Why Some People Still Smell, Even After Using Natural Deodorant

March 2021 | 5 minute read


Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

Does Your Natural Deodorant Last Past Lunch Hour?

Natural deodorant can be a challenge for some as it is not formulated to  prevent you from sweating. This is why natural deodorants are so much healthier than antiperspirants which block your pores. There are those that can use their natural deodorant and stay fresh all day long because they are not prone to consistent sweating. Then, there are those who use deodorant in the morning but by lunch hour are suffering from body odor because they are heavy sweaters. For the most part, these differences stem from body chemistry as everybody is different. However, if the latter is the case for you, don’t sweat it! Take it from me, as I am also one of those consistent sweaters. I will be sharing why this tends to happen and some tips to help your deodorant perform better  and avoid the break-through odor by noon

The Real Cause of Underarm Odor

This may not be what you expected, but sweat is not the cause of body odor. It is the bacteria that gets trapped within the moisture that creates the unpleasant smell. A 2016 medical study  reported Corynebacterium is the bacteria found in the moisture of your armpit, along with  StaphylococcusPropionibacterium, and Micrococcus

These bacteria become trapped within the moist dark crevice of your armpit creating the perfect environment for more bacteria to breed. If the bacteria is not properly cleansed from your armpits each time you shower, you are not applying your deodorant to a clean environment! Therefore, I found the key to controlling underarm odor is proper cleansing.  

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Manage Sweat with These Two Clean Beauty Hacks


Tip #1: My Underarm Double Cleanse Method

I am going to suggest one of my
kaia naturals products here, the underarm bar, as it is the only antibacterial bar of its kind that targets underarm odor. Designed to cleanse odor causing bacteria, I formulated it with activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar and salt to effectively remove yesterday’s deodorant build up and leave a protective barrier on the skin, helping to extend your deodorant well lunch hour.  

Here is my Underarm Double Cleanse Method:

  1. First Cleanse: Lather the antibacterial soap on each armpit for 10 seconds  
  2. Fully rinse off the soap 
  3. Second Cleanse: Lather the bar on each armpit for another 10 seconds 
  4. For the final rinse, check each armpit for a squeaky clean feeling 

If you don’t feel the “squeak”, there may still be underarm residue that needs to be washed off. 

Tip #2: Powder Protection

Invest in cornstarch baby powder or arrowroot powder. Both have properties that can help absorb excessive sweat throughout the day and keep your underarms dry so that bacteria does not have a chance to form. After getting out of the shower and applying your favorite natural deodorant, pat a layer of the powder on your underarms. For an added tip, keep the powder of choice in a travel container to touch up midday when you are on the go. 

What To Do If You Need Extra Sweat Protection?


Two changes you could investigate to help reduce sweat production and body odor would be your stress levels and clothing fabric choices.

Since the bodily reaction to stress can trigger sweat glands to produce sweat, stress management and anxiety-reduction techniques can help you regulate your stress reaction and minimize your physiological sweat response.  

Next, wear loose-fitting, natural fabrics like cotton and linen as these fabrics are breathable and will not trap sweat that allows odor causing bacteria to thrive. These fabrics will help your body to stay cooler better than constricting clothes made from non-breathable fabrics such as rayon or polyester materials. 

Are Antiperspirants Ever Okay to Use?

If it is an absolute necessity to stay sweat-free for a day, this is a reminder that deodorants are meant to reduce odor, while antiperspirants help block sweat. As a natural deodorant expert I would always advise to stay away from using antiperspirants as they are made with harsh chemicals like aluminum. If you find yourself in a unique circumstance where natural deodorant doesn’t cut it, a little cheat if you must will not hurt. But try to avoid overusing antiperspirants as you will have to go through the armpit detox again when returning to natural deodorant.  

armpit odor solution


Better Together | underarm bar + natural deodorant

Eliminates stubborn armpit odor using the power of apple cider vinegar, salt, and activated charcoal 

Say Goodbye to Midday Reapplication and Hello to Fresh Underarms

Being naturally sweaty is a very normal human discomfort, however following my tips on how to help control sweat and avoid premature odor break-through may provide you with a little peace of mind and keep you odor-free well past lunch hour.  

Please Read Our Medical Disclaimer

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Subscribe to our blog, The Little Book Of Human Discomforts, to stay in the know on taboo human body topics that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.