Growing up, I never knew there was a difference between antiperspirant and deodorant. I knew I always owned antiperspirant, but I pretty much thought that they were interchangeable. I never took the time to learn about it. Crazy, I know.
It wasn’t until the last year, living in Hawaii, that I learned the difference. My husband kept buying deodorant and crying out in frustration upon realization when he got home.
“Why does it matter?” I asked
“Cuz, I hate sweating at work.”
So, I got curious. One allows you to sweat, one stops the sweating?
First of all: why do humans sweat?
The number one reason? Temperature regulation. Sweating is our body’s way of keeping all the important stuff cool. Just like car engines overheat, humans can, too.
Added benefit of sweating: body shedding toxins. Our skin is our largest organ, and, in turn, one of the easiest ways to rid of toxins inside the body.
Million dollar question: why does some sweat smell? Your body has two types of sweat glands, one that’s all over your body (eccrine), and these keep you cool, the other is only found in your underarms and crotch region (apocrine). The apocrine sweat glands have added proteins which are bonded to odorant molecules. When they’re bonded, they don’t stink. However, we have bacteria living on our skin, and they like to eat the protein in the sweat from those regions. In order to do so, they must separate the protein and the odorant molecule. End result: stink.
If you know me personally, you know how I feel about the kinds of birth control that halt women’s cycles altogether. I can’t believe that they’re at all good for our bodies. Well, I thought about halting sweating in our underarms and then it occurred to me that that’s probably not such a good idea either.
Commercial brands of antiperspirants often include parabens and aluminum.
Parabens are preservatives and are not included in all major brands of antiperspirant and deodorant, but they are in some. Parabens have been shown to mimic estrogen-like activity in cells. Estrogen promotes the growth of cells in our breast tissue.
Aluminum is a metal used in almost all major brands of antiperspirant and deodorant and causes the sweat glands to temporarily plug. The toxins have nowhere to go, and move on into our lymph nodes near the breast/armpit. This metal also mimics estrogen. As said above, estrogen promotes cell growth of breast tissue.
While there have been some studies done to decide whether or not these ingredients are causing breast cancer, there hasn’t been quite the right amount of proof yet, hence, the FDA still allows such ingredients in our products.
A potential for cancer of any sort is enough to make me do the reading and determine the risk for my loved ones and me. I decided that it’s not worth the risk. So! I made our deodorant!
You will need:
3 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Shea butter
2 tbsp Arrowroot powder
1tsp Jojoba/avocado (optional)
12 drops Lemongrass essential oil (find it here)
12 drops Peppermint essential oil (find it here)
Empty deodorant container (my recipe fills one of these here!)
I purchase all organic ingredients via amazon!
I heat the coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba/avocado together in a glass jar in boiling water (because I don’t own a double boiler). Please be sure to not put cold glass in boiling water! Heat the glass gradually.
Once the mixture is melted, I pull the container out and add the arrowroot and essential oils. Don’t add your essential oils while you’re heating. It reduces their potency and effectiveness.
Then I pour into my empty deodorant stick and plop them in the freezer.
Once they have cooled to solid, I refrigerate mine. I live in Hawaii with no air conditioning, so it’s probably not necessary that you refrigerate yours unless you do, too. (:
Coconut oil, Shea butter, and jojoba or avocado are all oils that carry nutrients that are very good for your skin. Shea butter also allows a more solid stick.
I use arrowroot powder in place of corn starch or baking soda. It’s similar in use and texture, but kinder on your skin. Also, baking soda and corn starch have been known to cause discoloration of skin.
Why lemongrass? It helps with excessive sweating. It will not stop you from sweating.
Why peppermint? It’s cooling. It’ll help your body cool and reduce sweating.
I’ve been using this recipe for almost two weeks and I’m in love. I smell good! And if I can make the switch with no AC in a tropical climate, you can do it!
If you insist on an antiperspirant style, replace one tablespoon of Shea with beeswax. It creates a coat, much like commercial brands. However, it won’t last as long, so be realistic.
Give yourself a few weeks to get used to your new deodorant. Chances are, your underarms might be a little moody. When applying, you only need 1-3 swipes. No need to use a ton, it works!
Some of my ingredients above are doTERRA essential oils. These oils are certified therapeutic grade, meaning they’re okay to use topically and they’re not mixed with any synthetics. If you’re purchasing your oils elsewhere be sure to research and know all about what you’re using.
If you’re interested in learning more about doTERRA or enrolling, please feel free to contact me.
Read more about the cancer argument:
Where I added to my sweat knowledge: