Image: Courtesy of Grace Soraparu
Recently, all-natural beauty has been making its way into the spotlight. Fashion and beauty magazines alike have been taking notice of the good-for-your-body trend. But less obvious than paraben and phthalate-free cosmetics is non-toxic deodorant. Grace Soraparu, the owner of Whole Love Organics, knows a thing or two about how to stay fresh and sweat-free naturally. Her collection of vegan and organic deodorants come in a range of scents, and instead of clogging your underarms’ pores, her product allows for your pits to breathe. Echo chatted with the momtrepreneur about the benefits of non-toxic deodorant, and why everyone should make the switch—ASAP.
Why non-toxic deodorant?
Several years ago I was nursing my youngest son, and we had started eating better. I was looking at the back of the deodorant I was using and was like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe what I’m putting under my arms is so close to my breasts and all of my lymph tissues, and I’m nursing my son. What am I passing on to him?” And I just started reading how quickly toxins from our personal care products get into our bloodstream. Your skin is your largest organ, and unlike your digestive system where liver helps filter out toxins from food, your skin doesn’t really have that ability. It’s worse to use these bad products on your skin because it had no filtration system. Breast tissue is so close to our armpits. If people are worried about alcohol consumption while nursing, it kind of makes sense to think about the toxins we’re absorbing through our skin and how it gets directly into our bloodstream and effects our breast milk.
Do non-toxic deodorants clog your pores to prevent sweating?
A lot of people come up to me and are like, “Oh my gosh, am I still going to sweat with natural deodorant?” And I’m like, “Well yeah, you’re supposed to sweat.” Sweating is your body’s main way of releasing toxins from your body, so you want your body to sweat. It won’t clog your pores. The whole problem with aluminum-based deodorant is that your body recognizes it as foreign, so it actually tries to sweat more in order to push that aluminum out. When people make the switch to natural deodorant, they have a hard time. A lot of people get really sad and frustrated because they think that natural deodorant isn’t working. But really, your body is trying to transition itself and regulate itself again.
How does non-toxic deodorant prevent bad odors?
Coconut oil is the main ingredient [in non-toxic deodorants], along with arrowroot powder. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties. On its own [coconut oil]—some people can just use straight coconut oil as their deodorant and that helps neutralize the odor on their arms, but most people need something else. When you add essential oils along with the coconut oil and baking soda, it helps neutralize the odor. I always tell people that a great essential oil and a great scent to go with is tea tree because it has amazing antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it’s very effective in neutralizing odor. I also think that some people, when they’re going through all of these natural deodorants, they’re like, “All of these people rave about this scent, but I tried this scent and it just didn’t work for me.” I always tell people that when you’re done with your detox period your body reacts differently to different essential oils. I tell people when they’re switching [to natural deodorant] to use bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to make a paste and do a face mask for your armpits.
What scent would you recommend to people who are new to non-toxic deodorant?
I would say tea tree, or tea tree and lavender. Both of those oils are common essential oils found in non-toxic skincare. Lavender is used in many lotions and tea tree is found in a lot of face care brands because it’s so good at helping with acne. So to start with, I would start with a tea tree or a tea tree lavender, or just lavender. Those two oils are the most common and the most effective at killing bacteria. We talked a lot about baking soda, but when you’re switching to a natural deodorant, some people sweat a little more and some people break out into a rash, and they think, “I’m allergic to this and I can’t do this.” But the pH [levels] under your arms is actually changing because of all of the aluminum—especially if you’re using conventional deodorant—and you’re sweating all of this excess out.