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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Product Review: Mennen's Speed Stick Vs. Arm & Hammer's Ultra Max

We’re all adults here. And since this particular posting might be considered somewhat touchie for some, allow me to say that we all tend to get that less-than-fresh feeling at sometimes inopportune times—and I’m not talking about feminine hygiene products. I’m speaking about getting the best bang-for-your-buck when it comes to deodorant.
One of the advantages of having a position which becomes occasionally labor intensive (read: physically-demanding) at times is that it tends to test the limits of the products we use to help us remain hygienic. Last week I learned—much to the dismay of my nasal sensitivities—the limits of a named-brand deodorant.
At the risk of sounding like a television commercial, I thought that changing from the brand that I normally use would cut my wallet some slack.
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This is not to say that the brand that I normally used was bad (it’s actually far better to my downgrade), but trying to upgrade (to use the term loosely) to a better-known but cheaper deodorant was a bad decision. What I substituted for my regular far-superior brand was Mennen’s Speed Stick (it’s “Active Fresh” variety).

Speed Stick boasts slick television commercials—complete with the obligatory handsome male lead. But quite often, what sells a product is slick marketing, not the effectiveness of the product. And I found Speed Stick’s Active Fresh product to be anything but effective. At the end of my 9-hour workday, I smelled like I had spent a week in the “hotbox” on a Southern prison farm from the 1950s—not a condition you want to find yourself in on a hot August day. Speed Stick’s Active Fresh is not a product I would recommend if you are looking for all-day (or even effective) protection from offending yourself when you lift your arms.
On the hand, the deodorant that I kicked to the curb for this failed experiment in named-brandology, Arm & Hammer’s “Ultra Max” was and is the best-performing brand that I’ve used to date. I can both work and load a lot longer, without having to keep my arms down below head level! In fact, I’ve never had any issues with odor using Ultra Max. Yes, it goes on a little thick. But personally, I like “thick;” it kind of reassures me of being protected (call it “reverse-paranoia” if you will).  No, you won't smell like a field of lilacs in the springtime, but you will smell respectable around others.

The takeaway here is that slick advertisements and brand names do not what a good product make. My suggestion is to do what I did—throw out the Speed Stick and go with what works. Use a deodorant whereby you can get your money’s worth of good protection (and no…this wasn’t a paid endorsement).

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