Yep, you read that right. I’ve taken another step towards becoming a full-fledged hippie by actually making my own deodorant. First, let me give you some background information to help you understand how I made this decision.
I should start by saying that I had no idea I would ever do this, nor is my goal to actually become a hippie. I’m all for eating clean and avoiding as many toxins as possible, but I never considered potentially sacrificing personal hygiene practices in order to do so.
The truth is, you don’t have to sacrifice anything. To be honest, I feel if anything I’ve gained instead of lost! I lost harmful toxins and gained a whole new appreciation for ingredients like coconut oil and arrowroot powder as well as a new perspective on commercial products.
I approached my doctor about two months ago with a slightly embarrassing issue. Interestingly enough, it had nothing to do with body odor. For several weeks, I noticed I had been slurring my words when speaking, and leaving out groups of letters when writing. I was concerned. Although there truly are a myriad of things that can cause side effects like these, he asked if I used anti-persperants with aluminum zirconium in them. I had no idea. I checked the ingredients as soon as I could and sure enough, they read like a science project: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly 15.4%, cyclomethicone, stearyl alcohol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, PPG-14 butyl ether, hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-8 distearate, hydrogenated soybean oil, talc, fragrance, hydrolyzed corn starch, behenyl alcohol. Ruh row, this can’t be good.
So I did a little research and to be honest, it’s just like anything else. There are people out there swearing that this stuff causes Alzheimer’s Disease, neurological damage, memory loss, learning difficulty, loss of coordination, disorientation, mental confusion, colic, heartburn, flatulence, and headaches. Then there are others claiming there isn’t enough research to support these claims and there is no cause for alarm. However, knowing what I know now about the government, the FDA and the political crap that goes on in our country (watch Food, Inc. if you don’t know what I’m referring to), I don’t need a whole lot of research to tell me if this is a legitimate cause for concern. My body is telling me that something is wrong and whether the slurring is connected to aluminum zirconium or not, I believe that putting a potentially harmful substance on one of the most porous parts of my body to stop me from sweating—a natural occurrence—is now an absurd thing and I’m through with it.
I talked to a few other of my “hippie” friends who have been doing the homemade deodorant thing for years. They told me what to expect, where to buy safe deodorants and how to make my own. So here’s how it went:
Days 1-3: No deodorant and definitely no anti-persperant. Consider this your detox—getting rid of all the aluminum zirconium in your body. I used a drop of tea tree oil under each arm and that was all. It’s uncomfortable at first. After decades of wearing deodorant of some sort, it is a strange feeling! I was a little stinky, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. I went through my workouts as usual as well.
Day 4: Detox is over! I started using a chemical-free, safe deodorant I bought online.
Days 4-30: Okay, wow. I’m shocked, super happy, sweating less than I was using an anti-persperant and I smell delicious! I’ve even had several friends smell my armpits and they all agree. (Talk about great friends, who else would smell your armpit?!) I should also note that I currently reside in hot, sweaty Texas and participate boot camps and in Bikram Yoga (105°, 60% humidity, 90 minutes)—and I am still swearing by this deodorant!
Days 31-50 (today): I’m so thrilled with the results of this new deodorant that I’ve started making my own. You can also buy it online from LWBF’s Etsy shop!
I truly highly recommend this homemade deodorant. In fact, I’ll never go back to commercial products. I consider myself quite the “sweater” and this stuff works great for me! Just remember, with a base of coconut oil, it’s going to melt in the heat and solidify in cooler temperatures. If it melts, just stir it a bit, then stick it in the fridge—it will be good as new! Check out all the tips and tricks!
I should also note that I am no longer slurring my words! Hooray!
UPDATE 12/6/15: I have been using this deodorant daily for 3.5 years, and I am still totally thrilled with it. In fact, I have perfected the recipe and I think with 166 5-star reviews on Etsy, it seems that everyone else agrees! Give it a try!
Peace, love and aluminum zirconium-free bodies,