3 Reasons Why Coconut Oil in Deodorant Can Be a Problem

3 Reasons Why Coconut Oil in Deodorant Can Be a Problem

Coconut oil has become a controversial ingredient in the past few years. Many consider it the Holy Grail to beautiful skin and people even use it as a healthy alternative in recipes. However, I cannot recommend it for cooking after consulting an article published from Harvard Medical School. Coconut oil is also a highly questionable ingredient in beauty products, as it only works on certain skin types. Throughout developing and formulating kaia naturals’ line of natural deodorants, I’ve discovered the impact coconut oil has when included in a natural deodorant.

Today, I want to share my insights on coconut oil in natural deodorants, and what I have learned through formulating my products.


The Two Types of Coconut Oil

In skincare, formulators usually prefer fractionated coconut oil over virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is less processed and is often recommended in beauty due to its nourishing, long chain fatty acids such as lauric acid. Lauric acid makes up approximately 50% of the oil, making it one of its healthiest elements. Despite that, it can be challenging to formulate since it is a solid at room temperature and requires heat to liquefy. This is why you may find that natural deodorants formulated with coconut oil are harder to apply, and do not “glide” as smoothly. 

Fractionated coconut oil on the other hand, is better at staying in liquid form. The process of fractionation uses the fat’s different melting points to separate them and allows for a longer shelf life as a result. This process removes the lauric acid, which means its original benefits are lost.


coconut oil dana tentisImage by Dana Tentis


Why coconut oil shouldn’t be used in natural deodorants

Now that you understand how coconut oil is formed, here is why I don’t recommend coconut oil as an ingredient in natural deodorants:


1. It Causes Yellow Stains On Clothing

While there isn’t any scientific research on this matter, it is something that I have discovered after talking to many retailers and customers over the years. When I first started doing research on natural deodorants, I approached a couple of retailers to ask them what their consumers wanted.

One anecdote involved a white linen blouse that was ruined with yellow stains after its owner used a natural deodorant. One of the retailers even told me that they would not sell my product if it had coconut oil in it. It is a risky ingredient in general because when the oil emulsifies, it is more likely to transfer onto your clothes and the stains are almost impossible to get out. Because of this, I immediately opted for an alternative when putting together my formula for my natural deodorant. Click here to read more about why you need to deal with armpit stains within 24 hours. 



2. Coconut Oil Is Not As Antibacterial As You May Think

There is a theory that because coconut oil is antibacterial, it will protect you from odor-causing bacteria. Since most natural deodorants use fractionated coconut oil, this process removes lauric acid and does not offer its original benefits. In fact, a cosmetic chemist named Randy Schueller said, “I couldn’t find any evidence that coconut oil has been tested against staphylococcus hominis, which is the bacteria of species primarily responsible for producing underarm odor. That means that even though it may work theoretically, it may not work very well.” There are many other ingredients that work on that type of bacteria and for the reasons above, coconut oil would not make the top ten list.



3. It May Contribute To Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs occur when pores are clogged and hair gets trapped beneath the skin thanks to sebum, dead skin cells, or other debris. You are more likely to develop ingrown hairs if you have coarse, curly hair because it is more likely to grow back into the skin and lead to razor bumps. Since deodorants using coconut oil are high on the comedogenic scale, they are more likely to clog your pores and cause ingrown hairs to develop. This is especially true since coconut oil’s properties are sitting in a moist dark environment such as your underarms.


Coconut Oil Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Product

For the above reasons I have listed, I do not recommend coconut oil in natural deodorants. I use what I call “The First 5 Method” to weed out certain products when I am shopping. This involves seeing if ingredients such as coconut oil are listed as the first five ingredients on the label. I find that if it is listed after the 5th ingredient, those ingredients tend to be more diluted and pose less of a problem. To read more about problematic ingredients, click here.

I hope this was helpful as there are a lot of concerns surrounding coconut oil. After much research, my objective was to simply distil the information to help clarify the effects of this ingredient and why I’ll continue to not formulate with it. If you have any personal experiences with coconut oil or any questions, please share them down below.


Feature image from Pixabay

More Blogs on Underarms



How to Use Dry Shampoo the Right Way

How to Use Dry Shampoo the Right Way

A quick search online will tell you that there are many ways to use dry shampoo. In fact, I also get many questions from consumers about how they should be using dry shampoo ever since I developed the takesumi detox® overnight dry shampoo. Before I continue, I want to be clear that dry shampoo is not a one-size-fits-all product. As you read on, you will see how dry shampoo should be catered to your hair type and scalp condition. 


I Have Oily Hair. Will Dry Shampoo Work For Me?

People with oily scalps need to wash their hair more frequently as they are prone to scalp and hairline zits due to higher sebum production. The combination of an oily scalp and using dry shampoo frequently results with a congested scalp and can cause pimples. With this in mind, using dry shampoo should not be a substitute for shampoo as it’s main purpose is not clean your hair. Dry shampoo is best used as if it is a “blotting powder” for oily scalps so that it absorbs oil and also refreshes your hair from odor. Because of this it is key that you use only use dry shampoo intermittently in between your hair washes. I recommend to use the dry shampoo no more than 2 days in a row to prevent powder buildup and/or an itchy scalp.


how to use dry shampoo oily hair

Image by Daria Shevtsova


How Do I Properly Use Dry Shampoo With Oily Hair?

Dry shampoo should be used overnight if you have an oily hair type. Most dry shampoos are made with starch and since oil production occurs at night, you should give the starch enough time to absorb the oil in your hair. The takesumi detox® overnight dry shampoo has time-activated ingredients, so using it at night ensures its maximum impact.

Another hack for oily hair is to use dry shampoo before a workout instead of after to keep your hair in shape. Use a little after exercising for additional absorption. For those with moderately oily hair, you should wash your hair with shampoo at least every second or third day instead OR rinse with water in between washes to stop the hair follicles from clogging.


I have Dry Hair. Should I Even Use Dry Shampoo?

People with dry hair have less sebum production, so washing your hair less is ideal in this situation as it prevents overdrying the scalp and from producing flaking and itching. Washing your hair weekly or once every other week can be enough for people with a dry scalp. Rinsing the hair with water in between washes can also keep it looking fresh without stripping your hair of moisture.


how to use dry shampoo dry hair

Image by Daria Shevtsova


How Do I Properly Use Dry Shampoo for Dry Hair?

I know I mentioned previously that you should use dry shampoo at night, but it is not all that necessary if you have dry hair. I recommend using dry shampoo when you want to eliminate stale odors or use it as a styling aid to keep your hair smelling fresh. 

Do not apply dry shampoo directly to your scalp as it can get too dry and itchy when your scalp is already dry. If you are using it for styling purposes, spray at the crown or the back of your head to avoid the roots. For volume, lightly brush the dry shampoo into the root of the hair to give it lift rather than spraying directly into the region.


How Can I Add Volume with Dry Shampoo for Fine Hair?

Fine hair tends to look limp and lifeless, so washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner can be done every other day or less since this type of hair looks best on the second day.

You should be selective about the type of dry shampoo you choose when you have fine hair. To add volume to fine hair, so you should select a fine powder dry shampoo with no propellants. A lightweight volumizing powder can help you dry style your hair to amazing volume and keep hold unlike wet volumizers, hairsprays or pomades, which can weigh down your hair. I personally have fine, short hair, so I must admit I ensured that our non-aerosol all natural powder spray has a secret volumizer that I can use everyday.

Dry shampoos only become problematic if it is used as a substitute for real shampoo or if it has been overused. As long as you use it according to your hair type, your scalp and hair health will improve at any age or any scalp condition.

Let me know if you have any questions on hair or scalp health and dry shampoo or email info@kaianaturals.com and we’ll sure to get back to you!

Shake, Spray, Sleep

the overnight dry shampoo





Read More 



Are Your Beauty Products Banned in Europe?

Are Your Beauty Products Banned in Europe?

​I learned many valuable lessons while living and working Europe. I learned about the importance of quality of life, the sophistication of European cuisine, but most significantly as a product developer I learned the importance of creating high-quality cosmetics. Now living and working in Canada, I follow the EU standards for developing cosmetics. I admire Europe’s precautionary approach to evaluating all ingredients used in their cosmetics and beauty products.

Below you will find regulations for Canada, the US and the EU. I have not included Asia or Africa as their regulatory requirements for cosmetics are significantly below all three countries assessed here.



Regulatory Board: Health Canada
# of Ingredients Banned: 500+
Registration Process: Manufacturers in Canada must register their products before they are allowed to market. This ensures that manufacturers review the list of 500-600 banned or restricted cosmetic ingredients.
Rules on Restricted Ingredients: If restricted ingredients are used in a product, companies must submit the levels at which this ingredient is used. This government registration is mandatory.



Regulatory Board: FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
# of Ingredients Banned: 30
Registration Process: Registering a cosmetic product is completely voluntary.
Rules on Restricted Ingredients: The list of ingredients that are banned in the U.S is a whopping 30 ingredients long, and the only requirement around these restricted ingredients is that you simply can’t use them.



Regulatory Board:  EC (European Commission). The EU has a harmonized system (28 countries in Europe) that follows unified regulations. Their system for evaluating cosmetic safety is the most comprehensive in the world.
# of Ingredients Banned: 1,300+
Registration Process: The EU requires pre-market approval for cosmetics and follows strict standards when evaluating ingredients.
Rules on Restricted Ingredients:  Regardless of concentration, if an ingredient has data that shows any possible links to health risks, it is restricted or banned.


number of chemicals banned for use in cosmetics - kaia naturals



It is an obvious choice that kaia naturals has decided to follow the EU framework when evaluating product/ingredient quality.

Although Canada is slightly more advanced than the US, it is still behind the EU in terms of the approach to evaluating ingredients used in cosmetics. We believe in delivering products that use high quality ingredients, which are developed using standards with the highest integrity. This is our promise to consumers, and we believe the EU standards help us deliver on that promise.

We would never use any ingredients in our products that could cause any health risks, which is why when I first founded kaia naturals, I would only choose to follow the EU standards and regulations.



Understand the impact of what you buy.  Demand is what determines what changes everything.  If consumers do not want products with these top offenders then soon raw material companies will have no reason to offer them.

Here is a list of 10 ingredients that you don’t want in your personal care products:


1. Sunscreen chemicals

Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. They can be found in sunscreen products.


2. Parabens

Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Read more on parabens >


3. Synthetic colors

FD&C or D&C, represent artificial colors. F — representing food and D&C representing drug and cosmetics. These letters precede a colour and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C blue 1).


4. Synthetic Fragrance

Fragrance is the leading cause of skin irritations. With your underarms and scalp being the most sensitive parts of your body, it’s important to be cautious of using highly-scented products in these areas. Read more on synthetic fragrances in deodorants >


5. Phthalates

The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray.


6. Triclosan

Tricolson is widely used antimicrobial chemical that can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants.


7. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)

This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products).


8. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth.


9. Toluene

A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. You may see it on labels listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair colour /bleaching products.


10. Aluminium

Aluminum is a metal that most of us come in contact with on a daily basis. It is a naturally occurring element from the earth and is used in the manufacturing of cars, paint, propellant, fuel additives, over the counter medications (like antacids), soda cans and aluminum foil. Aluminum is used in antiperspirants to block your sweat glands to prevent you from sweating. Read more on what you should know on aluminum in deodorant  >

Shop Charcoal Deodorants

the takesumi detox®