Kristin Collins Jackson is back! This time to talk deodorant. Pretty much all of us depend on it, but it can be tricky to find an effective deodorant that is also safe and heavy-metal free. Lucky for us Kristin has a great DIY recipe that you can try at home. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis
I remember the first time I wore deodorant, my sister had told me that the kids in my tennis camp were starting to talk: I had become smelly on the courts and there was no way she was going to be directly associated with a foul-odor. Since this was coming from someone who had convinced me to sit in our parents dryer while she turned it on, I obviously needed to check with my mother first. It turns out that unlike the dryer, deodorant was completely safe to use and I would not be injured by it. My mother happily gave me my first stick of deodorant and while I upgraded to prescription strength or different antiperspirants, one thing stayed the same: I wore deodorant everyday for over 20 years and it wasn't safe at all, in fact, it was putting me at risk for things like Alzheimer's and breast cancer.
Ironically enough, the thing that my teachers in my Catholic school were all in firm agreement over was that deodorant was perfectly safe and we should ALL be wearing it (there were still a few souls holding out in high school) and marijuana would in fact kill us. If Sister Helen was still alive today we would definitely need to have a conversation about where she was getting her facts from.
Still, deodorant was one of the last things I parted with as I transitioned into an all-natural routine. I'm not the smelliest of people, but I'm definitely one of the top 5 sweatiest women I know. I tried natural deodorant and it just never worked for me. Even with harsh chemical ingredients in my deodorant I've never been able to wear white shirts more than once. It's actually a good thing that I prefer a slightly goth style since I sweat through EVERY shirt I wear in the summer. Obviously, I was scared to give up my Degree Men's Clinical Strength deodorant. I made excuses to myself and hid my deodorant in my top drawer that holds all my other secrets. You know, the drawer with pregnancy tests, handcuffs, and yeast infection cream.
Watching one of my oldest friends lose her battle with bone cancer, and trust me, she put up quite the fight, didn't change my deodorant habits. In fact, it made me justify many of my unhealthy habits. Cancer doesn't have to run in your family, you can be completely healthy, completely all natural, and still find yourself sitting in a doctor's office listening to them give you options on treatment that are in what seems like a foreign language. It wasn't until I found out that breast cancer was IN my family that my bitterness turned into something positive.
I knew that breast cancer could affect me simply because I am a woman and I have breasts, but I thought the chances were pretty low considering no one in my family had ever been diagnosed. What I didn't consider is the amount of shitty deodorants that I was putting under my arms for two decades could increase my chances. The closeness of the situation made me shape up. I never found a natural face cleanser that worked for me, but did that mean I kept using Noxzema? No, of course not. I make my own face cleanser and sure, it took a few rashes, a few cystic acne outbreaks, and clogged pores, but soon enough my skin was clear, even, and glowing.
What I had to realize about deodorant is that for me, the main thing I was seeking was controlling my sweat glands which had to be overworked judging from the amount of sweating I had been doing for twenty years. After careful research, I have decided that mustard seed is the best thing for my sweaty pits. Next, I needed an oil that controlled odor; baking soda is an amazing base for deodorant, it is highly alkaline, however, throwing our pH level off is another reason why we can become smelly. The good thing is that you can play with your homemade deodorant to balance the pH level by adding more acidic ingredients. Fortunately, lemongrass essential oil controls odor and is low on the pH level in terms of acidity.
Now that we've chosen some fun essential oils, let's get started! I base my recipe loosely on a few great natural gurus out there and their suggestions for deodorant remedies. Both Crunchy Betty and Wellness Mama are great places to start.
I use equal parts of shea butter and coconut oil for my base, both of these return to solids at room temperature after they are liquefied. I start by cooking these oils down in a sauce pan on low heat (I avoid the microwave because high heat can burn out all those delicious nutrients). Next, I add my baking soda and arrowroot powder. You should play with the proportions of the baking soda to suit your bod's needs, but since my skin has never become irritated or dry from baking soda I like to use about 4 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder.
After I've mixed my deodorant thoroughly, I transfer it to a sealable mason jar to keep it fresh. More often than not, I'm using an old raw honey container or literally anything I can find with a lid. Now that you've made your own natural deodorant you don't ever again have to wonder about what's IN your deodorant, and that feels (and smells) pretty damn good!