And We Thought Aluminum was Bad...

And We Thought Aluminum was Bad...

Can your deodorant really cause cancer? New research says the answer is yes. CNN recently announced a recall of several major deodorant brands, including Old Spice and Secret, that were found to have benzene in their spray deodorant products. According to the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization, “Benzene is a well-established cause of cancer in humans.”

 

What is Benzene?

“Benzene is a chemical that is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a sweet odor and is highly flammable,” writings the CDC. The benzene molecule ,C6H6, is produced from carbon or petroleum, and is often used to create plastics, gasoline, and drugs. It is also used to create napalm. What??

Benzene is so toxic to the body that the CDC recommends to “Quickly take off clothing that may have benzene on it. Any clothing that has to be pulled over the head should be cut off the body instead of pulled over the head.” Sounds like a chemical emergency if you ask us.

What makes benzene so alarming? The CDC tells us that “the major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. (Long-term exposure means exposure of a year or more.) Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.” According to the WHO, “Benzene is a well-established cause of cancer in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified benzene as carcinogenic to humans. [It] causes acute myeloid leukemia (acute non-lymphocytic leukemia), and there is limited evidence that benzene may also cause acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma.” Yikes. Clearly, this chemical packs a nasty punch. 

 

Image courtesy of CNN

 

Deodorant Problems

So back to your armpits and benzene. Armpits are a particularly sensitive area of the body because they sit close to lymph nodes. We’re going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that like many adults, you have likely been applying deodorant to your armpits for years. As the CDC noted, long-term benzene exposure is considered one year or more. The average 30 year old has perhaps 15 years of deodorant application under their pits, meaning year after year of benzene in your body if you’ve been using one of these offenders.

 

The Pit Liquor Difference

[Cue the superhero music.] Pit Liquor natural deodorant is made from organic and non-toxic  ingredients so safe, you could actually eat them. We take your health seriously, and prioritize ingredients that are super-effective and super-good for your body. Ingredients like over-proof whiskey and vodka that kill the bacteria in your pits, ending the party before it can even start. And a blend of teas, arrowroot powder, and sea salt keep the freshness going for up to 48 hours. A finishing touch of essential oils and herbs adds scent without any chemical fragrance.

 

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely ready to try chemical-free products or already on the natural deodorant bandwagon. We bet you know a few people who still need to make the switch to benzene-free products too. We’re here to help you and your friends ditch the chemicals and switch to the best natural deodorant on the market, dare we say in the world. Share this article with that friend and you can both use code NOBENZENE15 for 15% off your purchase.

 

 

Sources:

"Antiperspirant recall: What the finding of a cancer-causing chemical means for you," CNN, December 1, 2021, accessed December 8, 2021,  https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/01/health/deodorants-antiperspirants-recall-benzene-explainer-wellness/index.html

"Exposure to Benzene: A Major Health Concern," World Health Organization: Preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments, accessed December 8, 2021,  https://www.who.int/ipcs/features/benzene.pdf

"Facts About Benzene," Centers for Disease Control: Emergency Preparedness and Response, accessed December 8, 2021,  https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/benzene/basics/facts.asp

"The Benzene Molecule," World of Molecules, accessed December 8, 2021,  https://www.worldofmolecules.com/solvents/benzene.htm

December 30, 2021 — Melanie Allen
Pit Liquor is Transparent. Co-Packing and Private Labeling are Not.

Pit Liquor is Transparent. Co-Packing and Private Labeling are Not.

Welcome to the wild world of personal care product manufacturing. We’re about to fill you in on some lesser known secrets of this world. Teaser: your pricey, “all natural” lip balm may in fact be a generic formulation used by bunches of other personal care product companies. It ain’t all that special. 

What is co-packing? 

Co-packing, or contract packing, happens across industry during the manufacturing and production phases of a product. At its core, co-packing can assist brands in saving money when they start to expand product lines. This happens across the food, cosmetic, and household goods industries, as well as many others. 


Essentially, a brand will bring its formulation to a contract packager in hopes that they will be able to produce the product and package it for less cost than the business could do on its own. Co-packers are able to keep costs down for a variety of reasons that might inadvertently impact the companies that work with them. Co-packers often have long-tenured ties with ingredient and packaging companies that allow them to source items on the cheap. If personal care product companies want a certain brand of coconut oil because of its sustainable practices or desire a recyclable deodorant twist stick, the contract packager may not be able to deliver cost-effective options. 


Additionally, co-packers take on many brands that often make similar products. A co-packer is a business as well and will run in a way that makes it a substantial profit. If a product isn’t a top money maker for the co-packer, it may get placed further down the production schedule. This drastically impacts the loyal customer base that fuels small companies and can make it tricky to deliver high quality products, consistently. 

What is private labeling? 

Private labeling companies provide a book of formulas from conventional all the way to certified USDA organic that personal care brands can choose from when expanding their product lines. When looking to expand their deodorant scents or lipstick flavors, the cosmetic or personal care product company will select a formulation created by the private labeling company and then slap their own label on it. It’s easy for well-known brands to make even more money this way because of the trust given by a dedicated client base. The trusted brand isn’t required to disclose whether they made the formula or not. The buyers trust that they will like, believe in, and use the product because of their loyalty to their favorite brands. 

Why can co-packing be a bad thing?

Businesses who choose to co-pack may be looking to cut corners on costs. In doing so, they hand over control of their formulation and filling process. Ultimately, their name is on the final product, but they are not overseeing any part of their product’s creation. While a co-packing facility may claim to operate sustainably, pay workers well, or use the utmost care in sanitary practices, there seemingly is no way to tell. 

Both can be rather opaque. 

Luxury brands often dupe the very people they aim to serve by using standard formulations, created by private labeling companies. They may make it their own by tweaking a flavor or scent variety - if the private labeling company allows them to do so. Then, the brand will slap their label across it and push it out to their loyal following. That drugstore leave-in conditioner that costs $7 may be the exact same formula sold at a high-end salon for $37. 


In a similar vein, co-packing is often chosen because of its cheap nature. Co-packers need to make money as well and may seek to shave costs off medium to large-scale production runs, so they will choose the lesser quality, less costly packaging option. Usually, this doesn’t mean sustainable, recyclable, or biodegradable. 


It’s no secret that cutting costs most often negatively affects the entry level bracket of employees and the customer base while rarely impacting C-suite members. Co-packers abroad and stateside may not pay a living wage for the area in which their employees live. Production line manufacturing is no cake walk and, if co-packers promise short lead times, their employees must pay the price. 

Does Pit Liquor co-pack or private label? 

We’ll give you one guess. We don’t. Now, we’re not trying to knock companies that do. Many co-packing facilities and private labeling companies prioritize employees health and well being, conduct impeccable procedures, and have high standards for protecting intellectual property rights of the brands they work with. 


However, it’s inherently risky to pass off something as your own when it actually isn’t.  It’s a lesson we learned in sixth grade after copying the math homework only to find that your friend has no idea how to multiply fractions. 

We let it all hang out. 

Meaning, we keep our process out in the open. Our Pit Liquor deodorant is formulated and filled in the same facility, by actual people whose names we know and birthdays we celebrate. We are friends with our ingredient suppliers and pay a living wage that allows our team members to take care of their kiddos, buy quality food, and pay the rent. 


Our bottles are clear, like our conscience. When we say that our customers are supporting sustainable practices by purchasing Pit Liquor, we know this is true. We don’t have to grit our teeth and cross our fingers. We know where and how our waste, recycling, and compost gets disposed of. We know who is mixing our deodorants. 


When you buy Pit Liquor, you’re not supporting some far away co-packer or private labeling making the same item for countless other brands. You’re supporting a small-scale lavender farm. You’re supporting working moms who want to raise families and make good, healthy products. You’re supporting the longevity of this spinning blue dot we all call home. So, what are you waiting for? Get some Pit Liquor!
August 20, 2021 — Interns Distilled
5 Stages of Deodorant Disappointment

5 Stages of Deodorant Disappointment

Finding a natural deodorant that works and keeps your body free from toxins, irritants, chemicals is a roller coaster of emotion that usually ends in dismay. You’re forced to buy a ticket to get back on the ride. If you’ve struggled to source a non-toxic, organic deodorant that eliminates stank and doesn’t irritate your pits, it’s likely you’ve experienced the 5 stages of deodorant disappointment.

It’s not me, it’s you.

You board the crowded subway and grab a hand hold only to catch a whiff of garlicy-musk so strong it brings tears to your eyes. You think to yourself that this bout of body odor must be coming from someone else in the packed transit car. You bought this deodorant yesterday, after combing through countless reviews. Yeah, that scent totally belongs to someone else. We’re in a heat wave after all and these bozos probably didn’t do as much investigation into their pit products.

The WTF Stage.

You sit down to lunch with a friend at a cute outdoor patio and reach across the table for the pepper only to catch another pungent whiff. Hint: it’s not your salad niçoise. What the ever-loving hell is going on here, you think as you vigorously pepper your lunch. Why is this new deodorant not working? Should you dab at your ripe pits with the delicate linen napkin across your lap or rush to the bathroom to a quick PTA bath, minus the T and A?

Perhaps-ing your way to Pit Perfection.

On your walk back to your coworking space, your mind starts churning. Maybe you really do need to detox your pits for this natural deodorant to work. Perhaps you just need to wait a few weeks and keep using it, day in and day out for your body to grow accustomed to it. No other personal care products work like that though, do they? Perhaps if you just commit to reapplying it every few hours, you can stave off stink until some magical ingredient kicks in. You pick up another stick on the way back and reapply hurriedly in the drugstore bathroom.

Unbridled Dismay.

You return home at the end of the day only to discover your cat doesn’t even want to nuzzle up against you. You sniff your pits and alas, the B.O. is back, baby, with a vengeance. You make a mug of hot tea, sink down on the couch, and begin to sulk. Bear hugs, conga lines, and high fives disappear in the rearview as you soldier on into a decidedly solitary future.  

Unacceptance.

Like you, we’ve worked our way through the four stages many times, only to find that the fifth stage – buying another stick of deodorant in hopes of achieving healthy, fragrant pits – was not good enough for us. We decided that we were going to hop off this emotional rollercoaster entirely and make our own deodorant. One that is actually non-toxic. One that works. One that offers people the chance to try it without fear of throwing hard-earned money down the drain.

 

Enter stage left: Pit Liquor. Denatured vodka and whiskey kills the bacteria that live in your armpits. Within seconds, the light alcohol scent evaporates and leaves behind naturally scented essential oils, like lavender, pear, cedarwood, or rose. Teas, arrowroot, and salt make your armpit undesirable for new bacteria to grow, resulting in good smelling underarms all day long and no chemical regrets. Each body responds better to either the rum, vodka, or whiskey base and we are happy to help you find deodorant heaven.

 

It’s time to get off this ridiculous ride. You’ve got better things to do. Try Pit Liquor. If you don’t love it, your first one is on us.

July 26, 2021 — Abigail Scott
Your Pit Liquor Questions Answered

Your Pit Liquor Questions Answered

Pro tips for how to use (and how not to use) Pit Liquor natural deodorant! Plus fun discoveries shared in a caring community of friends who won't let friends stink.
May 14, 2021 — Laycie McClain
5 Heavyweight Toxins in Your Pits

5 Heavyweight Toxins in Your Pits

Come along for a fun "info binge" as we get nerdy about deodorant. Do you know what's in yours?
April 16, 2021 — Laycie McClain
The Truth About Armpit Detox

The Truth About Armpit Detox

Some people claim that you have to detox your pits before a new natural deodorant really works. Is that true?

May 07, 2019 — Jason and Erica Feucht