Today's blog post is a little different than the ones we typically do—but it's an important one!
As our probiotic deodorant grows in popularity, I've found that a few questions seem to come up again and again. So today, I want to take a little bit of time to answer those questions here.
I'm also hoping to give you some more insight into our process & our thoughts behind why we do what we do, as well as offering some ideas for troubleshooting any issues with your probiotic deodorant.
How is it made?
Each and every batch of our skin care is made by hand—from the deodorants to the lip balms to the kits. And although we're small (our production studio is a large room adjacent to our home), we take the job of providing you with quality skin care very seriously.
We take great care to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (known in the biz as "GMP"). For example, we document every lot of raw material that goes into making a batch, so that our lot numbers & manufacturing dates are traceable.
We have written sanitization procedures for all of the surfaces and tools we use, and carefully follow them before we start making any batch of anything. We wear hair nets, gloves, and aprons whenever we work with raw materials.
It's important to us that you know how seriously we take your health and your skin care.
We infuse focused, intentional care into everything we do. Here's a 60-second insight into how we make a batch of our mini probiotic deodorants.
After that, we carefully label everything by hand—for deodorants in oval-shaped tubes, there's not even a manual machine that can help make that easier! Sometimes Robert and I do it while watching a movie with the boys. :)
Fragrance vs. Essential Oils
You have several different scent options for your deodorant:
- scented with essential oils (Lavender Rose and Lemongrass Patchouli)
- scented with phthalate-free fragrance (Coconut Mango, Eucalyptus Spearmint, and Tweed & Spice)
We sometimes get questions about our choice to offer deodorants with fragrance. What does that mean? Why do we do it? Is it better or worse than essential oils—or does it matter at all?
Here's a little insight into our thoughts about it.
When an ingredient label says “fragrance", it typically means that it includes a synthetic fragrance. For example, there is no way to create a scent like coconut mango with essential oils, because there are no essential oils for coconut or mango. They simply don’t exist!
But some customers love scents like that—thus the need to create it synthetically.
One component of particular concern in some synthetic fragrance is a scent "fixative" called diethylphthalate (DEP). Basically, it helps to both disperse and preserve a fragrance.
There is a growing number of studies linking phthalates to disruption of the endocrine system. Not all fragrance manufacturers use phthalates, but because most blends are proprietary formulas, you have to really do your homework if you want to avoid phthalates.
That's why I always investigate my suppliers very, very closely before working with them, to ensure that every fragrance we use is phthalate-free. It’s also GMO-free, soy free, petroleum-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free. It is extremely important to me for you to know that you've chosen a product that uses the safest, highest-quality ingredients possible.
If you want to go completely fragrance-free, we offer the two essential oil scents mentioned above (Lavender Rose and Lemongrass Patchouli) as well as the unscented option. There's something for everyone!
Why do we offer phthalate-free fragrances in the first place?
I think it's really important, actually.
There are many customers who come over to our deodorant from traditional, commercial antiperspirant. They want something more natural, but they still need something a little bit familiar. And our sense of smell can be a powerful tool in providing that familiarity. By making deodorants with a fun/fresh/manly scent, we're able to offer those customers a healthier alternative but with a familiar smell.
For some of my customers, finding a fragrance they enjoy helps them to make that first step over to natural, aluminum-free deodorant. Many of these customers wouldn’t have made the switch otherwise.
We are committed to providing a product that helps people wherever they are along the journey towards a healthier lifestyle. For me, helping to wean people from aluminum-based products is the first, most important step. And of course, all of our deodorants remain paraben-free, petroleum-free, propylene-glycol-free, and phthalate-free, no matter how they are scented.
Hopefully, this helps to explain the philosophy behind how we scent our products. It’s exciting for me to know we can serve as a type of “bridge” product for people that are just beginning to consider going natural & aluminum-free.
There aren’t too many products out there like that!
Will it control wetness?
Let me start by saying that if you use a Handcrafted HoneyBee natural probiotic deodorant, you are going to sweat. We do not now—nor will we ever—offer you a product to keep you from sweating.
But you can still absorb and control underarm wetness.
We make deodorant, not antiperspirant. Conventional antiperspirant works to stop sweat by literally clogging the sweat pores with aluminum and blocking sweat from exiting the body. Our deodorant is aluminum-free, and our customers like it that way.
Our formulation uses a blend of baking soda and arrowroot powder (which is plant-based) to help wick away & absorb moisture. Many of our customers who switch over from antiperspirant report a brief adjustment period, after which they find that they actually sweat less than they did before!
On a personal note, I used to use a "clinical strength" antiperspirant brand, and I haven't had any trouble controlling underarm moisture now that I've been using our aluminum-free deodorant for the past three years.
Why do we use probiotics?
Did you know that sweat is naturally odorless? It's actually bacteria that causes your sweat to stink! Probiotics work on the skin similarly to how they work in the gut—they nourish "good" bacteria, creating a better balance in your skin biome and helping to control odor.
What happens if you have a reaction to the baking soda?
A small percentage of our customers find that they are sensitive to baking soda deodorants. If you get a rash immediately, you might not be able to use baking soda deodorants. In that case, you can always give our baking soda free option a try!
If you get a rash over time rather than immediately, you might have developed a baking soda sensitivity due to a variety of factors (diet, skin pH, environment, etc).
One option that might help you would be to use an apple cider vinegar/water wash (with a 1:4 ratio) each night before bed, or each morning before putting on your deodorant (with enough time to let it dry). You can spray the mixture on or pat it on. Regardless of the mode of application, let it air dry. After a week or two, this practice can help your skin's surface to return to its natural acidity.
This doesn't happen to everyone, but it does happen to some—it's even happened to me from time to time!
It's hard to know why a reaction happens to some and not others. I have actually found that my skin pH is often connected to both my diet and my hormonal cycle. Regardless, it's good to have options when it does happen!
If you think you have any sort of baking soda sensitivity—a rash, itchiness, redness, or a "leathery" texture on your skin—let us know immediately so we can find an alternative for you or try to help you troubleshoot.
In fact, if for any reason your deodorant isn’t working like you want it to, please reach out! We’ll work together to figure out a solution that's best for you.
Have more questions?
We have a deodorant FAQ page that includes more information—including info about each of the ingredients, tips and tricks for success when transitioning to using a natural deodorant, and more.