First, let me say I do not like to stink. And while I’m not the stinkiest person on the planet, I can create quite the odoriferous presence if given the right activities and environmental conditions. But with two immediate family members surviving cancer, I decided to take a hard look at any chemicals I put in, or on, my body.
Deodorant typically contains parabens and formaldehyde, among other nasties. And antiperspirants also contain things like aluminum, which clogs your pores and prevents sweating. All of these chemicals have been shown to be dangerous: Aluminum can cause kidney problems, parabens can cause problems for our endocrine system, and formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
Instead of rubbing these things into the lymph nodes in my arm pits, I wanted to make a safe deodorant that worked, even though I knew I’d be giving up any antiperspirant activity (however, I haven’t given up hope that I’ll find a natural ingredient that will work as an antiperspirant). This is what I came up with and I love it. I make a batch that lasts about a month for me. And for the guys out there, this does not smell girly at all; there is not enough coconut oil to impart a tropical scent, so no worries!
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/8 cup aloe vera gel (99% pure)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil (you can use another type of oil, like apricot, if you wish)
- 1/8 tsp tea tree oil (use lavender oil if you are pregnant or allergic to tea tree oil)
Place all ingredients except for the tea tree oil in a small saucepan and heat on low heat until combined, stirring constantly. You don’t want the ingredients to boil, you just want them to warm until everything is evenly incorporated and smooth. Turn the heat off, add a small bit of tea tree oil and stir thoroughly. I then pour mine warm into a small, 1/2 cup jelly jar and keep it in my bathroom. Apply with fingers and that’s it!
WHAT DOES WHAT
Baking Soda: is a natural deodorizer. It does feel a tad gritty, but incorporating it in with the other ingredients on the stove decreases this. It can also leave a white dust at times, but it just dusts off with your hand or a towel really easily, and washes off the inside of black shirts without fuss.
Aloe Vera Gel: this helps bind the baking soda and also soothes skin. Aloe has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties, and some studies have shown that it can sink into your skin up to 7 layers deep.
Vegetable Glycerin: helps make skin smooth and soft, and also helps to bind the ingredients together. It also acts as a preservative.
Coconut Oil: is also wonderful for the skin and helps heal skin, and prevents skin infections.
Tea Tree Oil: this is a go-to oil for all manner of skin problems. It is antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral. It does a great job of combating the bacteria responsible for body odor, but less is not necessarily more so don’t think you can just rub this on your pits. Used straight it can cause burns on the skin, and has even been used to do things like remove warts. But if you find you want more odor-fighting in your batch, you can increase the amount of tea tree oil you use for your own mix.
Essential Oils for Scent: Notice I don’t use any. I don’t want scented deodorant, but if you do you can definitely add your favorite scent, a few drops at a time, at the same time you are adding your tea tree oil.