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Natural Deodorant 101

Meow Meow Tweet deodorant sticks laying on a white marble background with several wildflowers below.

Everyone’s body chemistry is different. Your personal body odor is determined by your diet, your hormones, your genetics, your lifestyle, your mood, your wardrobe… you get it. What works for one person in the deodorant department, may not work for another. And if you’re here… you’re looking for a natural deodorant OR you’ve found something (congratulations!).

Why do I have body odor to begin with?

Basically your skin is covered with trillions of little microbes, known as your “skin flora.” These little cuties are one of your skin’s first defenses against infection and can actually help your immune system. And, they don’t smell. Neither does your sweat! It’s the combination of the two that produce odor. The apocrine glands (located in your underarms and other tender parts of your body) produce sweat that contain fat and protein. The bacteria feed off the proteins and fats and break them down. The byproduct (or bacteria poo) is the odor that you smell. The reason that only certain parts of your body stink is because the apocrine glands are only located in certain areas, otherwise your other sweat glands just produce salty water. Things like stress, ovulation, sexual excitement and anger can cause apocrine glands to kick into high gear (another argument for meditation, right?).

Our deodorant cream works by creating an environment where bacteria won’t thrive, resulting in a decrease in foul odor. Ingredients like baking soda and magnesium make your skin too alkaline for the bacteria to feed on the proteins and fats delivered through your sweat—so, no smell! Essential oils like grapefruit, bergamot, lavender and tea tree are antibacterial and function in a similar way by creating a hostile environment for the bacteria.

Here Are Frequently Asked Natural Deodorant Questions And Answers From The Folks Who Love Your Armpits (us) 

How Do I Apply Cream Deodorant?

With your fingers, silly! Scoop a pea-sized amount out of the jar with clean fingers. Warm the putty between your fingers and split the pea between both hands. Gently (like you’re a baby) rub the cream into your skin until you can no longer see it. Wipe the excess from your hands. You might try to rub it behind your knees, on the bottom of your feet, on your scalp, on your chest, etc. Cream deodorant also comes in bulk, so you can refill your one little jar endlessly (and save money).

Watch this how-to video to see us apply cream deodorant.

How Do I Apply Stick Deodorant?

Push a small amount of product up in the stick by working your thumb around the inner edge of the bottom disc. Place the product on your underarm for a couple seconds to warm the stick and then gently swipe a couple times. The product needs a couple minutes to fully soak in, so brush your teeth and pinch your cheeks before putting your shirt on.

Watch this how-to video to see us apply stick deodorant.

What Can I Do About Oil Stains On My Clothes?

The stick formula does take a little time to soak in due to the natural oils we use, but it shouldn’t leave stains if you let it soak in all the way.

First, try a lighter application. We also recommend a weekly or twice-weekly regime of gently exfoliating your armpits. You can use something as simple as finely ground oats or this infinitely reusable mesh cloth. This will help to not only keep your armpits happy by removing dead skin cells, but will also aid the absorption of our deodorant. Again, just make sure that the deodorant is completely absorbed / dry before putting on your shirts. You can hasten this process by gently rubbing the deo into your armpit with your fingers.

Finally, you may use a laundry booster and soak your clothes before washing or pop it into your wash load. This is a great plastic free one.

Why Do You Make A Cream And A Stick?

We don’t like plastic tubes and we think you get better application (and a free massage) if you use your finger. You will use less product and apply it more evenly with your fingers! We introduced our deodorant sticks because we know that finger application is not always the most convenient option. The deodorant sticks are housed in an amazing biodegradable, push-pop style applicator. It does take a little getting used to since it's different from the typical plastic tube, but we think it's an amazing way to use a natural deodorant in a backyard compostable container. When you’re done with the stick, you can send it to municipal compost or put it in the dirt, where it will biodegrade in 12 months or less. Read more about our biodegradable deodorant packaging here.

How Do I Take Care Of My Melted Deodorant?

Open jar, mix mix mix, refrigerate until solid. Thereafter, store at or below 75 degrees F. If your house is hotter, you may need to store your deodorant in the fridge!

Why Is My Deodorant Cream Liquid / Rock Hard / Grainy?

Shea butter and coconut oil are like little thermometers in your deodorant jar. They both fluctuate in texture with temperature shifts. We use unrefined oils and butters in all of our products, which means that they can also be somewhat stubborn to re-solidify again once they’ve melted. There's an easy fix! Simply mix the deodorant thoroughly with a chopstick or butter knife (making sure to reincorporate all powders into the oils) and pop it into the freezer for 20 minutes. Thereafter, store the cream below 75 degrees F. It may take up to three days for the deodorant to solidify back to its preferred state.

In the winter, the deodorant cream might be very hard. To apply, scrape the necessary amount out of the jar with the back of your fingernail or a cosmetic spatula and warm the cream by rubbing it between your fingers before applying. Grainy deodorant occurs when the shea butter liquifies and then cools too slowly. The grains are harmless and will melt upon skin contact. If you want to fix the texture, use the instructions below. We understand that these textural shifts might be confusing, but we think it's worth it for the nutrient-packed, skin-nourishing, unrefined plant oils and butters that are in each deodorant cream.


Remixing Your Cream Deodorant

1. Warm the cream until its liquid again: Put the tightly capped jar in a bowl and pour boiling water around the jar to just below the cap. OR put the jar without the lid in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds or until liquified.

2. With a butter knife or chopstick, mix the contents thoroughly. Make sure to mix from the bottom to reincorporate powder that may have settled.

3. Put the jar in the fridge for 1 hour or until cold and solid. Depending on how warm it is where you are, you may need to let your deodorant sit for up to two days in the fridge for the shea butter to fully set (shea butter can be stubborn about hardening in the summer, but you can use it during the time it’s cooling).

I'm Experiencing Dryness, Irritation, Redness After Using The Deodorant, What Should I Do?

1. Stop using it and heal. If you choose to try it again, follow #2–6.
2. Use less product and make sure it’s rubbed in all the way.
3. Spray face toner or apple cider vinegar solution (1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water) under your arms at night. You may also like to try our Underarm Primer, which is very soothing.
4. Moisturize your armpits every single day with unscented oil (coconut, olive, etc.) or the Aloe Rose Lotion before applying deodorant.
5. Gently exfoliate your pits once a week. You can use a our Mesh Scrub Cloth or a gentle body scrub.
6. If you shave your underarms, try to shave at night, moisturize, and apply the deo the next morning or at least a few hours later, and be sure you are using a sharp razor.

Why Am I Experiencing Irritation?

There are a few reasons this could occur:
~You’re using too much deodorant and you’re not rubbing it in all the way (see #2 above).
~The baking soda or magnesium is throwing the pH of your skin out of whack (see #3 above).
~You’re allergic to one of the ingredients.
~Your skin is dry or congested. (see #4 above)

Why Isn't My Deodorant Working Anymore? How Can I Make It Effective Again?

Exfoliate your pits, drink a bunch of water, chill out and wait a few days. Seriously, though. Body chemistry can change periodically due to stress, hormones, diet and other lifestyle factors. All of this has an impact on our body odor. Remember the nervous sweats? Try to remember that sweating is a basic and necessary bodily process.

If you deodorant melted, make sure it got mixed thoroughly so all of the good odor fighting ingredients aren't hanging out at the bottom of the jar.

How Do I Reduce My Body Odor Without Deodorant?

Start with your diet. Attend to your gut and overall microbiome health by consuming probiotics and mostly green, leafy vegetables which contain chlorophyll and have a deodorizing effect in the body. Drink plenty of water. Apply apple cider vinegar to your underarms (see #3 above). Apply our Matcha Lime Exfoliant Mask to your underarms or wash with our Tea Tree Charcoal Soap. Gentle exfoliate your underarms once per week (see #5 above).

Is There An Armpit Detox?

We don't think so... Read more of our thoughts here.

Is Your Baking Soda Aluminum Free?

Trick question! Baking soda NEVER contains aluminum. We use Bob's Red Mill which is mined naturally in Colorado. However, that aluminum free claim on their packaging is a little misleading. In short, it’s baking POWDER that you’re thinking of not baking soda… Crunchy Betty explains it best here.

Why Do I Smell Like Onions And Garlic?

Those foods contain sulfuric compounds that travel through your bloodstream and come out of your pores and can contribute to bad smells. However, those sulfuric compounds are wonderful for your immune system, so you may want to think twice before cutting them out altogether!

Which Is Stronger, Your Baking Soda Version Or Baking Soda Free Version?

This has to do with your body chemistry. There’s no definitive answer. You’re gonna have to try them all. Lucky for you, we sell mini sizes in the dropdown menu on each product page.


Where is the Underarm Primer?

We have said good-bye to our underarm primer in its previous iteration! We have relaunched it with an updated formula so that it can be used on the entire body and face. We are refocusing our line to be as multipurpose as possible so that our customers can get the most value from their purchases. You can find the new formula here, meet Aloe Rose Lotion.

My Deodorant Arrived with a Broken Seal, Is It Okay To Use?

Our seals are small and perforated, so they break easily. It is likely that it broke while being jostled during transit. Our sticks and the rest of our line are shipped directly from our production space to customers. We also don't resell returns, we donate or dispose of them, so there isn't a chance of you getting someone else's old product.

Why is There A Hole in the Middle of My Deodorant?

This is totally normal! The deodorant is poured hot and then flash cooled, and sometimes a little air bubble gets trapped as it's cooling.


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