All Natural Deodorant
Let’s talk body odour, more specifically, armpits!
I’ve always struggled with using deodorant and antiperspirants. Here’s the question that always rang in my head: Is this product I’ve been putting on my skin everyday (sometimes twice a day) for over twenty years really putting my health at risk? Can it really contain all the cancer causing chemicals that we read about? If it does, why am I still using it? It is one of the many things we consume, ingest, or put on our bodies daily. We continue to use it because it is something we “need” or have been brought up to know or told that it’s our only option. We continue to do this out of habit and convenience, two things that help us deal with our busy lives. But habit and convenience make changing things up that much more challenging. We want to avoid body odour so we continue with what we know and what works. Who wants to be that person in the line-up at the grocery who smells? Am I right?
Over the years I have looked at and tried the natural options out there and there are some really great ones that work—for other people. Nothing worked for me. I began to wonder if there really was a natural option out there that would do the trick and, after attempting to make my own, I discovered that there was! Shortly after we began making some changes in our home to reduce the waste we were bringing in, I started to look at some of the products I was using on my skin. Of the many beauty products I purchased and used, I wondered what I could replace with natural ingredients from my kitchen cupboards? It was an exciting question; natural ingredients could actually be kind to my skin! Where to start? With deodorant, of course!
I have to admit when I first began to do my research on natural deodorants and making my own, I was a bit of a skeptic. Since my teens when good old puberty hit, I was always a person who required the use of deodorant to avoid odour. Could a homemade substitute be as effective? Following my research, which included reading the ingredient lists on the back of some natural deodorants at my local drug store and scouring the internet, I came up with a homemade product that worked for me. I found all the ingredients in my pantry. My first attempt was a success and I was very surprised to find that this natural deodorant worked just as well—perhaps even better—than my store-bought deodorant. Another bonus, it does not leave marks on my clothing like some store-bought deodorants can. This recipe is very basic and you will likely find the ingredients right in your own kitchen or pantry.
1/2 cup Arrowroot Powder
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
6-7 tbsp coconut oil (add 6 to your recipe and if you feel it needs a little more, add the extra tbsp)
10-30 drops of your favorite essential oil
In a small bowl combine the arrowroot powder and baking soda. Add the coconut oil and mix together with a fork or spoon until it is well mixed and has a smooth consistency. Add your favorite essential oil. I mention 10-20 drops as you may want to start with 10 and see how strong the smell is for you and what you prefer. Stir with a spoon and put into whatever dish or jar you would like to store it in.
The deodorant will have a thick, pasty consistency when you are finished and you can use it immediately. Just simply dip your fingers in the jar to get a small amount on your fingertips and apply to your armpits. I like to keep mine stored in an old Bonne Maman jam jar that I have on hand but any small jar will do. This particular deodorant will soften in warmer weather because of the coconut oil. I do find that in the warmer spring and summer months I like to keep it in my fridge to keep it at the consistency I find easiest to apply. It will harden right up when kept at cooler temperatures. If you find that the deodorant is not quite helping you with keeping the odour away during the warmer months, another natural trick I learned was to rub a little apple cider vinegar under your arms with a reusable cotton pad. Apple cider vinegar is fantastic and has a number of uses, one of them being that it reduces the pH of the skin and odour causing bacteria cannot survive in areas of the skin with low pH.
As I mentioned, I like to use lavender essential oil simply because I enjoy the fragrance. The list really is endless and you could also try combining different scents.
Here are a few other essential oil options:
Rose – I think this would smell lovely. Rose is also said to be antibacterial to the skin.
Lemon – lemon essential oil can be refreshing and cooling.
Sage – sage essential oil is said to be antibacterial as well and would probably smell wonderful mixed with the lemon!
Grapefruit – to me, any citrus scent is fresh and uplifting but there is just something about the smell of grapefruit that I LOVE! Grapefruit essential oil is also cleansing and nourishing to the skin as well as good for combatting odour.
Chamomile – chamomile has a sweet, subtle smell and is a natural anti-inflammatory. This would be great if your skin is easily irritated from shaving.
Replacing my beauty products with natural options that do not produce waste has been a great step for me. Next up is my own face wash. I have been experimenting with oil cleansing and so far I really like the results. I’ll save that one for another day though. If you try this recipe, please let me know how it worked for you!
“Simplicity is the glory of expression” – Walt Whitman