#DIY Natural, Homemade Aluminum-Free Deodorant Paste/Stick

Sunday, January 24, 2016

diy natural homemade aluminum-free non-aluminum deodorant anti-perspirant organic cheap easy recipe

In my quest to go au naturel with my skincare and beauty products, I have come quite a long way in the past two or so years. I've eliminated parabens from my skincare and bath products, virtually eliminated silicones from my haircare, and managed to avoid petroleum by-products altogether. But there's always more to be done, and I thought it was time to tackle the next big controversial item: anti-perspirant.

I did some research and found that aluminum is one of the main active ingredients in deodorants/anti-perspirants, and it's been found in some studies to be linked to the incidence of breast cancer. The FDA/Institute of Health have not supported the stance that aluminum is a problematic ingredient. However, aluminum is known to act as a "plug" to sweat glands and prevent sweat from surfacing. Sweat is one of the body's methods of ridding itself of toxins, metals, and petrochemicals. Preventing this process doesn't sound natural (or healthy) at all, cancer or no cancer.

So, a little begrudgingly, I set out to find some affordable ways to integrate natural deodorant into my life. I did a little research and found that many natural deodorants don't fully deodorize, or require multiple (or complicated) applications throughout the day. The Crystal deodorants were one of the first I looked into, given its affordability, but it seemed too complex for my low maintenance beauty routine. Next I looked into the higher end Lavanilla and at multiple best (and worst) lists (Elle, Total Beauty, InStyle, New York Magazine). While some natural deodorants were, in fact, reasonably priced, when I looked into the ingredients lists, I realized I had a bulk of the ingredients on hand and could reasonably try to make my own. So I did.

I've been using my own natural deodorant concoction (first batch: rosemary and orange) since May of last year, and I have been loving it. The beeswax helps keep the deodorant solid throughout the summer, and the addition of shea butter gives it a creamy and somewhat luxe texture. I find the texture to be neither too waxy nor too oily, though coconut oil is said to "stain" clothing (think oil stains). I do avoid wearing materials that might be especially prone to absorbing oil when using this natural deodorant.

The arrowroot powder (I ordered mine off of Amazon, but it can be found in large grocery stores and health food stores) and baking soda serve to both deodorize and absorb excess moisture, although they will not perform nearly as well as your average aluminum-based anti-perspirant. Some people are sensitive to baking soda, so arrowroot powder or cornstarch can be substituted. The fragrance given off by the essential oils fades within an hour on me, so the essential oils are not at all necessary, though some (tea tree oil, palmarosa, rosemary, to name a few) are known for their antimicrobial/antibacterial properties.

If you're interested in mixing up a batch or two of your own homemade natural deodorant, read on.

Homemade Non-Aluminum Deodorant

3 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 tablespoons of baking soda
2 tablespoons of shea butter
2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if you don't have arrowroot on hand)
3 tablespoons of beeswax (4 tablespoons for a deodorant stick or summertime)
10 drops of essential oils (of your choice)
Jar or deodorant stick

In a double boiler (or carefully in a microwave), melt the coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax together. Remove from heat/water and thoroughly mix in the arrowroot powder and baking soda, if using. Add essential oils and mix well. Pour into container and allow to cool and set before using.

For tips on which essential oils to use, check out my essential oil primer here.

Apparently some people experience a "detox" period of extra odor when transitioning from traditional deodorant to natural deodorant. I didn't personally have this experience, but I have heard that it may last a week to a few weeks. If you are afraid of this happening, Primal Pit Paste sells an extra "primer" that purports to help with this transition. I haven't tried it myself for obvious reasons, so I can't say whether or not it works (and, for the record, I'm not sponsored or associated with the company at all).

So, have you made the transition to natural deodorant? Have you tried any store-bought versions? If so, which ones, and were they effective?

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