The Top Three Questions People Ask About Natural Deodorant

The Top Three Questions People Ask About Natural Deodorant

There are many preconceived notions about natural deodorant. As the founder of a kaia naturals and the takesumi detox® natural deodorant brand, I receive many emails from people asking about using natural deodorant and problems they may experience. Since it is the start of a New Year, and many people are looking to make changes in their routine, I thought I would share the top 3 questions people ask me the most about natural deodorant.


1. Natural Deodorants Make Me Stink, So What Can I Do?

Since the armpits are a dark region with folds, bacteria is more likely to be trapped and produce odor when it comes into contact with sweat. Sweat + bacteria = odor. In fact, studies show that you produce more bacteria than usual in a short amount of time when you stop using antiperspirant. If you have been an avid antiperspirant user, you will notice a big difference in your body odor for this reason.

Thankfully, the Solution Comes in the Form of a Bar.

This is an easy fix. A beauty editor was kind enough to tell us that she started using a special antibacterial soap when she switched to a natural deodorant so she never had to worry about breakthrough odor when she was at the office. However, we found her recommendation to be a little abrasive, so we created our own. Our underarm bar contains apple cider vinegar, charcoal, and sodium, which are gentle ingredients that help keep bacteria at bay.


How to Properly Wash Your Underarms

To guarantee you eliminate breakthrough odor, you must wash your armpits with the bar thoroughly, not a quick “swish”. I count 30 times under each arm to ensure I have removed yesterday’s bacteria and deodorant buildup. Doing this makes it more difficult for todays’ bacteria to grow. Not washing the underarm thoroughly and using a standard bath soap (which is primarily fragrance) will not do the job. This is why you may get breakthrough odor during the day.



2. Does a Baking Soda-Free Deodorant Work As Well?

Baking soda is sometimes the culprit for underarm rashes, Baking soda’s texture is gritty and dry and can cause chafing in the underarm area. For these reasons, I do not formulate our deodorants with baking soda. 

skin pH scale - weekly acidic skin goals pH 5 to 6

While sensitive skin may experience a reaction from baking soda, this may not be the only reason for skin irritation. The rash is more about the pH of your underarm area. Unfortunately, this can be very difficult to know. Most natural deodorants contain baking soda because it is highly effective at controlling odor and bacteria. However, many armpits have a hard time tolerating the ingredient due to its alkaline pH. It also doesn’t help that armpits have a physiologically higher acidic pH than any other skin region. 

Despite that, there is no exact reason why some people experience irritation with natural deodorants while others do not. Each body is different and no two body chemistries are exactly the same. All we know is that the typical armpit pH is approximately 5.8 in men, 6 in women, and the maximum odor production seems to occur around 5. Generally, irritation is dependent on your skin’s pH in combination with the ratio of the baking soda and other ingredients like essential oils.



3. Do I Have A Rash? or Am I Allergic To The Deodorant Ingredients?

I am sure you have heard about people who have stopped using natural deodorant due to rashes. This is the most common concern I deal with and the type of rash I see the most often is what I call a “moisture rash”. The scientific name is “intertrigo”, which occurs when skin folds trap moisture due to heat, lack of circulation.  

If you were using antiperspirant before, it plugs your sweat glands and prevents you from sweating, therefore moisture does not get trapped under your arm. Since the moisture in your armpits eventually comes in contact with bacteria… bam! – you have a moisture rash. Therefore, skin rashes are not always caused by the natural deodorant itself. They are usually caused from the moisture in your underarm, which means that the deodorant does not have enough powder to absorb the moisture.

Here are some of the steps you can follow if you have a rash:

Note that this is assuming that you may have intertrigo (a moisture rash). So it is key to understand the cause of the rash.

  1. Call a doctor if the rash does not clear up in 2 days.
  2. If it is a moisture rash, stop using the deodorant and keep your armpits dry by using a powder or cornstarch until the rash clears.
  3. Once it clears, try using the deodorant and then adding powder or cornstarch over top of the deodorant as you need something to absorb the excess moisture.
  4. If none of this works and the rash continues, you should also consider switching to another deodorant as this could be a sign that it is not the right one for you. 


There Is No One-Size Fits All Solution

When it comes to natural deodorant there is no one deodorant that will be suitable for everyone, however, it is important to understand what your body chemistry is like so that you can make the best choices when buying a deodorant. As a product developer, I really do understand that there is no way that we can make a deodorant that has a one-size fits all approach when it comes to human body chemistry. One of the best ways for us to learn how to formulate is from consumers feedback, insights, questions and concerns… so please keep the comments, feedback and emails coming!

You can comment below or email us at [email protected].

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*THIS* Happens When You Don’t Shower After a Workout

*THIS* Happens When You Don’t Shower After a Workout

I was having a discussion with my team at kaia naturals recently and one of the girls mentioned that she gets very itchy whenever she exercises, usually on her arms where she has eczema. She did not realize that the itchiness was from sweat drying on her skin. This is one of many issues that happen when you leave sweat on your skin.

You could be inviting bacteria that is detrimental to your skin when you don’t shower after exercise. With that in mind, I am going to tell you what sweat does to your skin and how to prevent these skin conditions from appearing in the first place.


What’s In Sweat?

Sweat is 99% water, and the rest is sodium chloride, lactic acid and urea. Before I talk about the negative effects of sweat, I want to clarify that sweating is good for you. It’s when it is left to dry on your skin that it attracts bacteria that can cause redness, acne flare-ups, and clogged pores.



What Other Type of Skin Conditions Can Sweat Cause?

Sweat is harmless for the most part, but you need to know that when you don’t wash off after the gym, these skin conditions can arise:


Heat Rashes

When you don’t shower within two or three hours, you are more likely to contract bacterial infections on your skin. Heat rashes are the most common since they occur whenever bacteria and sweat come into contact on the body.




No one wants to talk about this and find it embarrassing, but sweat can produce acne problems, particularly on your back. When sweat is mixed with bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus and yeast infections such as pityrosporum, they cause inflamed follicles that appear as acne-like lesions on your face and torso.




This is a more serious skin condition that is not caused by sweat per se, but it does aggravate it. If you have eczema, exercise can make it worse because when you sweat, the moisture evaporates to cool you down and causes your skin to dry out. This leaves a salty residue that irritates it further. It can even make you feel itchy during your workout.



Yeast Infections

Yes, I am going there. When you sweat, sensitive areas such as your breasts, groin, and underarms are more likely to come into contact with bacteria since they have folds. They are the perfect condition for harboring candida yeasts, which can develop into a yeast infection unfortunately.


this is what happens when you don't shower after a workout

Image by Leon Martinez


I Don’t Have Time to Shower, So What Do I Do?

You probably feel like you have to sacrifice your midday workout after reading that list. You don’t have to worry though because we have some tried and true tips to help you get fresh and remove the salt and bacteria from your skin without taking too much time away from your day:


Guard Yourself against Sweat

The salt and acidity in perspiration can dry out your skin, so your best bet is to always keep a towel on you so that you can wipe off the sweat as you work out or use wet wipes like the vitamin cleanse. Don’t use your shirt because you are still transferring sweat to your skin.


Wear the Right Clothing

Your workout gear needs to be light and breathable so sweat can evaporate off your body. Consider the following options:

  • Cotton is ideal since it is the softest on your skin.
  • Get clothes one size larger so that they don’t rub against your skin.
  • Consider wearing your clothes inside out so that the seams don’t rub against you.
  • Wear sweat wicking sports clothing. It will take trial and error to get it right.
  • Wear layers so that you can strip them off as you warm up so you don’t overheat.
  • Always wash your clothes after your wear them. Don’t let them stink and fester in your gym bag only to put them back on for your next workout.

If you have any other quick hacks for the gym, please share them with us down below. We would love to hear from you!

Feature Image by Sachith Hettigodage

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How To Relieve Crazy Itchy Armpits

How To Relieve Crazy Itchy Armpits

One of the most common things I hear about is itchy armpits. So today I thought I would shed some light on a list of possible reasons. First, you should know that armpits are ideal hosts for bacteria since they are dark and moist environments so infections are likely to occur in the armpit region. 


Possible reasons your underarms itch

  • Not showering after a workout: Sweat deposits residue that can cause rashes if not removed from the skin. I know there are many of us out there who live busy lives and try to fit a workout in during lunch. Since you have to return to the office or run to a next appointment, you don’t have time to do a deep clean. The best thing to do in this situation is to at least wipe your underarms and anywhere that there is sweat to remove wetness that can turn into bacteria-caused irritation.
  • Using a product with high levels of fragrance: This could range from a laundry detergent, or an antiperspirant or deodorant with high levels of fragrance. Lightly scented products should be fine because the levels will be low, but avoiding synthetic fragrance will lessen your chances of irritation.
  • Wearing clothes made with synthetic fibers: A common but unobvious reason is your choice of clothing. Clothes are often made with manmade fibers that do not allow your skin to breathe due to its weave. Irritation occurs as the fibers rub against your skin, which is why it is best to purchase clothes made from natural fibers like bamboo, cotton, silk, or linen or wool.
  • Using products with baking soda: If you have sensitive skin or have suddenly developed an intolerance, it’s time to look at the ingredients label on your product. Although natural, baking soda is very alkaline and gritty, so is hard to tolerate and often causes rashes.
  • Applying deodorant on broken skin: Shaving actually micro cuts your armpits and can be very irritating if you apply product immediately after shaving. If you are sensitive or have darker skin it it best to shave at night so your underarms have time to calm down after. Darker skin tones may also hyperpigment if they get irritated.  


Photo by Jon Tyson

Rashes and Itching

Sometimes underarm rashes cause the itching. Some reasons include:

  • Heat Rash: This isn’t serious, but they occur during hot and humid weather. They develop when blocked pores trap perspiration under your skin. You often notice them in the form of superficial blisters or deep, red lumps. They often clear on their own, but the best way to relieve symptoms is to cool your skin and prevent sweating.
  • Bacterial Infection: Ensure your underarms are dry after you shower and before applying deodorant since wet skin application encourages bacterial growth. Applying some extra powder (like arrowroot or cornstarch) on top of your deodorant can also help grab moisture from the skin if are a heavy sweater. 

It is important to resist the urge to scratch since it will break the skin and the bacteria will spread.



Solutions that will help relieve itching temporarily

  • Apply an ice compress
  • Apply aloe vera
  • Try applying calamine lotion onto your skin
  • Wear loose clothes that give your armpits breathing space

This is certainly not a complete list, but outlines some of the most common causes of armpit itching that we come across at kaia naturals. Using this list as a process of elimination, you may have a better understanding of what the cause is and what to do about it.

Please note: This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment.


Feature image by Freestocks

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