Over this past summer, I decided to ditch traditional box-store deodorant brands in favor of going au naturel. I had made up my mind the emerging correlations found between deodorant and antiperspirant ingredients and various effects on the body were not worth the risk: Alumnium (to clog the pours) to Alzheimer’s, and propylene glycol (to make the deodorant stick slick for application) to central nervous system damage… among other equally questionable ingredients and possible side effects.
While my three male roommates did not seem to mind a more natural man musk around the apartment (at least I was still bathing regularly!) I knew not everyone would be so congenial. While I believe it would be ideal if more people in the world were cool with the normal aroma of the human body, in modern polite society, one must cover-up the smell.
So what’s a dude to do?
Speaking to my expert hippie friends, I have been told that “natural” deodorant brands just do not last as long as the chemical-laden varieties. Within a few hours, body odors become noticeable again. Nobody has time for re-application every few hours.
Furthermore, not every natural brand removes the potentially harmless ingredients I am worried about. Even Tom’s brand has both aluminum and propylene glycol. They are considered “natural” because one is a mineral and the other a gas.
So I decided I would have to make my own deodorant. Luckily it is not that difficult, and can be done with just four easy-to-locate and genuinely natural ingredients!
1/3 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of arrowroot powder (also called arrowroot flour)
5 tablespoons of organic raw coconut oil
15 drops of an essential oil of your choice
A food processor
A storage container
Step 1) Combine the arrowroot powder and baking soda in the food processor. Cover and blend.
Step 2) Remove cover. Measure out coconut oil and add to food processor.
Step 3) Add the essential oil drops. Cover and blend.
Step 4) Spoon out of processor into an airtight container. It will harden a few minutes after blending.
You are able to store the deodorant at room temperature, so there is no problem stashing it in a bedroom or bathroom drawer.
To apply to your underarms, I suggest scooping out a small amount onto your pointer and middle fingers and rubbing it into your pits. If you do not want to use your hands, you could also use a popsicle stick or the convex side of a spoon.
What makes me feel especially good about this deodorant is that it is so natural it is safe to eat! Not that I am a pica and into that sort of thing… but you would definitely want to think twice before chomping down on Old Spice!
Neal Patten’s life changed significantly when his parents purchased 400 acres in Southwest Wisconsin’s “driftless area” (a swath of land the glaciers did not glide across, preserving the unique ancient ecosystem of millennia ago) in 2001. The property — a campground formed in a farming valley in 1971 — is open to the public six months a year for camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating…
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