Locally made natural alternative to mainstream deodorant 

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An alternative deodorant, without the common chemicals usually present, has recently been introduced to the Wilmington area. Ozone Layer Deodorant is locally made and completely natural.

This healthy alternative is now sold in markets in the greater Wilmington area. It supposedly frees consumers from the health risks associated with aluminum, parabens and propylene glycol — ingredients commonly found in mainstream deodorants.

“We are potentially saving lives,” co-founder Reid McEwen said. “Breast cancer survivors are often told not to wear antiperspirants and deodorants. Ours is so nonthreatening that they can.”

From Ohio, co-founders McEwen and Todd Platzer moved to Kure Beach 10 weeks ago. They brought their natural deodorant business with them, continuing to make it themselves. They developed their final product less than a year ago.

The stick deodorant consists of only shea butter and beeswax, infused with oxygen and pure ozone, McEwen said. The oxygen kills the cause of body odor, which can be caused by anaerobic bacteria.

The chemicals found in many deodorants have been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and potentially prostate cancer, McEwen said. About 60 percent of what is put on the skin is absorbed, which is how nicotine and birth control patches work, McEwen explained.

The FDA doesn’t regulate what is in cosmetics; it just has labeling requirements, McEwen said. Even supposedly natural deodorants like Tom’s use propylene glycol, which is a derivative of petroleum.

He explained their deodorant was useful in eradicating odor even after it develops because it killsthe root cause of it.

McEwen graduated with a Master’s Degree in Business, and Platzer earned an undergraduate business degree, as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Health. They are able to balance each other’s skills and handle different aspects of the business, making a great team, McEwen said.

The deodorant was picked up by Lovey’s Market in Wilmington, the Veggie Wagon in Carolina Beach, Upscale Resale in Oak Island and Amazon.com. McEwen and Platzer also sell their deodorant at local farmers’ markets, including Oak Island, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach and Southport. They plan to sell at the downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach farmers’ markets soon, McEwen said.

Ozone Layer has recently been picked up by a grocery chain in Charlotte, N.C., as well as one in their native Ohio. The next step will be industrializing manufacturing, so the partners can focus on selling, McEwen said.

Six scents are currently available, including lavender and tea tree as well as unscented. McEwen said they continue to work on new fragrance options.

John Setliff of Wilmington, an Ozone Layer Deodorant user, had a positive experience with the product.

“I’ve always had problems with deodorant making my skin break out after a couple of weeks of usage,” Setliff said. “I’ve been using this since April and haven’t had any problems.”

To find out more about the Ozone Layer product, visit ozonedeodorant.com

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