Well, here we are. And just how did we get here, by the way? I didn’t exactly wake up this morning and proclaim, “It’s a mighty fine day to talk about BO.” But I guess we’ll talk about it anyway. Look, I’ve been wearing deodorant for going on 25 years. That’s a weighty chunk of time. There are only two other products that I have been using daily for as long or longer than that- soap and toothpaste. I rarely wear makeup, and I never used shampoo every single day back when I was using shampoo, so really deodorant, soap and toothpaste are the three products I’ve used the most throughout my lifetime. There’s something unique about deodorant, isn’t there? If you think about it, soap and toothpaste get rinsed off. Deodorant hangs around all day. Many days, particularly in high school when I was involved in sports, and had PE, I would even end up applying it more than once.
These days we are hearing more and more about possible health effects due to the chemicals and metals found in deodorant, aluminum being one. Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer are the two that immediately pop into my mind. Not things to be taken lightly. I guess the main argument would be that deodorant is a necessary evil, because, truly, nobody wants to stink. Is there anything worse than realizing that you are, in fact, the source of that stench? You know it’s happened at least once. Admit it. I think there’s one thing we can all agree on, being smelly sucks; and dammit, Kirk, I’m a writer, not a doctor, but I think we can also agree that being smelly doesn’t suck worse than chemo or dementia. Fortunately, as luck would have it, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
Naturally, I went off looking for a substitute my deodorant via Google. I found several different homemade deodorant recipes and though there is a recipe using beeswax I want to eventually try, I ended up going the baking soda/cornstarch/ coconut oil route. I’ve been using this homemade deodorant for probably 6 months. The first few weeks I had a rash off and on, but I kept on using it (mostly because I had thrown away my other deodorant and I didn’t want to be smelly) and the rash eventually went away. From what I’ve read, many people have a reaction to the cornstarch, so if you find yourself getting a rash, you can adjust the amounts or remove the cornstarch entirely.
It’s pretty simple:
¼ cup baking soda (for odor)
¼ cup cornstarch (for perspiration)
¼ cup coconut oil (for skin)
15-20 drops essential oil (for scent) I use 12 drops lavender, 4 drops tea tree and 3 drops orange
Mix everything together. Apply by rubbing a small amount (like the size of a pea or smaller) directly under your arms.
Remember that coconut oil has a low melting point so store your deodorant in a cool, but not too cold place. I keep mine in a glass container with a lid in my pantry. One tip to be aware of, if you shave under your arms, do not apply immediately after shaving. Your already irritated pits will seriously be mad if you do. Maybe just get into the habit of shaving at night.
But enough about pits and how they smell, on to lotion. I use straight up coconut oil scented with essential oils as lotion and it works brilliantly. I’ve been keeping the lotion along the same scent lines as the deodorant so I don’t overwhelm or offend the olfaction of others. I’m currently using lavender and lemongrass oils mixed into coconut oil and it keeps my skin hydrated and soft. Keep in mind a little goes a long way.