HOW I SAID BYE-BYE TO B.O. WITHOUT PUTTING CHEMICALS IN MY PITS.
May 16, 2018
I know. You are probably thinking ”a deodorant recipe? Really Corrie? I am perfectly fine with my store bought stick”. At least this is what several of my recipe testers proclaimed when I gave them a jar to try. Let me just give you a few things to chew on and please don’t believe the first debunking story you google.
The first trouble I have with antiperspirant deodorants is that they are made up of a slew of toxic chemicals. Three big ones I would like to point out are heavy metals like aluminum, propylene glycol or steareth-100 (which is a form of mineral oil that is also used in antifreeze and brake fluid) and paraben (which mimics estrogen and have been linked to higher risks for breast cancer).
These aluminum salts melt into the skin to form a temporary barrier in the sweat ducts, which stops perspiration from flowing to the skin’s surface. Sweat is a good thing people! This is our body’s way of purging out toxins and cleansing itself. It’s also an important way of cooling itself from getting overheated. While sweat is a valuable thing, your natural Eau de toilette, is not very attractive.
The smell of sweat is practically odorless to our noses. It is the bacteria in sweat and it’s breaking down of itself into acids that cause the stink to start. I have tried so many natural deodorants in search of something that kept that onion scent away. It is unreal how many products on the market are a waste of money* because they do not work. This is what motivated me to research and experiment with all of those DIY deodorant recipes online, to find one that worked. This is what I discovered.
Underarms are one of the most sensitive areas of our bodies as they are loaded with lymph nodes and nerves. The skin in this part of the body is very thin and could benefit from some extra TLC, like a great moisturizer.
This is where coconut oil comes into play in a great way. It is a very effective skin moisturizer and it is antimicrobial. The Natural Medicine Journal speaks of a study and said, “the results of this study indicate that coconut oil could be formulated into a cream and maintain its antimicrobial activity on both fungus and bacteria”.
Now, most of us know that baking soda is great at absorbing odors out of refrigerators, but what about absorbing odors and moisture in our pits? All answers point to yes, since baking soda kills bacteria. I also like adding baking soda to this recipe because it acts as an exfoliant for that often forgotten skin of our underarms.
We will add some tapioca starch as well for some extra sweat absorption.
The last, but important, ingredient is essential oil. This part is up to you to find a scent that you are attracted to. Some possibilities are grapefruit, which is a disinfectant that has antiseptic qualities and also enhances the mood. Lavender is antibacterial, antimicrobial and has antioxidants. Or Bergamont is a good choice for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. If you really want to get wild and crazy you could use a combination of all three!
Disclaimer: while this deodorant will absorb some moisture, it is not an antiperspirant. You will still sweat, just not as much and you will not stink. I can say this with confidence because I had many recipe testers who all vouched that this recipe worked for them! For example, I convinced my Frenchie friend, who said she didn’t like these kinds of deodorants, to try it as a favor. My Pilates instructor, who is active all day long, also put this deo to the test. And as the real kicker, I had men test it out. For me this is an important one because men have a potential to stink more because they have a higher sulfur content in their sweat.
This recipe is going to knock your socks off when you see how it knocks out B.O.
*I did find one that has not been a total waste of money. If you want to buy a roll-on deodorant I recommend ALVERA.
You will need these ingredients:
5T (1/4 c+1T) coconut oil
4T tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
4T baking soda
¼ t essential oil (your choice)
In a medium sized bowl whisk together, with a fork or a whisk, the tapioca starch and baking soda. Make a hole in the middle of this mixture and set the bowl aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the coconut oil and essential oil. Pour this into the middle of the dry ingredients. Now you need to mix the wet and dry ingredients together. I personally like to use my hands to fold the deodorant on top of itself until the oil has completely integrated with the starch and soda. If you don’t want to use your hands you can use a fork or a spatula.
Once you have a dough like mixture, roll it into a ball. This will make it easy to place it in a jar with an airtight lid. This deodorant and it will last depending on how much you use. But I get about 6 months from mine.
If you don’t have tapioca starch you could use cornstarch or arrowroot in place of it.
Step by step:
First, gather all of your ingredients. Make sure that the coconut oil is in a liquid state. If it is solid, simply place the glass jar of coconut oil in a saucepan of hot water on low heat for a few minutes. If your coconut oil is in a plastic jar, be sure to transfer it to a glass container before heating it.
If you do not have arrowroot starch on hand you can substitute it for cornstarch.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a cereal bowl. Mix the oils together in a smaller bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Slowly whisk the oils into the well, adding the oil a little at a time. Keep stirring until the dry and wet ingredients have combined completely.
You will eventually need to fold the ingredients together with your hands and roll them into a ball. As you roll the ball around in your hands, press it several times into a ball shape. This will help the oils to really sink into the starch and soda. This will also make it easier for you to place the deodorant in a jar.
Store the deodorant in an airtight jar. Keep a popsicle stick on hand to dispense the deodorant. This will keep any bacteria from your hands out of the jar. If the oils, starch and soda happen to separate, simply give the deodorant a stir before you use it.
Tip: The texture of this deodorant needs to be creamy so that it will be easy to glide onto your armpit skin. Rub a pea size of this deo into your pits well. The same as you would put moisturizer on your face. After a minute of putting deodorant on, do a quick, raise your hand, check. I have noticed that if you put on too much, or do not rub it in well enough, the friction of your arm being down will cause it to clump in the folds of your skin. Just wipe off this excess and you are good to go!