Let’s talk about armpits! Yay!
Are commercial deodorants, or antiperspirants bad for us? I don’t know! I think everyone’s gotten that email forwarded to them, or seen a Facebook post, that says such products containing aluminum are the devil. Being a HUGE skeptic, I immediately Google claims, or look them up on snopes.com, and the email that claims “deodorants/antiperspirants is the leading cause of cancer” is false and/or contains numerous falsehoods.
Does that mean they are 100%, totally, forever save for everyone, always? I certainly don’t know!
What I do know is that I personally have the feeling that stopping myself from sweating from a body-part that seems to be specifically designed to sweat, seems strange. That being said, being stinky is not funny, or fun. I’ve tried some all-natural, commercially produced products, with mixed results.
Luckily, I have found my own perfect solution, via the magic of the Internetz! I saw this recipe, and on a whim decided to try it out. I was so pleasantly surprised, times a billion. For my first trial, I used Nubian Heritage brand raw shea butter (Indian Hemp and Haitian Vetiver scented). Nubian Heritage is NOT cheap, but I love the scent and consistency of the resulting product so much, I’ll continue to use it.
This recipe fills a jelly jar about 3/4 full, and it takes a small finger-swipe of it to cover each armpit (the amount recommended in the recipe is too much for me). Here are the things I learned about this deodorant recipe, and things that make me happy about using the homemade stuff:
- No clothes stains (yet)! Since the main ingredient is coconut oil, I was worried it would stain my clothes. I have had no issues so far, after many months. Note that I don’t put on my clothes directly after applying, but instead I wait awhile, until it soaks in. I broke this rule once, and put on a washed silk shell too soon, and got deodorant all over the front of it. I thought it would be ruined! Nope, it washed right out in the next load of laundry, several days later.
- I smell better even when I don’t use it! I generally put on deodorant after my morning shower, go to work, go to the gym, take a quick rinse-off shower before finishing my day. With my commercial products, I might be funky at the end of the day after all that. With my new stuff, I keep smelling A-OK, and I am less quick to become smelly on weekend days when I am home alone all day, and don’t use products. And keep in mind I live in the tropics.
- Going back to commercial stuff stinks! On a recent 4-day vacation, I packed and used some of my old commercial products because I thought it might be too much trouble to travel with my jelly-jar of product. I was shocked and appalled at how quickly I started to smell…. like later in the day, on the same day I had applied the stuff, I couldn’t stand to be around myself. Gross! Jelly jar it is…
- No gross white dingle-balls. You know what I mean… those white balls that form in your pits with some commercial products? I don’t get those with this recipe!
All in all, this recipe was a success for me, and I highly recommend it. It may not be for everyone, including folks with baking soda allergies, or people who have crazy over-productive sweat glands. But, if you’re like me, a person with normal sweat levels and normal human smell-levels, this may be a great recipe for you. Or another similar one…. there are tons of similar recipes all over the internet, with different ratios, suggesting different smells, etc. This just happens to be the first one I tried, and loved. Next I am going to try another Nubian Heritage scent, with papaya.
Bring on the summer heat! This summer will be the real test, since I’ll be pregnant the whole time. That has to cause some extra sweat!
[UPDATE: After months and months of happily using this homemade product, and while I was pregnant, I suddenly developed a sensitivity to this product, primarily under only one arm. ??? My guess is that it’s the baking soda, that would turn my underarm pink after use. I discontinued use, sadly!!! And now I am using various natural products on the market, to varying success, while I figure out how I can re-tool my recipe so that it does not cause the reaction. Lingering questions include: (1) how did I not have problems for many, many months? and (2) did pregnancy have anything to do with it? Certainly body chemistry changes during that upheaval!]