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.



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.


Nov 062013

I’ve been using my deodorant for much longer then I’ve been selling it, about 5 years longer.  Over those years, i have rashed about 4 times. I wish I could remember what I did exactly to get through it. I suspect I just use much less and diluted it with Aloe.

I have no idea why I rashed and no idea if I just got used to the deodorant or it was just a temporary body chemistry thing or what.

I also wish I knew if a person can work through the rashing. As a responsible person, I can not tell you that there is a way to work out the rashing so you can continue to use baking soda based deodorants. I can ask that is anyone out there has any insight or experience with rashing and what ended up working for them, I appreciate you sharing it with me.

Meanwhile, read my other posts on rashing for further insight.

Oct 212013

Clara G writes:

Hey there! I purchased your deodorant lotion recently, and it works well! The only issue I have is it gives me a terrible burning rash under my arms. I noticed it the first day I wore it, and the more days in a row I wear it the worse the rash gets. I waited for the first rash to go away and then I tried creating a barrier between my skin and the deodorant by applying a good amount of pure Shea butter but it didn’t help prevent the rash. Have you heard of this before? Is there anything I can do to prevent the rash? It’s super disappointing because I have such a terrible time with underarm odor and nothing seems to work (except this, it works wonderfully!). Leave it to me to have some allergic reaction to the only thing that cures my underarm odor lol. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Clara.

Thank you so much for trying so hard. I know it works well but some people do have a reaction to it. Certainly is could be an allergy to one of the ingredients. However, my guess is that your skin is already fairly highly alkaline and the deodorant’s baking soda pushes your skin beyond what it can tolerate.veto

That said, there may be a solution but first, you must stop using the deodorant right away so your skin can heal. Once it is rashing, it can’t heal unless you stop using it, okay?

First, I really like your idea about putting pure shea butter as a protective barrier (although I’m a bigger fan of cocnut oil). I’m sorry it didn’t work. It’s a long shot, but try the following -if you haven’t already done it – after you are completely healed. This advice is coming from what worked for a few people. You can try to do all of these or a combination of them or try one at a time.

Steps to Try to Prevent Under Arm Rash


1) Only using every other day
2) Not using after shaving
3) Using a much smaller amount
4) Mixing with half Aloe Vera

If none of those work, I would try mixing up your own batch of deodorant to see if it is the ingredients in mine other than the baking soda.

Simple Deodorant Recipe:

Next, to rule out allergy, try this:

1 tablespoon Baking Soda
1 tablespoon Corn Starch
1 tablespoon Coconut Butter (or Shea)
1 tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel

If this combo also gives you a rash, then it is probably the baking soda.

If it is the baking soda, I am a bit disappointed too because I’ve had a theory for awhile that people who rash with baking soda tend not to have as much trouble with body odor because they tend to have higher alkaline levels then others.

PH Test for “Science” or Curiosity

Out of curiosity, you might try testing your ph. You can purchase ph test strips online, at the drugstore or at walmart pharmacy.

The reason I am curious about your Ph is that Alkaline diets are all the fad right now and some people who have been working on raising their Ph have reported to me that they have begun to rash. I’m not sure about all the science of it but I do know that:
1) We smell because the bacteria that causes body odor loves the slightly acidic environment our sweat creates.
2) If we change our PH under our arms, we impact the bacteria’s ability to grow (and smell).
3) BUT when we disturb the “acid mantle” of our skin more then we can tolerate, we end up with unhappy skin.


The PH Balancing Act

It seems to me that it is a bit of a balancing act trying to fight body odor by creating an environment where the Ph isn’t optimum for the bacteria but that we can still tolerate it. This balancing act MAY be complicated by all the factors that might impact the Ph under our arms, factors like

  1. age
  2. hormones
  3. diet
  4. health

I suspect you are more alkaline then people who don’t rash, but I am neither a scientist, a doctor or any other professional, it’s just a guess. One piece of good news might be that some people believe that high alkalinity is a healthier state then being more acid. Anyway, I’d love to know what your ph is.

I also believe that the reason the big guys aren’t selling deodorant like mine even though it works so well- is because they can’t handle the idea that it doesn’t work for everyone exactly the same way. In this new economy though, we can empower ourselves to find products that are right for our individual needs. Hopefully, if we all work together and keep communicating we can find healthy answers more easily without needing to use all the big boy’s chemicals.

Anyway, can you consider what I’ve written and let me know if you are willing to try the things I’ve suggested?

Please share your experiences with me. Baking Soda is such an effective deodorant, I want as many people to enjoy the benefits without any discomfort as possible.  Unlike some people who are willing to throw out an awesome ingredient because some can’t use it, I think we should acknowledge our unique body reactions and share knowledge not quick judgement.


Jul 252013

It’s just a theory but, I think your ability to tolerate a baking soda-based deodorants is related to how acid your skin is.  The “acid barrier” we all create is good at protecting us from some bacteria and germs and unwanted parasites. However some bacteria like the acid or are acidic like  Corynebacterium and  Staphylococcus epidermidis and these cause what we recognize as body odor. So, when we apply a alkaline substance under our arms we either prevent or thwart the  bacteria from emitting smells.

Given that each of us is different, some of us are more acidic then others, no matter what we do.  So, some of us are more smelly then others, no matter how many times we bathe or what we eat. However, this doesn’t mean our skin is exactly the same ph level all the time. Our ph level must fluctuate with diet, lifestyle, environment, stress etc. too.

So, I theorize that someone who can normally tolerate my deodorant or another sodium bicarbonate-based deodorant might beocme intolerant occassionally. In fact, as I will tell anyone who will listen, in the 5 years I’ve used it, I’ve probably rashed maybe 4 times. One time the skin under my arms got leathery.

Cindi Pearse on eHow writes that

Eating a lot of alkaline foods, such as vegetables, roots, tubers, nuts and fruits, increases the pH of the blood as well as increases the secretion of alkali.

This would mean your sweat would become more alkaline. This is not a bad thing, in fact, as long as it doesn’t get too alkaline (see footnote below for symptoms of this), which in healthy people is unlikely, it’s perfectly fine. My bet is, your body odor is less too and a milder deodorant would work better. ( But don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you (or someone you know) is smelly is evidence of a bad diet.

I suggest trying a non-baking soda-based deodorant if you rash with my regular deodorant -and yes I sell a great Mineral Deodorant for that if you’d like to try it. When or if you find that this non baking soda deodorant stops working switch back to the baking soda deodorant. Use as little as possible or dilute with aloe gel – if you aren’t allergic to aloe which some people are.

Please note that other reasons you might suddenly start rashing include:

  • Putting on too much of Body Brew Deodorant.
  • Reapplying the doeodrant in between showers,
  • Abrasive clothing
  • Heat Rash
  • Allergy or sensitivity to an ingredient like the hemp oil or the essential oils. See here.

Please share with me your experiences so we can maybe figure this out and offer solutions to others.  Thank you!

*Too alkaline (probably due to some extraordinary issue occurring to the body like gastric drainage, impaired kidney function, use of steroids or diuretics or hyperventilation.) includes symptoms of  hyper excitability, muscle spasms, cramps and irritability.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/list_7408128_alkaline-symptoms.html#ixzz2a4VxsIvx

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