99 for 2.4 oz.)
-I got a mild skin reaction to it on the last day

Schmidt’s Naturals Deodorant:

Schmidt’s Naturals was started by Jamie Schmidt in Portland, Oregon in 2010, with the idea of making products that would benefit her family’s health. Via word of mouth about how great her product actually was, news spread and voila- Schmidt’s is sold practically everywhere. They are also known for their all natural ingredients, great customer service, and even a recycling program, so with the motto of “changing the way people think about deodorant,” Schmidt’s is doing just that.

When I was first told about Schmidt’s, I wasn’t sure which scent I wanted to try (there are SO many), but when my boyfriend’s mom bought one for me that issue was instantly solved. She got me the “Rose & Vanilla” scent, which is pretty true to it’s title, and while I occasionally feel like I smell like a grandmother, I’ve actually grown quite fond of the smell. The deodorant goes on somewhat easily (I usually run it back and forth about 3-4 times to make sure it’s on evenly) and I swear it works better than my regular deodorant. Side note- Schmidt’s sells body soaps as well!

-Smells amazing and they sell multiple scents
-Literally leaves you stink-free all day
-Average price, but bigger sizes ($8.99 for 3.25 oz)
-Comes in small travel sizes as well
-They also sell a “sensitive skin” line for those with easy irritation

-Will leave some residue on your clothes
-Thicker material, not as easy to put on

I want you guys to know that this post was in no way sponsored by any of these companies; I did it just to spread some knowledge and help you save money if you want to go the natural route without having to try several different brands like I did.

Overall I can say that I will be a loyal Schmidt customer from now on. Not only do I love the fact that I don’t smell AT ALL throughout the day, but the scent of the deodorant actually lasts as well. I reached out to Schmidt’s Naturals to let them know they won my sniff test, and they gave me a coupon code for you guys to use – NATURAL15 will give you 15% off their website. My next purchase is going to be the Schmidt’s Travel Size 5-Pack, so that I can test out some of the other scents (and I’ll be using that coupon code myself).

Let me know if you guys have tried any of these before, what your thoughts are, or if you know of any other brands that work. Good luck and good smells!!



Health and Wellness

In October We Wear Pink

Regina George may have had it somewhat right, but it’s not just on Wednesday’s that we wear pink these days. The entire month of October is now dedicated to wearing the color in order to help raise awareness for breast cancer, and as knowledge continues to spread, more and more people are joining the movement. So what does wearing pink really mean? It means that not only are we showing our support by what we wear, but we are also trying to spread understanding of what the color pink really stands for.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with an average lifetime risk of developing breast cancer at 12%. There are about 300,000 cases diagnosed each year, with about 15% of those (40,000 people) dying from the disease each year. Another way of looking at it is that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer, and 1 woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes. In addition, contrary to what most people believe, men can develop breast cancer as well (though it is not nearly as common). Always keep in mind that screening for breast cancer begins at 40 years old (for average risk women) with annual mammograms, and that catching breast cancer early can save your life.

While I completely support wearing pink everything to raise awareness, I believe it’s also extremely important to know what else you can do to support the cause. For starters, everyone should educate themselves in any way that they can. Take this quiz if you want to see how much you already know about breast cancer, or go straight to the source for a list of topics and explanations (more info can be found on Susan G. Komen’s website). If you are over 35 years old, you can get an idea about your own personal risk using this Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. Once you acquire more information on the topic, you can help teach others what you know.

To help you all out, I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to help contribute; some are more time consuming, and some are simple enough to do in just a few minutes. I hope you’ll take a moment to read through them and decide which one’s you can do (aside from just wearing pink) to help me raise breast cancer awareness.

1. Make Your Own Pink Ribbon!

This one is super easy to do. With just a quick stop at your nearest Michael’s or Hobby Lobby you can pick up the items needed to make your own pink ribbon. I think this is fun because you can buy different shades of pink, or even patterned ribbon to really stand out. You can make extras and hand them out to friends, family, and coworkers to get them to help raise awareness with you!

2. Get a New Stethoscope

My motto is you can never have too many stethoscopes, and you should definitely have a pink one for October. That being said, wouldn’t you want to get one that also helps raise money for a good cause? Medelita has partnered with the American Breast Cancer Foundation to donate 5% of each pink stethoscope purchased during the month of October for breast cancer awareness. Anddd there are two different shades of pink that apply to the donation! (Mine is the “pink” one, but there is also a rose color)

3. Cook, Bake, And Eat!

Cook For The Cure is a fundraising partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen that has raised over $10.7 million in the past 16 years through purchases of pink KitchenAid products, celebrity chef auctions, and home based fundraising. Whether you need a new beautiful pink appliance for your kitchen (trust me, the Artisan Stand Mixer is a life saver), or just want to host a cooking party at your own home, KitchenAid is here to help you raise awareness. They also have this really cool program called pass the plate, where you make a meal and serve it on your special plate and then pass it on to someone, who then passes it on to someone else. You can also register the plate to track where it’s been- SO fun!

4. Join a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk or Run

Now that we’re done cooking and eating, maybe we should do some physical activity. The great thing about joining breast cancer awareness walks/runs is that you get to exercise and also meet so many awesome people doing it. If you’re not an avid runner, don’t sweat it (see what I did there), plenty of people prefer to walk instead. There are multiple options depending on where you live, with the most widely known one being the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life campaign. It’s super easy to find an event (or two) near you and sign up to help out.

5. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

I have always loved buying new sneakers because nothing makes me feel more motivated than a new pair of running shoes (aside from running off the pumpkin pie I ate last night, #ilovefall). Not to mention you can totally show them off at one of the breast cancer awareness walks/runs mentioned above (see #4). There are several companies that have teamed up to help raise breast cancer awareness such as New Balance’s “Lace Up for the Cure,” Sketcher’s “Our Walk Together,” and Nike’s Air Max breast Cancer Awareness sneakers (which are even on sale, but selling out quickly!)

6. Training Gear

If you want some other exercise equipment aside from just new shoes, there are plenty of options here as well, all that help support AND raise awareness for breast cancer. Under Armour has a campaign called “Power in Pink” with multiple different items for both men and women. If you’re into yoga, Maduka has designed project:OM in which 10% of all yoga gear purchases go to the Susen G. Komen foundation. And if you’re into football and want some pink items to help root for your team, NFL shop has quite a selection (the NFL themselves even auction off items worn by athletes in there Crucial Catch campaign to raise money for the American Cancer Society). Lastly, Ford donates 100% of net proceeds from their Warriors Wear Pink products to your charity of choice (and no, you don’t have to buy an actual car).

7. Donate

If you don’t have time to join an event or do some of the other activities but just want to help with a donation, you can join the hundreds of other companies that have done so. You can go directly to the American Cancer Society website, the American Breast Cancer Foundation website, the Ntional Breast Cancer Foundation website, the Susan G. Komen website, orrr the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. All are legitimate and not scams, and your money will definitely be used in a good way. If you want more information just click on the links to see what they’re all about.

8. Fundraise for the Cause

If you want to donate but also want to get others to help join you, fundraising is your best option, and there are plenty of ways in which you can do so (check these out too). A lot of the fundraisers available include walks/runs (like I discussed before), golfing events, art galas, sporting events, etc., but you can also create your own fundraiser if you want! If none of these sound super appealing to you, you can buy items in bulk from this wholesale site and sell them to raise money that way instead.

9. Get involved Yourself

There are research projects and clinical trials all over the world to find out more about breast cancer and how we can stop it. If you know someone with breast cancer who wants to enroll in a clinical trial, there are plenty around. You can also learn more about breast cancer research here, or you can attend events to hear what the experts have to say in person. After all, knowledge is power, right?

10. Social Media

Everyone knows that what goes on social media these days spreads like wild fire. That being said, use it to your advantage to spread the word about wearing pink and the multiple ways we can all support breast cancer awareness. I know my personal goal for the month of October is to post as many things as I can (without driving everyone crazy) about breast cancer and what we can be doing to help out. Use your voice to let others know what they can be doing too!

Now that I’ve given you multiple different ways you can help RAISE AWARENESS (are you sick of hearing me say that yet?), please please help participate in any way that you can. It is up to us to put an end to this terrible disease. I love you all, now lets kick some breast cancer butt!