Homemade Deodorant: Why Bother?

 We humans don’t like to stink, but we all do unless we clean our bodies often, particularly the armpits, genital area, and feet. However, armpits are heavy duty culprits when it comes to stench. I mean come out and slap you alongside the face stench. Thus we have deodorants and antiperspirants to solve this problem, but they’re seriously problematic.

Causes of pit odor

Pit odor is caused by the metabolic by-products of various bacteria that feed on sweat. The variety of odors emitting from our armpits can vary depending what the bacteria are feasting on. Normally they are dining on salt and various electrolytes, but other chemicals can also enter the mix depending on our health and what we eat.

We have our apocrine glands to thank for the mega stench that comes from a nervous sweat, but the odor is still caused by bacteria that feed on the fatty sweat produced by the apocrine glands. Thanks for that Mother Nature.

Why not use commercial antiperspirants and deodorants

Commercial deodorants have a plethora of chemicals added to them that you expose yourself to every day. Parabens and aluminum chloride are the major offenders, but they’re not the only ones.  The dangers lurking in the various products will be covered in other posts. Today, we’ll just cover one. Aluminum chloride.

I have rid myself of all my aluminum pans, even my favorite one that had a cool locking lid that was great for draining vegetables. Also gone are my store bought deodorants and antiperspirants that contain aluminum and other unhealthy chemicals.

What follows is the health hazard information on aluminum which is present in most commercial antiperspirants. This information comes from OSHA exactly as they word it. My take away from this information is to avoid using aluminum based products on a daily basis.


* Routes of Exposure

Exposure to aluminum can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and eye or skin contact.

Effects on Humans: Aluminum dust is an eye and respiratory tract irritant in humans. Soluble aluminum salts are irritants when inhaled as aerosols [Hathaway et al. 1991]. Although inhalation of aluminum powder of particle size 1.2 um, given over 10- or 20-minute periods several times weekly resulted in no adverse health effects among thousands of workers over several years, several other studies report X-ray evidence of pulmonary fibrosis [Hathaway et al. 1991]. Some patients on long-term hemodialysis develop speech disorders, dementia, or convulsions. This syndrome is associated with increased concentration of aluminum in serum, brain, muscle, and bone [Amdur et al. 1991; Hathaway et al. 1991]. There is some evidence that Alzheimer’s disease may be linked to aluminum content in the body [Amdur et al. 1991]. Analysis of the aluminum content in the brains of persons dying from Alzheimer’s have shown increased levels, although brain aluminum levels vary greatly. A second correlating factor is that neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) have been identified in both aluminum encephalopathy and in Alzheimer’s disease [Amdur et al. 1991]. However, it has been shown that the NFTs produced by the two conditions are structurally and chemically different and that NFTs are present in several other neurological disorders. It appears that the aluminum content of the brain is less an issue relating to exposure to aluminum than an issue of a blood-brain barrier defect or compromise of some kind [Amdur et al. 1991].

If you have still have doubts, I suggest you read an article posted at http://www.infantrisk.com/content/aluminum-rich-antiperspirants-potential-hazard

It’s so easy to make your own deodorant and eliminate the potential health hazard of aluminum and other chemical additional additives why not do it. In the post Super Easy Homemade Deodorant, I gave you a recipe that’s very effective. Today, I’m giving you two more that may be even more effective.

I got these recipes online, but the rave reviews were so high that I simply had to pass them on to our goddesses. That said, there are a couple of caveats that go with these recipes.

  1. Make a small amount first and try them to be sure you don’t react to the ingredients.
  2. Add other ingredients such as tea tree oil, lavender or any other essential oil with discretion. I suggest trying the base recipes first, then add the other oils one at a time and retest.
  3. Remember that tea tree oil and lavender are both classed as phytoestrogens. If you have, have had, or are at risk of developing estrogen positive breast tumors, do not use these oils. They would probably do no harm, but we tend to err on the side of caution. We love the gods and goddesses that come here and want to keep them safe.

Trial size Recipe

  • 5 – 6 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Combine the arrowroot and baking soda then add the coconut oil to create a creamy consistency.

Full recipe

  • 5 – 6 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Combine the arrowroot and baking soda then add the coconut oil to a creamy consistency.

Alternate recipe

  • 1.5 Tbsp beeswax
  • 5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp shea butter
  • 1 Tbsp mango butter (optional)
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • 20 drops essential oil(s) of choice e.g. 10 drops tea tree + 10 drops cypress (for him) or ylang ylang (for her).

Melt the beeswax in a double boiler. The beeswax should be warm but not hot. Stir in the coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter and essential oils. Finally, add the baking soda and arrowroot. When done, you can put the deodorant in a tube for easy application. You can use an empty deodorant container to save a few pennies and keep it out of a landfill.

The pros of these recipes:

  • For most all users it was a very effective deodorant.
  • A few respondents with excessive sweating said it also reduced or eliminated excess sweating.

The cons of these recipes:

  • Some users complained of a rash and needed to modify the recipe they were using.
  • Others said it clogged the pores under their arms and created painful lumps. The solution to this problem was to thoroughly clean the armpits before application.
  • Others people complained that the product they created was inconvenient to use. They didn’t like having to apply it with their fingers. The addition of beeswax solved this problem.

These recipes are a great alternative to chemically laden commercial deodorants. Most of the complaints about these recipes were resolved by simple tweaking the ingredient concentrations. Every person’s body chemistry is unique and no matter what product you use, whether homemade or commercial, won’t work 100% of the time. However, these recipes came darn close.

Now go have fun and relax.

Related articles:

Super Easy Homemade Deodorant

Coconut Oil Health Benefits

The Truth about Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil for Skin and Hair

How to Preserve Your Bath and Body Creations

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