Spray on Natural Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

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So while I simply love my original recipe for natural deodorant, I do find that some people aren’t able to use it because of their sensitivity to baking soda and / or corn starch. If over-applied, even individuals with lower sensitivity may find they need to take a break from it every once in a while, as baking soda does tend to be mildly abrasive. So I have a great alternative for you – which has been working very well for my hubby who works long, sweaty days outdoors in construction – is there a better test for this, really? I even enjoy alternating using my baking soda deodorant with this one once in a while, if my pits need a vacay from the baking soda. And it is incredibly easy to make!

All you need is:

A small spritzer bottle,
One part freshly squeezed lemon juice,
One part alcohol free witch hazel like THIS one.

Combine in the bottle, shake and spray! If you don’t have witch hazel around, you can even skip it altogether and just use the lemon juice, although I think the witch hazel does improve the effectiveness, as well as being tonifying for your skin. The shelf life will also reduce without the witch hazel. This recipe DOES need to be kept in the fridge, which is one reason why my first recommendation is always my original recipe. But I personally don’t find it that inconvenient to just spray it on in the kitchen instead.

You can even just rub some juice from a sliced lemon on your armpits, if you don’t have a spritz bottle. Yup, just a lemon. Just rub it on there and go. Keep the slice in a container (you might want to mark it: “this lemon for armpits only”) in the fridge. My husband found this somehow unappealing, and thus this recipe was born. But hey, if it works for you, and is easier, go for that option instead!

Give it a few minutes to air out on your pits, to avoid rubbing it all off on you shirt when you put it on. And do beware of freshly shaven armpits, the lemon juice might give you a bit of a sting if you’ve nicked yourself anywhere!

How easy is that? No aluminum or other toxic ingredients, incredibly cheap, and amazingly effective. Hope you have success with it!

Odour Busting Deodorant!

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It’s time for the big reveal of my amazingly simple deodorant recipe! This was one of the first home recipes I perfected. I have never really been happy with the results using commercially made natural deodorant, nor am I satisfied using aluminum laden carcinogenic antiperspirants. You won’t believe how effective this recipe is, and how easy it is to make! You can use it preventatively, OR as an instant odor neutralizer. You can even use it on stinky feet! As usual, it is super CHEAP to make, too – and you can keep it right on your bathroom counter.

Thus this great, incredibly effective easy recipe:

1 part coconut oil
1 part cornstarch OR arrowroot powder
1 part baking soda
OPTIONAL: 2 drops per 1/4 cup of ingredients tea tree essential oil (or another of your choice, although I recommend tea tree for its antimicrobial properties).

In a double boiler on low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and pour immediately into desired container – I choose to use a small mason jar and later apply with my finger. Others may choose to fill a toilet paper roll or old deodorant container and rub directly on your pits – I personally find I end up applying too much this way. Allow to set in the freezer to avoid ingredients separating / settling. Results in a very thick paste.

Apply sparingly – a little goes a long way (you don’t want to overapply this stuff or it may end up being a bit irritating)! Also works great for drying out pimples – apply a blob directly to the pimple and let sit overnight.

CAUTIONS / TROUBLESHOOTING:
Not little black dress friendly – may leave a white residue (should not stain your clothes, though).
May melt a bit in a hot environment, but does not change its effectiveness!
If you develop a rash, discontinue use for a 3-5 days, and try applying in smaller amounts at less frequent intervals. If it still bothers you, you may be sensitive to one of the ingredients – try my alternative spray on deodorant HERE.

Why I choose to DIY (or, Why I Am Not a Crazy Person)

As frequently as I come across people who are stoked to find out that I make my own body and cleaning products, I find myself speaking to people who come across as viewing me like I am some crazy time waster or paranoid nutjob. I get your concern – it may seem daunting and bizarre to make your own products when so many are readily available to buy. Huh? You make your own toothpaste? You know you can buy that, right?

Yes, I know I can buy that. And I know that people spend years trying to find beauty products that are just right for them – their skin / hair type, their budget, their preference for fragrance. A guy I know finds the scent of coconut oil to be “too girly” for him. Okay, sure. Although I wouldn’t smell coconut oil on a man and be like “Wow, what a girlyman,” I see how someone might have a preference for different scents and such. I know a few people who can’t get over the fact that their laundry might not smell like hibiscus flowers or Essence of Hawaii anymore if they start to DIY.

That being said, there is a bit BUT in here for me. BUT what about your health? You might not believe it makes a MASSIVE impact on your health to regularly douse your body and home in known carcinogens (and many people need to believe the impact is massive to make a switch), but for me, any negative health impact I can easily avoid is a no-brainer. I can’t do much about the radiation leaks from Fukishima. I can’t do a lot personally about the pollution in the city air that I breathe. I can’t do much about toxic runoff into our groundwater, or acid rain. I mean, people can make differences in these areas, but I am talking about me personally, at this point in time. I just am not in a position to change these things anytime soon. So I have to start with what I CAN do.

It’s just like when I tell people I buy organic and I get hit with the whole “Well, we’re all f*ed anyway, there’s chemicals in everything” speel. Well, okay, I get what you are saying, but why not minimize exposure as much as you can? If, as people say, we are regularly exposed to so many chemicals and carcinogens that are beyond our control, why not at least make some impact on the exposure we CAN control? Why not? If I can increase my chances of a few extra years of life to spend with my loved ones, why would I not work towards that? I don’t think that makes me paranoid – I think it makes me proactive and informed. Feel free to disagree, but know that I don’t exist in a state of fear every day. I feel empowered and joyful to be doing what I can for my family!

Your skin is a naturally absorptive organ. If you are putting chemicals on it, you DO risk having them absorbed into your body. And if there are residues on your hands (ie. hand cream, hand sanitizer, etc), you don’t even need to rely on your skin for entrance to your body. Try your mouth. If it’s on your hands for a long period of time, it’s likely in your mouth as well. And when it comes time for home cleaning, you are breathing in those sprays and powdered cleaners. So it’s hitting your respiratory system as well.

Now, I don’t mean to come off as fear mongering. In fact, if you want a balanced perspective on the likelihood of absorption of chemicals through your skin, start with this well written article.. There are lots of misleading quotes out there that have their facts stretched. But there IS a risk to your body, and I personally would rather not take it for a tradeoff of the minor comfort of convenience buying my own personal care products and cleaners, or some kind of fragrance (that I could easily largely re-create with a DIY personal scent using essential oils). Not to mention that if I run out of something, I can easily whip up a batch of it with ingredients that I keep in bulk in my cupboard, rather than running out to the store.

Not to mention the OTHER reasons for DIY. Cost, for example. Most of my products are made at a tiny fraction of the cost of anything I could buy with the same effectiveness. I generally use widely available, CHEAP ingredients that you can buy in BULK and bring your own container for at places like The Soap Dispensary. If you are bringing your own container and buying in bulk, this approach also largely reduces the amount of plastic waste that goes into the garbage. You can’t recycle a toothpaste tube, to my knowledge!

Some of the products I make I find to have superior effectiveness to storebought alternatives, like my toothpaste and deodorant for example. Not to mention “No-poo!”. I love what this does for my hair (and my son’s cradle cap)!

So I hope this explains the reasoning behind what I do. Yes, I am also a crafty person. I do a lot of home baking, and gardening as well. I like the feeling of personal empowerment that comes from producing things for yourself with less reliance on middlemen. But let me finish with a tiny pep talk on how EASY it is to DIY home cleaners and body products! Most of my basic recipes only involve a few ingredients, and usually only basic mixing is involved, unless there is an ingredient you need to melt. It really only takes minutes to make things like toothpaste, deodorant, spray cleaners, and the like. And if you need a little jumpstart to get you going, why not try hosting one of my DIY parties?. A really fun learning experience for friends and family!

And if you still think I am a crazy person, that’s okay 🙂

Beautiful baking soda!

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Baking soda is such a versatile and essential ingredient for your DIY adventures that I thought I would start by paying homage to it with my first post. Created by carbonating soda ash dissolved in water, this simple, benign salt is safe enough to eat! Not to many readily accessible, and super cheap. Because a simple google search will yield many a page listing the never ending uses for this ingredient, I have decided to list my top five.

1). As the main active ingredient in my homemade toothpaste! I cannot go back to conventional toothpaste after using baking soda. My friends always comment on how shiny white my teeth are, my mouth feels unbelievably fresh – and I am no longer ingesting the harmful, unnecessary ingredients in most storebought toothpaste. Even many of the “natural” alternatives turn out to be not that natural. Toothpaste win!

2). In combination with vinegar as an emergency carpet / upholstery cleaner. Cat barf on the sofa? Get off the bulk, Shake on some straight baking soda, let it sit, spray on some vinegar, rub with a brush, and then remove any residue with a wet cloth. Stain be gone! CAUTION: Spot test – some materials will whiten with the use of baking soda.

3). In my homemade deodorant! Wow, does baking soda pack some stank fighting power. My hubby has been known to be BO free even after a few days – with just one application!

4). As a main ingredient in a super gentle laundry detergent for sensitive skin! Love those baby bums and bellies while still combatting poopy diapers and spit up soaked clothes with the powers of baking soda!

5). A stinky shoe deodorizer! Shake a good amount of baking soda in your hubby’s workboots or your son’s hockey skates to kill that odor without any of the nasty chemicals in things like febreeze.

Oh baking soda, how I love thee. Grab some quick before you start your DIY journey – you’re gonna need it!