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At the risk of sounding like I don’t have good hygiene habits, I’m going to admit to the fact that I’ve stopped using antiperspirant.
Not to worry, though. I shower regularly, and I still wear deodorant, just not antiperspirant.
Until just recently, I never even thought about the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. For years, I had always just used the same drugstore brand that my mother used, and I never thought much about what was in it.
What’s Wrong with Antiperspirants?
Now that I know more about what’s actually in most antiperspirants, though, I’ve chosen not to use them anymore.
Most antiperspirants have an aluminum-based active ingredient to close up the pores to prevent sweating. Even if there might not be enough evidence to prove that aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer, I would rather be safe than sorry. And is all that aluminum something I really want to be putting into my body anyways? Probably not. And then there’s the fact that a lot of antiperspirants also have other questionable ingredients such as parabens, propylene glycol, preservatives, and artificial fragrances.
I also don’t really think that it’s the best idea to try to close up the pores on our underarms to prevent sweating the way most antiperspirants are formulated to do. Since I believe that God designed our bodies to cool down and to release toxins through sweat, I don’t think it’s really a good idea to be messing around with that process.
It’s funny, though, because a lot of the time, it seems like the more you try to stop your body from sweating by slathering on an antiperspirant, the more your body overcompensates for it by producing even more sweat. I’ve found myself that by not using the antiperspirant anymore, I actually sweat less than I used to because my body has been able to find more of a balance again.
What about B.O.?
Of course, nobody wants to walk around smelling like they haven’t taken a shower in a month. That’s where deodorants come in. Natural deodorants can keep you smelling fresh and clean without all of the nasty chemicals.
Once I had decided to stop using antiperspirants, I tried a couple of different natural deodorant options. Unfortunately, most of them were pretty expensive and not all of them worked very well either.
What’s the Solution?
The cheapest, simplest, and the most effective natural deodorant I’ve tried, though, is a homemade one using baking soda, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and essential oils for fragrance. I haven’t done the math to figure out the exact cost, but since the ingredients listed will make several batches and since each batch will last for quite a while, it’s much more economical than the store bought ones.
This is the recipe I’ve been using to make my homemade deodorant. I adapted it from this recipe.
Homemade Deodorant Recipe
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 Tbs. baking soda
- (Optional) About 10 drops of essential oils. I like to use 4 drops of bergamot or orange and 6 drops of lavender. (You can find the ones I use and recommend here.)
- Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and stir well until they are fully combined. It will take a bit of stirring to get everything to mix well together, especially if your coconut oil is hard. If the weather is warm enough for your coconut oil to be softer, the stirring will be a bit easier.
- Spoon mixture into a glass jar. I like to use these 4 oz. mini mason jars because they are the perfect size for this amount of deodorant.
This recipe should keep well for several months. I usually make a new batch about every 3-4 months or so. As with all homemade products, though, you want to keep an eye on the appearance and the scent, and if anything changes or you notice an “off” smell, it’s time to toss it and make a new batch.
Have you made the switch yet from drugstore antiperspirants to natural deodorants?
There are lots of great homemade deodorant variations out there. Here are some other ideas to try:
Homemade Deodorant for Sensitive Skin by Oh Lardy
Homemade Natural Coconut Oil Deodorant by The Prairie Homestead
Homemade Deodorant: Summertime Strength by the Sprouting Seed
Easy Homemade Non-toxic Deodorant for Sensitive Skin by Homemade Mommy
DIY Spray Deodorant by Kula Mama