There are a lot of health concerns with store-bought natural deodorants, including the chemicals and the aluminum.

  • Habitual use of deodorants and antiperspirants has a significant effect on armpit bacterial density and variation
  • Aluminum in antiperspirants is known to accumulate in breast tissue and may be linked to an increased cancer risk
  • Antiperspirants block sweat production in your underarms; sweating helps your body to eliminate toxins, which supports proper immune function and helps prevent diseases related to toxic overload
  • Antiperspirants affect the bacterial balance in your armpits, which actually leads to more pungent-smelling sweat
  • Study participants who used antiperspirant for a month saw a definitive increase in Actinobacteria, which are responsible for that foul-smelling armpit odor
  • In some participants, abstaining from antiperspirant caused the population of Actinobacteria to dwindle into nonexistence
  • Research has found higher concentrations of parabens in the breast and axillary area where antiperspirants are usually applied, suggesting they may contribute to the development of breast cancer
  • Aluminum chloride—the active ingredient in antiperspirants—has been found to act similarly to the way oncogenes work to provide molecular transformations in cancer cells

Those bullet points were taken from these two articles, which cover these in more detail:

How Dangerous Is Your Deodorant?

Antiperspirants Can Make You Smell Worse by Altering Armpit Bacteria

All of this is why I’ve begun making my own deoderant.  I get to choose the ingredients and the fragrance, and I avoid using ingredients that stop my body from naturally sweating and instead clog pores.

The ingredients are easy to find, and they each have great benefits as a deoderant.

Coconut oil is antibacterial, and may help to fight the bacteria that causes your underarms to smell after you sweat. Underarm skin is a sensitive area for some people and the chemicals found in store-bought anti-persperants and deodorants can cause irritation to the pores and hair follicles in the armpit. Coconut oil based deodorants may help to calm skin irritations. Coconut oil nourishes damaged skin and has anti-inflammatory effects when used topically. Plus, it contains antioxidants that can fight free radicals that can lead to inflammation. It also hydrates the skin.

Baking soda is an amazing aluminum-free alternative to deoderants you find at stores. It kills the bacteria that causes body odor without stopping the body’s natural perspiration.

Cornstarch absorbs moisture, which makes it an excellent ingredient for an all-natural deodorant.

Arrowroot has moisture-absorbing properties and is anti-inflammatory. It also works as an antiseptic, making it perfect for irritated areas such as burns, rashes and sores.

Essential oils not only smell great, different types also have different benefits.  My favorite blend of essential oils is:

Geranium oil is great for your skin, and has these additional health benefits as well. I like to blend it with rose essential oil for a delicate floral fragrance.  Here are the benefits of rose essential oil.

I just made a fresh batch of coconut oil deodorant using this recipe I cobbled together:

Homemade Coconut Oil Deodorant

Ingredients

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
Optional essential oils in your favorite fragrances

Directions

In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients until well-blended and without lumps.  Set aside.

Place the coconut in another bowl and melt it in the microwave in 30 second intervals.

Once melted, add 5-6 drops (or more depending on your preference) of essential oil.

Pour coconut oil and essential oil mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well.  If it’s too thin, add more cornstarch a teaspoon at a time.  Keep in mind that this will harden once it cools.  You want a consistency that’s similar to oatmeal, not soup.

Pour mixture into a jar with a lid.  This doesn’t need to be refrigerated and will keep for months.

For daily use, scoop out an amount the size of a quarter and massage into each underarm.  Coconut oil melts at 76 °F (24 °C) so in colder weather you may need to scrape an amount out with a teaspoon and warm it in your hands before applying.

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