Of all the promises found on a stick of deodorant (think ”72-hour dryness” or “Smell like a fresh mountain stream!”), you might have come across a brand new one: “microbiome-friendly.” So how does deodorant affect your skin's microbiome, and what does it mean when a deodorant claims to be microbiome-friendly?
Well first, what’s a “microbiome”?
This may come as a surprise, but you actually have billions of microorganisms that naturally live on your skin -- including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and others. Collectively they are called your “microbiome,” and they are essential to your skin’s health.
Much like the mix of helpful bacteria in your gut that aids in digestion, the microbiome of your skin helps keep it healthy by fighting off foreign microbes and viruses and balancing your skin’s pH levels. It’s essentially your skin’s first line of defense. When the bacteria in the microbiome are disturbed, your skin becomes vulnerable to increased inflammation and altered pH, causing uncomfortable rashes and skin conditions. This recent study cited microbiome disturbance as a chief cause of skin conditions like dermatitis, acne, infection, and more.
Why is your microbiome so important when it comes to deodorant?
Unfortunately, many products on the market today contain ingredients that can seriously interfere with your microbiome. If you’ve ever lifted your arms to find redness, irritation, bumps, or other reactions from traditional deodorants, your antiperspirant or deodorant may have disturbed your skin’s microbial balance.
One common cause of those bad reactions is the astringents and other chemicals many deodorants use to kill the bacteria that causes body odor under your arms. Unfortunately, those chemicals aren’t designed to just kill the bacteria that causes odor. Instead they kill all the bacteria, including the helpful ones in your microbiome which are essential to your skin’s health. As your microbiome is torn down, your body rushes blood and nutrients to the area in the form of irritation to help the area heal.
How does microbiome-friendly deodorant work?
Rather than send your microbiome into disarray, your deodorant can actually work harmoniously with it to manage body odor. That’s why we created our microbiome-friendly Unscented Aluminum-Free Deodorant with Prebiotics. So how does it work?
You may have noticed the ingredient “prebiotics” in the product name. Prebiotics are a special type of plant fiber that act as fuel for the healthy bacteria in your microbiome. By stimulating the good bacteria, prebiotics simultaneously suppress the bacteria on your skin that cause body odor. Pretty cool, right?
In addition to prebiotics, our formula includes some other unique ingredients that help keep you dry and smelling fresh without disturbing your microbiome:
- Witch Hazel extract (distilled from the Witch Hazel plant) helps minimize odor and excess moisture
- Arrowroot Powder (a starch made from the Arrowroot plant) absorbs sweat without clumping, which can happen with ingredients like baking powder
- Aloe Leaf Juice from the Aloe Vera plant soothes skin and helps minimize irritation
By working in harmony with your skin’s microbiome, our microbiome-friendly deodorant is designed to help prevent inflammation, maintain your skin’s pH balance and boost your skin’s ability to fight infection. This helps prevent eczema (a condition where your skin can become itchy, dry, rough, flakey, inflamed, and irritated) and other skin reactions like bumps and rashes.
Why is our microbiome-friendly deodorant unscented?
A study from the Journal of Clinical & Aesthetic Dermatology cited fragrances (from synthetic fragrances all the way to essential oils) as the primary cause of allergic reactions across more than 100 deodorants tested. The study recommends that anyone who’s experienced an allergic reaction to deodorant -- redness, bumps, and/or irritation -- look for a product with no fragrance.
We designed our microbiome-friendly deodorant to be as gentle as possible for those with sensitive skin and who tend to get irritation from other deodorants. So, it contains zero added fragrance. The only scent you’ll get is the slightly sweet, earthy scent of the ingredients themselves. If you have a known sensitivity to fragrances or simply prefer not to have fragrance in your deodorant, then this deodorant is worth checking out.
Who should consider using a microbiome-friendly deodorant?
The benefits of a microbiome-friendly deodorant versus a traditional deodorant go on and on. Whether you have sensitive skin, you’ve had negative reactions to fragrances or you’re just interested in using products that work with the balance of your body, our Unscented Aluminum-Free Deodorant with Prebiotics could be the upgrade your underarms have been looking for. The only way for you to know is to try it for yourself.
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