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Why Your Natural Deodorant Stopped Working

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.

Has Your Natural Deodorant Stopped Working?


People always ask me why they become immune to their deodorant and why it stops working after a certain period of timeProduct immunity is something you hear a lot about in beauty so today I want to talk about whether this is truly the case. 

A quick search online will show you many articles and blogs that claim you need to switch your skincare products often because you become immune to the ingredients, however as a product developer I can tell you that this is untrue. 

more body odor than usual - here is why

Can Your Armpits Become Immune to Your Deodorant?

Armpit Care

If a product you use no longer works, it has to do with your body’s physiological changes, not an immunity to the product’s ingredients. For example, when your facial cleanser stops working, your skin has changed in some way which means the product may no longer be suitable. Maybe your skin is oilier or dryer than it used to be, due to stress or hormones so you need a new product that addresses these needs. Therefore, if a deodorant no longer works for you, it is because the conditions of your armpits have changed. 

What Else Can Cause More Body Odor Than Usual?

Due to high stress levels in your everyday life, you may actually sweat up to 30 times more than normal. 

Studies show that high processed foods, red meats and spicy foods can make you sweat more or have more body odor than usual. Eliminating these foods may help.  

Hormonal Changes  
Whether you are going through pregnancy, menopause, or puberty, you will notice a fluctuation of changes occurring and it is common to have increased sweat levels. Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels are common and can lead to hot flashes, sweating and body odor.  

Common pajama materials are wool, fleece and flannel and these fabrics can lead to overheating. I recommend natural fabrics such as, cotton or bamboo as they allow the skin to breathe, reducing the chances of overheating. 

The Way You Wash Is Just As Important

Above all else, an increased production of bacteria in your underarms is often the culprit. The armpit is a moist dark area, which is a perfect place for bacteria to grow. When the bacteria interacts with the sweat from our armpits it creates thioalcohols molecules that evaporate from your underarms and release that horrible body odor we are all familiar with.  

If all you do is use fragranced bar soap under your armpits, you are not cleaning away the bacteria properly. Not only will there be bacteria from the day leftover, but there will also be deodorant buildup from the day before. 

Like hand washing, you need an antibacterial soap to get rid of this smelly bacteria and leftover product. I created the underarm bar, formulated with charcoal, apple cider vinegar and salt to remove bacteria and leave a protective layer on the skin to help fight odor. Think of this as your natural deodorant’s best friend.  


What Else Can Cause More Body Odor Than Usual?

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People think they can quickly swipe some soap under their armpits and rinse off in a few seconds to achieve a truly clean underarm. However, what they don’t realize is that this is not enough to properly clean the underarm area. So, here’s what I recommend you do in the shower to make sure you are properly rinsing the area. 

Mary's Underarm Double Cleanse

  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 

Listen To Your Body

The overall conclusion is that your armpits have not become immune to anything in the deodorant you use. Rather, your skin microbiome has changed with the passage of time. In fact, many things can change how your armpit behaves that range from diet, to stress and hormones.  

Above all else, addressing the bacteria under the arm through other factors is key to helping your natural deodorant perform to the best of its ability. 

See A Doctor If You Experience Any of the Following: 

  • You suddenly begin to sweat much more or less than usual. 
  • Sweating disrupts your daily routine 
  • You experience night sweats for no apparent reason. 
  • You notice a change in your body odor when you are taking new medications

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