I really thought I had found the one.
When I tried Soapwalla Deodorant Cream a few months ago, it passed so many of my tests.
- Handle a stressful, sweaty day at work? Yes.
- Handle a 90-minute heated Ashtanga class? Yes.
- Handle a sniff test from the Teacher Man? Yes.
I was ready to proclaim victory in my search for the perfect natural deodorant for me until day four hit.
Hello, big, nasty, red rash.
To be clear about why this surprised me, let me tell you a little about my skin.
- I’m super-oily, not sensitive at all and have a few dry patches here and there.
- My armpits get stinky and I’m naturally just a very sweaty girl.
- I’m not allergic to anything besides strawberries, which I eat anyway (and get this little red bumps on my body … nothing too crazy)
What bugged me about my trial period with Soapwalla wasn’t even that I got a rash after using the one deodorant during my testing time that actually worked.
It was that the rash didn’t even appear until day four!
Typically during test periods you allow 24 hours for a reaction. I was good until 96-hour mark!
I reached out to the Soapwalla Chef, Rachel Winard, to get some feedback on my skin sensitivity. Here’s what she had to say:
“First, I recommend stirring the deodorant really well before you use it again. I wonder if the deodorant cream melted and resolidified, but during the time it was liquefied the clays and powders (which are heavier than the oils) sunk to the bottom of the jar.
Mix the cream for a good 15 seconds before your next use — almost whip it with your finger or a chopstick to really incorporate the ingredients — and try again (and let me know how that works).
99 times out of 100, this solves any irritation issues, as the concentration of the product is recalibrated. This might help explain the intermittent quality of the itch/redness.”
I’m definitely wondering if this is the issue — with homemade deodorants that use powerful natural ingredients, of course they will settle!
I’ve yet to get another jar of Soapwalla (because I want to continue searching through the other natural offerings on the market), but believe me this is still in the back of my mind to re-test.
Rachel also gave these tips for getting the most out of Soapwalla Deodorant Cream:
“Please also try shaving different days from application — sometimes the baking soda and essential oils will irritate the microabrasions that happen when you shave (razors can be pretty violent on delicate armpit skin).
I have asked a few dermatologists about various kinds of skin reactions. One mentioned that a reaction (including redness, dry skin patches and itching) can be caused by excess dried skin getting caught in the pores by the deodorant.
This made sense to me, especially since baking soda acts as its own sort of exfoliant during the day, and I started exfoliating my pits every week, and saw a dramatic improvement almost immediately.
I use a bamboo glove for the pits and a dry brush for my limbs and torso. Please use a very light touch — the skin is delicate and doesn’t need a lot of pressure. Also, please don’t do this when the irritation is at its worst; wait a day or two.”
As I continue my search for the perfect natural deodorant, I haven’t completely ruled out Soapwalla. I’m going to get another jar and follow Rachel’s advice to a T.
(And can we please give a finger snap to Rachel for providing such thorough feedback and advice via email — THAT is customer service!)
I can tell that my skin is particularly sensitive to the baking soda in the formula — I’ve had similar reactions with other baking soda formulas — so I’m going to be sure to mix, mix, mix!
Baking soda is one of the great natural ingredients that keeps odor at bay, so I definitely don’t want to be without it, though Rachel does make custom blended deodorant free of certain ingredients that may cause skin reactions.
Here’s the full ingredients list:
Organic Jojoba Oil; Organic Sunflower Oil; Organic Rosehip Seed Oil; Shea Butter; Organic Corn Starch; Baking Soda; Kaolin Clay; Vegan Organic Kosher Glycerin; Custom blend of essential oils, including Organic Lavender; Organic Tea Tree; Sweet Orange; Organic Peppermint; Organic Bergaptene-free Bergamot; Organic Non-GMO Vitamin E