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The History of Antiperspirant and Deodorant

The History of Antiperspirant and Deodorant

A Teenager's curiosity started it all! 

Edna Murphey’s father was a surgeon and created a miracle liquid that stopped his hands from sweating during surgery. Edna was a teenage girl battling with the hormones that gave us all angst at her age and experimented with rubbing the liquid into her armpits. To her delight, she found that it stopped her from sweating. 

Edna was set about taking her product to market.  She called it Odorono (‘odor-oh-no’), borrowed $150 from her grandfather, rented an office in Cincinnati and tried to sell her product.

Odorono got off to a terrible start. Most people felt antiperspirants weren’t needed. Men were expected to smell musky, while women of that time were too conservative to discuss such matters in public. Shops were refusing to stock the product and the few that did return the products back, unsold. The business soon ran out of money and Edna moved the office into her parents’ basement. 

Edna’s luck turned at the 1912 Atlantic City Exposition. The show was held during a very hot summer. Visitors were suffering from the effects of the heatwave and the interest in Odorono sore. This is because the product was arguably very effective. A single application would stop sweat for about three days! Suddenly Murphey had customers across the country and has made $30,000 in sales. Not a bad return on that $150 investment!

Unfortunately, it was discovered that the product wasn’t particularly safe. Although the product stopped sweat for up to three days—longer-lasting than modern-day antiperspirants—the Odorono’s active ingredient, aluminum chloride, had to be suspended in acid to remain effective. The acid solution meant Odorono could irritate sensitive armpit skin causing burns and inflammation in armpits. Adding insult to injury, the acid is so strong that it can eventually eat right through fabric causing damage to one's clothing. 

Luckily today, we have plenty of safe and natural options like Play Pits. Unlike commercial deodorants, we formulated Play Pits to be safe and smell great, using only 100% naturally derived ingredients. Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, it only contains stuff that your pits will surely love. ❤

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