Natural Deodorant 101

February 17, 2016

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. This is why, 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!).

So why do we smell? Basically your skin is covered with trillions of little microbes, known as your “skin flora”. These little guys 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 contains fat and protein. The bacteria feed off of 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, amiright?).

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 salty 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 the similar way by creating a hostile environment for the bacteria.

Here are some common questions we receive about our deodorant:

How do I apply?
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 décolletage, etc.

Why is it a cream and not a stick?
We don’t like plastic tubes and we think you get better application if you use your finger. Meaning you use less product and you apply it properly.

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 AVC solution (1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water) under your arms at night.
4. Moisturize your armpits every single day with unscented oil (coconut, olive, etc.) before applying the deodorant.
5. Gently exfoliate your pits once a week. You can use a washcloth or a body scrub with oat flour (mix flour 1 to 1 with oil or water and scrub-a-dub).
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?
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)
All of the leftover toxins from when you were using conventional deodorant are making their way out of your now unblocked pores. Commonly known as “the armpit detox”, and the jury is still out on whether this occurs or not.

How do I detox my underarms and/or 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 a bentonite clay mask to your underarms. Gentle exfoliate your underarms once per week (see #5 above).

Is your baking soda aluminum free?
Trick question! Baking soda NEVER contains aluminum. We use Bobs 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… We think 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! AND if you buy one mini, leave us a note requesting a sample of the other deodorants to try and we'll include them for free.

PS, We didn’t talk about why you might be making the switch to natural deodorant. There are already plenty of compelling arguments on the web, so we didn’t think it necessary to delve into that. If you’re wondering, you can start here and here and here.

Also in BLOG

What is Composting and How To Start

April 21, 2017

Part of working towards an environmentally friendly, more sustainable lifestyle means cutting back on food waste. It also means utilizing a compost bin. As a vegan, I'm able to save all of my food scraps from the landfill by tossing them into a compost bin. It's been the best step I've made in reducing how much garbage I make and today I want to share the why and how when it comes to composting.

Continue Reading

Product Spotlight: Cocoa Skin Cream

April 18, 2017

I've recently made a promise to myself to simplify not only the products I use, but the ingredients that go in them. This is why I love the Cocoa Skin Cream.

Continue Reading

What Does Biodegradable Mean?

April 14, 2017

If you're like me and love the new Deodorant Stick, you've probably been wondering what's up with the paper packaging. While Meow Meow Tweet is known for their effective, vegan deodorants in adorable glass jars, this new stick is made with a sturdy paper that's actually biodegradable. It offers the convenience of a deodorant stick without the wasteful plastic packaging. 

Continue Reading