August 23, 23

Sodium Bicarbonate - The Lowdown

Sodium bicarbonate is a powerful deodorising ingredient used in natural deodorants, like AKT. But recently there’s been a spread of misinformation about it, causing some people to believe they are allergic to it. We’re here to provide some clarity!


Often referred to as “bicarb” in the UK and “baking soda” in America, this ingredient is a salt commonly found dissolved in mineral springs.


Sodium Bicarbonate is antibacterial and a pH-neutraliser. As an alkaline (around pH9) it effectively neutralises the acidity of our sweat (around pH5.5). This process eliminates the bacteria responsible for producing odours when the bacteria breaks down our sweat. Honestly, it is why our deodorants perform so well!


It’s becoming a bit of a “buzz word” in the deodorant industry making some customers believe the ingredient is harmful and causing skin irritation. But here at AKT, we are led by science, not public opinion, so what could be causing irritation?

  • If you’re getting a skin reaction to natural deodorant it is more likely you are reacting to allergens in the fragrance, rather than to sodium bicarbonate.

    Many natural deodorants use essential oils in their fragrances. Although essential oils are natural, they are also incredibly potent and contain a high level of allergens. Some essential oils are banned for human use because they are so dangerous! Natural, doesn’t always mean safer.

    AKT’s deodorants are compliant with IFRA’s standards — the governing body on the safe usage of fragrances. We use safe, legal levels of fragrance which are suitable for the vast majority of our customers. But let’s be clear: even though our deodorants are compliant, everyone's skin is different and some people will have more sensitive skin and still experience a reaction to the allergens in our fragrances.

  • Women are more likely to have a skin reaction because they are more likely to shave their underarms!

    If you shave your underarms, you can damage the top layer of skin and increase your chances of having a reaction to products you apply there. The underarm skin is some of the most delicate on our bodies. So, if you experience a skin reaction we advise you to try a deodorant without fragrance, like our unfragranced deodorant “SC.00 NO NOTES” launching this autumn!

    Likewise, we recommend shaving at night and applying your deodorant balm in the morning. But fret not – you can apply straight away if you need to, just make sure to patch-test your skin first.

  • AKT’s base formula has undergone clinical trials and is safe for sensitive skin!

    We wanted to prove that sodium bicarbonate wasn’t the cause of irritation. So, we did a clinical trial with our base formula (without fragrance) and we can affirm that it’s proven safe for sensitive skin. We are launching this unfragranced formula this autumn. Sign up to the waitlist here.

  • Everyone’s skin is different!

    Everyone’s skin is different and there are many things that can change our chemistry: hormones, stress, alcohol, diet and lifestyle all play their part.


With all this in mind, we hope you feel better equipped to challenge those untruths around sodium bicarbonate, and that it gives you the confidence to put AKT to the test – even if you have sensitive skin.

If you’re eager to try AKT but still sceptical, we’d recommend starting with our Mini Tubes. One sample-sized tube lasts 6-8 days, giving you the opportunity to truly put each deodorant through its paces. All our show-stopping deodorants have different fragrance blends, so cast an eye on the scent notes – you might find that some deodorants work better for you than others!

Had a reaction in the past and cautious about essential oils? Keep your eyes peeled for the launch of our fragrance-free version, specifically created to aid those with extra sensitive skin. Be the first to know when it drops by signing up here.

Let’s hear it for sodium bicarbonate – it does a lot for our underarms even if it’s not always recognised!

Written by AKT London