Have you read the label on your deodorant stick lately? There's some pretty nasty stuff in there, and considering that almost everything we apply onto our skin gets absorbed into our body, it's definitely something to think about!
One concerning ingredient is parabens - a chemical preservative which can mimic estrogen and has been found in breast tumors. Another is aluminum zirconium, and although the link between aluminum and breast cancer is "inconclusive," it has been linked to a whole number of other nasty diseases including alzheimer's, cancer, and osteoporosis. The aluminum salts in antiperspirants actually enter your pores and expand to block your sweat glands; they're also absorbed into your body and broken down, releasing the aluminum.
If you've already made the switch to a more natural commercial deodorant, good for you! You're on the right track! I've tried a number of the natural brands available at the store, but they always left me feeling uncomfortable. They usually felt too sticky and just didn't get the job done. So I ventured off to make my own homemade deodorant and it's the absolute best deodorant I've ever used!
It needs just four simple ingredients and can be made in less than 10 minutes. There's no cooking, melting, or waiting involved. Just mix the ingredients, add them to a repurposed deodorant stick or other container, then pop it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden - that's it!
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 4 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil, solid
- 5 drops essential oil (lavender, tea tree, and sage are all nice)
- Combine baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl and mix well.
- Add coconut oil and mash it into the baking soda/cornstarch mixture to make a creamy paste.
- Add essential oils and mix well.
- Spoon mixture into a repurposed deodorant stick or other container with a lid.
- Store in fridge (coconut oil melts at room temperature).
- If storing your deodorant in a regular container, you may be able to keep it at room temperature and just scoop some out with your fingers to apply to underarms; but tif using a deodorant stick, it must be kept in the fridge.
- If you shave your underarms, it's best not to use this (or any) deodorant directly after shaving since it can cause some irritation. Instead, just rub some coconut oil under your arms, which helps heal the area, then you can wear the deodorant the next day.
- The essential oils are optional but they do add a nice scent, as well as some anti-bacterial properties.
- Make sure your coconut oil is in a solid state before using. If it's melted, just put it in the fridge for a bit until it hardens, then scoop out what you need for the recipe.
Have you ditched the commercial deodorants yet? What natural alternative have you tried and would recommend to others?
Sarah UmmYousef is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, Nature's Nurture, began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.