Like many other beauty junkies, even once I find an item I love, I try out alternatives because I’m often looking for that elusive “something better”. Sometimes I find it and it become a Holy Grail item. More often than not, I’m met with disappointment. I’m happy to say that this was not one of those times.
Chagrin Valley is a company that I’ve purchased from for years. Their shampoo bars are one of my HG items, beating out every other shampoo I’ve ever tried, liquid or bar. I gave one away in my recent giveaway and the winner contacted me a bit later to say that she loves the shampoo bar, too. The company is not one of the big names in the indie market. They don’t have great copy or a well-branded presence. What they do have are AMAZING products at an awesome price. I checked out another indie company briefly for shampoo bars. Not only did their bars contain ingredients I found questionable, the price was double what Chagrin Valley charged, for a bar half the size! But this is not a review of CV’s shampoo bars. I tell you all this to point out that when CV releases a new product, I AM SO THERE.
I’ve used natural deodorants for about ten years. It started with the warning that conventional antiperspirant may be linked to breast cancer. Breast cancer has decimated my family. Three aunts and two cousins have passed away from it. It doesn’t run in our family so much as charge blindly through. No woman in my family has beaten it. Because of this, I take preventative care very seriously. When that warning came out, I did not even finish my stick of Degree. I tossed it and never looked back. Research later came out to say that maybe it doesn’t cause breast cancer. No one is sure. But there is no harm in natural deodorants, so better safe than sorry.
My initial foray into natural deodorants was disappointing. I don’t mind being somewhat damp. I do mind smelling. Some of the brands I tried, such as Tom’s of Maine Apricot, actually made me smell worse, which was totally missing the point. I finally settled on a product by Oyin Handmade called Funk Butter, which I used for several years. It worked extremely well, but had three drawbacks. One- Oyin Handmade had flat rate shipping. Even if the tins of Funk Butter were only $4.50, shipping was another $8.00. Two- Oyin Handmade is SLOW to ship. Weeks and weeks slow, in some cases. Three- Funk Butter is thick, and somewhat abrasive. Smearing it on would cause raw skin, so I had to apply a coating of coconut oil first. This worked well, but it was an extra step. Still, FB worked better than anything else I had come across, until now.
Chagrin Valley’s owner Ida was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, and decided to formulate an Organic Cream Deodorant because of the possible link. I ordered the product as soon as it became available. The price, at $7.25, is a little higher than Oyin Handmade’s, but I love everything I’ve ever used from CV so I added it into an order of shampoo bars. I began using it the day it arrived but wanted to wait until hot weather hit to review it. After our “killer heatwave” with a heat index of 110 degrees F, I feel confident in reviewing this product.
The first thing I noticed about CV’s formulation is that it is certified organic. It’s not easy (or cheap!) to become certified, and most indie companies never bother, but Ida has taken that extra step. I felt good giving this company my money before; now I feel even better. This is important even more than ever in the indie community, after being betrayed by unethical companies and sold harmful products. Chagrin Valley is trustworthy.
The consistency of the product, like Ida says, is silky. It’s not sticky or so thick that it can’t be applied easily. It feels similar to semi-solidified coconut oil, not runny but easily workable. I noticed no difficulty applying it, and using it on its own did not cause the raw skin that Funk Butter did. I can apply this right after shaving with no irritation. One thing I always liked about Funk Butter is how long-lasting it is. I could wear it while running, with no issues except a bit of chafing abrasion. CV’s Organic Cream Deodorant works every bit as well, even maybe better because of the lack of irritation. This is a workhorse product. I can apply it right out of the shower and wear it all day- even during the heatwave- without worrying about any odor. It is simply the best natural deodorant I’ve ever used- and I’ve used a lot.
I chose the scent “Citrus Blossom”, which includes essential oils of bergamot, pink grapefruit and petitigrain. Since grapefruit oil also has an additional antibacterial quality, I felt that it could only help in the… er… de-stinkification. I like the scent of this product. It isn’t overwhelmingly citrusy, but very naturally scented. It smells a bit like a citronella candle in the tin, but that does not carry over once it is applied. To describe the scent in one word, I’d call it pleasant. CV also has an unscented version, as well as Summer Rain, Woodland Breeze, and Mint Mist, for those who might not like the Citrus Blossom scent.
During my testing of this product, I did something I haven’t done in many years. I put it up against a conventional antiperspirant. Under one arm, I applied my CV Organic Cream Deodorant. Under the other, some Secret Clinical Strength I received in the mail as a sample. Every few hours, I did the “whiff test”. Don’t make that face, you totally do it too. Surprisingly, I found that I had MORE body odor scent with the Secret. What little dampness appeared under the Secret arm mingled with the strong baby powder scent, which lead to a less-than-desirable smell. It was, in one word, gross. The CV arm had more dampness- it’s not an antiperspirant- but the only scent I detected was the citrusy scent of the product itself, which, as I mentioned before, I like.
The tin contains 2 oz of product, which will last for a LONG time. The product photos were taken after using it ever day for three weeks, and I had barely dented the surface. The amount shown on my finger is all it takes for one underarm. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that I get more than 6 months’ use from the tin, and if that is the case, this product becomes more economical than conventional antiperspirant. I’ll report back once my tin is gone.
All in all, I love this product. LOVE IT. It has become my HG deodorant and I’ll continue to purchase it. Who may not like it? Well, vegans, since this does contain a small amount of beeswax. Ida has always tried to be vegan friendly, and the original formulation did not contain the beeswax, so she might be amenable to removing it for a special order if she is emailed. (This is speculation on my part. But her customer service is AWESOME and it can’t hurt to try.) Also, people who want bone-dry underarms might not like this, since this is only a deodorant. However, while there was more dampness than the conventional antiperspirant, it wasn’t that much more, so I would encourage those people to give this a try if they’re at all curious about what I consider to be a superior product to anything you can buy on the drugstore shelves.
Read on for product photos.