Right before my 40th birthday, I had a cancer scare. The doctor found pre-cancerous tumors in my left breast. They have been removed, and I’ve been clean for two years (yay!). Between the cancer scare and the celiac disease, I have to be really careful with what beauty products I use. Many commercial antiperspirants and deodorants are not safe for people who have had health issues, and a number of the commercial natural alternatives are too expensive AND they don’t really work well! (Oy, the embarrassing stories that I have involving me when the commercial natural alternative lost its efficacy in the middle of the day…)
I wrote an earlier blog post about the unconventional uses of Milk of Magnesia
, and I mention using Milk of Magnesia as an anti-perspirant.
I’ve been using milk of magnesia as an antiperspirant/deodorant, but I wanted to look at other options since milk of magnesia can get a little messy, and it’s a slight pain to use (I have to wait a good 5 minutes for it to dry before I can resume dressing).
I found this recipe from the Wellness Mama blog on how to easily make a solid deodorant. Here is the recipe:
- 6 Tbsp coconut oil (unrefined organic virgin is the best)
- 1/4 c baking soda
- 1/4 c arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- a few drops of essential oils to preference – up to 24 drops total (optional)
- Mix baking soda and arrowroot (or cornstarch) together in a medium sized bowl
- Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed
- Add oils
- Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use
- Tea Tree Oil is antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic. A number of other recipes that I found out there uses tea tree oil.
- Lemon, grapefruit and orange is refreshing and “clean smelling”
- Lavender is relaxing
- Ylang-ylang is sensuous
I made this with the ingredients that I had at the house – cornstarch, baking soda, and extra virgin organic coconut oil. I had no essential oils, so I skipped that part. Here’s what I was looking for in this test:
- Is this messy to use?
- Do I have to wait forever until I can continue getting dressed?
- Will it last ALL DAY?
- Most importantly, can it withstand the Florida heat?
Messiness: The trick is to keep this is a cool, dry place. If your house is hotter than 76 degrees, it will melt a little bit because of the coconut oil. I store this in my bedroom in a Ball jar, and I keep my house at 72 degrees. As for using it, it’s not messy. The result is a creamy texture, so it’s like applying lotion or cream.
The trick is to use a small amount – I use a pea-sized amount per underarm. Anything more than that, and it’s really messy. From what I read in the comments on the original blog posting, all you need is a pea-sized amount.
What’s slick about this is not only can I use this for an underarm deodorant, but I can use this as a body cream instead of a powder. A lot of offices and workplaces are banning the use of cologne and perfume due to the sensitivities and allergies that people have to those products, and this is a nice way to naturally feel fresher without offending your co-workers who may be allergic or sensitive to strong scents. True story – my favorite perfume is Angel by Thierry Mugler, and I had to stop wearing it at the workplace because one of my direct reports was allergic to it.
POTS: Plain Old T-Shirt
Convenience: While I don’t have to wait a good 5 minutes for the product to dry before I continue getting dressed, I do have to wait a minute or two before it’s completely absorbed before I continue getting dressed. I tried getting dressed immediately after putting this on, and it got on my shirt and left a slight stain. On the bright side, it was just a POTS, so it wasn’t a big loss.
Efficacy: I’ll keep it simple – yes, it works, and yes, it lasted all day! For my body chemistry, if I didn’t do any hard-core exercising that day, it even lasted until my next morning shower, which is amazing since I’m naturally a Sweaty Betty. While it’s not advertised as an anti-perspirant, it worked as one for me, so I was very pleased with that.
Withstand Extreme Conditions: We are in the throws of summertime weather here in Florida. For those of you who don’t know about Florida weather, it gets hot and humid from May until November. For me, the product can definitely withstand the heat and humidity. However, as I said earlier, you do have to store the product in a cool, dry place or it will melt. Translation: if you’re going to the gym during your lunch hour or after work, and you have that product in your gym bag, you can’t leave your gym bag in the car.
Overall: I actually like using this. It wasn’t messy to use, and without the essential oils, it has a clean and very light coconut scent from the baking soda and the coconut. I’m very impressed with how long it lasts. Even with the strongest commercial products, I never had it work as long as this did. In addition, it’s very economical and safe. I’m going to make a smaller batch with arrowroot powder and an essential oil to see how that works out on me.
For more tips and techniques for making your own natural products, check out the Wellness Mama blog.