Throw out those deodorants and antiperspirants. Go natural.
Actually, there are some commercial deodorants that are all natural but, generally, deodorants and antiperspirants are ridiculous in price and there are health concerns with aluminum and other ingredients (even natural rock crystal deodorant contains aluminum compounds). If you are willing to pay the price for the convenience of commercial natural products, diligently research their ingredients.
First, let's understand that the body is meant to sweat. Sweat glands are known mostly to help regulate temperature by bringing warm moisture to the surface of the skin, which causes cooling as the water evaporates. But the secondary role, as detoxifier, is not a minor role. Known as the 'third kidney,' your skin has over 2.6 million tiny pores that can help clear as much as 30% of bodily wastes through perspiring. Sweat is composed mostly of water, but also has urea (a breakdown product of proteins the kidneys also discard), and trace metals and minerals. So keeping the body from sweating is unnatural and potentially harmful not to mention the harm, to the body, of the chemicals (in commercial deodorants and antiperspirants) that are keeping it from sweating.
We understand that we need to sweat. But do we need to stink when we sweat? That is a loaded question since what we eat and drink can contribute to our overall natural body odor. BUT, contrary to myth, sweat itself does not have an odor. Your sweat doesn't cause you to stink. The reason why we get foul odors in certain non-exposed areas of the body is due to bacteria that accumulate in those regions. The bacteria eat the proteins in our sweat, and the waste that is excreted by the bacteria ("going to the bathroom") is the direct source for body odor. The task of a deodorant is to help reduce body odor by reducing the accumulation of bacteria, not reducing sweat (like the dreaded antiperspirants).
Let's be mindful that, while the chemical composition of the human body is basically the same around the globe, there are differences from one body to the next, so what works for one person, may not work for another. Finding the solution for your particular chemical makeup may take time and research but the chances are great that your solution is out there.
Others on the web have found the following to be an effective alternative solution, even on tough cases. There are multiple recipes but the majority contain baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Here is the most basic of basic recipes.
Go to the kitchen and get out the box of baking soda . . . do not confuse baking "soda" with baking "powder" (baking powder contains baking soda plus an acid, which makes it fizz when wet).
Put about an eighth of a teaspoonful of baking soda in the palm of your hand (you'll need more in certain types of water - up to a teaspoon).
Add about a quarter teaspoonful of water, enough to get it wet (or more, if you had to use more for your type of water).
Dissolve the baking soda into the water - the liquid should feel slippery (to nearly the consistency of a paste), since sodium bicarbonate is a base.
Regarding different types of water: If your water easily rinses away the "slimy" feel of sodium bicarbonate, you'll need to use more baking soda. If your water does not easily rinse it away, you'll need less. Adjust quantities as needed to achieve the slimy, paste texture.
Including natural plant oils (like coconut or pine) can help with prolonging the shelf life and making it easier to apply to the body.
Apply directly to your pits. Then go have a normal active day.
NOTE: Too much sodium bicarbonate will cause some skin irritation. It also needs to be dissolved sufficiently, because dry powdery baking soda can chafe skin just like sand (though some people on the Internet just apply it like a powder, so I guess they don't have problems). You probably really don't need much at all, just enough to cover the skin.
ANOTHER NOTE: The baking soda/water solution will leave white residue on clothes or countertops wherever it drips and dries out, but it washes away easily. After all, one of the many uses of baking soda is a cleanser.
To add some fragrance and additional anitbacterial properties you may want to consider adding 10-20 drops (any one or combination) of the following Essential Oils to 1/4 Cup of Baking Soda:
- tea tree
Mix it up in a small, wide-mouth, glass jar with a lid. It's best to apply this right out of the shower. Give the jar a good shake before opening, then dip clean, dry fingers in, and pat the deodorant onto your pits, over the sink, because it’s a little bit messier than applying stick deodorant. Pat – don’t rub – until the powder is no longer visible on your pits, and you’re good to go.
See: DIY Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Deodorant
For those who prefer to stick with commercial products, I tested 4 of them on myself. Typically, I do not sweat heavily during the course of my normal lifestyle and I did not participate in any massive sweat-producing activities (like exercise, etc.) during these trials. These are MY odor-protection results which may not be typical for others:
It might interest you to know that the most effective of those deodorants listed above have only 4 (natural) ingredients. The least effective have many more ingredients.
OTHER PERSONAL CARE USES FOR BAKING SODA:
Mouth Wash - Mouth bacteria like to produce an acidic environment, but baking soda neutralizes the acids very quickly.
Acid Reflux Relief - Ingesting a small sprinkle of baking soda periodically helps the esophagus stay pH neutral and helps the stomach produce less acid. Sad to say, though, the best cure for acid reflux may be avoiding some of the foods you love.
Click here to see more uses for Baking Soda and search the web for even more. The possibilities are nearly endless. So it's good to have it on hand wherever we go.
Search for more homemade deodorant recipes
Personal Care Alternatives