Is your natural deodorant giving you a rash? As the founder of a natural deodorant company, I have had many experiences that involve consumers and product sensitivity. Many consumers have asked me about rashes and redness on their skin after they switched over to a natural product.
Why Are Armpits So Sensitive?
Your underarm area is one of the most sensitive regions in your body. It has the tendency to be dark and damp, which makes it the ideal condition for bacteria and irritation to thrive. If you have a history of sensitive skin, I suggest you do a test patch to see if the natural deodorant will work for you.
Here is a breakdown of the most common reasons why you may be sensitive to deodorant:
1. Baking Soda and Fragrance
If you do a quick search online, you will find many consumers and retailers concerned about baking soda. What most people don’t know is that it is not just baking soda, but it is also fragrance that most dermatologists list as the two most common causes of contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a condition that causes your skin to have a reaction when it comes into contact with a particular ingredient.
Baking soda has a high pH level of 9 meaning that it is on the alkaline side. This is what makes baking soda much more likely to cause irritation when it is used on the skin as skin pH is ideally around 5 to 6, but this can vary according to your skin type (oily, dry, neutral etc). It is common that deodorants with baking soda can disrupt your skin’s natural composition which in turn, can lead to breakouts, redness, or a rash.
It terms of fragrance in deodorant, if you can smell the deodorant immediately after opening it, you may want to stay clear of the deodorant if you have skin sensitivities. I would first suggest taking a look at the ingredient label for natural deodorants that are lightly-scented (if the ingredients for fragrance are at the bottom of the label). Secondly, if you are a person with sensitive skin, ensure that a deodorant does not contain baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate).
2. Excessive Moisture
You must understand that deodorants don’t work for everyone. Everyone has a different reaction to a product’s formulation.
At kaia naturals, we noticed one of the most common causes of skin sensitivities is from excessive sweating. Unlike antiperspirants, you will naturally be a little sweatier when you switch to a natural deodorant since they do not plug the pores in your armpits. When sweat rests on your skin, it attracts bacteria and causes rashes on your skin. The first thing you must do is to discontinue use of deodorant. Allow your armpits to recover, which will take about two days and you should keep them dry with cornstarch during this time. Natural deodorants should contain powders to help absorb moisture, sometimes stick deodorants do not contain enough powder (it crumbles) so sticks may require an application of powder. If you are a heavy sweater, I suggest using a loose powder brush to brush cornstarch on your armpits after you apply the deodorant to add an extra moisture barrier.
Photo by Romulo Carolino.
3. Friction Intertrigo
This sounds way too obvious to be the cause, but many people experience irritation because their skin is constantly rubbing against something. This has nothing to do with the deodorant itself, but instead often has to do with what you are wearing. When you wear synthetic tight-fitting fibers around the armpits, it holds moisture and odor that causes irritation in the area. You also may notice skin rashes showing up in your breast folds and/or groin areas due to the lack of circulation.
If you experience an allergic reaction when using a deodorant, stop using it right away. You should also stop shaving your armpits and wear loose fitting clothes to avoid further irritation. If symptoms persist, consult your dermatologist or doctor.
How Do I Recognize Deodorant Allergy Or Intolerance?
The most common symptoms are red, scaly and flaky rashes in the area where the product has been applied. You may even experience burning and itching in the underarm area. Red bumps or blisters may develop in more severe cases too. This can occur immediately or even months after application.
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If you have any questions on this topic, we would love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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