* Prices may differ from that shown
===This sure smells===
I, as some of you may have realised, am a man. So is my partner. You can dress it up anyway you want, but that much man in one place usually starts smelling like sweat eventually. Especially if you are me. Add to that a slight love of onions, garlic, spices and anything containing any or all of the above and occasionally even I get a slight overpowering whiff drafting up through my collar and into my nose. Allan, while not smelling half as bad as his gorgeous man (me) still sweats as much as me. Which is a lot. What can we do about this? Well an antiperspirant would probably be a good start. Having thoroughly raked through my selection of "super strength 1000 hour protection" sprays, I was coming to the realisation that they just weren't working. Pit stains and smells abounded regardless of what I was using. Allan had had some success with a harsh roll on but also was ruining clothes and getting sensitive armpits from it and it didn't cover smells. Eventually we decided to give something else a go.
===Universe according to Unilever===
Sure, who seem to be called Degree in America, are a part of a larger company Unilever who have a lot of popular products. I never even realised how many of them were Unilever's! Ben and Jerries, Marmite, Flora, Wall's, Hellmans, Colemans, Bovril, Knorr, Domestos, Comfort, Persil, Timotei. All products that are common place in most people's cupboards; all products owned by unilever. They well and truly have their finger in the pie. Lynx, Impulse and Dove: all Unilever and this is not even touching the surface of the 400 + brands that they own.
They even have a Unilever foundation which is set up to help provide sanitation, clean water and many other things we take for granted. They are partnered with other charities like Oxfam, Save the Children (and more) to achieve this aim. Overall they sound like a fairly decent company and are apparently the world's largest maker of ice-cream. How could you not like them?! To be fair, I was won over at "Ben and Jerries"
All of this seems very nice but they have had their fair share of hiccups, being fingered by Greenpeace for causing deforestation and also being fined for running a price fixing scheme with another large company Proctor and Gamble. They did, however, admit they were in the wrong with the price fixing and also published plans to use only sustainable sources for their products by 2015. Shiny.
Now that's covered, let's get onto the product in question!
===Sure thing - The Box===
I can't even remember how we came across this product. Something tells me that it was a suggestion from someone in work. Either way, we quickly hunted down this product in the isle of Asda for between £6 and £7 for a 45ml bottle. My first thought was that this was a little bit steep and that it better work.
The product comes in a cardboard box just a little bigger than the container it comes in. There is a men's and a women's version of this; the men's version has a dark blue swish across the front and the women's comes with a pink. On the box there are a few different claims. It apparently offers you the most wetness protection available from Sure. How this was tested I don't know. Next it tells me that it has encapsulated odour fighting technology (which I can't seem to find an explanation for but I assume it just helps you smell nice) and lastly it has a skin moisturising ingredient. Fantastic.
Whip the product out of the box and you'll be met with yet more claims on the bottle. "Scientifically proven wetness protection" had me curious. "48h antiperspirant deodorant" made me wonder who would need a product to last this long. Apparently I was tempting fate and found out that occasionally you don't actually have time for a shower as you are so ridiculously busy for a couple days. "Dermatologically tested" is on there too, which is grand since I've got rather pissy skin when it comes to most products. Hopefully all of these claims would stand up to real life use.
Looks wise the bottle is very similar to other roll-ons. It has a white body with blue cap that simply slides on and off. While the cap is securely held in place it does come off very easily when pulled. That might cause issues if you have curious kidlings playing with your deodorants', so probably best to keep this out of the way with all your other beauty stuff instead of in the toy box.
On the bottom of the bottle there is a bit for you to twist round. As far as I can see (the bottle is only slightly see-through) the innards are made up of a cream rather than a liquid or a spray, when you twist the bottom the bottle clicks and the cream pushes out through the holes in the top of the bottle. The bottle tells you to turn the twisty thing anti-clockwise however it does work no matter what direction you turn it as long as you always stick with the same direction. Usually three or four clicks are all that is required to get a decent amount out of the bottle.
===Using and abusing===
According to the box for best results you should be putting this on just before bed. This gives the cream time to essentially soak in and go to work without you sweating all over it. It does, however, tell you that you can also put this on in the morning. So after a few clicks I rub the top of the bottle all over my hairy man pits for about 20 seconds each so as to spread the cream. I was concerned at first that my underarm hair would get caught in the holes on top of the bottle or that they would scratch my delicate skin. I was quickly proved wrong. The bottle is lovely and smooth and moves around your armpit area with ease. I've been using this for months and months and as of yet have had no injuries from it, which is more than I can say about some other "roll-ons". I would imagine its gentler on hairy pits as it doesn't have a ball, it really is just a smoothed out piece of plastic.
With some of the other, harsher roll-ons you had to wait for the product to dry before you could put a t-shirt on. In Scotland in winter this was not appreciated but if I didn't want my t-shirts ruined I had to wait around in the cold for ten minutes meaning also that I couldn't get ready. Thankfully you can pop a t-shirt on soon as you have applied this and it doesn't do any damage to your clothes that I've seen.
Being that this is a cream, I had thought it may leave me feeling a little sticky under my arms. After applying this cream, however, I found that it actually leaves me feeling nice and dry like nothing is there. Perfection.
The only time I have noticed the product is there is when I shower later in the day. I've found that when in the shower this can make the hair under my arm feel a bit stiff and sticky and my skin a bit tight. It's not painful but it's not a nice feeling. Most other antiperspirants do this to me too. This one, however, states on the box that it still works after a shower. Personally if I'm having a shower, I'm doing it to feel clean so I really wouldn't mind the product washing off a bit easier than it does. I found that shampoo actually works better at getting it to vacate my armpits leaving them feeling a lot less sticky and tight. Obviously, you'd probably be best to re-apply if you do decide to scrub till you are clean.
One of my main concerns is those horrid wet marks on my t-shirt. Not quite as bad as smelling as you can cover it up with a jumper but it can lead to some uncomfortably hot days in the office if that's what you want to resort to. I've never found an antiperspirant that actually kept me dry for very long since I sweat like I've been for an hours jog just sitting in a warm room. How I love my body. Sure does keep on top of any wet marks which is nice although I do have to admit there have been times when it's flat out failed. The other week in Primark was an example. I was stressing about the size of my waist as not only do I know I've put on a little weight recently, I'd been round three shops and all of their jeans came in at different sizes ranging between 32 and 36 waist. Add in an apparently broken air con system in Primark and three layers of clothes to deal with the winter weather outside and I was practically going through man-o-pause. So, in this extreme circumstance I was a little wet under the arms. Most other times though, it actually keeps me dry. More recently I was filming for a good few hours under five or six sets of bright lights that got incredibly warm. Despite the lights and the pressure, I got one tiny mark that went away very quickly on my underarms. Awesome.
===Pits of Doom===
I am mostly concerned about how I smell. I am very aware of being sweaty but most of the time you can hide the fact you are gushing a small sweat waterfall as long as you can cover the stench. This is particularly hard to do when you love garlic / are a man. I am both a man AND love garlic. Most other deodorants only end up giving extra floral notes to my garlic-man stench. This little bottle of joy, however, completely covers any horrid stench escaping my pits with a gorgeous manly scent. Sweet, with a bit of bite to it, a mildly spicy, fruity a bit like a really nice but mild aftershave. It actually reminds me a little of shaving cream but again, not as strong. Not only does it smell great but the scent lasts for a long time. Its strength does fade over time but it's still there. At first you'll be able to smell it when you're not trying to, then after a few hours you'll only smell it if you stick your nose in your armpit. You can even still smell it the whole day afterwards if you do the same. It kills any nasty smells before they even have a chance to escape the pit of doom. Yay!
This antiperspirant/ deodorant claims to last for up to 48 hours. Usually I don't need something that long lasting, however, not too long ago I found myself unable to get time to shower for two days. People were coming and going and not giving me a moment to myself. I had a million and twenty things to do at the same time and I was off work. This basically means giving up the luxury of showering to just get things done. Yay. Manky but yay. As it stands though, it gave me a good opportunity to test these claims and I would say that they are very accurate. The scent definitely killed any unpleasant odours the whole two days. It even kept me dry better than mostly anything out there.
===No pain, mostly gain===
There are other antiperspirants out there that work better at keeping me dry. The only problem is that these antiperspirants are practically medical strength. They burn if you apply when your skin is damp, they bleach your clothes and after a few days of constant use I found my armpits would feel raw and sore. It did, however, work even at the most extreme times and I never sweated. Sure, on the other hand, works MOST of the time but comes with the added bonus that it's a lot gentler on my underarms. The moisturising agent used must work as my underarms never feel sore or unloved even when I'm using this daily. While I don't like that it can sometimes leave me wet, I'm willing to compromise for pain free pits.
===Warm and gooey===
One thing I must mention is that if you keep this in a warm place (for example, my lunch bag at work) the cream tends to expand and ooze out of the little holes at the top of the tub. All of this is still kept nicely within the cap and will still be useable but you may want to be aware of the fact.
===What's in it?===
Normally I don't really look at the labels of stuff. To be honest, as long as it works, I tend not to really care much. If, however, you have an allergy or a certain aversion to certain ingredients, it's good to know what's in your little tub of armpit love. For those interested I've googled and wiki'd my little eyes out to find out what they are, here is the list, feel free to skip if you aren't interested:
Cyclopentasiloxane (a silicone used to waterproof and give shine)
Aluminum Zirconum Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (used as an antiperspirant, prevents sweat production and closes pores and is known to cause stains though I've never had any trouble with that)
Dimethicone (also called PDMS is water repelling and also found in McDonalds Chicken Nuggets...eww)
Dimeticone crosspolymer (another silicone for silky feelings)
Cera Microcrystalina (a wax derived from paraffin, I assume just to hold it all together)
Paraffin (try not to set yourself on fire)
Silica (basically sand, used to absorb water, also used in cat litter)
Sodum starch octenylsuccinate (a food additive used to thicken things up)
Mannitol (How manly! Apparently it can produce a cooling effect and is also used to bulk out cocaine if you want to be a sneaky drug dealer)
BHT (also called Butylated hydroxytoluene, this one is a bit dodgy. it has links with child hyperactivity and cancer. It's also used to treat herpes. It's used as an anti-oxidant in this product which will basically stop it clogging up)
Citric Acid (a preservative and PH stabiliser, fairly harmless and another that is used by drug users to help dissolve their heroin)
Sodium Ascorbate (basically vitamin C, but can cause bad allergic reactions)
Calcium Disodium EDTA (as far as I can tell improves stability)
Hydrated Silica (another mineral though I can't for the life of me imagine what it's used for in this other than the fact it is flame retardant)
Benzyl Alcohol (really no clue what this does in this product)
Benzyl Benzoate (I assume to improve the stability of the fragrance)
Citronellol (from rose oils, used for scent and as an insect repellent)
Coumarin (again used for scent, found in the Tonka bean and cinnamon, this is where the sweet scent comes from and usually smells like freshly mown hay)
Eugenol (an extract from essential oils of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, basil and bay leaves, it smells like cloves and will add to the spicy scent. It also has a ream of very worrying side effects if ingested in large enough doses. Another good reason to not let your kiddies go near this)
Hexyl Cinnamal (another smelly ingredient, this time found in essential oil of chamomile) Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde (is a synthetic fragrance. Not quite sure what it smells like though)
Limonene (used for scent, smelling like lemons and oranges)
Linalool (another scent that is found in lots of nice smelling plants. It is apparently floral and a little spicy)
And that is that. Excuse me while I blink a few times. Lots of chemicals and toxins. Probably best not to slather this on your meals even if McDonalds use some of the ingredients for their food. I have a feeling you weren't planning on eating this anyway, unless you have a very sweaty tongue. Do you? No. Didn't think so.
If you'd like any more info on the product or Unilever in general they have a website you could click onto for hours of browsing fun:
Alternatively, if you would rather write to them and you live in the UK you can do so using the following address:
If you don't live in the UK, you could probably use this address without too much bother since the postal system tends to (or is supposed to) deliver letters anywhere. If you live in Ireland, though, you have your own address to write to, presumably to save sending something across the water:
If you'd prefer to speak to them in person they also have a couple of contact telephone numbers you can use to achieve this:
Uk: 0800 085 2639
Ireland: 1850 404 060
Feel free to tell them I said hello if you do need to give them a call. I don't know them, but I'm sure it would at least break the ice.
This is, by far, one of the best deodorants I've ever used. It doesn't just cover the smells that emanate from my dark and hairy places; it gets rid of them completely. It smells lovely while it's banishing all those smells too! It doesn't keep me as dry as the harsher almost medical roll-ons but it makes up for that with the fact it's a lot milder. I do have to take a star off for the fact that it doesn't keep me dry in every eventuality but I really don't want to. I would definitely recommend giving this a bash.