There are a lot of reasons to stop using commercial deodorant and antiperspirant. Here is a place to start reading, if this is the first you’ve heard: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/aluminum-and-breast-cancer/
Let’s face it: Everybody sweats and there is nothing that any of us can do to stop it, but we CAN easily control body odor with natural homemade remedies. Body odor is caused by bacteria, not by sweat, so the key is to use an antibacterial deodorant that doesn’t irritate your skin. I’ve tried several natural commercial products, and none of them worked for me, so now I make my own. I’ve been making moisturizer from coconut oil for a long time, so why not?
Making your own natural deodorant is incredibly easy, but it may take a little trial-and-error to find what works best with your body. Write down what you put into your deodorant so that you can make it again without having to guess. The first time you try this, make a small amount so it is easier to adjust it.
There is no “the best recipe”. Most are based on baking soda with arrowroot powder, corn starch, or salt and a little essential oil in a base of virgin coconut oil.
A note about the ingredients: Use the good stuff whenever you can because it makes a world of difference.
Virgin coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, so it makes a great base. Some people just use straight coconut oil and stop there, but I live in Louisiana so I need something more powerful.
Tea Tree oil is my preferred essential oil due to its antibacterial properties, but you can use whatever you like. Sweet orange and lavender essential oils are also popular. Word to the wise: Don’t use peppermint oil.
Choose your ingredients, and mix them in equal parts:
Baking soda + corn starch
Baking soda + arrowroot powder
Baking soda + salt*
(Salt was awful for me, but others swear by it)
Add just enough coconut oil to form a thick paste, about the consistency of commercial deodorant. Add a few drops of essential oil and thoroughly mix everything together. Be careful not to add too much essential oil, as some of them can burn the skin.
For every 1 cup of natural deodorant, I can only add about 3 drops of essential oil or my skin will develop a hot red rash that is not fun. I’ve seen a lot of recipes contain 10 drops of this, 15 drops of that, so it’s possible that I’m more sensitive than the average person. Better safe than sorry! You can always add more later.
Store your deodorant in a wide-mouth container that you can easily get your fingers into, and keep it in a cool place. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, so consider keeping it in the refrigerator in the summer time.
To apply, rub a little bit of deodorant onto your fingers and spread it under your arms – pretty simple.
This stuff really works. If you’re nervous, try it on a weekend. That’s best if you don’t know what is going to work for you anyway. I was very nervous at the idea of ditching my Ultra Maximum Strength antiperspirant for an entire work day, but it has been 85 degrees in Shreveport, Louisiana for the last week and I’ve been doing just fine the whole time! I’m sure I’ll use the commercial stuff from time to time but I’m not soaking myself in aluminum every day any more.
If your arm pits develop a red rash, or start burning, you likely have too much baking soda or too much essential oil. Dilute it with some more coconut oil, and/or more arrowroot or cornstarch, and adjust until you’re comfortable. This is why you start with a small batch. You also might get irritated skin if you apply deodorant too soon after shaving, but that happens with commercial brands, too.
At the end of all this… If you still feel like you need the commercial products, don’t sweat it. (har har) There are so many other ways to simplify and make healthier choices. The sky is the limit!