For many of our loyal MMT'ers our deodorant cream is a daily staple in their body care regime. Our all-natural, non-toxic cream is effective and the ingredients are recognizable; it’s a win-win right? Well, throughout the years, we’ve taken note of the few customers that have loved the deodorant but weren’t able to use it because of baking soda sensitivity. And we listened.
Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is a chemical compound that can be mined naturally as well as commercially produced. Due to it’s salty, alkaline properties, it’s great for inhibiting the growth of bacteria but it can also be a bit irritating for sensitive skin.
In the research and development to make an effective, natural, aluminum-free and baking soda free alternative to our original recipe, we utilized magnesium hydroxide. My grandmother had told me a story about using Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) as a teenager. Not having enough money to buy deodorant for her and her four sisters, my great-grandmother had the girls put Milk of Magnesia on their underarms. It turns out, magnesium helps to balance pH and so can be highly effective to keep you fresh throughout the day.
So what does this mean? Your skin is naturally acidic, and baking soda and magnesium hydroxide are alkaline- that means that they sort of “level out” (i.e. balance) the environment of your underarms. The bacteria that lives under your arms and feed on your skin’s natural secretions are the odor causing culprits. While antiperspirants keep you from sweating and thus starve the bacteria, things like baking soda, antibacterial essential oils and magnesium hydroxide just make the armpit an unpleasant place to live for the bacteria- leading to less bacteria and less odor.
Everyone’s body is different- the pH under your arms is determined by your diet, your daily activity, your emotions, your hormones, your genes (you get it)- this means that a deodorant that works for one may not work for another. For some, with consistent use of baking soda, the skin can become too alkaline (think salty) and get dry and sensitive.
Our new recipe uses dietary magnesium, a mineral supplement required by every cell in the body for various metabolic processes and often used for upset stomachs and heart burn. Magnesium is not the only star here. Combined with nourishing plant oils and butters, arrowroot powder and citrus-ey essential oils, a pea-sized amount under each arm keeps you smelling fresh throughout the day.
This deodorant does NOT soak up scent or sweat. The arrowroot has a teeny bit of drying power but none of these ingredients will block your sweat glands, so sweating will happen. Sorry, a healthy sweat-free option is not available- ‘cause sweating is IMPORTANT.
We tested this recipe riding our bikes, doing yoga, hiking and braving the concrete urban jungle of Brooklyn- and we can confidently say that our new baking soda free deodorant is just as effective as our classic recipe. Try it here.
One of our co-founders, Tara, put together a DIY Deodorant Workshop hosted by the Detox Market in Toronto, Canada. She shared valuable information about what kind of ingredients make for great deodorants, and how those ingredients work so your armpits can do their thing.