I’ve been taking baby steps towards a more chemical-free lifestyle for both personal and environmental reasons.
You may already know, but it’s worth repeating, that a lot of the toxins we’re exposed to come from products we put on our skin, like makeup, lotions and deodorant.
The deodorant / anti-perspirant I used for years (one of the leading brands for women) rates 5 out of 10 on the Skin Deep hazard scale found on the Environmental Working Group website. The scale is ranked from 1 least harmful to 10, most harmful.
Some of the compromising ingredients in the deodorant I was using include fragrance, petrolatum, and cyclopentasiloxane. Many studies have found that these ingredients may contribute to cancer, organ system toxicity, and allergies/immunotoxicity.
When it came time to change my deodorant/anti-perspirant, I was afraid! A little embarrassing fact about myself- my armpits sweat…a lot. They always have.
In high school I remember always having pit stains (can I blame it on a lovely combination of hormones, chlorine from swimming, and poorly chosen shirt colors?). Thankfully, it has calmed down a lot since my high school days, but I still rely on deodorant.
And if you’re like me, you are ALWAYS wearing deodorant. I apply it after I shower, before bed, before work and intermittently throughout hot summer days.
So a few months ago I reluctantly mixed up my first batch of DIY natural deodorant. I use baking soda, unrefined coconut oil, and arrowroot powder to thicken it. Simple.
Now I won’t sugar coat this- the first two weeks were MISERABLE (I think my coworkers would agree). Never in my life have I smelled BO on myself before those two weeks. My armpits had to sweat out all those toxins and since I was only wearing my DIY deodorant (not anti-perspirant) that’s exactly what happened.
But after two weeks everything changed. I no longer smelled of BO, I perspirated less, and I didn’t have to apply the deodorant as often. When I shower now, it actually feels like my skin I am washing and not a film that never totally comes off (which makes for a smoother shave too!). I have not used any other deodorant since and have no desire to!
Ready to make the switch? You can mix up a little batch using the ingredients mentioned below, and feel free to add a few drops of a natural fragrance extract for a nice smell.
Put it in a little glass jar, and voilà! If you aren’t a DIY person, there are many options listed on EWG’s website . Just remember to give it a couple weeks. It may not be a pleasant transition but stick with it- your body will thank you.
D.I.Y. Deodorant Recipe:
Mix the ingredients together with a fork:
2 tbsp arrowroot powder- thickener
2 tbsp baking soda- neutralizes odor
3 tbsp coconut oil- antibacterial properties
a few drops of natural fragrance extract (optional)
I add natural lavender extract to give it a nice smell and soothing effect on the skin.
If you want your deodorant thicker, add more arrowroot powder.
Make sure you use pure ingredients. Contact me to learn more about the brand of quality ingredients I use.
Do you make your own deodorant or any other skin product? Please share your recipe with us in the comment section.