Natural Deodorants that Don't Make You Stink

deodorant stock

You guys caught on to Portlandia yet? It's on Netflix. It's my next binge-watch, as soon as I have a whole day to sit on the couch, eat popcorn and dark chocolate, and drink unlimited amounts of whatever I want. (Man, that sounds good!) Meanwhile, check this (hilarious) video out. It's a spoof on natural deodorants and their reputation in the market as ineffective. And know that this is exactly the attitude that most consumers have toward natural deodorants in general. In fact, at every (every) EVERY market that we sell our deodorants, the first question we are always asked is,

"Does it work better than..."   (well, I won't mention the company's name, but I know you already thought it, so...)

Then I always tell them this:
Natural deodorants, like synthetic (the kind you've always worn) deodorants, are not a one-size-fits-all product. That's why there are so many different options. They are also not "antiperspirants"- they won't make you NOT sweat, they'll just (if they work) make you NOT STINK.

And yes, Ours works.

Here's HOW: Your (my) body was designed to sweat. It’s our bodies’ way of cooling off. It's also (on a REALLY FASCINATING note) the way we attract our mates. (More on that delicious and oogie tidbit at the bottom of this post) The sweat glands contained throughout the body (eccrine) are tiny and release only water, salt, and a bit of urea. The sweat is odorless, and typically doesn’t stink. Think: forehead, palms, and soles (feet smell ’cause they’re closed up in a dark, wet environment, and hosting a bacteria party). The sweat that comes from our armpits and bottoms (and on a less odoriferous level, our scalps) are from a different type of sweat gland-the apocrine glands. Those guys clock in at puberty, and release a different type of fluid containing sweat, proteins, and fatty acids. It is sticky and milky, and leaves yellowish stains on your shirts.

Now here's the grody part (This is why you stink...not YOU, but people like you...ok, maybe YOU, too):

Bacteria loves to munch on apocrine gland sweat. And after munchin' comes the poopin'. And with poop comes stink. You're smelling bacteria poop. You can quote me on that:

You're smelling the bacteria poop.

~Keri Lehmann
I'm sorry. I truly am. I call it like I see it. The difference between an antiperspirant and deodorant is that the former uses aluminum to block the sweat, leaving you completely dry, while the latter uses antibacterial properties to fight off bacterial growth caused by the sweating, 'cause you're still gonna sweat. The trouble with using antiperspirant is that aluminum has long been suspect in causing alzheimer’s disease, and is considered a carcinogen as well. In fact, here at Savvy Bohème, we never use scare tactics to sell a product- I have seen that natural products are able to stand up against synthetic ones very easily, without fear-mongering. HOWEVER, if there were ONE product that I would advise one to FREAK OUT over, it would be antiperspirants. The science is Waaayyyy too sketchy-the research veers too far to the side of toxicity. Statements sum up like this:
Aluminum is found in higher amounts in cells of cancer and Alzheimer patients, but we can't say for sure if it is causal.
It actually surprises me at how little this topic has been researched- even the National Cancer Institute hasn't taken a strong position on the subject, but state the need for additional study:
Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved. 

Luckily, there are SAFE and EFFECTIVE Natural alternatives to antiperspirants...Ya just gotta turn a switch in that brain a bit.

Certain natural ingredients are very effective at reducing odor and absorbing body sweat:
  • Botanical carrier and essential oils have strong antibacterial properties that prevent bacteria from drawing near.
  • Baking soda keeps the pH high enough to promote balance.
  • Clays and plant powders draw moisture away from the body, while absorbing wetness.
  • Certain essential oils balance the body's natural sweating ability.
The*Trick* to making the switch to natural deodorants is to begin by knowing that you are doing a GREAT thing for your body by allowing it to function in its natural capacity.

When your brain is on board, your body follows.

When making the switch, you'll possibly notice a few things:

  • You sweat like a beast. This is because your body has been conditioned to withhold sweat. As you detox the aluminum from your glands, your body will trigger sweat production into overdrive. After a bit of time, the body will self-regulate, and you'll sweat less. But it takes the time that it takes. In the meantime, if you are really having an issue with sweating, try swiping your armpits with witchhazel, vinegar, a lemon wedge or alcohol just before application (make sure to shave WELL before, lest you sting!) then dust pits with arrowroot, rice powder, or (my least fav) cornstarch AFTER deodorant application. You can get any of these powders from your local natural grocer.
  • You stink more. Part of that same detox is that the goop that's been trapped in the glands forever is suddenly being released, making you smell more...ripe...The trick to preventing or minimizing this issue is to grab a bit of our African Black Soap and Raw Sugar Scrub each day, and scrub those pits before getting on with your day (or ending your night). You could also dry -brush if you're feeling extra savvy. It'll get the lymph and sweat glands moving and draining.
  • You have stains on your white/light shirts, under the arms. I originally thought that issue was caused by the wax in our product, but have since learned that it's caused by the fatty acids in your sweat. It's not us. It's You. ;)  Reducing sweat will minimize the stains.  See the first bullet point on how to reduce sweat. (The stains wash out, btw: check out this really cool post on how to get it out.)
  • You develop a rash. This is actually pretty rare (about 10% of cases), but it does happen. It's caused by either an infection of the pores (which requires antibiotic treatment), product irritant/ allergy (an ingredient could be irritating to your skin, especially if you've been sensitive before), or the weirdest and most common reason: a sort of "diaper rash". It has a name, Intertrigo, and is relatively easy to heal. The causes of Intertrigo occur when you are hot, sweaty, and have nothing in place to absorb the sweat:
    • Moisture
    • Heat
    • Lack of air circulation
    • Friction between skin fold

WebMD advises steroid creams (I DO NOT, I'm not a doctor. I'm just a woman witnessing the effects of Topical Steroid DOES exist, and it's a two-year life of H3LL!). They also advise antibiotic or antifungal creams, which work well to clear the skin. An effective diaper rash cream with zinc oxide will treat it as well. We have one for ya here.  

With frankincense, yarrow root powder, calendula oil and pharmaceutical grade zinc oxide for REAL relief

With frankincense, yarrow root powder, calendula oil and pharmaceutical grade zinc oxide for REAL relief[/caption] The best way to avoid this type of rash is to work toward minimizing wetness under the arms. While (if) your body is transitioning from antiperspirants, use the steps I mentioned in the first bullet point to keep skin dry. You would do very well to keep a container of rice powder close by to keep the underarm area dusted. And IF you happen to develop a rash, our diaper rash balm will help to calm it down as you follow the healing protocol of your choice (Doctor or homeopathy). Oh, and WebMD had this final thing to say about intertrigo:

If you are overweight, do what you can to lose weight.
I had to add it because it reminded me that I hate reading WebMD posts as much as I hate googling skin rashes. Their motto should be:

"How are you googling this? You died last week."

That just about covers all angles on the Natural Deodorant switch. I did want to leave you with this final and totally fascinating fact: The human body creates, within the apocrine gland, what are called volatile oils. Those are the oils within sweat that emit pheromone-like chemicals-the thing that makes us smell like us, uniquely. They are also the component in pheromones that causes us to be attracted to each other, in theory. I read a study where guys put their sweaty t-shirts in individual jars, and girls sniffed the jars to see which one they were attracted to. In every case, the girls were able to sniff out which shirt belonged to their brothers because they were repulsed by them. Haha!! But anywho...Wanna know what else has volatile oils? Plants. We call them "essential oils". So basically, we make human essential oils.

Now that's just cool.

SO, keep your pheromones, your mojo, and your good health, and grab yourself a stick (or two) of our Allons-Y! Natural Deodorant, with full confidence that You WON'T STINK! Oh! And guess WHAT?!!??! We got NEW labels that DON'T SCRATCH either! NEW LOOK!

NEW LOOK! Grab yours today! And tell your friends, too! We've also been able to lower the price due to high volume! $10 will get ya covered!  


Keri Lehmann
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