Most of us use a deodorant daily, and with summer started the use of it will only increase. But are you aware of what you are actually applying onto your skin?
What’s In Most of Our Commercially Available Deodorants
Did you ever take the time to look at the ingredients list of your store-bought deodorant? Aluminum is in nearly all of them to stop sweating by blocking your pores and sweat glands. But that’s not the only thing it is doing.
Several studies link the use of deodorants to the development of breast or prostate cancer and may even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
But aluminum is not the only questionable ingredient found in most over-the-counter deodorants. Parabens are synthetic preservatives with a high absorption rate and known to cause hormonal imbalances, birth defects, and organ toxicity.
It doesn’t stop there… petroleum-based material, like propylene glycol, is used to soften many of our cosmetic products. It makes them more applicable to the skin, but damage the nervous system, heart, and liver. Triclosan on the other hand, a chemical classified as a pesticide, is added for its antibacterial, and odor killing properties.
And if that’s not enough already, companies are allowed to put any chemical, like phthalates, under the term fragrance… and believe me, they are out to make money, so why would they opt for expensive essential oils if they can choose to make a cheap synthetic, chemical-laden alternative?
How to Make Your Own Safe, Chemical-Free Deodorant
Making your own deodorant is easy, cheap, and fun. You’ll be absolutely sure of what goes in them and when poured in an old or empty deodorant stick, they are travel-friendly as well.
- ⅕ ounce (6 g) beeswax beads or shavings
- 1 ⅓ ounces (40 g) coconut oil
- 1 ¼ ounce (35 g) baking soda
- ½ ounce (15 grams) arrowroot (or more baking soda, corn starch, potato starch, etc.)
- ½ ounce shea or cocoa butter (it gives it a smoother touch, you may always add more to your liking)
- 20-30 drops of 100% pure essential oil(s) of your liking. (I like palmarosa, ylang-ylang, lavender and sandalwood). If you have a strong sweat odor, make sure to use tea tree oil as it will kill bacteria and reduce sweat odor.
- Empty deodorant stick or jar.
- In a double boiler over low heat, melt the coconut oil, beeswax pellets, and shea butter (if you use cocoa butter, note that it has a mild chocolate fragrance that can mask the scent of the essential oils, so I prefer to use shea butter).
- Keep stirring until all compounds are melted.
- Remove from heat
- Add arrowroot and baking soda and mix until well combined.
- Add essential oils of your preference, mix gently and pour the mixture into a clean jar or deodorant stick.
- Label and store like a normal deodorant, away from extreme heat.
Note: if you use the deodorant just after shaving, it may sting a little.
I did add beeswax pellets to make the deodorant hard and travel friendly. If you prefer a softer version you may always reduce the beeswax pellets or add liquid oils like almond, avocado, or jojoba. But make sure to use a jar over a deodorant stick to avoid leaks. If the deodorant is still too soft for you increase beeswax for a firmer consistency.
If you don’t have time or aren’t much of a DIY’er, always opt for organic alternatives. Many companies are changing their preservatives to the much safer sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate. Tea Tree essential oil has similar antibacterial properties as triclosan and vegetable-based agents can replace propylene glycol. So next time you’ll buy a deodorant make sure to look for one with these safe ingredients or try and make your own.