You know when you think you've discovered something and you have this amazing secret that you want to share with everyone you know… and then you realize that everyone you know has also discovered that thing and then you form this amazing club of in-the-know people who just get it?I've got two words: Schmidt's Naturals.
I posted this to Instagram and was overwhelmed by the number of people who told me they also love it and know that something so small can change your life (and I'm not being hyperbolic about this!).
Earlier this year, when a friend encouraged me to try my first stick of Schmidt's, I scoffed and said, "If a men's deodorant won't help me, your hippie stuff certainly won't." She told me to shut up and try it, and I did. It is amazing. I'm such a superfan, I called up Jaime Schmidt and made her tell me all about the deodorant and how she started the company. Some fun facts from our conversation:
- It really works. Really. This is the first summer I haven't been worried about sweating through my clothes. Even though it's not marketed as an anti-perspirant, the plant-based powders contained in the deodorant absorb wetness! "There's a stigma attached to natural deodorants—most people think they don't work, either based on their own experiences or general assumptions," says Jaime. "And it's true that many deodorants do lack in their ability to control odor and help keep the underarms dry. We've has solved this frustration by offering a high-performance product without the aluminum or other controversial chemicals."
- She started in Portland in 2010 with lotions, sunscreens and foot treatment bars that she sold at farmer's markets and street festivals, but the deodorant quickly gained a cult following. "At one event, a customer ran over and asked to shake my hand. He told me he knew I'd be famous one day because the deodorant was so amazing and he wanted to be able to say he had met me in person. I've also been asked to smell a lot of strangers' armpits!" Jaime says.
- The deodorant doesn't use fillers—no water—so every single ingredient in the product is designed to be effective, which means you can actually use less.
- It may take a little getting used to. "The texture of the deodorant fluctuates with the temperature. It warms on with body heat, so you may need to let it soften a bit against your skin before applying it," says Jaime.
- It was originally only sold in pots. There's even a jar Recycling Club. Recycle five jars through their web site, get a new deodorant free.
- As the company was preparing to go into mass retailers—they're now in Whole Foods, Target and Kroger, among others—demand for stick deodorant grew. So Jaime spent endless hours perfecting the formula. She was initially resistant, but now she's glad to reach as many people as possible.
- They don't smell like air freshener. I prefer Ylang-Ylang + Calendula or Bergamot + Lime but none of them are heavily fragranced or perfume-y like a lot of deodorants. "I first got into deodorant making as a hobby, and what I've always enjoyed most is coming up with the perfect fragrance blends. There's a tie to self-expression too. Just like our selection of perfume, makeup, or clothing, I think one's choice in deodorant scent is often a reflection of mood or style," says Jaime. "For me, one day I'll use the Rose + Vanilla jar, and the next I'll switch to the Charcoal + Magnesium stick. If you saw my vanity full of so many deo options, you might wonder about me!"
- Jaime teased that she also has some new products in the works but she wouldn't give me any more details. All I know is that if they're as good as the deodorant, she has a superfan for life. (Though I draw the line at asking her to sniff my pits.)
BUY NOW: Schmidt's Deodorant, $10; jet.com