Although I get much positive feedback about The Wholesome Hive’s natural deodorant, the main complaint I occasionally hear is that it can cause irritation and itchiness. While it’s not often that I hear this, it was alarming to hear at first, especially when the complaint came from my husband! I knew I had to do some research on this issue before continuing to produce this item. So after sifting through many articles and even more opinions, I think I’ve come to a logical conclusion and solution.
I always used to wonder why mainstream deodorant commercials always highlighted their product as being ‘pH balanced.’ Well, now I know. According to Dr. David Williams (http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/proper-ph-balance/), “The acidity or alkalinity of a substance is measured using pH. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being neutral. To survive, our bodies must maintain the pH very close to 7.4, which is just on the alkaline side of neutral. If your body’s pH varies too much from this ideal, it becomes difficult for various enzymes to function properly.” Baking soda, which has an alkalinity of about 8.5 on the pH scale, is one of the main ingredients in The Wholesome Hive’s natural deodorant, as well as many other natural deodorants on the market. Because of this, sometimes applying this amount of baking soda to the skin can cause a person’s pH to be off balance. This is not typical, and most people do not experience this, but for those that do, using natural deodorant can be annoying and painful if not treated properly. The good news is that there is a remedy for this problem!
If one has too much alkalinity, it needs to be balanced with something acidic. By applying raw apple cider vinegar to his armpits for three days, my husband’s underarms returned to normal, with the itchiness and redness gone. There are a few ways this can be done. The vinegar can be applied straight (use a cloth or cotton swab) or it can be diluted with some water in a spray bottle. Whatever method is chosen, once the vinegar is applied, it should be allowed to dry completely and then deodorant can be applied as usual. Everyone’s skin and body reacts differently, so each individual will have to experiment and see what works. Also, if the skin is very irritated, it may be wise to not apply the deodorant again until after a few days of using the apple cider vinegar solution and allowing the skin to heal.
The bottom line is, there are many factors that play into the well-being of one’s body, that one problem may not have the same solution for everyone. It is important to know your skin and always test new products on a small area first. For many people, when switching from a mainstream deodorant to a natural solution, it will take a small amount of time for the body to adjust to the change. What about you? Have you had this happen? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?