Many people suffer itchy underarms when they use a natural deodorant. That's because of the bi-carb. Read on as we uncover why this ingredient is an irritant and what to look for when shopping for a natural deodorant to avoid natural deodorant rash.
How does natural deodorant work?
Natural deodorant aims to prevent or mask body odour without using synthetic chemicals or aluminium compounds. Unlike conventional antiperspirants, natural deodorants do not block the sweat glands or interfere with the natural process of sweating. Instead, they use ingredients such as baking soda, natural butters, coconut oil, essential oils, magnesium hydroxide, or probiotics to neutralise the odour-causing bacteria that thrive in moist and warm environments. Some natural deodorants also contain ingredients that absorb moisture, such as arrowroot powder, cornstarch or kaolin clay, to reduce wetness and discomfort.
Natural deodorant benefits
Using a natural deodorant helps you to avoid exposing your body to potentially harmful substances such as aluminium, parabens, phthalates, or artificial fragrances that may have negative effects on hormonal balance, immune system, or neurological function.
Additionally, natural deodorants may be more sustainable and ethical than conventional ones, as they often use organic, vegan, cruelty-free ingredients and biodegradable or reusable packaging.
Why you get a rash from natural deodorant
If you have experienced a rash or irritation soon after switching to natural deodorant, you are not alone. You may get a rash from natural deodorant for several reasons.
Your body is detoxing
When you switch to a natural deodorant, your body will need time to adjust to the absence of aluminium and other chemicals found in conventional deodorant. Aluminium is used to block the sweat glands and prevent odour, but it can also accumulate in the body over time. When you stop using aluminium-based deodorant, your body may release more sweat and toxins through your pores, which can cause irritation and inflammation in the underarm area.
Your skin's pH is out of balance
Your skin has a natural pH level of around 5.5-6.5, which means it is slightly acidic to neutral. Many natural deodorants contain baking soda (also known as bi-carb, bicarb soda or sodium bicarbonate), which has a pH level of 9 so it is very alkaline.
Applying baking soda to your skin can disrupt your skin's acid mantle, which is a protective layer that helps prevent bacteria, fungi, and environmental pollutants from entering your skin. When your skin's pH level is altered, it can cause dryness, irritation, inflammation, and infections.
Baking soda can strip away the protective lipids and proteins found on your skin's barrier, leaving your skin vulnerable to dehydration, sensitivity, and ageing.
An allergic reaction to natural deodorant ingredients
You may be experiencing an allergic reaction to one or more of the ingredients. Baking soda is the most common culprit. Essential oils, coconut oil and shea butter may also cause an allergic reactions in some people though.
How to treat and prevent armpit rash from deodorant
Here are some tips on how to avoid natural deodorant rash:
Choose the best natural deodorant
Your natural deodorant should contain ingredients that work with your body, not against it! Choose a natural deodorant that does not contain baking soda, alcohol, or synthetic fragrances. These ingredients can dry out or irritate your skin, especially if you have allergies or sensitivities.
Patch test the product before applying it to your underarms. Apply a small amount of the product to your inner elbow or wrist and wait for 24 hours to see if you have any reaction. If you do, discontinue using the product and look for another one that suits your skin type.
Exfoliate and moisturise your underarms regularly
This can help remove dead skin cells and bacteria that can clog your pores and cause inflammation. Use a gentle body scrub or a washcloth to gently exfoliate your underarms once or twice a week. Then apply a natural moisturiser that contains soothing ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, or shea butter.
Give your skin time to adjust
It may take some time for your body to get used to natural deodorant, especially if you have been using conventional deodorant for a long time. During this transition period, you may experience more sweating, odour, or irritation than usual. This is normal and temporary, as your body is detoxifying and balancing its pH levels. Be patient and stick with your natural deodorant for at least a month to see the full benefits. Winter is the perfect time to stick it out, as you are not as hot and sweaty.
Detox your armpits
Earth Purities' Detox-A-Pit is designed to detox your armpits by drawing out toxins and heavy metals, and by correcting bacterial imbalances that cause odour and irritation. Using the paste will prepare your body for the switch to natural deodorant, restore pH levels and improve the general health of your armpits.
Best natural deodorant Australia
The best natural deodorant is one that is pH balanced, bicarb free and aluminium free. It should be comfortable to wear, easy to apply and non-greasy.
Biome's natural deodorant cream contains the perfect blend of natural ingredients to absorb moisture, inhibit odour causing bacteria and mask negative smells, it truely is nature's neutraliser.
- Bi-carb free so it won't cause the dreaded natural deodorant rash.
- Alcohol free, so it won't irritate sensitive underarm skin.
- pH balanced to help maintain a healthy skin barrier and reduce odour causing bacteria.
- Non-greasy cream to powder formulation, that won't leave oil marks on your clothes.
- Subtle clean scent suitable for all bodies.
Each ingredient in Biome's natural deodorant cream has a purpose.
Magnesium hydroxide and zinc oxide combat odour causing bacteria and help neutralise the pH.
Cocoa butter and Vitamin E are not only beneficial for you skin but also rich in antioxidants which help preserve the shelf life and keep the deodorant stable without the use of synthetics.
Arrowroot, cornstarch and diatomaceous earth absorb moisture from the skin and help create a dry environment, helping to prevent the growth of odour causing bacteria.
Mango butter and apricot oil are rich in essential fatty acids and give the deodorant it's light but creamy texture.