October 27, 2022 3 min read

Have you ever wondered why some people can make the switch to natural deodorants with ease but other people struggle?

The answer is found in the combination of active ingredient and body chemistry. Our underarms are like a tropical forest ecosystem and are full of all sorts of bacteria. When you control the bacteria, you control the odour.

Body odour comes not from sweat but from the bacteria that consume the sweat from our body. The kind of bacteria we have in our underarm changes from person to person, making us all unique.

A simple way to control body odour is with sodium bicarbonate (commonly called baking soda), an active ingredient in high performance natural deodorants. It's naturally antibacterial, and by changing the underarm pH to alkaline it naturally combats odour causing bacteria in the armpit.

Why is sodium bicarbonate used in natural deodorants?

Sodium bicarbonate is used purely to control the bacteria colonies that live in the underarms. The armpit is like a tropical forest, it is warm and moist, and when a habitat is warm and moist it attracts the proliferation of bacteria.

Bacteria doesn't smell, but when it consumes sweat it releases odour. The dominate bacteria species determines the level of odour the your underarm emits.

Is baking soda effective against underarm odour?

Yes, baking soda is one of the star ingredients in natural deodorants. Properly formulated, it can deliver all-day freshness for for the strongest odour.

But not every underarm can tolerate it.

Why can baking soda be a problem in deodorant?

While baking soda is fantastic at odour control, it can cause irritation for some underarms. Where there is a candida overgrowth in the armpit, this can turn to candidiasis in an alkaline environmentthat, resulting in armpit darkening or redness. When armpit rash happens underarms can be inflamed, sore, and itchy.

If your underarms become itchy around 20-days after switching to natural deodorant, sodium bicarbonate is the likely cause. Never persevere with sore or inflamed underarms. You need to stop using that formula, let your underarms settle, and then switch to a bicarb-free sensitive skin deodorant.

Photo of Everkind Sunshine, a bicarb-free and fragrance-free deodorant for the most sensitive of sensitive underarms.

What can you use instead of baking soda in deodorants?

Bicarb-free natural deodorants come in a range of different active-ingredient alternatives:

🌼 Apple cider vinegar
🌼 Zinc oxide
🌼 Diatomaceous earth
🌼 Activated charcoal
🌼 And different combinations of essential oils

Not all these active-ingredients keep you smelling fresh as a daisy all-day long!

Zinc oxide was used in the very first commercial deodorant. Mum, created a waxy deodorant cream in the late 1800’s. It was the first deodorant to target the bacteria rather than just masking the odour. Customers reported that is was effective, but that is was hard to apply, hard to wash off, and had a ‘peculiar smell.’

The best of the bicarb-free active-ingredient bunch is a supplement quality natural mineral, Magnesium Hydroxide, produced from sea water. Magnesium Hydroxide also changes the underarm pH to alkaline to combat odour producing bacteria, but it does this without allowing candidiasis to take a hold.

Is magnesium good for deodorants?

Magnesium can produce a very good deodorant. Magnesium Hydroxide creates a drier deodorant than baking soda, and so the glide may not feel as luxurious. That said, many find that it reducing their sweat more than baking soda, which makes it a very popular choice.

Should all deodorant be baking soda free?

There is no need to avoid baking soda in deodorants. A naturally occurring baking soda is safe and when it is carefully formulated, it is very gentle on most people’s skin. Sodium bicarbonate provides the gold standard for underarm odour control. However, if your underarms experience irritation, then marine magnesium is your best alternative.

Photo Everkind Sunshine, a magnesium deodorant that was inspired by nature for all-day freshness.

How do you know what deodorant is best for your body?

For most people a sodium bicarbonate natural deodorant scented with essential oils will provide all-day odour protection without causing irritation. However, our bodies are clever at telling us what works for them. If you experience an underarm irritation in the first seven days, the culprit is usually essential oils, and you should swap to a fragrance free.

If an irritation occurs around the 20-day mark, the culprit is usually baking soda and you should swap to a bicarb-free formula.

Here at Everkind, we want to make your switch to natural as easy as possible, which is why we've developed the Deo Quiz.

The best natural deodorant for your body depends on your unique needs.

Answer a few quick questions and we'll give you our personal recommendation. Every body is different but now there is a natural deodorant that works wonders for every underarm.

Give it a try. Make the switch with ease! Take the Everkind Deo Quiz.

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