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Deodorant is something most of us consider an essential beauty product. If for some reason we ran out of deodorant, we would likely spend the day checking our underarms. But have you ever looked at the list of ingredients in your deodorant? Commercial deodorants contain chemicals such as aluminium and fragrances that could be harmful or even toxic. Aluminum is an effective anti-perspirant and is therefore present in almost every commercial brand of deodorant. However it mimics oestrogen and can disrupt your hormones, not to mention it being linked with Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disorders. One simple side-effect we often experience from artificial deodorants is itching in our underarms. Your body may be trying to tell you something.
The skin is the largest organ on our bodies and it can easily absorb anything we apply on it. Therefore, as a healthy alternative, you could go natural by making your own deodorant. Homemade deodorants should last for about 4-6 months before they begin to dry out.
What you need:
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1/4 cup of Shea butter
2 tablespoons Bentonite clay (optional)
2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
20 drops of at least two different essential oils (include tea-tree for its antiseptic properties)
Step 1 - Melt the oils
Place the coconut oil and Shea butter in a glass dish over a pan of hot water until it melts, or use the microwave if you prefer.
Step 2 - Mix
Remove from the heat, add the dry ingredients and mix well until the mixture is smooth.
Step 3 - Add essential oils
Add the Essential Oils of your choice.
Step 4 - Pour into containers
Pour the mixture into 2 or 3 containers of your choice. You can also reuse old deodorant containers. Use airtight containers to prevent the deodorant from drying out.
Step 5 - Cool
The mixture may take several hours to harden completely, therefore you could speed this up by placing it in the fridge.
One drawback to using natural deodorants is that they do not prevent you from sweating. The arrowroot powder absorbs perspiration but does not eliminate moisture completely. It is the aluminium in regular deodorants that has antiperspirant properties. However, if you want a stronger DIY deodorant, add some more bicarbonate of soda to your mix. Substitute corn starch for arrowroot powder if you have difficulty finding it. You can omit the shea butter in favour of simplicity and stick to the three main ingredients - coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda and corn starch. Essential Oils are also optional but they add an antiseptic quality to the deodorant plus they smell heavenly. My favourites are lavender, tea tree and peppermint.
Try it for yourself and share your results.