Baking Soda Free Natural Deodorant
When I first started cleaning up my personal care products deodorant/antiperspirant was my first product. I had heard so many times over the years about the potential link between aluminum and breast cancer. Being a clinical strength antiperspirant user I was very skeptical a natural deodorant could do anything for me, but I gave it a shot. It worked quite well for about a month, then I started to have some irritation which I discovered is likely caused by the baking soda.
Schmidt's sensitive skin formula does not contain baking soda, but is a bit more difficult to find and close to $10 per stick. I studied their label and scoured the internet, then I set out to create my own using stuff I can purchase locally and reasonably priced. It definitely wont keep you dry as it is NOT an antiperspirant, but it keeps the funk at bay and your armpits soft and smooth.
Baking Soda Free Natural Deodorant
2 Tbsp Magnesium Oil
2 Tbsp Cocoa or Shea Butter Pastilles
2 Tbsp Beaswax Pastilles
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (not the fractionated liquid kind)
3 Tbsp Arrowroot or Cornstarch
5-10 drops of Essential Oil (tea tree or lavendar for skin soothing, I love sandalwood and/or patchouli for scent)
Combine Magnesium Oil, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax and Coconut Oil in small glass jar, place the jar in a small sauce pan with a small amount of water, over low heat. Stir with a popsicle stick occasionally until everything has turned to liquid. Remove jar from hot water and let it begin to cool on the counter until the liquid feels only slightly warm to the touch (approx 5 minutes). Add Arrowroot or Cornstarch and stir until no lumps remain; It is important not to add starch until the liquid has cooled significantly, otherwise it will gel at the bottom of your container. Finish with essential oils of choice. Cover and store away from heat/sunlight. Use a pea size amount massaged into each armpit. It can be placed in a deodorant stick container, but must cool until it is no longer liquid before attempting to fill. This recipe makes enough to fill a standard deodorant container plus a couple small samples for your friends.
I had stopped shaving my pits about a year prior to switching to natural deodorant, mostly because I was tired of what felt like constant ingrown hairs, and a realization that there is really no need for it. Many of us do it because we always have, following in the footsteps of our mothers and grandmothers. Yes, it can make it more difficult to get product to the skin (this always makes me remember back to 9th grade when Mrs Dorn was distributing hygiene sample kits and explained to the boys that they may need to trim their underarm hair so the deodorant can actually get to the skin where it can be effective...they were mortified) The problem with shaving, actually taking a razor to your skin stretches beyond razor burn and ingrowns; when you shave your skin you are actually causing microscopic cuts and abrasions, possibly further increasing the likelyhood of absorption. If you’re curious about what is in your products I recommend checking them against the EWG Skin Deep database, because when you know better, you do better.
Two years ago I was a bit self conscious of my hairy pits and would keep it clipped fairly short, these days though, I embrace it; its my body, its a normal body function, and it deserves no shame. Plus, its a talking point, if someone mentions my Bob Ross pits it is an opportunity to educate on natural deodorants and to get others to think about "why" they shave. (Full Disclosure: I do shave my legs because I perfer the way it feels against my clothing and bedding, I slather a safe skin oil like Argan or Jojoba afterward.)
(2009). Underarm antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer. Breast cancer research : BCR, 11 Suppl 3(Suppl 3), S5.