Almost 5 years ago, while delving into issues of natural foods, I also dipped a bit into natural body care. …Maybe just a pinky. It’s been a much longer process for me to become as crazy about (truly) natural skin care as I am about food. Don’t ask about house cleaning products either….I go back & forth on the follow-through.
However, ‘natural’ deodorant, or at the very least, non-anti-persperant, non-aluminum was a switch I made early on & stuck with. It took some time…very few options on the market seemed to help me at all (though for the record Ryan has been using Tom’s of Maine for years very happily…guess I’m stinkier than him). One big thing I discovered is that when I’m eating well & not consuming much if any sugar, natural options work well for me. When I’m traveling (which is synonymous for “eating junk & lots of it” for me…), darn near nothing works. AND i have to shower everyday. Sheesh….crazy, right? (again, for the record, Ryan is a ‘daily shower’ fan. I aim for every other day. Doesn’t always work out) I care for mixed reasons, partially because I follow the train of thought that what goes on your skin goes into your bloodstream (good example: birth control patch?), to varying degrees, im sure. I also figure my body is probably supposed to sweat… I know there’s conflicting arguments about whether or not toxins are released through sweat, but considering there are lymph nodes in close proximity to the area…I should probably be interested in what’s being applied to the area every single day of my life….not to mention…I’ve just become ok w/wet underarms. not a FAN of flaunting sweat marks on a hot day, but not mortified by it anymore. …and I do not glisten, I sweat. Ask my husband. My mom? SHE glistens. The woman seems almost incapable of sweat…however I appear to take after my father who can work up sweat thinking hard. The other thought being environmental issues. While I certainly tend toward ‘tree hugger’, it’s very rare that environmental ‘friendliness’ would be a bottom line deciding factor for me on anything. For good or ill, it’s simply a preferred option when it’s not too cumbersome to do so. It is something that factors into my decisions, however mildly.
All that said: I do still hold firmly to some deep held american beliefs (for good or ill)…like: women shouldn’t be hairy and more importantly: no one should stink. I don’t particularly care if i stink at the gym (should I ever go to one), but out & about in general, no stinking please. …I know, i don’t want to shower AND I don’t want to stink? sheesh.
After much trial & error, I finally settled on the deodorant crystal (w/baking soda sprinkles in between shower days) & have stayed there happily for 4 years. Until last week. Stupid internet. I ran across a post by Stephanie from bubble & bee that might have ruined me. After reading that, I did a little googling (yes, I read ‘the beauty brains‘ take on it too) & it would seem that although it’s a ‘different’ type of aluminum used in the crystals than in antiperspirant (that kind plugs up the pores to prevent sweat from even coming out. Sounds kinda creepy to me…), it is still aluminum which is (loosely/possible/maybe) connected to Alzheimer’s. Much like many people see vaccinations as being one of many triggers (or a ‘last straw’ on someone susceptible to complications) tied to Autism, it seems the same for aluminum being connected to Alzheimer’s. Either way….let’s remember I’m using this daily for years & years. I found that supposedly “potassium alum” would be more ideal/natural than “ammonium alum”. Off to read my label….yeah, ammonium. Of course. Compounded on this are the environmental aspects, it’s made w/bauxite ore which is an imported non-renewable resource (in abundance, but still…) blah blah blah…
The idea of trying homemade products from things in my KITCHEN & primarily FOOD was becoming more & more appealing as the week wore on. I’m still not necessarily 100% convinced it’s a NECESSARY step, but since I recently discovered it’s super easy to make lip balm, I decided deodorant couldn’t be much different. If nothing else, it would save a ton of money on Ryan’s deodorant (& get him off chemicals in his deodorant that I don’t recognize the name of). I googled some recipes and found most if not all were basically for a putty type…thing. I figured Ryan wouldn’t go for applying deodorant with his fingertips, so I decided to mix a lip balm & deodorant putty into one. A few days ago I mixed up a very small batch (& poured it into an old Tom’s deodorant container). This did work, but much like my first attempt at lip balm, a little too melty, so I will continue working on ratios & update when I find the right mix. As for it’s ‘stink fighting power’: I’m sold. Ryan & I both used it yesterday (i did today but not sure if Ryan did), w/much success.
The recipe I used:
2T Baking soda
2T arrowroot powder (ok, i didn’t have any, so I used potato starch. ha! It worked fine, but I did buy some arrowroot yesterday just to be more mainstream )
2tsp Witch Hazel
2T coconut oil (virgin would be preferred as it’s supposed to have stink fighting properties of it’s own..though not strong enough for me by itself!)
few drops of essential oil of choice (I used theives oil, b/c it’s also known for killing germs, which i assume would boost stink fighting power)
melt fats in double boiler, remove from heat, mix in remaining ingredients, then pour into molds. I’m impatient so I stuck it in the fridge for an hour to help it solidify faster.
Next time I will try 1T coconut oil 2T cocobutter 1T beeswax to see if that helps with the melt factor as it’s being rubbed on.