Chemical-free deodorant is becoming a highly sought after product. I recently bought a “natural” brand of deodorant with hopes that it would be close to what I can make at home but more stable, in a solid stick. It gave me a rash and multiple skin tags under one arm and felt like gritty sandpaper wit shards of glass in it. It doesn’t compare to our DIY deodorant recipe using essential oils and non-irritating ingredients.
Plenty of studies have been initiated to detect a relationship between chemicals in personal care products and breast cancer, skin disorders and hormone imbalances. Search scholarly articles and you’ll find evidence that the ingredients you slather on your skin every day could potentially be harmful to your health. There may not be conclusive proof YET, but there is enough suspicion to motivate many of us to find alternatives.
It’s been about ten years since I gave up underwire bras and antiperspirants!
Almost immediately I noticed I felt better and SWEAT LESS without the constant pressure of hardware on my arm pits, and without all those questionable ingredients plugging my sweat ducts. I did not like applying aluminum compounds, preservatives, fragrances, solvents, chlorinators, plasticisers, surfactants and other chemicals to my skin every day – sometimes two or three times a day. So I started buying deodorants that omit many of the ingredients I found offensive. Unfortunately, these products also contain artificial stuff.
Sweating is a natural process geared to cool down our bodies. Heat, physical exertion, stress and nervousness stimulate sweat glands and the cells inside the glands secrete fluid. The fluid needs to go somewhere and makes its way through our glands and the ducts onto the surface of our skin, to do its job – cool us off. SOMEHOW I SWEAT MORE WHEN I WEAR ANTIPERSPIRANTS. Am I the only one? I contend that the switch to a chemical-free version allows my skin to breathe and regulate itself more efficiently.
The odor protection in this recipe has lasted up to 2 days! I have bribed my kids to let me smell them to see if it works and it does! My husband uses it now. If you forget to apply one morning, no need to panic! If you workout, take a whiff and decide if you should apply again after a shower. It also works as a method to clean up after exertion.
Here are the ingredients and amounts to make 4 sticks or about 2 1/2 cups. I do not fill sticks because it is a little too soft for that. The best way to apply is with the fingertips and I prefer to put the deodorant in small, wide mouth jars. If you wanted to experiment, add a bit more beeswax and see if the more solid version works in a stick. For now, I will continue to use it like a very thick body butter (without greasiness).
INGREDIENTS FOR DIY DEODORANT USING ESSENTIAL OILS
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup shea butter
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
2 ounces beeswax or a generous 1/4 cup of beeswax beads (cosmetic grade)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch (yes you can get organic, non-gmo) OPTIONAL IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT GET A RASH FROM CORNMEAL LEAVE OUT
1/4 cup honey
25-30 drops lavender essential oil
10-15 drops rosemary essential oil
10-15 drops tea tree oil
In a double boiler on low-medium heat, melt and blend all ingredients except for the essential oils. Once everything is smooth, take off the heat source and add essential oils. Mix well. Spoon or pour into empty deodorant sticks or small containers. You can place in the refrigerator to cool it quicker, making it even more smooth. That’s it. It does not need to be kept in the refrigerator all the time. If you want it to be more solid, add more beeswax. The recipe above is exactly how I make it. Sometimes I leave the cornstarch out if I do not have any on hand.
Years from now we may end up with solid evidence that the chemicals in most antiperspirants and deodorants can be harmful to our health. Until then, it’s comforting to control what touches our skin and enters our bodies. Make your own chemical-free deodorant – it’s fun!
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