We will soon launch our first foray into stick deodorants with 3 simple, very skin friendly, scented options. This has been something we have been toying with for a couple years now and have finally been able to jump into the deep end with. Like all our other products, this deodorant is natural… That is, it consists of 100% plant based or naturally occurring ingredients.
Partly because of demand for this product category and partly because it fits with the rest of our offerings. By offering an underarm stick deodorant we add another big piece of the natural personal care puzzle for those that wish to migrate to a more sustainable or natural way of living.
How is it different from other stick deodorants commonly available?
We are a little late coming with this as there are a lot of new and very popular brands out there. In fact, we estimate that most of our customers for this line will be giving us a try over converting the commonly available “not natural” deodorants or antiperspirants. The biggest difference is the lack of aluminum or magnesium compounds as well as a more simple and direct list of ingredients overall. Everything you find in a natural deodorant is something you are more familiar with and not have to Google to find out what it is all about.
How is a deodorant different than an antiperspirant?
Antiperspirants are intended to stop you from sweating. The method they use is to clog your pores with some kind of mineral compound that will not dissolve easily. This create two problems. One, your body needs to sweat. It is how it maintains your body temperature as well as expel those nasty toxins from your skin. Yes, it always the TOXINS!!!!! If your skin cannot sweat, it cannot do its job properly to keep your skin clean from the inside out. Another problem is that the body fights a clog by building up pressure around it. Pretty much like water behind a dam. More water behind the dam, without a means of relieving pressure, the dam will burst. This is why some people find that over time they sweat more… and key reason why we created JUNK OIL.
Deodorants work in a 3 prong attack: absorb sweat, neutralize odor, and mask any potential odor. A natural deodorant uses ingredients like starch and clay to absorb wetness. Various chemical compounds are used to help neutralize odor. In our case, we use zinc ricinoleate that is derived from castor oil, to “eat” the odor. Some makers use Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) as a neutralizer. This salt can be irritating to your skin. Natural oils and fats also help with this job by going after odor causing bacteria. Then we apply some essential oils to provide fragrance that will work with your body’s own chemistry to provide a more pleasant smell.
Will a natural deodorant stop sweat?
Simple answer, No. And that is part of what makes it better. Sweat, alone, does not stink. The bacteria and toxins are the source of odor. Those that use a natural deodorant will find that they do indeed sweat, and that is healthy for your skin. Those that have used antiperspirants for a number of years find that, at first, the switch to natural deodorants led to more sweat than they are accustomed to. The prevent this from being a deterrent to making the switch, it is often suggested to do an underarm detox before starting the use of a natural deodorant.
How does this “detox” thing work?
Stop using your current antiperspirant. During this detox, you are going deodorant free! Each day you will apply a clay mask to your underarms. The clay will extract what is clogging your pores. Each day, the clay will take more and more of the build up until your pores are as clean as can be. After allowing 15 minutes or so to do its work, wash away the clay thoroughly. As an extra step, you can use a very gentle alcohol free toner or astringent that you have diluted with equal parts water. The thinner skin of your underarm is likely very sensitive to alcohol or peroxide – they will feel like burning. We do offer an alcohol free Witch Hazel which should do the trick without the burn. Using this Witch Hazel or other mild alcohol free astringent on a cotton ball, makeup applicator or clean wash cloth, wipe your underarms to pull away anything the clay may have left behind.
Doing this daily for at least 1 full 7 day week will help make the transition to a natural deodorant a better experience. In general, regardless of what deodorant or antiperspirant you use, a detox would still be a good thing to add to your self-care regimen.
What else is there to know?
Because natural oils and butters are used to make up the body of the deodorant, they can become more solid the colder the become. That means your chilly bathroom may cause your deodorant to not glide on so easily. Best practice for those with such bathroom climates is to hold the stick into your underarm for a few seconds to help it warm and soften to then apply as normal. This is not an everybody issue and for most natural deodorant users that encounter this find this a non issue.
You may find that your body odor may still come through, but to a much lesser degree than without deodorant. This is most common during the initial period of transition with it becoming less of a point of concern as you go. You may also have to find a better essential oil blend that works better for you. The objective of the essential oils is to work with your body to present an unoffensive scent, not to be a perfume to cover it all up. Personally, I have found that I get more compliments on my “cologne” once I started using natural deodorants. Not that it smelled like cologne, but that the scent is just this light level of pleasant.
Natural Deodorants may not be for everybody,
But, one should give them a try. With some of the information provided here put into play, you may have a better experience versus going in blind.
We will soon post details about our Natural Deodorant in another post. There, we will lay out what makes ours different and what to expect out of our products specifically.