Yes, you read that correctly. Today, we’re going to learn how to make deodorant. If you read my last post on ways to prevent cancer, you already know how important it is to avoid conventional personal care products, especially deodorant. Homemade deodorant is fabulously simple, cost effective, and, best of all, free of heavy metals!
First, let’s take a look at why deodorants are so bad. Surprisingly, there is a difference between products marketed for women and for men. Most deodorants for women are also antiperspirants, while it’s relatively easy to find a deodorant for men that’s just deodorant. What’s the difference, you ask? They’re pretty self explanatory: deodorants prevent your sweat from smelling and antiperspirants prevent you from sweating. Sweat is actually a mixture of fat, proteins, and toxins secreted by your body, but it’s the sweat-munching bacteria hanging out in your crevices that cause you to stink. Deodorants use many different ingredients to kill these bacteria; antiperspirants use heavy metals like aluminum or zirconium to plug the pores in your pits, preventing the sweat from escaping. While deodorants can contain harmful chemicals like artificial fragrances and parabens that seep in through the skin, antiperspirants are even more harmful. Not only do they contain heavy metals and other harmful chemicals, but they block the secretion of sweat, which is a necessary part of daily detoxing. No bueno, mis amigos.
The solution: homemade deodorant! While there are definitely some great options out there (I’ve heard people swear by Thai crystals) making your own is the only way to know exactly what’s in it, and what works for you. I’ve used several different brands – Tom’s of Maine, Jason, Nature’s Gate – but none seemed to really work for me. Then I discovered Trulys Natural Deodorant. Made by a local Delaware woman with only 4 ingredients, it was so simple and yet so fabulous. Coconut oil, baking soda, powdered sugar, and cornstarch. And it works. While using it, however, I noticed that if I left it on too long, say overnight, I’d have some slight irritation in the morning. Nowhere near as bad as when I used conventional products, but enough that I knew something in there was bothering me. I was worried at first that there was aluminum in the baking soda she used, but after doing some research, I found that while baking powder is still suspect, most baking soda is additive-free, including Arm & Hammer. The powdered sugar then? Or perhaps the corn starch? Sugar and corn both are both common allergens, so perhaps one of them was giving me the itches. I therefore decided to make my own, but what to use in place of the offending ingredients? Thanks to one of our customers at the farm store, I found a great deodorant recipe that did the trick.
-1/3 cup coconut oil (I used refined since it’s cheaper, but virgin has such a lovely coconut smell…)
-1/3 cup arrowroot powder
-3 tbsp baking soda (I started with 2, but it was too oily and not absorbent enough for me)
-10-15 drops essential oil (optional – for fragrance)
Heat the coconut oil so it’s liquid, mix, let cool, apply, and breathe deeply all day! With the antibacterial properties of coconut, the absorbancy of arrowroot and baking soda, and the lovely smells of essential oils, this will definitely keep you smelling fresh all day. Trust me, I work on a farm. If it keeps my pits smelling good, you have nothing to worry about! Unless you have a have a real Dirty Job, that is…