Most people don’t think twice about what they apply to one of the most sensitive and absorbent areas of the body. I used antiperspirants for years. I never read the label or concerned myself with the ingredients. Even after I started my health journey, I was focused on what I was putting IN my body, not what was being put ON my skin.
I can’t actually remember what caused the transition, but I do remember being appalled when I read the warnings on the label. Have you ever read yours?
Think about it…. why would it warn to consult your doctor before using if you have KIDNEY disease? Obviously, what you are applying to your armpit is being absorbed and can be damaging. And what about the Aluminum? How much research will it take to convince people that intentionally increasing the amount of aluminum isn’t a good idea? It has been linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases. And what about research that points toward a link between antiperspirant ingredients and breast cancer? I haven’t even mentioned the talc which has also been linked to cancer. All of this should nudge us towards a more natural approach.
Keep in mind that there is a difference between a “deodorant” and an “antiperspirant”. By definition, an antiperspirant is somehow limiting the amount of sweat which begs the question, How? Literally the active ingredient, some type of aluminum, is included in the formulation because of its ability to effectively clog the pores. But…. if it was a permanent blockage there would be no need to reapply, right? Remember the kidney warning? We absorb the aluminum daily, and it accumulates in the body over time. Whether it damages the kidneys, or deposits in the brain, or leads to cancer, there are no known positives unless you consider clogging your pores a positive.
Some of us have the problem of embarrassing body odor. I get that! I can remember times in the past where I would feel the need to velcro my elbows to my waist for fear someone would smell me…. and that was AFTER applying antiperspirant! I know for me it was a hormonal thing. For some people it has to do with their daily diets. Ever wonder why eating garlic is supposed to help repel bugs? It makes your sweat smell like garlic! I honestly can’t say what has changed my chemistry, but I would surmise that it is a combination of cleaner eating, detoxing, and coming to the end of the ebb and flow of pregnant/nursing hormone waves.
I have been using natural deodorants for many years, but always kept Secret on reserve for those times when I knew I needed “that extra protection.” As my health journey has progressed, I found myself using it less and less, but I still had not found a natural deodorant that I was 100% happy with. A year or so ago a friend encouraged me to try a recipe that included coconut oil and baking soda. I was a bit skeptical, but finally decided to give it a chance. All and all, I was happy with the results, but the paste wasn’t solid enough to go into a regular deodorant container, and it melted into a greasy puddle every time I traveled with it during summer (and in GA that is 9 months out of the year!) I have played around with the recipe and finally found something that works year round, even in the south. Honestly, it works better than ANY commercial product I ever used.
I have had many people ask me for the recipe, and I promised to share after doing a fblive workshop demonstrating how to make deodorant start to finish. (I also discuss the benefits of some of the oils and how Skinny Dipping originated.) I prefer measuring using weights because it is far more accurate. This is the recipe that I use when I am making a big batch I would suggest dividing by 8 if you are just wanting to make enough to fill a couple of deodorant containers.
13.6 oz Baking Soda (note – for sensitive skin, or when you are first converting to a natural deodorant you might want to use less baking soda and more arrowroot powder. As long as you keep the total weight of the two the same it will still create a similar hardness.)
4.6 oz Arrowroot Powder (or you can use cornstarch. I prefer arrowroot because it seems smoother and drier.)
Coconut Oil (refined won’t give you that strong coconut smell and this is NOT fractionated oil, but the one that is solid at cooler temps)
7.2 oz Shea Butter
*4.6 Beeswax (the secret ingredient)
*essential oils of your choice (for this recipe I put 20 drops of Frankincense and 20 drops of Determination)
I use these clinical grade oils, and because I add Frankincense for its many health benefits (google it!) it is really important to cool the oils quickly so all the benefits don’t evaporate into thin air, literally. When you are doing DIY body products (especially soap) you need to research the flash points of the essential oils you are using so you aren’t wasting your money.
Directions: Put all your oils into a glass container (big enough to add the dry ingredients into later.) I use a liquid measuring pitcher with a pour spout. I prefer this over a double boiler. I just put it into a big pot on the stove with some water. (See the fblive video at around 25 mins for a visual). While the oils are melting, take the lids off the deodorant containers and set them up so that you can quickly pour the deodorant into them when it is mixed. It will solidify rapidly. And though you can reheat to remelt, you risk your essential oils evaporating.
As a bonus….here is the blender comparison video I am talking about in the fblive demo. You can skip to the end if you are short on time, but I promise you’ll laugh!