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You Don’t Need a Strong Deodorant, You Need the Right One

You Don’t Need a Strong Deodorant, You Need the Right One

by Shannon Klingman, M.D.

My search for a “strong deodorant” seemed never-ending. Even clinical strength antiperspirants were a big letdown.

I think my aha! moment came one afternoon when I was working as the medical expert for our ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, KSTP Channel 5. I was on the 4:30 pm news every Wednesday. My job was to prep a medical topic with one of the producers prior to going live on the air. I knew the topic and the talking points around it, but was NEVER scripted. It was live, and I was right after the weather segment.

My heart is beginning to pound just thinking about it.

I loved it. I loved the people. I felt like I was good at what I was doing, and yet I was nervous as hell. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest just moments before I was going on the air. Once I got started, I was fine. I never had a panic attack (yet felt like I might) and as far as I knew, my producer and the newscasters I worked with never knew I felt this way. It felt like jumping out of a plane, but I was just going on live television. Once I wrapped up the segment, I wanted to do it again.

It was after one particular segment that I took off my jacket, and I literally had an 8-inch sweat ring under each arm that looked like huge pizza stains on my shirt.

I was using Clinical Strength Secret at the time. I thought to myself, “What is this product even doing for me?”

So far, it didn’t control excessive wetness, it was heavily fragranced, it stained my clothes (it even ruined some clothing), and I just went around smelling like ocean breeze overlaying my B.O. The combo served up a B.O./fragrance reminder every time I put on a shirt even after laundering it. One to two hours into it, I smelled like ocean breeze B.O. once again.

I was wearing the absolute strongest antiperspirant/deodorant on the market and yet was living most of my life still feeling embarrassed by wetness and odor.

There had to be a better way!

Men’s deodorant doesn’t mean a “stronger” deodorant

We hear from so many women who say that, before Lume Deodorant for Underarms & Private Parts, they had been using (and were failed by) the “strongest deodorants.” They even use men’s with the expectation that they should be more effective.

Guess what? They aren’t.

Men’s products contain the same ingredients as the products marketed towards women, and the only differences are fragrance profile and the packaging. It’s all marketing.

This got me thinking….

Strong can sometimes mean more aluminum …and more problems

Aluminum is a drug. It alters the natural functions of the body like all drugs do. In aluminum’s case, the aluminum salts combine with watery sweat to form a gel plug. That clogs the sweat glands and minimizes wetness. Aluminum percentages range from 10-21% in products over the counter to reflect the “strength” of the deodorant.

I knew that the higher percentage of aluminum also meant a higher likelihood my clothes would be ruined and a higher likelihood I would be disappointed when they don’t work. Plus, “stronger” antiperspirants come with a stronger fragrance that leads to a whole other set of frustrating side effects.

I recently found out that aluminum-containing compounds can actually increase the counts of odor-causing bacteria. I was definitely in the vicious cycle of application, residue on clothing, and powder fresh fragrance lingering wear after wear, wash after wash. Ever been there? Know what I am talking about?

So, I sweat regardless of the strength of the antiperspirant I use. And the higher I went up in the aluminum percentages, the worse the side effects on my clothing and wallet.

Strong can mean more fragrance oils… and more ocean breeze B.O. smell

I already mentioned that stronger products also have stronger fragrance oils.

When you are able to use your deodorant in place of cologne, you know you are using a heavily-scented cover up. When you go to hug someone, and you are left with their deodorant on your shoulder, that’s definitely a heavily-scented cover up.

Have you ever had this experience?

I can remember in the clinical strength days being able to actually TASTE the product in my mouth, which made me wonder…is this being absorbed into my bloodstream, and I am “tasting” this in my mind? Or have I somehow gotten this on my hands then put it into my mouth? It came out of nowhere like a hallucination of a deodorant sucker flavored like Secret Clinical.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had this experience!

Maybe the scent is so strong that it sticks to your teeth, only to build up over time until you can finally taste it. I don’t know for sure what that was all about, but I do know that I still had B.O. mashed up with whatever “fresh” scent in the product. It is embarrassing.

Natural deodorants have their problems too

Natural products usually aren’t any better. Those “natural” scents leave me to wonder the same thing. The scents are so strong – they are using them to cover up B.O. And I don’t know about you, but I have never heard of pineapple essential oil. So, I’m not sure how that could possibly be considered natural.

Natural can often be said to mean aluminum-free, but there is no doubt when you are able to smell your deodorant throughout the day or if you are using it as your signature scent of the day, they are meaning it to be a “cover up.”

These more natural products that are heavily-scented also tend to be oil and butter-based. So once again, it doesn’t wash out too easily and the oils bind to the man-made fabrics and create a B.O. oil slick on your clothing.

And Then, There's Baking Soda...

Over the last 5 years, there has been a resurgence of baking soda deodorants. It’s not a new concept – it’s been around since the beginning of time. Baking soda is often offered in varying percentages to imply that the ‘stronger” deodorants contain a higher percentage of baking soda.

Here’s the bad news: Baking soda is one of the top irritants in many natural deodorants on the market today. The rash doesn’t start right away. It can take many days or even weeks before it shows up.

The problem with baking soda in deodorants is that it’s very basic – it has a pH of around 9. This is similar to detergent. Yes, the kind you use to wash your car and floors with. It can disrupt the protective “acid mantle” of our skin, and when that happens, you experience a chemical burn that is often affectionately referred to as “pit detox.”

So these companies now wisely offer other sensitive skin formulas (which also mean less effective) that contain more oils. They are a beautiful solid lotion bar and would be great to use after a bikini wax or a balm for chapped hands in the wintertime, but they are inferior odor controllers and leave oil residue behind on skin and clothing.

You need a deodorant that prevents odor, not one that attempts to cover it up

Stronger is not better. You need the right deodorant, not a stronger one. If you’re just getting more problem ingredients like aluminum, fragrance oils, and baking soda, it doesn’t necessarily mean better odor control.

Imagine if you were hanging up a photo in your home. If you wanted the strongest tool to put the nail in the wall, you might grab the sledgehammer. That doesn’t make sense, right? You’d wind up damaging the wall you are trying to nail it to. You don’t need the “strongest” tool, you need the right one.

Lume Deodorant has odor figured out. We mastered this by thinking about odors that occur in other parts of our bodies first and foremost (private parts). By taking that approach, we wound up developing a superior underarm odor control product by taking the science in a whole new direction!

It’s so effective because it actually prevents odor-causing reactions on your skin.

Lume does not contain aluminum, it does not contain fragrance oils, and it is also free from baking soda. It is dermatologist-approved. It’s well-tolerated on your skin anywhere on your body. It is also water-based so it doesn’t leave stains behind. And, it doesn’t leave a B.O. residue behind on your clothing after laundering it.

The bottom line: Lume is the right deodorant for all external body odors.

Please be sure to check out getting started on our website to follow the two steps necessary for long-lasting odor control as soon as possible:

  1. How to prep your older pre-Lume clothing
  2. How to prime your pits for the quickest odor control possible.

For controlling odors on-the-go, check out Lume Deodorant Wipes that come in a multi-pack or individually-wrapped. When you wipe off the sweat and odor of the day with a biodegradable Lume Wipe, you are wiping on deodorant protection that will give you lasting freshness. Like Lume Deodorant, Lume Wipes are free of aluminum and baking soda and actually get at the source of odor!

Did you Lume today?

Shannon Klingman, M.D.

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