Over the years, I’ve definitely used my share of beauty products. From face wash, face moisturizer, shower gel, lotion, shaving gel, deodorant, body spray, and more, I had a ton of bottles sitting around. In my small bathroom, this was getting out of control. Plus, I had things that I’d bought, then didn’t like, so they just sat there for months… years, even.
It has taken a few years, several miscarriages, and living in an area that really embraces natural living to turn my chemical-laden lifestyle around. This process has taken a lot of trial and error to discover what natural products work for me that I can be happy using in lieu of commercial products. I’m still experimenting on several items but one product I’ve almost completely cut out of my life is commercially made deodorant.
No, I’m not the stinky kid.
The two reasons I eliminated deodorant/anti-perspirant from my life are:
- Parabens and aluminimum are found in anti-perspirant/deodorant. While there is no CLEAR evidence that these items can cause cancer, alzheimers, and nervous and reproductive health issues, there is a lot of question. Knowing how much cancer and other disease is on the rise in our society and knowing that I’ve had some medical issues (several miscarriages), I’ve decided to try to live as naturally as possible. For me, this means trying to replace products when I’ve found one that meets my criteria as a replacement.
- Using an anti-perspirant in your deodorant can plug your sweat glands and pores. Since sweat is basically nasty stuff being filtered out of your body, keeping all that nastiness inside can’t be good. Right?
Now, for me to switch to a new homemade product, my goal is for it to be two things. First, it should be easy to make. It might be a fantastic product but if it takes hours and hours to make, I probably won’t do it. I tend to be a bit
lazy busy. Second, it should be inexpensive. I have a hard time justifying spending hundred of dollars on personal products… after all, my hope is to simplify life and save money.
For deodorant, there are plenty of recipes out on the web. Many contain clay, essential oils, baking soda, or a whole host of other great ingredients. Applying them could be a bit messy. And trying them out that meant I needed to buy a bunch of ingredients. So when I saw a recipe for a two ingredient deodorant that I could spray on my arm pits, I was intrigued. I had one of the ingredients and bought the other. Mixed up a batch that night in 30 seconds.
And you know what? It works. It really works!
Any guesses what the ingredients are? The easiest one to guess is essential oil. It’s important that I smell nice. And I add a little tea tree essential oil which is known for antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic properties. While I don’t absolutely love the scent of it, I can tolerate it and it is a pretty useful essential oil. The other ingredient…. is… well, don’t laugh. It’s…
Everclear. Everclear is a high grain alcohol that will kill the bacteria your body is sweating out of it’s system. Basically, what makes our sweat stink is when this bacteria reacts with oxygen. If the bacteria is killed when it reaches the surface of our skin, it won’t stink. In fact, mine smells pretty pleasant.
My Everclear deodorant mixture is mixed with tea tree and lavender essential oils. My husband doesn’t love the smell of lavender so next time I might try a citrus basil blend.
I’ve officially been using this homemade deodorant since early July, almost two months now. My mom and sister have been using it as well and both report that they are happy with it, not stinky, and they both no intentions of returning to commercially made deodorant. My sister is especially happy that this deodorant does not stain her clothes with white residue. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty thrilled with that fact, too!
One thing this product will not do is stop you from sweating. That was a little tough for me to get used to after 15+ years of wearing an anti-perspirant. However, for me, it’s nothing terribly serious. I should also note that I’ve heard the first week or two of eliminating anti-perspirant from your life can be a bit of an adjustment period while your body cleans all those clogged glands and pores out. I am not sure if I experienced this adjustment period since I started using this homemade deodorant in the height of summer when we were experiencing an abnormal heat wave. So naturally, I was sweating more. I attributed it to the heat but it may have been partially from eliminating anti-perspirant.
Here’s how I make it:
Step #1: Fill a small spray bottle (mine is a 3 oz travel bottle) with Everclear
Step #2: Add a few drops of essential oil if desired, then shake mixture before spraying on your underarms.
I recommend Rose Mountain Herbs or your local natural foods store so you make sure you are getting high quality oils. I also recommend that you don’t use rubbing alcohol in place of high grain alcohol (Everclear). Studies have shown that rubbing alcohol can be toxic over extended periods of time.
This large bottle of Everclear was $19. Even after giving several ounces each to my mom, sister, and a friend, I still have plenty of “deodorant” left. At this rate, I’ll be using this same bottle for the next 40 years. Well, unless I decide to make some “apple pie moonshine” using this recipe from the Frugal Kiwi. I’m not a big drinker but it sounds delicious!
Final note: NO, I do not smell like alcohol. At all. In fact, all I can smell is a faint whiff of essential oils, even moments after I spray it on.
Have you tried a natural deodorant? Are you inspired to try this one? Have questions? Please share your thoughts and comments!
(This post has been shared on the Frugal Days Sustainable Ways blog.)