Last week I mentioned that it was going to take Mama guts to switch to an inexpensive homemade hair cleanser and conditioning rinse (for an all-natural shampoo click here). This week’s suggestion is likewise “gutsy”: switch from regular deodorant to coconut-oil-based homemade alternatives! It is actually super-easy and you can adapt the recipes to meet your personal needs/preferences.
Regular deodorants contain chemicals that are found in breast cancer tissues (parabens); they also include metals and minerals used in cosmetics that mimic estrogen and increase your risk of cancer. Some deodorants contain aluminum, which is a neurotoxin (affects the brain, causing inflamation and degenerative disorders) and immunotoxin (supresses immune system). All these chemicals build up in the body increasing your risk of chronic disease.
These ingredients are added to do “useful” things, but the cost of using them is too high! There is an alternative that is NATURALLY antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing…without the use of toxic substances…Coconut oil!
Here is a basic recipe for Coconut Oil Deodorant:
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil (Refined or Virgin)
- 1 tsp to 1 TBSP Aluminum-free Baking Soda
- 1 tsp to 1 TBSP Corn starch or Arrowroot powder
- 6-8 drops essential oils (I like lavender; tea tree oil has natural disinfectant properties that can help treat various skin conditions and has a pine-fresh scent; patchouli is gentle on the skin and has a manly, woodsy scent)
It’s easiest to mix the ingredients when the coconut oil is melted (above 78F, the oven with the light on should be sufficient to melt it); combine ingredients and pour into a small tub with screw-on lid. The deodorant will solidify below 78F: rub your finger on it and then apply to your underarms. Allow the oil to be absorbed into your skin before putting on clothing.
You can vary the amount of baking soda and starch depending on your deodorant needs (1 tsp to 1 TBSP);
- BAKING SODA: increase if you need more odor control, decrease if odor control is not necessary and/or the baking soda irritates your skin (I had to use plain coconut oil during summer while I was shaving more frequently; baking soda on a nick is no fun! It is recommended to wait 1-2 hours after shaving before applying deodorant with baking soda in it…I am likely to forget to put it on at all with a wait time that long; plain coconut oil lasted for eight hours of odor control for me, but that will vary from person to person)
- CORN STARCH/ARROWROOT POWDER: increase if you need more moisture control, decrease if you don’t like the residue. You can also “powder” your armpits with starch after applying the deodorant. Currently, I omit starch altogether; as long as you give it time to be absorbed by the skin, coconut oil doesn’t leave a greasy or wet surface.
If putting oil on your armpits is a little too weird, here is a deodorant recipe using shea butter that is more solid, more moisturizing, and can be poured into an applicator. I’ll have to give it a try!
I haven’t used regular deodorant for almost a year and I don’t miss it at all! I love that I can go to my kitchen cupboard whenever I run out, grab a few ingredients and make up a fresh batch without spending $4/stick. What I love the most is that my need for deodorant has decreased since switching to homemade. I honestly think they put things in deodorant that make your skin smell worse over time: perhaps by over-drying or damaging the skin through toxin absorption. I used to have to put commercial deodorant on within 5 minutes of showering *or else*! Now I can go an hour or two without deodorant before noticing 🙂
Helping of Hope: Right choice: skip the artificial ingredients, high cost (to your budget and health), and make coconut oil deodorant. Bright Future: reduced risk of breast cancer, reduced risk of neurodegeneracy, a feeling of empowerment (!), reduced personal odor, and more money to spend on more important things!
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