Can you relate? When puberty hit I was so excited to see the changes in my body. This meant I was growing up and becoming a woman.
A badge of honor amongst us tweens was to see who got sprouts of hair under their armpits and got to wear Tussy deodorant first. I didn't realize that for decades I would be shaving those armpits on the regular and obsessing over underarm odor and perspiration stains.
Toxic Big Sweep
The conventional deodorants I've used over the years all seemed to irritate and discolor my delicate underarm skin. I just didn't like the chemical makeup of conventional deodorants. Five worrisome ingredients bothered me, including aluminum, parabens, pthalates, tricoslan and synthetic fragrances.
I researched the ingredients and did not like what I learned. I worried about the risks of continued absorption of these non-metabolized chemicals into by body from my skin care products. I wanted to avoid them.
Tip: You can research ingredients you have questions about on the EPA Chemical and Products database.
Based on my research, I did an inventory of ingredients and performed a big sweep into the dustpan of products that didn't make the cut. My conventional deodorant was one of these products.
Back to Natural
This was a time when I was re-evaluating what hair and skin care products I used and sought more natural solutions. It started with the transition to letting my natural hair kinks unfurl instead of using chemical hair relaxers and petroleum based hair products on my hair and skin. What I put into my body was also changing as I began eating healthier.
Gradually I started experimenting with making my own products for hair and skin. I had had enough with conventional deodorant options. I even tried some of the "natural" brands but was not satisfied and felt I could DIY cheaper and customize the formula for my needs.
DIY to Better Health That's the beauty of DIY: You make a product specifically for your needs and know what goes into it. My DIY deodorant option has a few non-toxic household ingredients, natural butters and oils, and is scented with essential oils.
I wasn't sure if it would work. To my surprise, it works better than any conventional deodorant I've used in the past and keeps me dry. I have no skin irritation and know what I'm putting on my body and absorbing into my skin. After I stopped using conventional deodorants, the hyperpigmentation of my underarms reverted back to my normal skin color.
I'm sharing my recipe with you, but there are many natural DIY recipes you can find on the Internet. So do your research to find a solution that works for you!
NATURAL SHEA BUTTER DEODORANT RECIPE Makes 2 oz Store in cool, dry place
2 oz round clear glass jar with lid (or a container of your choice) 1 small glass bowl
1 spatula or spoon
Digital scale (optional - if you want to be more precise with volume)
2-3 plastic pipettes for dispensing essential oils (optional)
1 sandwich bag or disposable baker's bag
1 pair of scissors
2.5 Tbsps shea butter 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil .5 Tbsp baking soda .5 Tbsp cornstarch 12 drops essential oil of your choice (1% dilution = 6 drops/1 oz finished product)
In a small glass bowl, mix together the shea butter and coconut oil with the spatula.
Add your essential oils to the shea butter and coconut oil mixture, and mix well with the spatula until the mixture is smooth and creamy in consistency.
Add the baking soda and cornstarch, then mix all ingredients into a creamy paste.
Getting the deodorant paste into the jar: I scoop the paste into a plastic disposable baker's bag, cut the end with scissors, and squeeze the paste into the jar as if it is frosting. If you don't have a baker's bag, a plastic sandwich bag works the same way. Scoop the paste into the sandwich bag, squeeze the paste to a corner of the bag, snip the end, then squeeze the paste into your container.
Tip: Squeeze about one-third of the paste into the container, then tap the container lightly on your work surface to make room for the next third. Repeat until you fill the container. Then cover with a lid and store in a cool, dry place.
To use: Scoop about an 1/8 of a tsp onto your fingers and rub into underarms. Reapply as needed.