Now, I will freely admit that my own quest for “naturalness” only goes so 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,