Going “all-natural” in the body odor department has been such a hot topic lately… pun intended. Working in the small-batch beauty industry for over five years now, we’ve found that switching to a natural deodorant is either the first healthy swap someone makes or the very last. So we’ve gathered some tips to make the transition smooth and painless.
DEODORANT V. ANTIPERSPIRANT
Many people use these terms interchangeably without even realizing that they have entirely different ingredients and functions. On a typical market shelf, you can get deodorants, antiperspirants, or a combination of both - the most common being the last.
There are two types of glands found highly concentrated in your underarm region. The eccrine glands excrete water and salts and act to cool you off when you’re running a little hot, while the apocrine glands are the ones responsible for the stinky smell. These glands secrete fats and proteins that react with your natural skin flora (a.k.a. the natural bacteria found on your skin) and allow the bacteria to become imbalanced, thrive, and create a foul odor.
Deodorants work to stop or mask that odor on your underarms two different ways. Most deodorants contain antibacterial ingredients, like triclosan, which change the pH of your underarm and prevent your normal skin bacteria from thriving. Whether it’s triclosan, or any of the other many toxic ingredients often found in deodorant, these chemicals are known to be irritating to the skin and even carcinogenic. Secondly, deodorants also contain fragrances that mask body odor but at a cost. Most fragrances are artificial, unregulated, and harmful toxic ingredients. If you see the word “fragrance” on your ingredient list for any cosmetics, run the other way! Almost anything can be classified as a “fragrance” under the FDA regulations, so toxic ingredients are often hidden under this umbrella term. This is another way some companies have been able to mark their products as “natural.”
Antiperspirants are a subgroup of deodorants, however, they differ because the FDA classifies them as an “over-the-counter drug.” This is due to the types of active ingredients used. Antiperspirants work to reduce or stop perspiration which, in turn, reduces the moist climate in which your normal skin bacteria can thrive. Effectively, lower bacteria equals lower odor. There are a variety of active ingredients in commercial antiperspirants that are used, and they all contain some sort of aluminum and/or zirconium. Aluminum reacts with electrolytes found in your sweat to form a gel plug in the duct of the sweat gland, which prevents the gland from secreting properly. The natural sloughing of the skin over time will allow the plugs to be removed, however, the aluminum builds up in your bloodstream and can cause other issues. There are even some studies showing a link between aluminum and DNA mutations and cancer. A build-up of aluminum in the blood can also be fatal to patients who suffer from impaired kidney function.
Ultimately, we feel that exposure to harmful chemicals is just not worth it, especially when there are other ways to combat body odor naturally.
While some people are able to switch right over to a natural deodorant with no issues, most will experience a transition period. Transitioning to a natural deodorant will be much more pleasant for you (and your loved ones) while the weather is cooler. Obviously, the less opportunity for bacteria to grow, the better, as your underarms are one of the warmer and more humid areas of your body. Because of the build-up of aluminum in your sweat glands, it will be a little harder for your body to excrete it's natural biological waste. “Detoxing” your pits will make for a smoother transition. The best way to transition is to not apply any deodorant/antiperspirant for at least a week before switching to a natural deodorant. During this time, use our detox facial mask (yes, on your pits!) and/or detox cleansing bar - the activated charcoal in these products will help pull those toxins from your body. By doing this first, you will have an easier time adjusting to a natural (non-antiperspirant) deodorant. Modifying your diet can help ease the transition as well. An enriched and whole-food diet will make a big difference in your body odor - lots of leafy green vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, raw nuts, and plenty of water. Be sure to avoid red meat and fried/spicy foods.
Like most of our core line, our personal need for this product was the inspiration behind creating our natural deodorant. I was struggling to find something that actually worked, but did NOT contain baking soda. Have you ever experienced a painful rash after applying your deodorant? That’s because the pH balance of some peoples’ sweat actually causes a chemical reaction when in contact with baking soda. It’s literally a chemical burn. After months of research and trying different formulas, we finally nailed down an amazing product that has since been a true best-seller in the shop ever since. And unlike traditional store-bought plastic deodorant tubes, ours is packaged in a reusable/recyclable glass jar.
OUR NATURAL INGREDIENTS
+ Pure Organic Coconut Oil hydrates and conditions your skin. It is also a natural anti-bacterial which will prevent your natural skin flora from thriving and causing body odor. Since our deodorant is made using a coconut oil base, you will notice it soften during warmer months. This is completely normal and does not affect the deodorant’s ability to protect you.
+ Raw Organic Shea Butter is a natural anti-inflammatory so it acts to soothe irritated skin.
+ Non-GMO Vitamin E Oil protects your skin and repairs any broken skin caused by razor irritation. By minimizing broken skin, it also minimizes the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, which can lead to unwanted body odor.
+ Candelilla Wax acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, which reduces any skin irritation and bacterial growth.
+ Organic Arrowroot Powder naturally absorbs moisture.
Please note, our formula is focused on reducing the chance of bacterial growth (thus body odor) and has a slight “anti-perspiration” effect due to the arrowroot. Perspiration is a normal biological function that acts to cool the body down and excrete biological waste.
To use, scoop a pea-sized amount of the deodorant between your fingers to warm. Gently apply to your underarms. You may find the need to reapply throughout the day during your transition period and during warmer months. Before re-application, gently clean your underarms and dry completely with clean cloth. This will prevent an overgrowth of bacteria due to irritation and/or moisture.
Although our deodorant comes unscented, you can easily add in your choice of essential oils. To do so, follow these easy instructions:
1. First, use our included scoop (or a chopstick-like utensil) and mix up your deodorant in the jar to soften it a bit
2. Add in 10 drops of your selected essential oil(s)
3. Mix again until fully combined
Our favorite essential oils and their benefits:
- Lavender works wonders for stress relief, is a natural anti-inflammatory, and enhances blood circulation
- Grapefruit treats discoloration/pigmentation on the skin, protects against sun damage, and is naturally anti-aging
- Wild Orange is antiseptic, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and is a known mood-booster
- Melaleuca (a.k.a. tea tree oil) relieves inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and is naturally antibacterial
- Lemongrass is a natural antiseptic and strengthens skin tissue
- Lemon is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-aging
Frankincense is anti-aging and helps to relieve razor burn
Here is what our customers are saying about their transition to using Urban Oreganics all-natural Deodorant:
“This was so easy to transition to and worked wonderfully throughout the whole year! And is just as easy to apply with your fingers/applicator, that’s provided, as it is with a store-bought deodorant that you twist up!?” - Kara
“I love how smooth this deodorant is. I've been using natural deodorants for more than 5 years so there was no crazy transition for me. I added some sweet orange, grapefruit, lemon, and bergamot essential oils to mine and it smells amazing!” - Tara
“I was hesitant to order the deodorant because I wasn't sure about the idea of putting it on with my fingers. I've been trying it for a few weeks now and it's better then I imagined. It's great to know that I'm putting a safe product on my skin.” - Jessica
Have you made the switch yet?
For a limited time, get 20% off our Deodorant with code "SOFRESH". Offer ends March 8, 2019, 11:59 pm PST, or while supplies last. Not valid with any additional discounts or offers.