A Teenage girl & a One-Time traveling Bible salesman turned deodorant into an $18 billion industry!
But first…a quick timeline of body odor.
Even though Mum came out in 1888 and Everdry in 1903 people, if they knew about these anti-sweat toiletries, felt very strongly that they were unnecessary, unhealthy or both. “This was still very much a Victorian society,” explains Juliann Silvulka, a 20th-century historian of American advertising at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.
“Nobody talked about perspiration, or any other bodily functions in public.” It was common practice to wash regularly and mask any stink with fragrance. Those concerned about sweat soaking through clothing wore cotton or rubber pads in armpit areas which protected the fabric from perspiration.
That brings us back to Edna Murphey. Edna’s father, Dr. Abraham D. Murphey, had invented a liquid antiperspirant to keep his hands sweat-free in the operating room, naturally Edna tried it on her armpits and discovered it worked beautifully!!
The budding entrepreneur ran with the idea named the antiperspirant Odorono (Odor? Oh No!) and quickly created a company. Edna borrowed $150 from her grandfather and rented office space. She soon had to move to her parent’s basement because her door to door salesmen weren’t creating enough revenue. She had a booth at the 1912 Atlantic City exposition which initially appeared to be another bust for the product.
Luckily, the exposition lasted all summer. As attendees melted in the sweltering heat interest in Odorono rose. Suddenly Murphey had customers across the country and $30,000 in sales to spend on promotion. She knew she needed advertising help and brought in James Young from the New York advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson Company.
James had once been a door-to-door Bible salesman. He had a high school diploma but no advertising training. He got the copywriter job in 1912 through a childhood friend which just so happened to put him in the right place at the right time. He pushed that doctors suggested “excessive perspiration” was an embarrassing medical ailment in need of a remedy.
It boosted sales, however in 1914, the Journal of American Medical Association called Odorono “fraudulent and dangerous,” claiming the aluminum chloride solution could irritate skin and clog pores. That didn’t stop Mr. Young. He decided to present perspiration as a social faux pas that nobody would directly tell you was responsible for your unpopularity, but which they were happy to gossip behind your back about.
The advertisement goes on to explain that women may be stinky and offensive, and they might not even know it. The take-home message was clear: If you want to keep a man, you’d better not smell. The ad created quite a stir causing folks to cancel their magazine subscriptions and those who knew James personally stopped being his friend. It was said he insulted every woman in America. But guess what? It worked! Odorono sales rose 112 percent. By 1927, Murphey saw her company’s sales reach $1 million dollars. In 1929, she sold the company to Northam Warren, the makers of Cutex, who continued using the services of JWT and Young to promote the antiperspirant.
Deodorants vs Antiperspirants
Deodorants and antiperspirants are often added into the same category, however, they are not the same thing! Deodorants are used to kill odor-producing bacteria, while antiperspirants block sweat glands to keep you from sweating. Many products today contain both.
Unfortunately, some deodorants and antiperspirants may contain a whole slew of questionable ingredients, including toxic chemicals that can lead to some pretty serious health issues when absorbed through the skin. In fact, chemicals placed on your skin can be even more dangerous than if you ingested them orally.
Deodorant Ingredients You want to Avoid
With ingredients that have been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, hormonal imbalance and neurological issues, it’s time we start looking a little more closely at what’s going into our deodorant. This list is made up of hormone-disruptors and can cause an extensive number of health issues. Be on the look-out for these ingredients in your family’s favorite deodorant.
Aluminum Compounds - a common ingredient in antiperspirants that works by “plugging” sweat ducts to stop sweating. Aluminum can cause genomic instability on the cell level, meaning it can increase our cells’ tendency to mutate; mutations can increase the chance of tumor growth.
Propylene Glycol - the petroleum-based ingredient propylene glycol is present in many antiperspirants and deodorants. It’s the ingredient that gives deodorant a slick consistency so we can slather it on our skin. Bad news is that in large quantities it can do damage to the central nervous system, the heart and the liver.
Parabens - preservatives in personal care products have the capability to be absorbed through the skin. Parabens are hormone impersonators, mimicking estrogen in the body. Exposure to parabens has been linked to breast cancer.
Fragrance - often considered “trade secret” information, but can contain hundreds of ingredients. Because they are proprietary information, the identity of ingredients is often unknown, making it impossible to identify all the ways in which fragrance ingredients impact health.
Triclosan - an antibacterial chemical, used in deodorants to kill odor-causing germs on the skin. Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can mimic hormones or interfere with hormonal signaling. The abundance of health concerns associated with triclosan, both to people and aquatic life, has led FDA to ban its use in hand soaps. However, the chemical is still permitted for use in other products, like deodorant.
Phthalates - chemicals are used to make other ingredients more flexible and are also used as fragrance ingredients as they can help extend the life of fragrance. The primary concern with phthalates is their ability to disrupt the endocrine system, especially in males. Phthalates also impact female health, as exposure can cause early onset puberty, which could be associated with breast cancer later in life.
Sanbe Beauty has three different scented mineral deodorants
If you really feel you need to continue using deodorants, read the label to see if any dangerous products are listed in the ingredients before purchasing a product that might not be beneficial for your health.
A healthy alternative to the aluminum-filled deodorants is our Organic Deodorant, it is not only baking soda-free, it is GMO-free, and is filled with hydrating butter and essential oils to keep those armpits from getting irritated, it is vegan and is made with zinc oxide that contains non-Nanoparticles.
And if you need a product to mask your child’s body odor, and you prefer a product that doesn’t contain aluminum, parabens, or other similar harmful ingredients, we are now are offering kids sized deodorant!
Because shea butter is naturally antibacterial, it helps eliminate the bacteria that can build up under your arms that can cause both odor and pimples. It is also non-comedogenic, unlike many other moisturizers, and won't clog your pores.
Coconut oil contains fatty acids, like lauric acid, which are known for their antibacterial characteristics and benefits. Coconut oil deodorant can therefore help reduce the bacteria in these moist areas, leaving you refreshed and smelling clean.
Candelilla wax further thickens the rest of the ingredients so that the deodorant doesn’t lose its consistency in different temperatures– creating a solid, residue-free stick deodorant that can be quickly rolled on before you’re out the door in the morning.
Arrowroot it’s basically a non-GMO version of cornstarch, arrowroot powder absorbs moisture and keeps odor to a minimum without the use of harsh baking soda which can often cause a rash for sensitive skin.
Zinc Oxide is effective at reducing armpit odor through killing the responsible bacteria, and assists in wound healing. Zinc remains on the skins surface (non-nanoparticle zinc) and does not block your pores to inhibit your body’s natural sweating process
Examples of the benefits in a few Essential Oils found in our blends.
Lavender - very versatile, and its qualities can help both physically and emotionally. While lavender soothes and nourishes skin, the floral scent can also keep you calm while you break a sweat. Lavender is known for being anti-fungal and antibacterial, making it a popular choice for treating skin ailments and for use in skincare products. Lavender can even soothe itchy, dry skin.
Tea Tree - tea tree oil is now widely used in personal care products because it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cedarwood - acts as an excellent natural astringent – it causes skin proteins to coagulate and form a stronger surface, protecting the skin from absorbing environmental toxins and bacteria.