I have a confession to make- I found out many years ago how bad those drugstore brand deodorants and anti-perspirants were. Loaded with toxic chemicals and fragrances, even aluminum if it's an anti-perspirant. Even worse, sometimes knowing this, I would load them on my skin after getting out of the shower with freshly shaved armpits and open pores.Did you know up to 60% of what you put on the surface of your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream?
I stopped wearing tight bras with underwire years ago because I didn't like the idea of blocking lymph flow around such important tissue, but I still had a back-up stick of smelly highly marketed poison. Why the discord? Because I never could find a natural deodorant that worked for me. I tried rock salt sticks, ionized water, locally made products using a plethora of different natural oils and from tree saps and who knows what else. And when push came to sweat, they all let me down. So, the back-up bottle of the poison hidden in the bottom drawer would come out again. For the party, for the interview, for the date. I hope this doesn't sound like you, I hope you've found a natural product that works for you body chemistry. If it does sound like you, read on!
I experimented with making my own deodorant for months this year and finally hit a recipe that works. Like, really works. Like, all my back-up bottles have found their way into the trash. Through sweaty yoga classes, long hot bike rides in August to work and school and back, through intense meetings and anything else that came my way- it worked!
I'm happy to report I've taught many others how to make this deodorant as part of our Make Your Own Bodycare Workshop, and everyone loves it!
Here's some testimonials from DIY deodorant converts- "Incredible stuff! I ran 23k, did not shower or reapply and no smell at all. I usually have to reapply several times a day even when I'm not running. With Kathrin's recipe I can even skip a day. Not to mention how much cheaper and safer. Love it!" Christine -"Your deodorant is an ‘out of the ball park winner’….like most people I have a whole drawer full of non-toxic deodorants which mostly don’t work…or smell worse than funky body odor….I am super thrilled with the one we made in class!"- Miriam
1/4 cup baking soda
1/3 cup arrowroot powder (or organic cornstarch)
20 drops tea tree essential oil
20 drops lavender essential oil (or other preferred oil for scent)
5 Tbsp coconut oil
I mix together the baking soda and arrowroot powder (which I prefer as it is softer than cornstarch) and then add the essential oils. I then let this sit overnight to allow the oils to infuse through the powders. The tea tree oil acts as a potent antimicrobial. (It's the bacteria on your skin that causes the smell, not your sweat). The lavender oil makes a nice smell, but you can substitute it for whatever scent you prefer. Note though, that the lavender oil is also antimicrobial, so it's adding even more anti-smell punch to the recipe. Examples of other good anti-microbial oils you could use are Sweet Orange, Clary Sage, Frankincense, or Lemon Balm, (Lemon Balm also helps to reduce the amount you perspire).
The next morning, I gently melt the coconut oil (you can submerge the jar in heated water), and add oil to your desired consistency. The oil will harden as it cools, so let it be a little softer. I like mine to be somewhat hard and dry when it cools to make it easier to transport in a little container when I'm on the go or travelling. The coconut oil will melt in your fingers and against your skin when you rub it in.
And there it is, my best new recipe of 2012, a tried and true to get me through 2013! I hope it works for you! If you try, please let me know what you think of it. And my very best wishes for a great year ahead, filled with sweat, smiles and security!
Here's a neat chart with the 12 most common chemicals lurking in cosmetic products.