If you’re a parent you’re probably concerned about the products you use for, around and on your kids. And if you’re naturally curious you may have done some research on which products to keep in the vanity and which ones to kick to the curb. After taking care of the kids, maybe you even started to question the products YOU use. The first things I looked at were obvious: lotions and creams (especially sunscreen) and hair products like shampoo and hairspray.

But have you ever stopped to think about exactly what chemicals have been keeping you smelling sweet all these years? I’d be willing to bet most of you haven’t. Why? Because it’s part of your morning routine. It’s not something you think about, it’s just something you do. And if you’re anything like me, you assume that (1) these products are totally safe and (2) it’s not like deodorant goes on your face – how important can knowing what’s in it really be?

Enter Neige, creator and part-owner of Calgary’s Routine Cream. Working full-time as a busy mom, Neige had a growing desire to learn more about the chemicals found in everyday products that most of us take for granted. She started to create both home and body products – including household cleaners and shampoo – using safe, all natural ingredients, which she generously shared (and tested!) on willing friends and family.

After five years of experimenting, Neige developed a formula for a natural deodorant aptly named “Routine”. The silky feeling cream is free from aluminum, a chemical found in most commercial deodorants. Aluminum clogs pores and stops your body from sweating. While you might think this is a good thing, remember that sweating is a natural function of the body. Sweating is actually good for you! But like all of us, Neige was concerned about smelling like a caveman, so she tackled the real issue: how to mask that offensive smell using natural ingredients to kill the bacteria that’s responsible.

Friends and family were so impressed with her de-odor cream they encouraged Neige to share it with the world.

Enter Pippa, close friend and supporter of Neige and her wonderful product. With Pippa’s help, Neige expanded the Routine line to include three new scents (something clients were asking for), developed the Routine brand, and began marketing their wares at the Market Collective in December of last year.

“If it weren’t for Pippa, I wouldn’t have had the courage to make this leap. Her support, advice and business savvy have helped launch Routine out of my small corner of the world. None of this would have been possible without her,” says Neige of her business partner.

Of course, I had to try it. I have to admit that, as a creature of habit, I was a little surprised at the application process. I’m not used to rubbing on deodorant using my hands. But the ladies of Routine are happy to answer questions about their product, and explained that this is actually much more sanitary than using a pit stick and there’s less chance of spreading bacteria. And if you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. The glass containers that Routine come in are another – rather pleasant – surprise. Not only are they pretty, they’re also re-useable. Bonus!

I’ve been using Routine myself for the past three months and it definitely lives up to its reputation. Routine really works – I use it before working out and it stays with me, even during the most grueling runs. It even manages to hold strong after a day of jumping, tumbling and leaping with my two young sons – no small feat. I can honestly say that no other product I’