How to make your own deodorant (and why it’s worth trying)April 4, 2012
Despite my love of kale and yoga, I have always sworn to shave my legs and wear “real” deodorant. It’s been one way I define balance in my increasingly crunchy life.
Years ago, I read an article about making homemade deodorant out of natural ingredients. It especially piqued my interest when I heard a nursing mom note that she felt better about wearing natural deodorant because baby’s wandering fingers often ended up in her armpit.
The ingredients in your standard stick are far from healthy. My son got his hands on mine once, and as I attempted to clean the white stuff out of his mouth I remembered reading how aluminum (the ingredient that prevents perspiration) is also linked to things like breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Is that true? One of my readers is a breast cancer doctor and disputes the claim on that one. Whew. But I do know that the ingredient label on deodorant or pretty much any self-care product can be a scary, chemically place to be. Oy.
Anyway, I held out. Sweating and smelling are two things I’m not particularly interested in doing!
Unfortunately, our bodies are meant to sweat. It’s an important function that detoxifies our system and keeps us naturally cool. Gross though, in our culture.
Anyway, a few months ago I noticed something strange. My armpits were super itchy, day after day! I thought maybe it was from a dull razor.
I blamed my clothing. I blamed gluten.
Finally, I thought to blame the stuff I’d been slathering in my armpits every day since I was 12.
It started as a test – would bare armpits result in less itching?
A few days with naked pits and, yup, the itching disappeared. I also asked my husband every day to please stick his nose in my pits and verify that I wasn’t offensive. He did. What a guy. This is the scientific method, people.
About a week later, the weather warmed up and I wasn’t feeling so confident anymore. Before going back to Itchy Pitsville, I decided to give the homemade stuff a go.
The key is to control the bacteria that causes odor. Bonus for helping with wetness. I’m happy to report, this recipe did the trick! Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial. How convenient.
Homemade Natural Deodorant
I’ve seen a number of versions of this recipe around the web – this is how I made mine!
1/4 cup cornstarch (as with food you eat, organic is best when it comes to corn)
1/4 cup baking soda
6 Tbl. unrefined coconut oil (in solid form – coconut oil turns into a liquid at 76 degrees)
optional: 10-20 drops essential oils (I used a Young Living oil called Purification for extra bacteria-busting power)
1. In a bowl, mix cornstarch, baking soda and coconut oil until smooth.
2. Blend in essential oils, if using.
3. Spoon mixture into an emptied, twisted-down, plastic deodorant container. During the warmer months, storing in the refrigerator is recommended so keep your homemade deodorant solid! It can then be applied just like any store-bought deodorant. (Alternatively, you can keep it in a bowl and apply with your fingers)
After applying, I like to wait a few minutes for the oil to absorb. So far, I haven’t had any trouble with staining on my shirts.
I’m completely satisfied with making the switch for a number of reasons:
- No more itchies
- No more scary ingredients
- It’s cheaper
- It takes 5 minutes to make
- I can create different scents
- The ingredients are things I always have on hand anyway
- If my son eats it, no biggie
- Refrigerated deodorant is especially refreshing!
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