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Northern Virginia Magazine

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Virginia moms invent natural deodorant
March 17, 2017 by Micaela Williamson    

The natural deodorant Smiley Pits is now available in five scents and in Whole Foods stores across Northern Virginia.

As kids get older, kids get smelly. Sara Salter and Kristi Joynt are self-described neurotic moms who did not like what mainstream deodorants had to offer their children. Ever the problem solvers, the pair came up with a safe, natural deodorant option, Smiley Pits, with products now available in five scents and in Whole Foods stores across Northern Virginia. We spoke to Salter about their product, how to detox from traditional deodorants and the benefits of going all-natural.

What was your inspiration for creating Smiley Pits?

Our kids were the initial inspiration for Smiley Pits, and as we grow, they remain our inspiration. We are also constantly inspired by the amazing individuals we have met along our journey—cancer survivors, educators, teachers, coaches and many others who believe in bringing people up and making the world a better place.

We are not the norm when you think of natural deodorant. Our packaging is bright, cheerful and preppy. People, especially kids, should not feel ashamed about having body odor and needing deodorant. Smiley Pits is a deodorant everyone can feel great about wearing. It is beautiful, happy and fun. We want kids to start off using a healthy deodorant, and that is the driving force behind Smiley Pits.

Your website describes Smiley Pits as a family affair. Can you elaborate on that?

Smiley Pits is a true family affair, and our kids are the heart of our business. Our families get together for our official Pit Family Meetings on a regular basis to brainstorm and come up with new ideas. Our kids helped design the unique, bright and cheerful packaging and came up with the one-of-a-kind scent names. Only a 10-year-old boy would come up with something as awesome and brilliant as Sick Nasty Defense. It is important for us that our children see their mothers making a positive difference in the lives of others, as well as working hard to grow a business.

Why is it important to use a natural deodorant?

Kristi made the switch to natural deodorant after doing her first clean-eating challenge at her CrossFit gym. She was amazed to see how her own body reacted to junk. She fixed issues her doctor wanted to send her to a gastroenterologist for. After she fixed her body, she started to doubt the ingredients she was using on her skin. Knowing what we know now, we can never go back to harmful ingredients like aluminum, parabens [and] phthalates.

What are some of the natural ingredients you use in Smiley Pits?

We use arrowroot powder to absorb moisture; baking soda to neutralize odors; organic coconut oil, which goes on skin smoothly and helps kill bacteria; beeswax to keep a solid form in warmer climates; cocoa butter for moisture; and tea tree oil to kill bacteria.

Have you received any feedback from health professionals?

Yes. Dr. Elizabeth Rice Martin [said it’s] “the first deodorant that I have ever been able to recommend as both safe and effective.”

Is there a most popular scent?

Our most popular scent is Flower Power with Sick Nasty Defense coming in at a close second. Each scent is unique and has its own following. Our kids like to know which one is selling the most. It is almost a little competition since all of our kids named the scents; they want their scent to be the top seller.

How do you educate others about switching to a natural deodorant?

Our website has an educational section that recommends a pit detox. Toxins from years of antiperspirant use start to come out and can irritate your skin. This can also make you smellier than normal and also sweat more than normal. Don’t be alarmed. You just need to let your body adjust. Sweating is actually really good for your detox. Get all those toxins out. This can take a few days to a few weeks, so be patient.

Do you have any future plans for new products?

At the moment we are concentrating on making the world a less stinky place one person at a time. However, you never know what brilliant idea will come out of the next Pit Family Meeting.