If you were to survey a random group of people at a yoga studio or gym, you would get very mixed answers to this question. For good reason actually because many people have either had a bad experience in the past or just don't know they should be using a natural deodorant to begin with!
Let’s have a quick look at the human microbiome to understand the science better. Every part of the human body lives in harmony with trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. We’ve all learned it’s important to have healthy gut bacteria (thanks to those probiotics that keep everything in check!), but did you know there’s a whole ecosystem topically on your skin keeping everything also in check? Everything is in a delicate balance. #Truth.
What does this have to do with deodorant? So, your sweat is basically odourless until it comes into contact with bacteria that thrives in your pits and that have been thrown out of whack by harsh soaps and cleansers, or other factors like stress, hormones, and diet. This bacteria interacts with sweat and produces thioalcohols that have a pungent, oniony aroma. You weren't imagining that onion smell after all!
Conventional anti-perspirants and deodorants rely on a variety of ingredients—they basically wipe out all underarm bacteria (the good and the bad) with ingredients like triclosan, cover up unpleasant smells with synthetic fragrance and phthalates, provide softness with propylene glycol, and are preserved with estrogen mimicking parabens.
And now to add to this, antiperspirants take it a step further by using aluminum compounds (specifically aluminum chlorohydrate) that work by forming a chemical reaction with the water in sweat to form a physical plug into your sweat duct to stop you from sweating. And we need our bodies to sweat out toxins to stay healthy! There is no such thing as a natural anti-perspirant.
Because the underarm area is packed with sweat glands and hormone receptors, there have been various studies researching whether conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are linked to serious health issues like Alzheimer’s disease or breast cancer. While the results are still being debated, experts do agree that using these products disturb our microbiome, which leaves us susceptible to more pathogens.
Add to this the fact that your underarms have one of the highest concentration of lymph nodes in your entire body, along with the neck and groin. These lymph nodes act like filters to keep us free from infection and there you have a pretty scary fact about the use of chemicals in this armpit area and possible health risks.
There is ongoing research about the effects of conventional deodorants and antiperspirants. But I figure, why take any chances with your health and that of your teenagers, right?!
Natural deodorants rely on a variety of clays, minerals, plants, and essential oils to absorb excess moisture and neutralize odour-causing bacteria. No funky bacteria, no funky smell! Once your body adjusts, natural deodorants can you keep you fresh and keep wetness to a minimum.
Switching to natural deodorant can feel daunting and scary. We have been there. We know. It’s common for people to try a natural deodorant for a few days, feel super smelly and extra sweaty, and give up. When you’ve been using conventional products for years, your glands and pores are clogged, and the microbiome is out of balance. It can take a few weeks to detox your pits and normalize.
During the transition we recommend keeping your underarms extra clean with natural castile soap, wearing natural fiber clothing (hemp, linen or cotton) for breathability, and eating clean. It can take 2-5 weeks, but we promise it’s worth it.
You can have a softer, more spreadable formula in a jar, and just a small amount is needed. It is actually more hygienic too because you only apply it once a day, with a clean finger or spatula onto a clean armpit, unlike a stick that you often need to reapply throughout the day. Just apply a pea-sized amount to your clean pits post-shower and work it in like a lotion. Hello, showin' some self love too while you're at it.
We have lots of athletes and yogis in both the female and male categories that use cream natural deodorant and swear by its efficacy moreso than any other natural deodorant and sometimes even chemical-laden anti-perspirant on the market. Hmmm....maybe mother nature really does know best.
A key ingredient in a lot of natural deodorants is sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), because it is extremely effective for the bacteria and sweat control. While most people are fine with baking soda, a small number of people may be sensitive to it. If you aren’t sure, we advise doing a patch test before using all over. A wash of apple cider vinegar before application may help. If not, we advise using a baking soda-free formula. Some sensitivities take a week or more to surface, and may manifest as itchiness or a slight red rash. Luckily, we have a baking soda free option to choose if you need it.
You can also decrease sensitivity by shaving your armpits the night before applying deodorant. Freshly shaved armpits are more sensitive in general so don't do it to be safe!
Our natural cream deodorant comes in 6 essential oil scents (includes the baking soda free version) plus an unscented for those that just want it plain. Not sure which scent is for you? We have a "Deo Trio" of our three most popular in a cute little travel hemp bag.
Want another reason to love it? We have paired our deodorants with matching body butters. Yep, how fun is that?! You don't need to add anything else to have a delicious scent all over, all day long.
Now that you've read this blog, want to know more about Clean Kiss Organics?
We create natural and organic products for active, healthy people like you! We proudly make Canadian, artisan-handcrafted wellness products that are simple and pure for your body, face, hair and home. Our specialties are plant based premium skincare, all natural deodorant (that really does work!), and products to tame and manage naturally curly hair.
We are 100% Vegan, GMO free, Gluten Free (and free of all unnecessary garbage!) and Leaping Bunny Certified (meaning we never test on animals and neither do our suppliers). We also proudly give a portion of our sales to help conquer cancer and other health initiatives!
Check us out!