I’m always on the lookout for natural beauty and personal hygiene products. For example, I don’t believe that toothpaste formulas (any formulas, really) need to contain sodium lauryl sulfate in order to clean our teeth thoroughly. I don’t deny that “lab-made” ingredients provide some safety that essential oils can’t but if I have a choice, I’ll choose a more natural product. When natural personal hygiene meets small business like Nelipot, I prickle my ears.
Nelipot is a Slovenian brand that came into focus with their deodorant Nelipot Basic. A crucial element in their initial country-wide success seems to be due to the owners’ appearance in the television show called Štartaj, Slovenija! on the Pop TV channel, some time in 2015 or 2016. Fast-forward to the present, Nelipot products are sold at Spar and on Nelipot’s own website.
At the BBMU conference, I met the brand owners and had a lovely chat with them. As with (other) indie brands, I appreciate their end consumer-oriented business and the fact that they started making products for themselves first, before making them available to a wider audience.
The two products they gave me are a sample of their Mladizhen deodorant and the Shverkaj tooth powder.
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Nelipot Mladizhen, which comes from the old Slavic word ‘mladičen’, which means to be young and youthful, /…/ prevents unpleasant underarm odour in a natural and skin-friendly way. Thanks to its creamy formula it is easy to apply and hydrates the skin.
I’ve always had sensitive armpits, which made for unpleasant shaving experiences when I was younger. I would often end up with uncomfortable, irritated skin and sometimes even the occasional swollen gland. That’s why I avoid antiperspirants these days and use deodorants only – I don’t sweat much anyway. When I had the opportunity to test a natural deodorant, I was very happy to hear that there was a sodium bicarbonate-free version available. Sodium bicarbonate is a known irritant with its pH at ~9 (skin’s pH is 5.5) so I try to skip it if I only can.
And here comes Nelipot Mladizhen! It’s formulated with teens in mind as they generally have a more sensitive skin than adults. It comes in an aluminium pan and you can also get a free biodegradable spatula with it. Based on magnesium chloride, shea butter and cornstarch, the deodorant has a creamy white texture that is kind of hard in the pan but it warms up when you put it on the skin. It quickly melts and sinks in. It has a gentle scent (mine smelt of lavender and coconut) that dissipates soon after application.
I think Mladizhen worked for me because it didn’t cause any irritations. My skin stayed calm even if I applied the deodorant straight after shaving. Even though it didn’t last for the whole day, it got me through my work and I could feel confident when I wore it. Nothing is quite as bad as worrying whether you’ll start smelling during the day – isn’t it?
Mladizhen can be bought here for €11.99.
In the olden days, people in Slovenia used to clean their teeth using charcoal. This was how they cared for their teeth and gums.
A modern version of the good old charcoal, the Shverkaj tooth powder contains ginger powder, activated charcoal made from coconut shell, as well as clove powder and eucalyptus powder. Nelipot say that 90% of the ingredients are organically produced. It even has the Ecogea Organic certificate. Neat, huh?
Shverkaj does everything that normal toothpaste does – clean your teeth and make your breath fresh again. It also works to reduce dental plaque and is supposed to whiten your teeth with regular usage. I won’t go into much detail about the ingredients here because everything is clearly explained on their website. As far as my impression goes, I know that ginger, cinnamon, eucalyptus and clove work as antiseptics and activated charcoal helps whiten teeth.
I find this tooth powder cleans the teeth just as well as regular toothpaste does and it makes my breath fresh. You do have to get used to its taste because cinnamon and ginger are rather strong. Unfortunately, I haven’t used the product consistently enough to notice any whitening effect. I need to mention that I achieved the best smoothing effect when I used Shverkaj with my Sonicare toothbrush – my teeth really were unbelievably smooth. As for you, dear reader, I’d recommend you be careful with this, especially if your teeth are sensitive. Mine aren’t, so I was comfortable using this method every now and then. Otherwise, a regular toothbrush works just fine.
The only negative thing about it is the packaging. The glass jar is a great idea (and hey, it’s not plastic!) but the opening is quite narrow, so you have to fish the powder out. A sifter would be a great addition, too, so that you could sprinkle some powder on the lid without introducing water to the product.
All that said, I definitely recommend the Shverkaj tooth powder to anyone who looks for a natural product to replace their toothpaste. I will certainly buy it once I use up my toothpaste stash.
Shverkaj can be bought here for €12.99.