I love writing about eating gluten-free, but this will be my first post regarding beauty products, mostly because I think what we put on our outside is just as important as what we eat. You may be surprised to find that many of the everyday products we use on our bodies, contain gluten! First, if you are gluten-free, be sure to check labels, because they can be sneaky. If your body reacts badly to gluten inside, it is sure to dislike it on your skin. Also, while you are already reading labels, you may be surprised at the shear quantity of unrecognizable ingredients going into some of our popular everyday products. As part of my family’s transition into a healthier lifestyle, I had to take a hard look at what was in our kitchen and also in our bathroom.
Hopefully soon, I will start reviewing some of the products that I recommend, but about half of my everyday products have been swapped out with homemade alternatives. You’d be surprised at what a jar of coconut oil can do for you! One of the easiest products to make yourself is deodorant.
I am sure you have heard that antiperspirant made with aluminum is the subject of great debate. Some suggest that constant application of aluminum-based antiperspirant may be linked to cancer. This has been hotly debated, but I’d like to err on the side of caution and try to avoid it if possible. I tried a variety of “natural” deodorants without aluminum, but I was left dissatisfied. First, all of these store bought deodorants still contained a laundry list of ingredients, most of which I had to consult my chemist-husband just to identify. Secondly, they simply didn’t work. I would say I am in the average range of sweaty/smelliness compared to other women. After using these store bought deodorants, I felt wet and, kinda stinky. Finally, the cost can be substantial.
I was starting to think I had a choice between being sweaty/smelly or cancer, until I found a recipe for homemade deodorant. If you do a quick Google search for homemade deodorant, they are all essentially the same – 2 parts coconut oil, to 1 part each of cornstarch and baking soda. This seemed too simple to actually work, but I figured it was worth a try since all of these ingredients are regularly stocked in my pantry. After a year of using homemade deodorant, I can firmly state that this stuff is super easy to make and it works!
All you have to do is mix the ingredients in a bowl and it’s ready to go. I also highly recommend adding your favorite essential oil as a fragrance. I use about 10 drops of lavender essential oil, but you can add more or less depending on your preference. Here are a few more pointers:
- I apply the deodorant with my fingers straight from the bowl, so I usually keep my deodorant in the bathroom so I can wash my hands after. I rub the deodorant with the fingertips of both hands and apply to my armpits, like I am applying lotion.
- Coconut oil melts easily around room temperature, so the consistency may vary with the seasons. In the picture, my batch is softer than usual, since the coconut oil was melting a little from the heat of my fingers as I was posing to take the photo.
- One batch lasts approximately 9 months.
- I have heard that you can replace cornstarch with arrowroot powder if you are sensitive to corn, though I have not tried it.
- The glass bowl I use is from The Container Store, but you can use whatever container you like. I like this one because it is glass, but has a plastic top to seal.
What could be easier? If you are looking to reduce the chemicals in your life with a simple, easy, cheap, alternative, this homemade deodorant is where it’s at. Please let me know what you think if you try it! Enjoy!
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (optional, can be adjusted by smell preference)
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a fork until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- Store at room temperature.
- To use: Take a dollop of deodorant with fingertips and apply to armpits.