Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Pits

Well, if I've gone to the point of making my own household cleaners, plan to stop shampooing my hair, & stopped using tampons, I might as well ditch the deodorant as well, right?

Thankfully, I've never been a particularly stinky person. I think. At least nobody has ever informed me otherwise. I don't sweat. I have had my moments of random, what I think is hormonal pit stink so I've always put a quick swipe of deodorant on after every shower. No biggie. But, I really don't NEED it all the time. It's just a precaution. But, with my tendency to scour the internets researching anything and everything that comes into contact with our house, I've discovered a few things about deodorant.

Fairly recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the effects of aluminum-containing deodorants/antiperspirants on the body over long-term use. Your arm pits are a location of lymph nodes and I don't know about you, but I never hesitated putting deodorant on right after shaving even if I'd nicked myself. If you've got your deodorant nearby, grab it an take a look at the label. It explicitly says not to use on broken skin. Additionally, the deodorant I was using had a warning for kidney patients to consult a doctor before use. What?!

This kind of piqued my curiosity seeing as we have a close family member who is fighting kidney disease and my dad has donated a kidney to another. Up went a red flag. Upon further research I came across this statement from the American Association of Kidney Patients:

"Over 90 percent of the U.S. population use antiperspirants and deodorants. What is harmless for the healthy population can be of danger for people with impaired kidney function. Most of the antiperspirants and some deodorants contain aluminium (Al), which is absorbed by the skin (Flarend et al – Food Chem Toxicol, 2001). In healthy people, it gets eliminated by the kidney, but for people with reduced function, Al will accumulate in the body. Albeit unusual, this could lead to dementia (Carpenter et al. - Int J Occup Med Environ Health, 2001), anemia and bone disease (Jeffery et al. - J Toxicol Environ Health 1996)."


Honestly, I could sit on the internet and do all the research I wanted in regards to the concerns I have for my family. But we all know the internet is, well, the internet. A public domain. Finding credible sources for topics that provide unbiased, research-based information can be very difficult. But when something that big is staring me in the face, I can't help but think to myself, "why take the risk?"

So, I've decided, in light of the fact that I'm not really in need of a hard-working deodorant, I'm going hippie with it (did anybody have Will Smith flash in their head?).

There are a lot of recipes out there for homemade deodorant. I'm starting with the simplest. We'll see if it works. If not, I've got other options. I got my recipe from here.

DIY Deodorant
 - 1/4 cup Baking Soda
 - 1/4 cup Corn Starch
 - 5 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
 - Essential Oils (optional)

Mix the ingredients together.

A couple of notes. Coconut oil has a 76 degree melting point. So, this deodorant isn't going to easily stay a solid. In the winter, I'll probably be just fine, but in the summer I may have to keep it in the fridge.

After mixing, I packed it into an emptied-out deodorant container.

{Check out my homegrown butternut squash! Anybody know what I can do with them?}

I don't know about the risk of this mixture staining, but I'll report if I find anything.

I added tea tree and sweet orange essential oils. Just a few drops each. I'm really digging the smell. I even let Rob smell it and he liked it.

I'm hoping I like it! I'll report back with my findings later. I may also see if I can get Rob to try a version. I know men get a little defensive about their deodorant though. I don't blame them because I know when his deodorant isn't working, his pits get a little offensive.

Also, a lot of anecdotal evidence says that your body will likely go through an adjustment period. Kind of like when you drop the shampoo thing (which I plan on trying after I'm done being pregnant).

Crossing my fingers for a good experience!