*THIS* Happens After Long Term Use of Antiperspirants

*THIS* Happens After Long Term Use of Antiperspirants


This week, Mary decodes: What happens after long term use of antiperspirants.


Armpits have been described by scientists as a “rainforest” of bacteria. Most of us grew up being told to use antiperspirant to combat the odor associated with this issue, but in the long run it may actually make you smell worse. Read on to learn the side effects of antiperspirants.


Antiperspirant Causes MORE Odor-Causing Bacteria

Antiperspirant is classified as an over-the-counter drug in both Canada and the U.S. because it uses aluminum chloride that blocks your sweat glands to prevent you from perspiring. Read more about aluminum here. Your body becomes reliant on antiperspirant. If you stop using it, you can experience major changes in the bacteria that grows under your arms, causing you to smell. There is a reason it is classified as an over-the-counter drug, your body becomes dependent on it.


antiperspirants makes me smell - underarm photo by alexa mazzarello



The “Rainforest” of Bacteria Under the Arms

In a study conducted at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Genomics & Microbiology Lab, 18 subjects were recruited to compare what happens to bacteria under your armpits when you switch the type of underarm products you use. The subjects were divided into three groups: (1) people who used antiperspirant daily, (2) people who used deodorant daily and (3) those that did not use any underarm products. Every day of the study, both armpits were swabbed and the bacteria was analyzed.

After two days, the antiperspirant-users started to develop diverse bacteria under their arms. By the fifth day, there was significant growth of bacteria – in some cases, it was a pungent type of bacteria called Corynebacteria, the smelliest of all bacterial flora.


There are two main types of bacteria in your armpits:

Corynebacteria – The type that makes you smell

Staphlococcaceae –  The least smelly bacteria


What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Using Antiperspirant?

Ultimately, antiperspirant users experienced the most drastic change in bacterial communities when they stopped using any products. At the end of the study it was found that there was an initial increase of smelly bacteria in the underarms of antiperspirant users. Using antiperspirant reduces the amount of staphlococcaceae bacteria (the least smelly) that grows under the arms. This creates more opportunities for odor-causing species to develop.

Deodorant users did not experience the same increase in odor-causing bacteria when they stopped using underarm products. They even had fewer species of bacteria in their armpits compared to armpits of participants who use no product at all.


antperspirants on shelf - image by beauty.thefuntimesguide.com



It Won’t Last Forever

The study unveils that long term use of antiperspirant actually creates more bacteria on your armpits once you stop using them.

If you are an antiperspirant user making the switch to natural deodorant, it is important to know that this odor-causing bacteria won’t last forever, it is just a part of the detox that happens when you discontinue use.

I believe that our consumers should understand what is happening to their body during The Stages of Detox. It can be discouraging when it feels like natural deodorant isn’t working. Basically, your body becomes addicted to antiperspirant and it is harder for it to go without it. Thankfully, after several weeks, the culture of bacteria is able to rebalance and stop overproducing odor-causing bacteria.



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4 Proven Sleep Tips From An Insomniac

4 Proven Sleep Tips From An Insomniac

marissa kaia naturalsI’m Marissa, the Wellness Manager at kaia naturals. Today I’m sharing with you my experience with insomnia and how I was able train my body to get better sleep.

For years I have suffered with insomnia. Lying in bed at 4:00am wide awake, staring at the ceiling is a frequent activity I’d rather not participate in anymore. When it comes to getting better sleep, I have tried every trick in the book, and to be honest most of them don’t work. However, there are a few things that do work, so I thought I’d share them in case you are reaching for that 4th cup of coffee realizing its only noon.



There are a couple suggestions here depending on if you are having trouble falling asleep, or if you are having trouble staying asleep, and quite frankly, for me it’s both.


If you are finding it hard to fall asleep:

Snack on foods high in tryptophan before bed, as tryptophan helps produce, a hormone which promotes sleep. Foods that contain tryptophan include pumpkin seeds, turkey, tofu, eggs, walnuts, and seaweed.


If your problem lies in staying asleep:

Your blood sugar may be dropping during the night. When blood sugar drops, your body kicks up production of stress hormones, anxiously waking you up at night. Try a small snack containing complex carbohydrates to prevent these blood sugar dips. Some of my faves include sweet potatoes, beans, nuts, quinoa, and steel cut oats.



Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour biological wake – sleep cycle, it’s basically your body’s internal clock. If your circadian rhythm is off, you probably aren’t sleeping very well. Are you pulling all nighters, jet-lagged, or do you have inconsistent sleep and wake times? Well thank your circadian rhythm is probably off, so here is what to do:


Avoid screen time after sunset

(or at least 1-2 hours before bed) This is because technology screens emit blue light to our eyes, which triggers our brain to stop producing melatonin (our sleep hormone).


Getting natural light first thing in the morning

Try to aim for 30 minutes in the morning, and get the sun into your eyes to make sure the proper hormones are signalled.



Taking a bath in hot water before bed is the easiest thing that helps me fall asleep faster. It’s actually the drop in body temperature that happens after heating up from a bath that promotes a deeper sleep. This is because our body temperature naturally decreases as evening rolls around, signally to our body it’s time for sleep. The drop in body temp post bath helps mimic this signal.

Taking a hot bath with essential oils that promote sleep, such as wintergreen, lavender and spearmint, will further the sleep-inducing effects. I love the takesumi detox® sleep hot bath. It smells beyond amazing and honestly works!

BONUS TIP: Soaking in a detox hot bath will promote excessive sweating to help release toxins and detox your body. Click here to see more of the detox hot baths.



This may seem obvious, but the more we get done the night before, the longer we can actually sleep in! I never fail to do these 3 things before bed, so in the rare case I do fall asleep, I can stay asleep longer.

I prepare my breakfast and lunch, I pick out my outfit, and I use dry shampoo at night so that you wake up with clean, fresh hair. the takesumi detox® overnight dry shampoo is my fave, as it is formulated with time activated ingredients that work best overnight.


In true insomniac fashion I am writing this post at 3:00am, so be a doll and comment below with any tips and tricks you have that help with better sleep!



How Antiperspirant Affected My Body After 17 Years

How Antiperspirant Affected My Body After 17 Years

heather switching to natural deodorantMeet Heather, PR intern at kaia naturals by day and Professional Dance Instructor by night. As an individual who sweats excessively everyday while she teaches dance, she became self-conscious when she smelled B.O. even after using antiperspirant. Heather shares her experience with switching from antiperspirant to natural deodorant.


My Antiperspirant Stopped Working

It was about two years ago when I realized I had an odor problem. I hopped out of the shower after a dance rehearsal and suddenly became aware of something very strange. I didn’t smell fresh. I had just shampooed, shaved, and scrubbed my whole body, but I still didn’t smell clean.

Within the next few days I became very conscious of the fact that no matter how much antiperspirant I put on, it was as though a sweaty smell followed me everywhere I went. It is important to me that my antiperspirant is long lasting because I work closely with the dancers around me in rehearsal and I teach sometimes for 9 hours a day. No one wants to partner or be taught by stinky girl. I was alarmed that my antiperspirant seemed to suddenly stop working altogether.

Using Antiperspirant Since I Was 7 Years Old

I had been using antiperspirant ever since I came home from ballet class in Grade 2 and my mom tossed a stick of it at me with her fingers plugging her nose. Pretty much every brand of drugstore deodorant made for women is also an antiperspirant. What this means is that it contains aluminum which blocks your pores to stop your body from sweating.

My Doctor Recommended Clinical-Strength Antiperspirant

After consulting my doctor, I was simply told to try using a clinical strength antiperspirant instead. Displeased with this recommendation, I started to do my own research. I quickly learned that my beloved antiperspirant was actually trapping toxins in my body! I also stumbled across several testimonials by women just like me who found that their antiperspirant was suddenly causing them to smell worse.

The best solution? Switching to natural deodorant. I figured that it was worth a shot, but had a slight fear that I would smell deadly as I sweat profusely teaching dance every day.

My Armpit Detox Experience

Due to the fact that I’m so active and was already experiencing odor issues, my transition to natural deodorant was more intense than what other people may experience. My body was suddenly releasing a lot of sweat – something that had become so foreign to me after years of antiperspirant use. A sweat towel became my best friend at dance to help keep me feeling dry during rehearsal. For about a two week period, I found myself reapplying deodorant as often as possible.

The Game-Changer

The biggest game changer for me during this time was the underarm bar by kaia naturals. I had already been using this even before starting my internship here. The underarm bar is a natural antibacterial soap that helps to kill the odor-causing bacteria in the shower so that your deodorant is more effective. I noticed that if I ever forgot to use it in the shower, there was a huge difference in how long my natural deodorant lasted throughout the day.

Natural Deodorants For The Most Active Lifestyles

By the end of the month, I could go the entire day without thinking about whether or not I was getting stinky – even if I had a five hour rehearsal. While the transition process was not the most lovely experience of my life, it was SO worth it. I never thought that natural deodorant would be strong enough to keep me smelling fresh through dance class. I no longer deal with embarrassing body odor and have peace of mind knowing that I’m not using a toxic product on my body every day.



How Co-Washing Saved My Bleached-Fried Hair

How Co-Washing Saved My Bleached-Fried Hair

heavy-metal-toxicity-detox-marissaI’m Marissa, the Wellness Manager at kaia naturals. Today I’m sharing with you my experience with co-washing and how I was able to train my hair to need less shampooing. I used to wash my hair every single day, but now I only wash it twice a week. Find out how I did it below.

Two summers ago, I bleached my hair using a box dye just before heading to Florida. I got distracted, left the bleach on a little too long, and my hair looked and felt like someone had put it the deep fryer – crispy and crunchy. Although I wouldn’t call this a blessing in disguise, frying my hair that summer would change how I would shower and wash my hair forever.

My hairdresser (who was appalled by the mess I made) told me the first step I had to do was stop shampooing every day, as that was stripping my hair even more. Motivated to nourish my hair back to a healthy state, I started researching how I could possibly go a day without washing my hair and not have greasy roots. I then discovered the “co-washing and dry shampoo method“.



Co-washing is when you skip the shampoo in your routine and only use conditioner or another moisturizing product so that you aren’t stripping your hair of its natural oils. This may sound odd, but here’s how it works. Scientifically speaking, like dissolves like, which means that oil will dissolve oil. 

The result? The oils/moisturizing agents in your conditioner will mildly dissolve and cleanse the oils on your hair, but will not strip the hair entirely of its natural oils like shampoo does. By skipping shampoo your hair will also, over time, stop overproducing oil and balance out its own oil production. You can now go longer without the need to wash your hair.




DAY 1: I would shampoo and condition like normal.


DAY 2: By the end of the day, I was itching to wash my hair again but with sheer determination I washed my hair using only conditioner (avoiding my roots so they didn’t become greasy).


DAY 3: This day was tough until I implemented dry shampoo, which was a total game changer. Instead of washing, I sprayed a natural dry shampoo into my roots before going to bed. This way when I woke up, the dry shampoo had had enough time to absorb the oil, sweat and odor from the previous day.

NOTE: Day 3 is the real hump you have to get through! Stay motivated and power through!


DAY 4: It was time to shampoo and condition again!


What I found after a few weeks of sticking to this routine was that my scalp become less greasy between every shampoo, and I couldn’t believe the time I was saving from not having to wash my hair every day. In just a few months after my bleaching mishap, my hair felt so much softer and even noticed my scalp was less dry and had less dandruff. The co-washing + dry shampoo method is a total life saver!

If you want to learn a few more tips on how to start washing your hair less, read more here.


This Beauty Product Is The Lethal Bomb

This Beauty Product Is The Lethal Bomb

Hairspray is one of the key offenders when it comes to the most toxic beauty products. The Canadian Government classifies it as a “HAIR LACQUER”, which should give you a pretty good indication as to what you are about to read.



The National Institute of Health says that it doesn’t know if all ingredients in hairspray are safe for human use. That alone should make you wonder if you should be using this stuff at all! What makes things worse is that even ingredients that we do know cause harmful diseases and birth defects are still being used in hairsprays all the time!

First developed in 1940, conventional hairspray formulations have remained highly volatile, dangerous, and virtually unchanged. The only exception was a government mandate to remove CFC’s (Chlorofluorocarbons) in 1980 due to the depletion of the ozone layer.





(just another name for plastic!)

FUNCTION: Gives structural support to the hair.

CAUTIONARY TALE: One polymer often used, polyvinylpyrrolidine, is also used to bind the layers of wood in plywood together. Do you really want this on your hair?!

NOTE: there are natural polymers available (ex. silk, wool and cellulose).




FUNCTION: Used as a carrier for the active ingredients in hairspray.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Most often ethanol alcohol is used because it dries fast (and is VEYR drying to hair) and doesn’t corrode in the can. Ethanol use has been restricted because it is a volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contributing to air pollution, and is deadly when it comes into contact with an open flame.

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: Usually ethanol alcohol. There are no acceptable replacement solvents approved to date.



FUNCTION: Gasses, mainly butane and propane, responsible for propelling the hairspray out of the can.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Propellants have been linked to allergic skin reactions, asthma and breathing difficulties. They are highly flammable, so just think how harsh this would be on your hair if you blasted a blow dryer on hair coated with a flammable substance?

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: propane, butane.



FUNCTION: Added to make hairspray more flexible and perform better.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Additives are just a bunch of chemicals that make the product work better, but serve no other purpose, exposing us to chemicals for no reason.

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: Isopropyl myristate, diethyl phthalate, and silicones. (Plasticizers: added to make hairspray more flexible).


Aminomethyl propanol (AMP), ammonium hydroxide, morpholine, cyclohexylamine, borate esters). (Neutralizing and anti-corrosion agents: added to control resin solubility and help prevent the inside of the can from rusting).



1. FINISHING HOLD: A natural pump hair spray as this eliminates:

  • Propellants
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Replaces ethanol alcohol solvents with fatty alcohols (healthy for hair)  derived from nature Cetyl alcohol



  • Hair serums
  • Sea Salt Spray


3. FOR OILY HAIR: Dry shampoo.


4. TO VOLUMIZE: Dry shampoo.

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