Friday, April 6, 2012
Safe, Natural, Cheap, Simple DIY deodorant
One of the biggest struggles of natural living can be finding a good, safe natural deodorant that actually WORKS! (If you choose to wear deodorant, that is lol)
I've probably tried a dozen different brands of natural deodorant and ended up swearing I would never buy that brand again, usually because it would fail to work and end up leaving me smelling like a faintly-lavender smelling onion, but in some cases, I would smell worse after putting it on than I would if I wore no deodorant at all.
It has really been a struggle for my husband, who is a welder and spends long hours working in the heat. At times he would get so tempted to go out and buy "regular" deodorant. Luckily, he's a smart man and he knows the dangers of "regular" deodorants. Not only that, but even some of the natural deodorants we would buy had questionable ingredients in them.
What are the dangers of mainstream deodorants?
Well, first there are the dangerous chemicals such as Parabens, Aluminum, and Propylene Glycol.
Parabens are used as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and preservative. However, Parabens in deodorant are also known to be directly associated with breast cancer due to the fact that parabens mimic the hormone estrogen and begin to accumulate within the human body without being broken down. Parabens can also disrupt the functions of your endocrine system and lead to early puberty, and fertility problems for both men and women.
Aluminum is used as an antiperspirant and can cause a variety of health problems such as neurological damage linked to Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, glucose intolerance, osteomalacia, anemia, and others. Also, anti-perspirants prevent your body from sweating. Sweating, especially from under the arms, is naturally our body's way of releasing toxins and wastes. If you are preventing that, then the toxins will begin to accumulate into your body.
Propylene Glycol is found in not only mainstream deodorants, but can be found in natural deodorants as well. This mineral oil is the ingredient found in antifreeze. It can disrupt metabolic function and cause abnormalities in the heart, liver and kidneys, and lead to various diseases. It enters the skin very quickly and can cause irritation and dryness.
Obviously these are dangers that you would want to avoid.
There's no question that body odor is usually unpleasant, but I would say that the cancers and diseases caused by mainstream deodorants would be much more unpleasant in the long run.
Now before heading out to Whole Foods and spending way too much on overpriced natural deodorants that will probably make you smell like Woodstock, consider this cheap, easy, quick, safe and natural deodorant recipe that my family and I have been using.
Here are the ingredients... go ahead...get a pen and paper and write this down because you won't want to forget....
That's right. Those are the only 2 ingredients. Just one jar of coconut oil (priced at about $5-$10, depending on where and what kind you buy) and one box of baking soda (about 50 cents) will be enough EFFECTIVE natural deodorant to last your family for several months!
How does this work??
Among it's many benefits and uses, Coconut oil is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It also soothes and softens the skin. This makes Coconut oil a perfect candidate for use as a deodorant. Virgin coconut oil has it's own pleasant naturally tropical scent, but you can also buy refined coconut oil, which does not have a scent. Many people use coconut oil on it's own as a deodorant. However, I've found that adding baking soda, which is a known stink-killer, can keep you smelling fresh all day with no hint of odor!
My husband, the big manly welder who works all day sweating in the sun, came home after his first time of using the coconut oil/ baking soda recipe which he applied the night before and he could not believe how well it worked! There was absolutely no hint of body odor. That is the ultimate test that affirmed that this recipe really works!
What I usually do is scoop out a little bit of coconut oil and put it into the palm of my hand, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on top, mix it with a finger and apply. But here's another idea to make it easier to apply your deodorant:
DIY Deodorant Stick:
-Coconut oil is usually a solid at room temperate, so you'll want to first melt the coconut oil. You can do this by leaving it outside if the weather is warm, or running the jar (with a closed lid!) under warm water. I don't advise putting it on the stove or microwave as high heat can make it less effective.
-Pre-mix your coconut oil with the baking soda in a cup or bowl.
-You can re-use an empty deodorant container. Just screw down the plastic part to the bottom.
-Pour the coconut oil mixture into the deodorant container.
-Put it in the fridge or a cool dry place to harden.
Now you have a home-made stick of deodorant!!
If you want, while mixing, you can add 2 more optional ingredients:
-Cornstarch or Arrowroot powder (to make firmer)
-Essential Oils of your choice (for scent)
Now you can be Natural AND stink-free! While saving $! Does it get any better than that?
Note: When making the switch from mainstream commercial deodorants to natural deodorant, your body MAY respond by producing excess sweat and/or odor. This is because your body is used to trying to overproduce these reactions that were being blocked by the antiperspirant. Don't worry, this is only a transition period. The longer you use it, the better it will work for you. Within a few days your body will get back into the swing of things and will begin to perspire less and naturally create less odor. Do not give up on natural deodorants in the first few days. Just remember that it's all worth it!