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Natural Awakenings SW PA, Greater Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Duo Launches Deodorant with Vitamins

Feb 04, 2022 08:02PM ● By Michelle Dalnoky
Two local entrepreneurs have created a product that is both free from toxins and full of what the body needs most. We often hear about cannabidiol (CBD) being added to different kinds of products to make them healthier. This trend, along with recent recalls of well-known brands of deodorant due to life-threatening toxins, provided the seed for two visionaries to collaborate and develop a new kind of deodorant.

Russ Cersosimo began his career with cannabis/hemp in 2014 as he helped lead the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. He founded a nonprofit organization to help legislators craft legislation and went on to spend years working closely with researchers, scientists, caretakers, doctors, and patients. Today, as founder and chief marketing officer of Hemp Synergistics in Leetsdale, he’s using that knowledge and experience to develop hemp-based products that take full advantage of the medicinal abilities of the plant.

“Hemp Synergistics was built to develop innovative delivery methods. Physicians want pills because that’s what they are used to, veterans want quick relief with vaporization, so the study of different delivery systems became the top priority,” says Cersosimo. Today, Hemp Synergistics is developing technology to improve bioavailability and efficacy.

 

Sepi Miller founded Pure & Natural by Sepi as a way to teach people about removing toxins and why it is so important to overall health. Her family fled Iran during the revolution and then
lived for a few years in a refugee camp in Germany before emigrating to the U.S. These experiences helped her develop a strong sense of self-reliance. “I’m always teaching my family and friends to eat cleaner and avoid toxins,” she says.

As a mother of two young teenage boys, she is keenly aware of the need for deodorant, but was very concerned about the toxins found in most products. “One of the first things we do in the morning is put on deodorant. Now they are playing sports, being more active and showering, then using deodorant more than once a day,” explains Miller. “But all of the products right now are toxic and filled with chemicals. Even in ‘natural’ products, so many of the ingredients are less than ideal. Many we’ve tried have baking soda, which can cause irritation. Some have coconut oil, which your body can’t absorb well, and sometimes does nothing to get rid of the stink. Most natural deodorants simply don’t work.”


Research and Development

Initially, the pair set out to develop a completely natural product that worked to keep body odor in check, but once they got deeper into product development, they realized they could add ingredients that are functionally beneficial to the body. Miller’s health situation gave them a starting point. “I was going through hormone changes, and after some research, I came to find that my daily deodorant contained parabens, which change your hormone production. When I went to the doctor to get blood tests done, they found that my body was missing magnesium,” shares Miller.

That’s when the realization hit them. Cersosimo says, “Most deodorants utilize aluminum as the active ingredient. We determined we could use magnesium instead, thus replacing a bad ingredient with a healthy one.” As he explains the science, “Magnesium is so essential, playing a part in over 300 functions within the body, and yet 50 percent of the population is deficient in magnesium.” There are large lymph nodes in the armpit, so ingredients in deodorant make their way into the system. “It’s really a portal to get to all the rest of the cells in your body. It just so happens that magnesium is also one of the greatest lymph detoxifiers out there,” he notes.

The next key ingredient they added was CBD, an antimicrobial that can pierce through biofilm, a sludge that builds upon the skin surface and traps more bacteria. “In addition, CBD is necessary for a healthy endocannabinoid system, which is the 12th system of the body, so it’s also a dual-purpose ingredient,” says Cersosimo.


Branding and Marketing

For the next version of their product, the duo is very excited. After replacing the bad stuff and paring down the ingredients to the bare essentials, it would be helpful to add some additional good stuff. “Every day we forget to take our vitamins, but we never forget to put on our deodorant,” says Miller. “But what if we could get some of our daily vitamins from our daily swipe of deodorant?”

“The general population is deficient in magnesium, vitamins D, C, E, and A, along with iron and zinc,” says Cersosimo. “Now we are in development of a vitamin-fortified deodorant, filled
with the nutrients we need most, so that every morning, you can just apply your vitamins right with your deodorant.”

They are adamant that this will be the first time anyone has combined daily vitamins with deodorant, making it the first truly functional—in a medical sense—deodorant, creating their marketing slogan, “Don’t Forget to Wear Your Vitamins!”

Currently available online at BySepi.com and in select retail outlets in Pittsburgh,
Manhattan, D.C. and Virginia. 
Listen to a podcast of the entire conversation below.
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