A couple of months ago, I received a package of “personal care” items from a company called Sam’s Natural. Personal Care is a polite way of describing stuff you use on your body to keep you smelling and feeling good. In this case, my personal care items were deodorant, lip balm, hand lotion and a bug repellent. Along with the box of complimentary* items, came the request that I try them out and then let them – and all of you – know what I thought about them. Of course I took them up on the offer. I love trying new products, and I really love sharing my honest opinion. So, after using them steadily since August, I feel like the products were put through a pretty good test.
When Sam’s Natural first contacted me, I had never heard of them. So I did a bit of research before I accepted their offer to ensure that their company was one I’d be interested in endorsing. I was happy to see that their products are all-natural, vegan, sulphur and heavy-metal free and are not tested on animals. I had never used an all-natural deodorant, but have been curious about how effective it really is. Here was my chance to give it a try!
This US company hand-crafts their products in small batches using their own recipes. I liked their simple packaging and branding which seems to reflect the company well. You might not care about branding and packaging, but I’m a bit of geek about these things and am always happy when the marketing compliments the products. Originally, Sam’s was developed for men and their web marketing really reflected this when I first started to investigate the company. But I see they have changed their website to reflect the fact that there is a product line specifically for women. To be honest, I think most of these products will work well for men or women. Well, except the beard oil. That seems like more of a guy thing to me.
Sam’s Natural does ship to Canada, with standard shipping rates. I like that the website has a shipping rate calculator right there on the shopping cart page, BEFORE you checkout.
So. How did the products perform? I mentioned earlier that I started using them in August. Where I live, this past summer was the hottest on record. Ever. And where I live, it’s a sticky, wet, gross heat. You know the saying – it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity that is the worst? Well, we had the heat AND the humidity. While I hate humidity, I have to admit the conditions were perfect for trying these products. If they worked well here, they will work well anywhere!
Spoiler: I loved this product. Made with a 100% natural lavender and sage oil blend, the woman’s deodorant also has “notes of citrus”. Generally, I am not a fan of many lavender-scented things and will avoid them. But this product smells of citronella. I couldn’t detect the lavender at all. I really liked that the scent was subtle. The stick is wide, allowing you to get what you need with just one or two swipes and the package size is generous.
The best part of the deodorant is how effective it is. Did I mention that it was really, really, record-breaking hot where I live? It was. And I went camping in that heat. The kind of camping where I didn’t shower for a few days. Days! And guess what? My armpits didn’t stink! This product is a definite winner in my books.
Coconut Lip Balm
This stuff tastes yummy. With a Pina Colada flavour, the Coconut Lip Balm just made me feel happy.
Paired with the humidity of our ridiculous summer, I really did feel like I was in the tropics when I swiped this balm on. But even more important than the delicious taste, it really had staying power. I found it lasted well after I applied it and did not have a waxy or sticky feel to it. I can totally see this product being a staple in my makeup bag. It was a great balm for my often sun-exposed lips. I’m very curious to see how it performs this winter, against the dry heat of the indoors and the frigid cold outdoors.
Wow. Based on this entire review, I am really starting to wonder why I live in this place. The climate sounds terrible!
Campn Stick Deet-Free Bug Balm
Of all the products I was looking forward to receiving, this is the one I was the most interested in trying. I really dislike spray bug repellents, and if I can avoid using Deet I would be a happy woman. While there are some things that I loved about it, overall this product did not work well for me.
The Campn Stick is just like a deodorant stick – both in the way it looks and the way it is applied. This is one of the things I really like about it. I found it super-easy to apply in spots like the back of my neck. I loved that there is no crazy haze of overspray with this product.
We used it on a back-country camping trip where we were in a small forest, on an island. There were a lot of mosquitoes in that small forest. The good news about the Campn Stick is that the bugs really didn’t seem to like the citronella-scented repellent. And I’m not surprised! The Campn Stick contains citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus and camphor essential oils. All of these are known, natural bug repellent. So the product did its job and kept the nasty biting bugs away.
Unfortunately, I think all those oils are also the downfall of the Campn Stick. The heat and humidity we were experiencing this summer were not friendly to this product. You see, once I had applied the repellent it turned into a slick, sticky goo on my skin. Dirt stuck to it. My hair stuck to it. Then more dirt stuck to it. And probably some dog hair, too. It just didn’t feel nice at all. I most certainly didn’t want to crawl into my sleeping bag with it on my skin. I ended up washing it off and using a spray repellent we had brought along as a back-up.
So, there are some definite bonuses to this product, just not when it is really humid. I’d be really interested to try it again in a different climate. I think I’ll take it along with me on a spring camping trip when heat and humidity isn’t an issue, but bugs are biting.
Crafter’s Hand Lotion
We have another winner! Sam’s Natural Crafter’s Hand Lotion promises to give your “hardworking hands some needed pampering”. It does! And here’s the really good news… you don’t have to be a crafter to use or appreciate it. We all know that being outside can be killer on our hands. My skin is perpetually dry and rough from using them for all kinds of outdoorsy things, like washing dishes on the campsite in cold water, or paddling a canoe for a while.
This lotion is made with lavender, peppermint and menthol and has a really nice scent. Remember I mentioned I don’t like lavender-scented things? Well, again, this product is an exception and has a smell I really liked. Sam’s is really rocking the “real” lavender vs a fake manufactured lavender scent!
The best thing about the lotion is that it absorbs quickly and easily without leaving a greasy feeling. I could turn the doorknob on my bathroom door right away after using it, without leaving lotion all over it. (Come on. I know you’ve done that, too.)
All in all, I was super-happy with my Sam’s Natural products! The prices are reasonable considering the quality and that they are handcrafted in small batches, and shipping to Canada isn’t crazy expensive. In fact, I have quite a wish list started of even more items I would like to try. I do encourage you to check out Sam’s Natural at their website here: www.samsnatural.com. Once you’ve experienced their products, come back and tell us about it!
*Thanks, Sam’s Natural for providing these products to me free of charge for my review! And for the readers who can’t resist a footnote…. please note that I have provided my honest opinion based on my use of the products in this review. I will not receive any compensation from products sold based on this review. I just get to keep the original products sent to me. Yay!