One of the first things I did was learn why it is that sweating can cause an odor issue. It’s not the sweat itself that smells when you perspire. It’s actually the bacteria that feed on the sweat secretions that create an odor. Those bacteria, coupled with the dark, moist conditions created by your underarm is an ideal playground for bacteria to grow. So what can you do to stop it? You’ve got to find a product that will kill the offensive bacteria while not irritating your skin. Here are a few recipes to try using ingredients that may already be in your cupboard at home.
When life gives you lemons… make deodorant?
Wait, that’s not how it goes! Citric acid, naturally found in lemons, works great to put an end to odor-causing bacteria. Try slicing a lemon in half and rubbing under each armpit once to twice a day. Just be sure to wait half an hour after shaving to apply it so you can avoid that oh-so-not-pleasant stinging sensation.
Make a martini:
Try making a deodorant martini! All you’ll need is 1/4 cup of vodka and 1/4 cup of distilled water. Mix the two liquids and store in a small spray bottle and you’re set. Just spray under your arms once to twice daily. If you prefer to add a scent, or another anti-bacterial agent, try 10-15 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oils. The vodka in this recipe will kill any bacteria under your arms, allowing you to stay fresh and odor-free. There are many essential oil options that will offer that same anti-bacterial benefit, lavender and tea tree oil being only two options. And essential oils are also excellent for their pleasing aromas.
This is another fast (and thrifty) option for odor-control. Simply use an pad or cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. It will keep smells at bay the same way the other suggestions above do – by killing off those unwanted bacteria. Rubbing alcohol has been known to cause irritation to some people when used over long periods of time, so be cautious when using this method and be sure to take note of any changes in your skin.
Coconut Oil & Baking Soda:
Coconut oil is my favorite bath and body ingredient. It works wonderfully for countless recipes, and deodorant is no exception. Simply combine 1/4 cup aluminum-free baking soda with 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil. The baking soda will help keep you dry, while the coconut oil’s anti-bacterial properties will stop odor from occurring. If you’re sensitive to baking soda, as some people are, try using arrowroot powder instead. Don’t want to miss out on those fun scents that mass-produced deodorants offer? Try adding your favorite essential oil to the mix. Ten to fifteen drops per batch should do the job. Heavy sweater? Try using an essential oil that not only has a pleasing aroma, but offers natural anti-bacterial properties as well. Tea tree, lavender and citrus are a few fine choices. This recipe happens to be my personal favorite.
There are a few things to note when making the switch to a natural deodorant.
First off, you will need to allow your body time to adjust. Just like changing your diet and letting your body cleanse, you will need to allow time for your body to detox from the many chemicals that your body has been bombarded with. Most deodorants contain aluminum to block your armpits from perspiring as well as chemicals to add a pleasing scent. It will take some time, generally a week or two, for your body to purge these nasty things from its system. If going deodorant-free is an option for you, it may help to speed up the adjustment process. If it’s not, try making a cold-turkey switch using a recipe that appeals to you. Just remind yourself that when you first start using a natural method and you keep thinking, “This just is NOT working!” that it may simply be that your body has not adjusted yet.
Also, your diet can play a role in some of the odors that your body creates, and sweat is no exception. Eating less refined, processed foods can help to keep many unwanted chemicals in your body at bay.
Got other recipe suggestions for a natural, homemade deodorant? Please feel free to share!