a suburban greenmom sweats toxins...
I'm a believer in the idea of "body burden"--that what we are at risk for is less about the specific ingredients to which we are exposed at any given time than about the accumulation of various things beyond our bodies' abilities to filter and clean them out. I genuinely wonder if this isn't an evolutionary, natural-selection kind of quality that we are gradually picking up as a species, the ability to process and eliminate foreign contaminants from our bodies with ever-increasing efficiency and speed.
Which gives me comfort--because there really isn't any possible way to avoid it all. But wherever I can, I try to avoid what I can.
So when there's an alternative to daily doing something like, for example, shaving my armpits (you know, that spot really close to my breasts and lymph nodes?), and then rubbing an aluminum compound on the newly nicked skin in the interest of not being stinky, I'm going to take it.
Deodorant. We all (okay, I assume most of us) use it. But Aluminum Chlorohydrate, the primary ingredient in most commercial anti-perspirant/deodorants, is associated with all kinds of health risks, including Alzheimers and breast cancer. The "crystal" kinds of deodorants, which use potassium alum as their main ingredient, are better but still a little controversial.
But there are also a lot of recipes out there for making one's own.
Crunchy Thrifty Cool and Tammy's Recipes both have versions which involve coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch with essential oils; Crunchy Betty has one which uses beeswax and clay as well. This seems to be the main master recipe most people use variations of: some mixture of melted solid oils, cornstarch or arrowroot powder, baking soda, and sometimes essential oils. Here is one for a liquid spray deodorant which includes aloe, witch hazel, and zinc oxide. Most recommend use of essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, rose geranium, and such.
Very few of the recipes I've consulted do what I have done (and what Green Generation has done), which is far simpler than most other versions, less messy, and is honestly the most effective deodorant I have ever tried. I have been using it exclusively for months, and now that it's gotten me through most of a really sweaty summer, I finally feel comfortable blogging about it:
Jenn's Homemade Magic Anti-Stink Powder Recipe
In a small jar, mix equal parts aluminum-free baking soda and cornstarch. Add a few drops tea tree oil, lavender oil, and other safe oils as desired. (Sweet orange and/or Roman chamomile would be lovely.) Shake well until oils are mixed well through the powder. Gently pat a little under each armpit, using powder puff or fingers, and face the day pretty sure that you'll neither stink nor have any oily stuff staining your clothes.
This powder is also all but magical for treating stinky shoes, doggy-smelling blankets, and it makes a very effective dry shampoo for the off-days when my hair doesn't really need washing but maybe is looking a little oily around the roots.
Could anything be easier? Mostly I love this because there's no mixing, melting, strange ingredients, or just plain time involved. When I run out, I just duck down to the kitchen and mix a little more up in about 9 seconds. Totally simple.
Okay, so how about you guys? Any variations on the recipe I've missed? What's worked for you?
Anything I've said enough to convince anyone who hasn't gone here yet to give natural deodorant a try?
--Jenn the Greenmom