For years, the idea of anti-perspirant has bugged me. It’s always seemed counter intuitive to health to keep perspiration from being released (one way the body releases toxins). And I’ve also always wondered about if there’s a connection between breast cancer and anti-perspirant, since the lymph nodes are right under the armpit and if they get blocked up, it makes sense that a person will get sick.
Well, regardless of my mental cogitating on all of this, I like looking and smelling socially acceptable and this wasn’t something I was going to give up. I had tried a crystal but it didn’t work at all, and the healthy deodorant alternative in the store was mucho money and I didn’t want to spend that without knowing it would work really well.
But about a year ago in the winter, I decided it was a good time for an experiment in this area, since if it wasn’t working no one but me would know. I started applying a sprinkle of baking soda in place of deodorant, and I found that it worked great! I stayed fresher than I ever did with deodorant! Because I prefer to try things for a while before sharing them to make sure they really work, I didn’t want to post about it here until I had gone through all the seasons. So it’s been over a year now and I can say with confidence it’s worked great though all kinds of weather, hot and cold.
However, there were two downsides to my solution. One – it was slightly messy, since a sprinkling of baking soda would fall on my bathroom counter. That’s easily enough taken care of by a daily wipe down, but still it was a down side. And it is kind of wasteful. Two – my teenagers had no interest in trying my solution, even though they tend to be open to my ideas.
So, I decided it was time to find a solution that would work for them, and we did! I saved a few empty deodorant containers, and made an effective, healthy, and inexpensive alternative to deodorant. And it took all of five minutes to make a few bars worth. (The recipe below will make one or two bars, depending on the size you make it.)
- 1/4 c. baking soda
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- 2 T. coconut oil (expeller pressed)
- optional – ten drops of essential oil
Melt the coconut oil in a small pot. Stir in the baking soda and cornstarch until smooth. If you want to add a scent to it, add ten drops of essential oil now. I didn’t, because all I had on hand was tea tree oil and my kids hate the smell of it.
You’re going to have a soft white paste. Take out the empty deodorant containers, and turn them so the little thing in the middle is down as low as it can go. Then fill the containers, and let them sit on the counter until they harden. Once it’s firm, use like any regular anti-perspirant – it will look just like what you buy in the stores, and my kids have said it works great and are happy to use it.
If you don’t have an empty deodorant container and don’t feel like waiting to have one to try this, find a couple of empty toilet paper tubes. It seems to me that if you stand the empty tube on top of a wax paper or pan and then pour the mixture in, you can let it harden in place. Then once it’s firm you can cut down the side that has the paper tube sticking up, leaving enough over so that you can fold the sides of it down over the bottom like you would wrap a present. Then turn it right side up and just push it up from the bottom as you want to use it.
How does this work? Baking soda is known to be an absorber of smell, and the cornstarch wicks away moisture. I’m sure the coconut oil is beneficial as an antibacterial factor as well. If you add the essential oils, it mostly just makes it smell nice.
The cost for this is very, very low. I pay under .50 lb for baking soda (.06 for 1/4 cup), and around a dollar for a cup of expeller pressed coconut oil (.13 cents for 2 T.). I haven’t bought corn starch in ages so I have no idea how much I paid, but it wasn’t a lot. So for under .25 cents, I’ve been able to make a generous sized deodorant that works great, without any of the negative side effects!