A few years back I swore off deodorant. It was a vice I clung to for far too long because, well, I didn't want to be stinky. I'm crunchy enough as it is.
But once you've learned something, you really can't unlearn it (try as you might). I had known for awhile how bad antiperspirants and deodorants can be, so eventually I had to give them up.
How bad are they...?
Many popular antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. This is great for reduced sweating, not so great for your health. Aluminum is heavily linked to Alzheimer's Disease and breast cancer. Store bought deodorants also often contain parabens and synthetic fragrances, which are both endocrine disruptors (they muck up your hormones).
There are quite a few "natural" deodorants out there. I have tried about 8 different brands without much luck. I have yet to find one that truly works. I ended up going cold turkey, and while I was stinky for awhile, my body soon adapted and I just stopped smelling (that really happened).
But then I got pregnant, had a baby, and breastfed forever after, the end.
Okay, not the end, but all that baby business creates a shitstorm of hormones, often resulting in Stankonia. So rather than go back to the useless natural deodorants, I made my own (told you I was crunchy).
I've been using this homemade deodorant for about a year and a half now and I just love it. No smell, no sweat, it works. I've made this for friends and family members, and I've gotten similarly positive feedback. It's inexpensive and simple to make, and lasts for a long time.
The only drawback: it's made with coconut oil, so it becomes quite hard in the winter and liquid in the summer. I keep it in a small pot and apply with my fingers, no big deal. I like using coconut oil, because it's antimicrobial, which is important in a deodorant to prevent the growth of bacteria in the armpit.
This ratio of ingredients works for me, but if you find your armpits are sensitive (burning or itchy), then reduce the amount of baking soda and increase the arrowroot starch accordingly. You might want to start with half this recipe to test it out.
Arrowroot starch might sound like a really fancy ingredient, but it's not. It's cheap and you can find it in the baking section of most grocery stores (Bob's Red Mill), or in the bulk section of health food stores.
I also love to add essential oils to mine, for two reasons: they smell good (duh) and because some essential oils contain antimicrobial properties, which make them good ingredients for deodorant. Some good scents to use: lavender, lemongrass (a combination of the two is lovely), lime, orange, grapefruit, sage.
All Natural DIY Deodorant
1/2 cup coconut oil (room temp)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot starch powder
10 drops essential oils
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mash and mix with the back of a fork. Be sure everything is mixed well. Transfer to a small glass jar with a lid. I use leftover jam or food jars. A 4 ounce mason jar is the perfect fit!