Deodorant. It’s the one toiletry most of us won’t do without – after all, who wants to stink? Not even our ancestors put up with nasty body odor. Early commercial deodorants ate through clothes they were so strong, but people enthusiastically put them on to avoid smelling foul all day.
Unfortunately, even modern deodorants still have nasty side effects. Almost all of them contain aluminum, which suppresses perspiration, and parabens, which serve as stabilizers for the formula. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, while parabens mimic the effects of estrogen.
That’s no good – and neither is the fact that going off the grid may mean leaving behind drugstore aisles. Thus, it’s a great idea to learn to make your own all-natural deodorant.
Basic Homemade Deodorant
This simple deodorant recipe has been tried by thousands of people who love it. Even better than positive endorsements from real people who run, work outside, and have to deal with teenager funk? A three-month supply for two people costs just $1 to make.
- ¼ cup baking soda
- ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder (arrowroot is a bit better, but since it’s hard to find in some areas, go with cornstarch if that’s easier)
- 6 to 8 tablespoons coconut oil (semi-soft state – refrigerate or microwave to adjust)
Put the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend them. Add the coconut oil bit by bit, working it into the powder. You should end up with a solid mass that is firm enough to hold a shape but still soft enough to melt into your skin (just like commercial deodorants).
If it’s still too mushy, you can add some additional cornstarch or arrowroot. However, in really warm climates (or at the height of summer), it may never set up, but that’s okay. If it’s really cold where you are it may stay a bit grainy, and that’s okay, too. The anti-bacterial properties of the coconut oil remain whether it’s liquid or solid.
Put the finished mixture into an empty deodorant tube or any small jar with a lid. You just need something with enough room for about a cup of finished mixture and wide enough that you can get your fingers in to scoop it out later.
When you want to apply your deodorant, simply rub it in to your armpits. The mixture will “melt” into your skin. Use a small amount (about a pea-sized glob) to get the job done all day long.
Tips for Homemade Deodorant
Your homemade deodorant does require you to adjust. You won’t smell over time – trust that. However, since it is so different from the chemical commercial deodorants your mind and your body know, there are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Give your body a week to detox and chemically adapt. You’ve been using aluminum and paraben-packed deodorants for years – the stuff is in your pores, and it needs to seep out. Expect a kind of funky first few days – everybody’s body is different – this is normal and it goes away.
- Wait an hour before applying to freshly shaved or waxed armpits. Guys, this is rarely an issue for you, but ladies, this will sting like crazy.
- Itchy = use less baking soda. The baking soda can irritate sensitive skin. There are a couple of options to fix this. You can decrease the baking soda in the recipe by one tablespoon and make up the difference with cornstarch or arrowroot. If you used cornstarch originally, swapping to 100 percent arrowroot does help some people. Alternatively, you can add ¼ cup shea butter or cocoa butter to the mix (though this does raise the cost per batch).
- Adjust the scent with essential oils. If you miss the scent of commercial deodorant, add a few drops of essential oils to your mix. Tea tree oil is a good choice, since it has anti-bacterial properties, but citrus oils, florals, and mints can all work. I’ve even heard of liquid smoke getting added to win over a reluctant spouse. Basically, when it comes to the smell, get creative – you’re in charge now!
Voila! Deodorant that works and costs pennies compared to the commercial stuff. Now, it’s not an antiperspirant, but many people say they sweat less after going all natural. Skin allergies and sensitivities also tend to fade since you have less chemicals in contact with your body all day.
It’s just smart, practical self-care anyone can try. The recipe takes less than five minutes to put together … get it a go and let me know how it works for you!
©2012 Off the Grid News