Growing up, if anyone said to my dad, “I’m gonna go take a shower,” He’d say: “That smells like a good idea.”
Ahhh. Dad jokes for days.
Nobody wants to smell, and deodorant is big business. With breast cancer an ominous threat to women (and even men!) in the world today however, the chemicals in commercial deodorant and antiperspirant are getting more attention.
Is it a coincidence that the vast majority of breast cancer tumors are found in the upper-outer quadrant, closest to the armpit?
Armpits sweat a lot, and this makes them a toxin eliminator in the body. When we prevent our armpits from sweating we are preventing that toxin outflow as well. Those toxins get trapped, building up in that area. Since toxins are easily stored in fat, the fatty tissue around the breasts is the perfect breeding ground for mutated cells that can develop into cancerous tumors.
What we don’t want to do is add more toxins to the mix, by applying chemical-laden products on our skin. Did you know that the skin absorbs about 70% of what is put on it?
I focus on what I can do to eliminate toxins in my own life, and this has included eliminating antiperspirant and switching to natural deodorants.
I decided to nix antiperspirant completely, because I don’t want to prevent the sweat from flowing–it’s getting rid of toxins, so why would I want to stop that?
Let that sweat flow!
My sister wears antiperspirant to work because she worries that she’ll have sweat rings on her shirts all the time. This may happen at first, as your body adjusts to the absence of the antiperspirant, but after a week or two your body will adjust and for most people this will not be an issue unless you are doing strenuous activity.
When I was in college I was alerted to the toxic ingredients in commercial deodorants, and I switched to a deodorant salt crystal, like this one:
I loved it. It was cheap, easy to use and travel with, and worked like a charm. Just wet it and wipe on your armpits. Plus it lasts forever. I probably still have the first one I started using in college; you literally might only ever have to buy one.
I’ve talked to people who say that the salt crystals don’t work for them, though.
Luckily, there are other options that work great as well.
I actually have been making my own for the past few years, because I like having a pasty texture (similar to conventional deodorant) and I can add whatever scents I like with essential oils.
Here’s my basic recipe:
Ingredients for Safe, Cheap, Effective Homemade Deodorant
- 4 Tablespoons starch (arrowroot powder and cornstarch both work great)
- 4 Tablespoons baking soda
- 4 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Several drops of your favorite essential oil* (for scent)
- 1-3 teaspoons magnesium oil*
- 1 teaspoon jojoba or vitamin E oil*
- 1 clean, shallow jar
Directions to make your Safe, Cheap, Effective Homemade Deodorant
- Add all of the ingredients into the jar and stir
- Allow to cool to room temperature, and use by applying with your finger
- That’s it! How easy can it be?
*The magnesium oil, jojoba oil and essential oils are not completely necessary: the essential oils are for scent, and the jojoba/Vitamin E are soothing. I like to add the magnesium oil because it’s a great way to absorb more magnesium and it gives the deodorant a fluffier texture that I really like.
The active ingredient here is the baking soda: that’s what really neutralizes the odors. Some people are sensitive to baking soda. If that’s you, try using a lower quantity of baking soda relative to the other ingredients. Some people have recipes for “sensitive” deodorants that eliminate it, but for me those don’t work.
Even though it’s easy, inexpensive and totally customizable, I have friends who don’t want to make it. If that’s you, there are lots of natural options that use similarly safe ingredients, like these:
Some people also recommend an armpit detox, like the one mentioned here.
The main reason to do something like this might be to make the transition between commercial and natural deodorants easier, and possibly pulling toxins to the surface to be eliminated. If you want to do an armpit detox, it’s easy enough to do in 10-20 minutes after taking a shower, and there’s no harm in it.
I have taken a regular clay mask that I have for my face and spread it on my armpits, waited for it to dry, and rinsed it off. Another great way to detox your whole body, including your armpits, is to take an Epsom salt bath a couple times per week.
Since you are already detoxing every time you sweat, I don’t think an armpit detox mask is super necessary. As long as you stop using the harmful, chemical-laden stuff and switch to something more natural, and allow yourself to sweat, you’ll be on the right track.
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