After I started making my own toothpaste (Sustainable Hygiene: How to make your own toothpaste) I was so invigorated by the effectiveness and easiness of the experience that I started looking for other hygiene products I could whip up at home. It turns out deodorant is just as absurdly simple as toothpaste! For me, it really works. To be completely upfront, it doesn't stop heavy sweating, but mark my words, it is really effective against odor. More so than any other deodorant I have used.
"But if it does't stop sweat, then what's the point?" you ask. Traditional deoderants, in particular antiperspirants, contain aluminum-based compounds that temporarily block sweat ducts. Some research reports that these compounds, once absorbed by the skin, can cause estrogen-like effects - and an overload of estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells. Yeah. Scary. Officially, there is no conclusive evidence of this, but the National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet reports "Research studies of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and breast cancer have been completed and provide conflicting results." For these conflicting results, please visit the page here. In any case, blocking off my body's natural systems is not something I choose to do, especially when, now that I've been using my homemade deodorant everyday since December, it's so much cheaper, sustainable, and better smelling!
Below is the recipe I use, and the most simple one I have found, but there are lots of different ones out there (some solid, some liquid) to peruse and experiment with. I can't say enough good things about coconut oil: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, deeply moisturizing.
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
5 tablespoons of coconut oil
About 10 drops of essential oil (I used lavender and orange)
Mix all ingredients together well in a small container with a lid (I used a mini mason jar) and melt the coconut oil a little beforehand if you need to.
Use a quarter teaspoon per pit for happy smelling! Just try it!
By Aya Sato