“Why are you making your own deodorant? What’s wrong with the regular deodorant we buy at the stores?” asked one of my close friends as she saw me preparing a batch of homemade deodorant a while ago. She didn’t think much of the deodorant she was using but now she was questioning it, just like I did once.
A little over four years ago I began researching ingredients in all the products we use at home and at first I was terrified. It seemed that every single product we used contained at least one toxic ingredient, linked to endocrine disruption or cancer. I didn’t want my kids around anything that could affect their health and I also didn’t wan’t anything affecting my own health since I want to be there for them.
At times when breast cancer is on the rise, I think it’s best to be more mindful with the products we use, especially ones that are so near our chest, like deodorants. There hasn’t been enough studies to confirm a link between antiperspirants and breast cancer, however, why use something with questionable ingredients when there are other better alternatives available?
What are the harmful ingredients in conventional deodorants?
These vary depending on the deodorant you use, but some of the ingredients that are found in conventional deodorants that I try to stay away from are:
- Parabens: They are endocrine disruptor and I got into more detail on this post.
- Triclosan: This ingredients is commonly used to prevent bacterial contamination, and to kill bacteria on the surface of the skin. The problem is that it has been linked to thyroid issues as well as cancer.
- Propylene Glycol: A neurotoxin linked to kidney and liver damage.
- Aluminum compounds: They block your sweat glands temporarily and reduce the amount of sweat released but they can mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer.
- Fragrance: I stay away from anything that says fragrance unless the company discloses how they came up with those fragrances (most companies won’t disclose it). Fragrances can contain phthalates and other ingredients that act as endocrine disruptors.
I don’t want make deodorant, can I buy a safer one?
Yes, luckily now a days there are many options. Make sure you read the label and all the ingredients contained in the deodorant you’re buying. If you’re not sure if it’s safe, consult the cosmetic database from EWG or get the Think Dirty app.
Some of my favorite brands are:
- Pit Spray – This is the deodorant spray I created after trying many deodorants without getting the results I wanted. Check it out!
- Honestly pHresh
- Green Tidings
- Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant
- Spruce Naturals (get 10% off when you use the code “MAMAINSTINCTS”)
Before you make the switch…
If you’ve been using conventional deodorant for a while, your armpits might have a build up of these toxic chemicals. It is best to do an armpit detox before or once you start using a natural deodorant.
You probably need an armpit detox if:
- you’re using a natural deodorant and your armpits get a little stinky
- the baking soda used in natural deodorants is giving you a rash
- you’ve never done an armpit detox
Click here to find out how to do an armpit detox, it’s very simple, takes about 5 minutes and all you need is two ingredients.
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DIY Natural Deodorant Recipe
This recipe makes enough to fill up 2 deodorant containers.
- Deodorant containers or reuse an old container
- 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of Shea butter
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- 3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
- 3 tablespoons of beeswax
- Essential oils: if you want an unscented deodorant, don’t use essential oils. If you love a scented deodorant, add about 20-40 drops of your favorite scent. Here are some of my favorite ones:
Make this recipe by using the double boiler method. Inside a pan with water, put a glass jar big enough to melt the ingredients. Add the beeswax and shea butter to the glass jar.
Once those ingredients start melting a little, add the coconut oil.
After all the ingredients have melted, turn off the stove but don’t take out the glass jar out of the pot. Now add the baking soda and arrowroot powder.
Make sure you mix well all the ingredients. The powders should be completely dissolved.
If you’re adding essential oils, add them now. Stir with a spoon or wooden stick to make sure all the ingredients are combined.
Transfer to a deodorant contianer and wait for it to harden.
It will take about 15-30 minutes for the mixture to harden, depending on the temperature in your home. If you’re in a rush, stick the deodorant in the refrigerator and it will harden a lot faster.
Once it’s hardened all the way, use as you would use any regular deodorant.
Tip: If you find this mixture feels a little too soft during summer add one more tablespoon of beeswax.
As you can see this recipe is very easy to make. In under 10 minutes you can have your own homemade natural deodorant made with organic, non-toxic and safe ingredients. Plus by making your own deodorant you can save a lot of money.
One batch of this recipe makes enough for two deodorants but you can easily double or triple the recipe and make enough for your friends and family. It makes an awesome gift!
All the ingredients used in this recipe can also be used in other DIY recipes so be sure check them out here.
Do you make your own deodorant? If not, what deodorant are you using?