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When you switch to natural deodorant, there are going to be some changes going on in your armpits.
If you were using antiperspirant, you can expect that for a time, you will sweat more. To be classified as an antiperspirant it the product must reduce sweat by at least 20%. What's interesting is that many people report sweating less once they've been using a natural deodorant.
There's also going to be a change to the bacteria in your armpits, keep reading to find out why!
Remind me ... why do we sweat?
Sweat is the body's clever little way to cool itself down. Our bodies contain between 2-4 million sweat glands, and they're there to help us regulate our temperature.
When we get hot, our autonomic nervous systems tell our eccrine glands to release sweat. As the sweat evaporates from the surface of our skin, it takes away excess heat, and our body cools down.
As most of us know (all too well), there are times when we sweat not because we're hot, but because we're feeling stressed. This sweat is different. It comes from the apocrine glands, and scientists think its release may be triggered by adrenaline. Bigger than eccrine glands. these glands are concentrated in the armpit. And if you weren't already stressed enough already, stress-induced sweat can become much more pungent when bacteria break it down.
How many bacteria live in the armpit?
Armpits are like a tropical rainforest; they contain a huge number of bacteria.
100 to 200 different strains of bacteria living in the armpit.
There are two dominant strains staphylococci and corynebacteria. It's cornynebacteria that makes for strong odour.
So how do deodorants work?
They change the underarm environment to reduce the growth of odour-causing bacteria. Traditional deodorants make the environment more acid to lower the bacteria population, and generally natural deodorants make the environment more alkaline.
Both sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide are strongly alkaline, so with careful balancing of the formula the underarm environment can be taken to slightly alkaline, which is enough to control odour effectively.
Natural deodorants also include an ingredient to absorb sweat, like tapioca starch or bamboo powder, and essential oils with proven antibacterial properties.
When you combine all three you can achieve odour control that is as good (if not better) than the synthetic alternatives.
Is a strong deodorant best for men?
Gender doesn't determine the deodorant we need; it's the bacteria present in the armpit that counts. Male underarms typically have more corynebacteria (the stronger odour creating bacteria) that females, which might explain the men's locker rooms scent, but stress sweating creates the strongest odour and that can happen for men or women.
Why doesn't one deodorant formula work for everyone?
Because every armpit is different. We sweat at different levels, we wear different types of fabric against our skin, and we have a different mix of bacteria living in our underarms.
If you're looking to make the switch but don't know which is the best deodorant for your body, take the Deo Quiz and we'll give you our personal recommendation.
When armpits have strong odour, they need an essential oil blend with strong antibacterial properties. During our deodorant trials, kanuka combined with spearmint, and eucalyptus or cypress performed exceptionally well.
What's the best deodorant for tweens and teens?
Keeping things super simple for tweens is the best way to start. They generally don't need essential oils to achieve odour control, so we recommend starting with a fragrance-free jar (so they can easily control how much they apply) or the Sensitive Skin Sunshine stick. Often, they only need the tiniest amount (about half, or even a quarter, the amount of an adult) to smell good all day.
As they grow, they can swap up to Ultra or Refresh depending on their odour-control needs.
Does everyone need to wear deodorant?
No, some bodies don't create underarm odour. It comes down to genetic makeup, specifically a gene called ABCC11. If the gene is functioning, you'll have wet earwax and body odour, and if the gene is non-functioning, you'll have dry earwax and little body odour.
In East Asia as many as 80-90% of the population enjoy a lack of body odour.
Is deodorant detox really necessary?
Your underarms don’t need to detox, but they do need to adjust. When you stop using an antiperspirant, research shows that the strong odour producing bacteria are dominant in the underarm.
For some people it can take a week to get those smellier bacteria under control. Replying your natural deodorant at lunchtime will boost protection during the transition period.
After a week you shouldn't need to reply during the day, except when you shower or change the layer of clothing against your skin. If your natural deodorant isn’t lasting all day then you either need a stronger formula, or you need to apply a couple more swipes. Try an extra swipe, and if that doesn’t provide all day odour protection, step up to a stronger formula.
If you have any deodorant questions or are having a problem making the switch, please reach out, we’d love to help!
Until next time, take care and keep those selfcare rituals rolling.
Here at Everkind, we think you shouldn’t have to choose between your wellbeing and what works. We’ve carefully made our range of all-natural bodycare to work as well as – if not better than – their synthetic counterparts, without compromising on using quality certified organic ingredients. To find out more, shop the Everkind range, or get in touch with the team.
In her pre-mum life Amanda-Jane was an environmental lawyer. When her children were little she and her family moved to the country in a market gardening area, where they experienced first-hand the toxic impact of conventional horticulture on groundwater, land and personal health. This experience launched her on a journey to restore her family's health and find practical, truly natural solutions for everyday needs. Amanda-Jane became the founder and creator of Everkind - a body care brand strongly committed to providing body kind, people kind, planet kind essentials that work.
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