Oct 282016

Cutaneous granulomas caused by antiperspirants containing aluminum zirconium complex can explain some people’s rash like reaction to all or almost all antiperspirants.

Cutaneaous granulomas are compacted inflamed cells either grouped together or single bumps.

The term Granuloma covers a wide group of conditions and  can be  caused by an array of things including exposure to invading organisms or antigens, chemical irritants, viral infections etc. If you suffer from cutaneous granulomas under your arm or near there, you may want to consider discontinuing your antiperspirant to see if that clears up the issue.

Zirconium compounds have been associated with the development of hypersensitivity granulomas.

J Am Acad Dermatol

Just to be clear, it is my understanding that antiperspirants don’t always cause cutaneous granulomas in people, just to those who are sensitive to aluminum zirconium complexes or possibly by those whose body in undergoing another stressor and when this condition is combined with antiperspirant, a temporary reaction may be possible.

To read more, check out….



Aug 202015

Baking Soda Deodorant Rash Solved

Here’s a portion of a conversation I had with a customer about his experience with a deodorant rash:

Hi Brenda,

Recently I’ve developed a rash on my armpits. I am not sure why all the sudden but I suspect the heat in combination with the deodorant is what’s causing it all of the sudden. I have tried to dial back the amount I use which helps a bit

Hi Alan,

Thanks for writing about your concern. First, I think the rash might be caused exactly for the reasons you describe. Also, is there a chance, because of the heat, that you’ve applying more? Another cause could be diet, we tend to eat a little bit better at this time of year because of all the greens and good veggies available. This, at least theoretically, can raise our Ph slightly (a good thing many suspect) which would impact your skin’s Ph, which would impact your need for a high alkaline deo. So, you could try to dilute it too, with Aloe or Coconut Oil or witch hazel.
Here’s a link to my Mineral Deo, if you’d like to try that…, it has a lower Ph.

Hey Brenda,
Thanks for the info! Luckily the rashing has gone down, and it doesn’t seem to be peeling anymore since using less deo. So less is definitely more. Also been using some jojoba and coconut oil to help soothe and heal. I think I’ll be OK using less deo though as I’ve already gone 13 hours today already and don’t stink! Prior to using yours I was making my own with coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda which worked well but simply got too busy to worry about making my own all the time. Thanks for making such a great product!

Jojoba is an excellent addition and I’m glad you mentioned it. Also glad it seems to be working out. Have a great week! Yours,

Jun 052015

There are Ways to Have No Rash Baking Soda Deodorant

IMG_20121216_121435As you know because you found this post that there is a percentage of people who rash with baking soda deodorants. And I write about this in other posts. This time I want to share solutions my customers found that allowed them to use my deodorant and would probably work for other baking soda deodorants too.  I think because we are all different no one solution is going to fit every person.  We need to recognize ( hopefully just a little bit of) trial and error is necessary for many of us. Sharing what worked for others helps us all add to our repertoire of solutions that might work for us.  Remember to be gentle with your underarms when experimenting with deodorants. It is important to give your underarms a chance to heal  before trying new solutions.  Just like breaking in a pair of shoes or hiking boots. You don’t keep wearing footwear once the blister has happened, you have to let it heal and try again.

Dilute the Deodorant

Kroger Milk of magnesia without sodium hypochloriteBecause I am a copious sweat producer, I needed to make my deodorant pretty strong and then add things that will help my skin accept it (Aloe, Vit. E., Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil, Avocado Oil, Clay) but it might be too strong for some people. This is such an easy fix though, and helps the deo last longer… Dilute it! I haven’t tried all the ingredients you could use to dilute Ziryab’s deodorant but many of the ideas probably won’t lessen the very long shelf life of the deodorant (unless you put something in it very degradable like milk, cream or avocados!)

Laurie R from Wisconsin writes:

the baking soda tore up my underarms…redness,leathery skin etc. and I’ve never had a problem with baking soda before….just way too much in it. These are symptoms of what baking soda does to many (I looked online) The good news is that this deodorant is SO WORTH looking for a way to make it work….and I did! A little research online and inexpensive trial and error with something made this work. 24 hours later and heavy sweat and still didn’t have odor! The sample size itself is huge…never saw one like it before. I personally love the herbal scent it has as well. I didn’t expect it to work any better than my other favorite from another shop (which is great) but it far exceeds it. Will most definitely buy a bottle when the samples are gone!

I wrote to her and asked her what worked for her and she wrote back and told me, thank you Laurie!

I mixed in a little milk of magnesia. It worked perfectly for me by diluting the baking soda just enough but not taking anything away from the deodorant. Some may not want to use it as m.o.m. contains bleach…but if you can take it internally without dying from it, I myself am not worried about a little of it in deodorant. People may also try magnesium oil…I just didn’t have any. I will be buying a bottle of your deodorant in the near future….thank you it truly is wonderful stuff!

I really admire people like Laurie who do their research and are willing to share their solutions.  I think using Milk of Magnesia is very smart (of course I would because I sell an alternative deo called Mineral Deodorant which has Magnesium Hydroxide as a main ingredient). The reason it worked for Laurie is that Milk of Magnesia is still pretty high alkaline so it dilutes the Baking Soda but only a little bit.   So it is an ingredient that really won’t interfere with the way the deodorant works but might not dilute it enough for some people…  Glad it worked for Laurie and it might work for others too.

About bleach in Milk of Magnesia… Laurie is right about the bleach, sodium hypochlorite.  Probably acting as a preservative.   I am not so sure it is neccessary though nor can I say  whether the chemical is present in a large enough quantity to hurt us but who really knows?  So I think if it is avoidable, avoid it.  The good news is that there are brands that don’t list sodium hypochlorite on their labels.

Dan Wich has very kindly posted on his website Toxinless a list of places that sell Milk of Magnesia without sodium hypochlorite.



Dec 102014

Lisa writes:

Hi! I ordered your product and really wanted to love it. The first week after using it I love the coverage however I began to get pain in one of my armpits. The pain got progressively worse unfortunately until I noticed I had huge zit like things. No joke after a few days they got so big my husband (a nurse) said they really looked like boils. Woah- what was up with me I don’t know. I don’t have sensitive skin but this reaction was awful!

I wrote back:

Rashes are pretty common in baking soda deodorants. Boils however, are not something I’ve heard of… In fact, as your husband no doubt knows, boils are staphylococcus infections and can actually be caught. Usually infecting skin through a cut or hair follicle. They do often occur under the arms.

(Many people do suffer from boil like symptoms and rashes from a disorder caused by the aluminum in antiperspirants)

If they were/are boils, A few things could have happened, the baking soda may have irritated your skin enough to allow you to contract an infection. Or, the deo caused an underlying condition to “come to a head” – pardon the pun.

I am not a medically trained person, I’ve just read that some people recommend many of the ingredients in my deodorant (baking soda, tea tree, neem, aloe vera) to “draw-out” a boil.

After you have completely healed, you might consider trying again, cautiously! I am not a nurse or scientist but I have started to believe that most people who don’t rash right away can figure out a way to continue to use the deodorant without rashing. I’ve written a lot about rashing on my website but it seems to me most people’s skin that rashes after a week or so when using a baking soda product can train their skin to be okay with it as long as they don’t push it too far too fast for their skin’s tolerance. ( I am less optimistic about people who rash immediately.)

Oh, and in your case, I’ll mention I’ve heard often about a detoxifying period of using a natural deodorant. I haven’t believed the concept at all. I’ve always thought it was complete hogwash… however so many people have mentioned it that there may be a very small minority that it is actually true for. Like you? It’s a LONG SHOT. Could detoxifying result in boils? I don’t know.

If you do decide to try again after completely healing, PLEASE let me know what you tried and how it went. Also read my info on rashing on my site:


Dec 062014

Adriane writes:

This is awkward to write but after using this for the last 2-3 weeks, I have noticed my armpits are stained like dark red and brown….the only thing I have done different is use this. My clothes are the same, same laundry soap, bath soap, same level of activity/perspiration.

Has anyone else had this issue?

I wrote back:

Absolutely, it is common and it is the product. I don’t know why it happens and it doesn’t happen to everyone. However, it happened to me and then it went away. I suspect it is similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes, your skin gets used to it. The baking Soda is highly alkaline and skin likes to be slightly acidic. Unfortunately, Body Odor causing bacteria has developed to flourish in this acidic environment. What my deodorant does is create a longer lasting alkaline environment to prevent the bacteria from growing.

However, depending on skin and possibly existing Ph levels, someone can rash (and or perhaps get rougher dark skin under arms). If it is just delicate skin unused to alkaline, this can be overcome. However, I don’t think it can always be overcome. I suspect this is sometimes due to already existing high alkaline levels. I also suspect we can predict future success of getting used to the deodorant by the speed in which a rash occurs.

I would make sure you are using the least amount you need. You also might try discontinuing and trying again after the redness is gone. The discoloration will go away if you stop using my product and will probably stop happening even when you do use my product. In my case, my underarms are lighter then they were before.

And I’m glad you shared, I haven’t had too many comments about this but I’d like to figure out exactly what should be done when it happens and your experience is very helpful for others, thanks! Let me know what you think. I can also give you a reasonable refund or a a discount on a non-baking soda roll-on to try.

Please read my posts about rashes too



Aug 092014

My first customer Chris wrote me this review:

“The best antiperspirant and deodorant ever! I haven’t been able to find any natural deodorant that
works and doesn’t make me glands swell up, this is so much better than antiperspirant. My wife keeps smelling my pits and saying ‘Yup, still working!’ Thank you!!!

The truth is, my regular lotion deodorant is not an antiperspirant, at least not the kind sold in stores.  Chris and other customer have told me the noticed a marked decrease in sweating when using Ziryab’s Body Brew Deodorant. I too noticed this but it might be a factor of a changing body for me. How-Antiperspirants-work
As you may know, antiperspirant works by using a chemical that expands in your pores when it gets wet and blocks sweat glands so the sweat can’t come out.

I am not aware of any ability of the ingredients in my deodorant to do this.

There is a possibility that once allowed to sweat without blockage, our sweat decreases. But this sounds a little far fetched to me even though I’ve noticed the result.

There is only a few other ways to deal with sweating that I know about.

  1. Constrict the pores with an astringent like witch hazel which I include in my deodorant.
  2. Increase evaporation on skin to cool faster with alcohol
  3. Use something that will absorb sweat like clay, tapioca, baking soda (I use all three) and
  4. Maybe use menthol to cool (I use peppermint essential oil) but I’m not sure this is not just a sensation or it really would stop one from perspiring a bit.

So while my deo does have some wetness protection it isn’t nearly as strong as such things as aluminum chlorohydrate in commercial antiperspirants.


Jul 102014

Christina wrote and said:

Hi I do want to tell you that first off I really do love the products I purchased from you. Especially the deodorant.. BUT I am noticing that it is causing darkening of my skin obviously my underarms. What I do is I’ll just skip a couple days of deodorant all together since your formula has done something where I don’t need to all the time. After skipping the darkening goes away. Has anyone else had this issue? Any recommendations?

Thanks so much for reaching out and asking about this.

Actually, I had that issue early on. I’ve been using my deodorant for more than 5 years. Since I wasn’t planning on selling it then, I didn’t really pay close attention. But when you mention it, I remember my skin was darker and rougher (and occasionally itchy) for awhile.

I didn’t pay close attention at the time because the benefit of finally not smelling was so amazing to me that I thought it was worth it.

Also, in my case when using regular deo ( I had to wear at least two) my underarms were usually caked with whtle bits or smeared with white that collected in creases. Not to mention my shirts staining under my arms. I was personally happy to trade these side effects with darkening under the skin. That said, the darkened skin didn’t last. I wish I could remember how long it took for my skin to adjust but I can’t.

I know you aren’t alone but it hasn’t been a major complaint either… in fact, one woman said it lightened her skin. That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening to many people, they may just imaganie it’s just them.

Therefore, I will post something on my website and keep my eyes out for info on this side effect of baking soda deodorant (as I am pretty certain it is the baking soda causing the reaction).

Thanks for the heads up. I think it’s important to share information, especially stuff we don’t often talk about in casual conversation.

Also I found these interesting  links:

13 Proven Remedies for Whitening Dark Underarms

How to Get Rid of Dark Armpits



Jun 112014

Here is a place I will post comments, suggestions or insights from customers who worked through irritation from the baking soda. I am getting from those people who rash using my regular deodorant. Feel free to add a comment (if I’ve managed to get the comment section working :):

 I tried this and I didn’t smell all day, I didn’t sweat very much at all. I love the scent, It works. Now to be honest my underarms were sensitive when I used this deodorant.I can’t speak for any one else or tell any one that this will work for them, but, I use lotion first and then your deodorant and that seems to work for me, I need to purchase your mineral deodorant to switch up use on my days off. But, this is wonderful for me because I do not like the commercial antiperspirants.

Karen – Etsy

May 232014

Becky wrote to me and said:

I absolutely LOVE your deodorant! It took me a while to get used to it (I had a pretty bad reaction to it at first). But, it’s the only deodorant that has EVER worked!!

I was interested how she continued to use it, even though she had a bad reaction to it.   I wrote:

I’m curious, do you have any insights into what you did to get used to it? People write and ask me what they should do when they rash, saying they love my deodorant but are getting rashes. I try to help but wish i had more insight into whether the rashes will continue or whether it is possible that they will go away?

Becky kindly wrote back and said:

I just kept using it. After a couple of weeks, my rash diminished. I also stopped scrubbing so hard when I shower. I used to scrub hard because I used nasty store-bought deodorant (like Secret) and I always felt like it needed a lot of scrubbing to come off. I don’t worry about that with your product.

I do mean that it is amazing. I’ve been testing a bunch of products and yours is the ONLY one that actually works…and smells nice too!

Dec 012013

Some people rash with baking soda, some do not.

Some rash occasionally, some people rash always.

Some people rash mildly and some rash severely.

Some people can get used to it, some can not.


Each one of us is physically different enough to be uncertain how each of us will react. To complicate matters, we also change significantly according to our diet, environment, hormones, age etc frequently, so what works once doesn’t mean will always work.

Commercial industry seems to be stuck in an old fashioned thinking that dictates that their products must appeal to the majority of people instead of serving enough people who need their product to stay in business.  Corporations all want to make a version of something as universal as Coca Cola.

This is lucky for us small business owners because we can focus on finding the smaller group of people who want our product. The downside is, we make products that aren’t right for some people. Making the products anyway, finding our client-base and educating our potential customers takes a lot of work  and such niche businesses have only been possible since the internet. Still, there is some risk. What I am afraid of is someone continues to use my deodorant even though the reaction they are having is bad.

We need to rely on our own understanding of our own body while also learning about it as we go.

The journey to deal with our own personal odor can be a long one for some of us, perhaps not the most important we will take but still, it is just part of the learning how to deal with ou

It is my opinion that since baking soda under my arms changed my life so significantly for the better that I want to make it available to others, I am crazy enthused about my solution for myself and hope it might be the perfect thing for others.

I rely of people to recognize that my product will work amazingly for some people and not everyone. I don’t know why this is the case, but for now, let’s just accept that it is the case.


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