Cleo+Coco Founder Suzannah Raff Shares What Makes Their Charcoal Deodorants One-of-a-Kind
If you've attempted to dive into the world of natural deodorant and failed, we don't blame you.
While it can be a great idea to swap from conventional deodorants to ones with natural ingredients, the transition period can be tricky. Most natural deodorants require up to a month-long detox, during which you can get extra stinky. Natural brand Cleo+Coco, however, is different, allowing you to skip the stink thanks to a unique blend of magnesium and charcoal in their products. And that's not the only reason they're so special.
We got the chance to chat with Cleo+Coco founder Suzannah Raff to learn all about the brand, why they don't require a detox and the importance of safe, clean skincare.
Sweety High: Can you tell us about Cleo+Coco as a brand? What inspired its creation, and what sets the brand apart?
Suzannah Raff: Cleo+Coco offers consumers an elevated personal care experience with conscious and natural products that will not compromise your health or the environment. Our products are completely clean and free of synthetic, health-compromising ingredients. After I decided to halt the use of aluminum deodorant, I wanted to create a solution to the lack of clean deodorants on the market. I believe that personal care plays a critical role in overall health and I wanted to create a natural, aluminum-free deodorant to offer consumers a healthier, more elevated, enjoyable personal care experience.
SH: What does it actually mean to be a "natural" deodorant?
SR: A natural deodorant, like our Cleo+Coco Charcoal Deodorants, works in harmony with your body's chemistry to detoxify impurities and neutralize odor at its root—without aluminum and disruptive synthetic chemicals.
SH: What are some ingredients in traditional deodorants that can be harmful?
SR: Aluminum, triclosan and synthetic fragrances are common ingredients in traditional deodorants that can potentially be harmful.
SH: What exactly is a deodorant detox? Why do many natural deodorants require one, and why is that not the case with Cleo+Coco?
SR: A deodorant detox is when you actually smell worse for a period of time between switching from an aluminum deodorant to an aluminum-free one. During this transition, your underarms are able to finally breathe and purge toxins, and so they are detoxing the toxins, and this can create additional odor. Unlike other leading aluminum-free deodorants, Cleo+Coco deodorants work from day one without that smelly detox period. It was my mission to ensure that I created a natural deodorant that worked on day one, even while your body goes through the healthy and necessary detox process.
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SH: What is the difference between Cleo+Coco's deodorants and body powders? How are they each used?
SR: Our charcoal deodorants are created to fight underarm odor and wetness, infused with better-for-your-body ingredients. They are formulated with activated charcoal and they absorb odor and wetness and eliminate the bacteria at the root. We use just enough charcoal for the product to work, but will still glide on clear so it won't rub on your clothing or leave black residue on your skin. Our Dry Shampoo + Body Powder is a multitasking dry shampoo and body powder formulated to keep you feeling fresh and confident from head to toe. It can be applied to your groin area, under your bra or on your feet and under your arms to eliminate sweat and odor and keep you feeling silky soft, dry and odorless. It can also be used in your hair to absorb oil and add volume.
SH: What is the role of charcoal in a natural deodorant? What benefits does it have?
SR: Charcoal is the hero ingredient in our products. Activated charcoal absorbs over 1000 times its weight in wetness and eliminates bacteria-causing odor. It has been used for centuries as a way to safely remove toxins from water and our bodies. It's used in our deodorant and powders to eliminate bacteria-causing odor and keep you odor-free and dry.
SH: What is the role of magnesium in a natural deodorant? What benefits does it have?
SR: Similar to those benefits of charcoal, magnesium helps to eliminate odor-causing bacteria and works in harmony with your body's natural detox process. The fact that it's a mineral our bodies need and is best absorbed through the skin is a bonus.
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SH: Are there any other special ingredients that set Cleo+Coco apart?
SR: Aside from charcoal and magnesium, critical ingredients in Cleo+Coco products include bentonite clay, arrowroot powder, essential oils, coconut oil and shea butter. These ingredients work in harmony to eliminate odor, kill bacteria, absorb wetness, soothe and soften the skin and are completely natural. Unlike other leading natural deodorants, we also only use pure plant extracts and essential oils for our scents and never any "fragrance," as fragrances are a known hormone disruptor and can cause migraine.
SH: Why was it also important to you for Cleo+Coco's packaging to be recyclable?
SR: It's important to create products that are not only better for the body, but better for the environment. Our consumers have a growing desire for clean products and sustainability across all generations. All of the products in our Cleo+Coco arsenal do not have outer packaging and all product shipments are packed in paper, never plastic. We are ahead of the curve when it comes to formula and sustainability efforts and are the benchmark for efficacy, experience and sustainability. We created the first zero-waste deodorant bar that has no plastic or applicator. It is hand-poured and dipped in wax, allowing users to hold the deodorant bar on the wax mold side to avoid mess. In addition, this product is wrapped in compostable paper and stored in an FSC box.
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