By now you may have heard about the dangers of conventional deodorants (parabens, aluminum, phthalates…) but have been afraid to try the all-natural route. Let me help ease you into the idea with, first, some information, and second, a super easy DIY recipe.
You might ask, ” So what’s all the fuss about the deodorants I can buy at the grocery store?”
Well, the problem is that many reports claim the chemicals in deodorants, which are absorbed by the skin, cause estrogen-like hormonal effects. Aluminum compounds, found in conventional deodorants, have been linked to both Cancer and Alzheimers and they may contain other toxic chemicals linked to infertility issues.
Let me break it down for you. There are many ingredients commonly found in conventional deodorants that we should be questioning, for example:
- Aluminum – Linked to Alzheimer’s disease and heavy metal toxicity
- Parabens – Endocrine/hormone disruptors, found in 99% of breast cancer tissue sampled in this study
- Phthalates – Endocrine disruptors linked to permanent birth defects
- Propylene glycol – Classified as skin irritant by the EWG
- Triclosan – Linked to liver toxicity and thyroid dysfunction
- Formaldehyde contaminated synthetics – Carcinogenic
- Fragrance – Cocktail of chemicals creating skin sensitivities and irritations
What Do You Mean We Are Supposed to Sweat?
I know, you might be thinking that sweat is gross and unsightly, but guess what?! Our bodies are supposed to sweat!
Sweating is the way our bodies regulate temperature and release toxins. Besides, sweat is just a mixture of water and salt and isn’t actually what gives off that pungent smell.
What actually smells is when the sweat comes into contact with the natural bacteria on our skin. Luckily this reaction can easily be changed with natural deodorant.
Now, before we get to the recipe, let me tell you WHY preventing sweat can be problematic.
Anti-perspirants & Deodorants
Anti-perspirants and deodorants are often irritating to the skin. Anti-perspirants are created to prevent you from sweating (remember…we are supposed to sweat) and work by closing up the pores. Therefore, the sweat will build up underneath the skin, increasing toxic build-up and causing bumpy skin or irritation. If you are prone to razor burn or irritated armpits, you should definitely consider making the switch!
Along with the build up of sweat beneath the skin, there is also a build up of good bacteria that is meant to digest sweat. This imbalance doesn’t allow the bad bacteria to be digested properly and causes the sweat to smell even worse.
Here's the fix
You can bring the body’s balance back with natural, good-for-you ingredients like coconut oil, baking soda, activated charcoal and essential oils, to name a few. These ingredients let your body breathe as it should while nourishing the skin at the same time.
Activated charcoal is a natural odor eliminator and has historically been used to absorb toxic poisons inside the human body. (3)
Before you switch
You should know a couple of things before you make the switch to the best homemade deodorant I’m about to share with you.
- There is a detox period and everyone’s is different! Mine lasted about two weeks while my husbands was over a month. During this time, your body will rid itself of the toxic buildup it has accumulated over the years from using conventional deodorants. You will most likely have body odor during this time, but just stick with it and you will see that it was totally worth the BO! Most days I don’t even need to wear deodorant now!
- Tip: During this detox period, I found it super helpful to use an apple cider vinegar rinse on my underarms in the shower to help balance my skin’s PH. Simply take a 2 or 4 oz glass dropper bottle (linked in my Amazon shop) and fill 1/2 with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother and top off with water. Use 1-2 dropper fulls for each underarm and massage into skin. Let it sit on the skin while you carry on with your shower and rinse off before getting out. **You’ll get used to the smell.
- Once you make the below recipe, during this detox, you may want to keep a jar in your purse or work bag if you feel like you need to reapply during the day.
This recipe makes (5) 2 oz. jars.
1/2 C Cornstarch
1/2 C Baking Soda (if you have really sensitive skin, reduce this to 1/4 C)
1/2 C Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 C Organic Unrefined Shea Butter
1/2 tsp Organic Activated Coconut Charcoal
20 Drops Young Living Lavender Essential Oil
15 Drops Young Living Northern Lights Black Spruce Essential Oil
10 Drops Young Living Tea Tree Essential Oil
*Optional: My husband and I both like the NLBS essential oil but you can swap this out for Eucalyptus essential oil if you prefer.
On double boiler, heat coconut oil and shea butter until completely melted. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and add cornstarch, stir until mixed. Add baking soda, stir until mixed. Stir in coconut charcoal. Then add your desired essential oils.
Pour into mixer bowl and let sit until hardened. This can take several hours so if you don’t have the time, you can first pour it into a glass container with lid and stick it in the refrigerator or freezer until hardened.
Once the mixture is hardened and no longer liquid, whip in a mixing bowl for just a minute. The consistency becomes soft and is easier to apply.
Scoop out and store in small glass cars with lids.
Now you’ve got enough natural deodorant to last you a while! I hope you give it a try… it really is so simple. I love knowing exactly what’s in my deodorant and that the ingredients are actually good for me!