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The Lowdown: Cacao Pow Deo Bar

You might have seen our recent Self Care Sessions video featuring Cacao Pow Deo Bar founder and formulator Tonya, where she shared with us why using a natural deodorant was important to her own chronic illness journey. And naturally, we wanted to find out more about the story of this groundbreaking aluminium free deodorant company that's making waves in the industry with their high quality effective formulas so we give you The Lowdown on Cacao Pow! 

 Tonya O'hara

Why did you start Cacao Pow Deo Bar? 

I turned my back on aluminium deodorants 10 years ago, when I developed eczema under my arms. I used to buy the strongest aluminium deodorants on the market (which claimed to keep you odour free for 24hrs) but found that after a night of dancing they weren't up to the job. Over time my underarm area flared into large patches of eczema which would only heal if I completely abstained from aluminium deodorants. After my body rebelled, I spent many years searching for a natural deodorant that would keep me odour free. There seemed to be problems with every single one I tried. I tried the best ones on the market but with very limited success so I had no choice but to develop my own. I spent many months tweaking and refining the formula until eventually I hit upon the perfect one. After selling my product to my close friends and having them return again and again I knew it was time to invest in developing the product for a wider audience. The brand was launched in June 2018.

What's the story behind the name Cacao Pow Deo Bar?

After realising we developed such a powerful formula the name Cacao Pow stuck as it was punchy and memorable.

What's the mission of the brand?

Keeping pits fresh and moisturised whilst inspiring a burgeoning demographic of conscious consumers in leading the way to a more sustainable future. In three words it's Playful, Powerful and Sustainable.

What's your most popular product and why?

The 100g Cacao Pow Deo Bar as it lasts up to 6 months so represents better value.

What product did you launch with?

We launched with our larger 100g deo bar but later brought out a smaller 55g as our customers weren’t able to get through it in a 6 month period.

How long did it take you to develop the product?

It was a very organic process and took roughly a year to develop the formula and another year to refine the manufacturing process.

What tips do you have for using the Deo Bar?

  • The Cacao Pow Deo Bar is a solid that melts at body temperature. Cacao Butter melts at 34-38 degrees. Normal body temperature is between 36-37 degrees. 
  • The best time to apply is after a hot bath or shower, to clean, dry skin. 
  • We recommend turning the end of the bar into a light fluffy paste in the palm of your hand - around 20 rotations will achieve this. Once the bar starts to flow you can apply directly from the bar to the armpit. 
  • Alternatively you can hold the bar against the skin of the armpit and count to ten. This is roughly how long it takes for the bar to start flowing. You always want the product to glide on effortlessly.
  • For hair free armpits smooth the product completely into the skin as you would any moisturiser, ensuring that it hasn’t gathered in the folds of the skin. A visible layer on the skin is not required. 
  • See how many days you can go without re-applying. Ultimately we recommend applying every other day. The product continues working even after showering. 
  • If you have sensitive armpits don’t use on the same day you shave. 
  • Consider applying the product before bed and washing it off in the morning. It will carry on working during the day and there are many benefits to this. 
  • If you feel sore after applying, wash it straight off. If you have washed it straight off it will still continue working and will work for several hours.
  • If you have experienced a reaction to the product it is important that you discontinue use.  

What does your own beauty routine look like?

I remove my eye-make up with coconut oil. I then use a gentle cleanser like Cut le Crap’s cleansing cream to remove the rest of my make-up. I tend to use a range of homemade serums from key vitamins like ascorbic acid, niacinamide and vitamin E.  

How are you standing out from the crowd?

We are the only solid natural deodorant in a glass jar that is gender-neutral and appeals to all ages.

How do you source your ingredients?

For Cacao Pow Deo Bar we’ve sourced a high quality Peruvian cacao butter which has a heavenly chocolate aroma. Many cacao butters on the market are waxy and lacklustre, with very little in the way of aromatic scent. The cacao butter is sourced from a Peruvian farming co-operative with high regard for the environment and the farmers. It’s certified organic through The Organic Food Federation.

How do you make your products?

The product is handcrafted through a manufacturing process that we developed ourselves.

How are you tackling sustainability?

We’ve eradicated the use of plastic and offer a jar return service to both our customers and retailers.

What have been your biggest successes so far?

Getting into 50 physical stockists so far has been an amazing achievement as we’re a small, young brand.

What's next for Cacao Pow?

Though natural deodorant is our core focus we are looking into diversifying our product range.

Watch Cacao Pow Deo Bar's Self Care Session