Irritation from Natural Deodorant? Here's What to Do About It
When you start using natural deodorant for the first time, your pits may need some time to adjust. Just like any big life change - give your body time to grieve the loss of conventional deodorant (we know you loved that shower fresh scent)but then, it's time to move on and get ready for even better things to come - no smell, less sweat and safe ingredients. This adjustment period (aka detox phase) can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and, in some cases, can come with a few irritating side effects. If you've experienced an underarm rash or irritation from natural deodorant, here's some reasons why and what you can do about it.
RASH REASON #1. PERSPIRATION
Now that you’ve switched from an antiperspirant that stops your sweat glands from actually doing what they’re supposed to do, you’ll most likely start to feel a bit more sweaty. Remember, that’s a GOOD thing since sweating helps to expel toxins + regulate our body temperature. And once your body becomes acclimated to natural deodorant, you’ll find you actually sweat even less! But the excess perspiration can potentially get trapped in your pits and cause itchiness, inflammation or irritation.
Thankfully, there are a few simple solutions. Everyday (especially in the heat of the summer, after a hard workout or a seriously stressful day) it’s important to make sure you properly cleanse your pits to keep skin clear of trapped sweat and bacteria buildup. Be sure to use a gentle body bar that effectively cleanses + lightly exfoliates. Then spritz our Everything Spray after showering (and throughout the day as a refresher!) to keep pores clear and calm inflammation with organic essential oils of tea tree and lavender, along with magnesium oil and raw apple cider vinegar. For even more perspiration protection, you can apply our talc-free baby powder to absorb excess moisture and help reduce friction + irritation.
RASH REASON #2. BAKING SODA
Baking soda may be to blame because of its alkaline pH. If there’s too much baking soda in a deodorant, it can feel abrasive and possibly cause a reaction. Our expertly formulated natural deodorant contains lower doses of odor-blocking baking soda to help prevent BO while protecting sensitive skin. Plus, our formula is fortified with skin-soothing + detoxifying ingredients such as non-nano zinc oxide and kaolin clay.
Still suffering from baking soda sensitivities? You may be extra sensitive to baking soda if your skin’s protective outer layer, the acid mantle (aka moisture barrier), has been impaired. One culprit could be your body wash. Take a look at the bottle in your shower - is your skin being stripped with harsh sulfates and cleansing chemicals? Washing your skin with these kinds of ingredients on the daily can break down your acid mantle, making your skin even more vulnerable to irritation.
Try this 3 step system to maintain your skin’s strength, soothe skin conditions and prevent irritation.
- Wash pits (and all of your delicate places!) with a mild soap that safely cleanses without stripping skin and actually helps to repair skin tissue.
- Bring your pH levels back into balance and help eliminate odor-causing bacteria with our Everything Spray.Already red and inflamed? Spritz generously on your skin to reduce redness and calm inflammation.
- Rebuild your moisture barrier with a body butter rich in essential fatty acids and healing oils.
RASH REASON #3. IRRITATING INGREDIENTS
Contact dermatitis (a red, itchy rash) is caused when the skin comes in contact with an ingredient that triggers a reaction. Some may show signs of irritations straightaway and others may develop over time. Every body is made differently and responds uniquely to each ingredient, which makes finding the specific cause a bit difficult. However, here are some suggestions that will make a big difference in preventing + calming contact dermatitis.
While you may think you're in the clear of chemicals or irritating ingredients when you use a natural deodorant, the formula may not be as natural as you think. Take a look at the ingredient list to find out what gives the product its fresh, floral or seasonal scent. Do you see the word parfum, fragrance or even natural fragrance? These fragrance formulas are engineered scents (and protected by the FDA) that can contain any combination of 3,000+ chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens.
Look for pure, organic essential oils on your deodorant label to help minimize the potential for any allergies or irritations. Our natural deodorant formula uses only pure essential oils along with the powerful combination of fair-trade coconut oil + baking soda to prevent odor. Essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, geranium and lemongrass have several skin rejuvenating + odor-busting benefits.
Sensitive to active EOs? Our unscented deodorant effectively protects against unwanted odor + soothes sensitive pits without any essential oils.
RASH REASON #4. FRICTION
There is actually a type of irritation that’s more common than we may think and doesn’t have anything to do with deodorant itself. Intertrigo is the scientific name for a skin rash that shows up between the folds of skin, aka armpits. This inflammatory skin condition is due to a few factors - such as friction between skin folds, lack of air circulation, moisture, bacteria and heat. No wonder our pits would be the perfect place for this rash to show up! While this condition causes skin to feel raw, itchy, cracked and red, there are some natural solutions to help prevent and treat Intertrigo.
- Shower daily with this gentle cleansing bar and be sure to dry off thoroughly.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes to allow your underarms to breathe.
- Prevent friction and moisture with this talc-free powder.
- Spritz your pits with our anti-bacterial, anti-fungal + anti-viral Everything Spray.
- And of course, if your rash isn’t clearing up you may want to seek medical care.
RASH REASON #5. SHAVING BLUNDERS
Have you ever applied deodorant immediately after shaving and felt the sting, the burn and the inevitable itch? Shaving causes tiny cuts on our pits, so to avoid + prevent underarm irritation, always shave at night and apply deodorant in the morning. Also, remember to shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize inflammation and never shave with a dull blade - your pits will thank you. Prone to ingrown hairs after shaving? This spray is a must to keep skin clear of buildup and breakouts.
Here are some tips to help make the transition to natural deodorant even more smooth...
- Drink more water to support the detoxification process.
- Start dry brushing to stimulate lymph flow + flush out toxins.
- DIY Underarm Detox: Applying a DIY detox paste has been beneficial for so many people as they have transitioned from traditional deodorants to a natural alternative. While excess sweat and smell may be an inevitable part of the initial pit detox, this 3-ingredient DIY detox paste can help minimize odor, painful rashes and sweat! Mix 1 tablespoon bentonite clay, 1 teaspoon ACV, 1-2 teaspoon purified water and apply thin layer to each pit for about 5-20 minutes (depending on how your skin responds). Apply daily for up to 2 weeks - or until your pits are detoxed, smooth and odor free.
- Eliminating processed and refined foods, eating lots of leafy green vegetables and getting regular exercise can help support the detoxification process and promote balanced pits – and better B.O.!
- Get a massage. The perfect excuse to book a spa appointment! Pit detox ;)
- New to natural deodorant? Start with our charcoal deodorant which has added detoxifying properties, attracts 1000x its weight, and powerfully binds to toxins + impurities. Here's what a couple of our customers had to say:
"I have tried for years to get my husband to switch to safer deodorant, but they all left him smelly or broken out in a huge painful rash. He has now used an entire Charcoal Deodorant with no complaints and I just bought his second one!" -Tara
"Awesome product for sensitive underarms. I have tried so many natural deodorants and always break out. This is a game-changer!!" -Tonya
We hope this post has helped reveal some of the reasons behind your natural deodorant rash! If you're still experiencing underarm irritation after a few weeks of trying out these tips and it becomes unbearable, discontinue use of the deodorant and please shoot our team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to hear your story and help find a solution!