Homemade non-toxic deodorant…that works!

homemade deodorantMy mother is a long-term breast cancer survivor. Her battle has given me pause to consider specific things in life that could be potential cancer risks, and underarm deodorant is one of those things.

Now, I will freely admit that my own quest for “naturalness” only goes ┬áso far. While I appreciate the fact that armpits grow hair when left to their own devices, I prefer to not look like Harry the Hairy Ape. That being said, it must be considered that abraded skin, such as after shaving one’s underarm area, is much more susceptible to absorbing toxic substances from any product applied to that skin. Considering the number of lymph nodes nestled directly under that skin and the nearby glandular breast tissue, I cannot shake the nagging concern that perhaps the armpits are not the best place to routinely apply what may be a toxic substance.

To be fair, the medical jury is still out on whether triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient in many personal care products including deodorants, is harmful to human health. Likewise, though we DO know that aluminum, a common ingredient in antiperpsirants, IS toxic to humans, the medical community has not agreed that it is toxic enough when applied to the skin to warrant being pulled from personal care products on the market. However, it seems to me and to the nagging feeling in my gut that rather than wait for that jury to come back with a guilty verdict, it might be more wise on my part to eliminate those two substances from my personal care, if possible and simply avoid the risk.

What to do, what to do?

I am quite certain that everyone who interacts with me on a regular basis will be happy to know that I am not eschewing the practice of using deodorant. I work hard, and that entails sweating. If I don’t want to avoid social ostracism, I need a solution to this deodorant dilemma! And I have found it!

Though skeptical about this homemade natural deodorant recipe, I decided to give it a chance…and I am hooked. Not only have I experienced a total success in the olfactory department (“I don’t smell bad”), but I also noticed a total absence of the mild irritation I had previously come to consider normal. No itching, no dryness of the skin, no soaking sweat into my clothes…and yup, no odor!

So with no further delay, here is the very simple recipe:

1 cup organic coconut oil
3 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
4 T. baking soda
*Optional: 1/8 t. Tea tree oil
(Personally, I like the tea tree oil because it absorbs deeply into the skin and is a healthy support in every way.) You could also add a few drops of lavender, rose, or other essential oil for scent, if you like.

The coconut oil will be hard at room temperature, so just smash it thoroughly with a fork if needed. Mix in the other ingredients and stir really well, then scoop into a small container with a lid. Rub a small amount into the underarm area daily. At the rate I am using it, this tub of deodorant will last me about four months, and cost about $2.70.

Whether or not this natural deodorant reduces my risk of getting breast cancer, I may never know. Either way, I am using fewer chemicals on my skin, definitely spending far less money, and can feel good about the ingredients I AM using.

Do YOU have an experience with homemade deodorant or a related topic? I would love to hear from you! Share your comments with us so we can all learn to walk in better health.
Blessings all ’round,

About Simplicity Rebel

At our house we enjoy simplicity. We enjoy spending time together, sharing great meals and fun in the garden, including friends and family to relax and revel in good company and low stress! Of special interest to me is the art of what I refer to as "prosperous frugality". In other words, living simply and inexpensively while maintaining an attitude of prosperity and abundance. Frugality does not mean doing without necessities or feeling deprived. Rather, it is a lifestyle of using what we NEED, graciously sharing with others, and cultivating an attitude of gratitude in all things. This mindset led me to establish The Community GATE...a Give And take Experience, an organization dedicated to strengthening our communities one at a time through personal involvement and neighborly responsibility. I live in the suburbs. I do not live on a huge farm, nor do I have the luxury of an unlimited budget. However, we believe that even with a small piece of ground and a bit of ingenuity, we can bring a significant amount of produce to our table and have enough to share with our neighbors and loved ones. Also dear to my heart is the statement "a penny saved is a penny earned". Sometimes we need to reach out and create more income, while at other times we simply need to carefully reduce wastefulness so that our income goes further. From creative use of kitchen leftovers to thrifty uses of water for the garden, sometimes it is a matter of trimming the waste and using resources we didn't even know we already had! I enjoy bringing old skills back to the modern age, always learning new things along the way! Many skills such as bread baking, sewing, even gardening without excess chemicals or machinery will soon be lost altogether if we do not purposely keep them alive. Not everyone will employ all of these skills, but self-reliance and personal independence demand that someone carry the torch...it is my goal to carry it well and pass it forward!
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