Among the great social taboos of our age, overwhelming body odor is a faux pas few are willing to forgive. No other taboo is quite as effective at destroying budding relationships, job interviews, and peace talks between volatile, politically-divided conflicting nations.
But perspiration is a natural human function. Your slippery, post-gym underarms are flushing out small amounts of antibacterial salt from your body, cleaning out your pores in the process. (This is why facialists love to steam your skin – it opens up and purifies the pores.)
So how does antiperspirant block the sweat from leaving your body? Aluminum. This silvery metal, which can form up to 25% of your commercial deodorant, is neurotoxic in high doses.
Applying it every day to the extraordinarily thin and sensitive skin of your armpits, right next to your lymph nodes, may be giving you more than you’ve bargained for. Women who shave regularly are essentially exfoliating their underarms, making it even easier for ingredients like peg-8 distearate and t-butyl hydroquinone to penetrate the skin.
Forcing your underarms to stop sweating with aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly is like the cosmetic version of Freudian repression: bad things could surface later on in life.
Still, nobody wants to smell too au natural. The solution? A ridiculously cheap, quick, and easy DIY deodorant that can be whipped up in your own kitchen and stuffed into an old deodorant container. For about $7-$20 (depending on which essential oils you use), you’ll have enough ingredients to make about 15 batches of deodorant.
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
- Essential oil(s). These are the only investment you’ll have to make. Buy them at a health food store or order them online (much cheaper). You’ll be using about 5 drops at a time, so they’ll last forever. Lavender, peppermint, and rose geranium will smell lovely in cosmetic products, or you can go a little muskier with sandalwood, cypress, bay, or pine.
Make it the deordorant
Melt about ½ cup of coconut oil in the microwave. Add equal parts cornstarch and baking soda until the mixture forms a thick, frosting-like paste. Toss in a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Strapped for cash? Use a dash of vanilla, peppermint, lemon, or almond extract.
Clean out that toxic tube of pore-suffocating carcinogens that’s been congealing in your bathroom cabinet for the past month, and fill the empty tube with your new deodorant. Place it in the fridge for a few minutes so that the coconut oil has a chance to re-harden.
Baking soda and cornstarch keep you dry and fresh by moping up sweat and fighting odorous bacteria. Coconut oil is the ultimate natural moisturizer, keeping your armpits hydrated and protecting your sensitive skin from irritation. Scoop out a bit with your finger and apply your new deodorant slowly—let the warmth of your body heat up the coconut oil.
photo attribute: howaboutorange.blogspot.com