As you may recall from my recent Death by armpit! blog, I recently discovered that the vast majority of underarm antiperspirant-deodorants contain a whole smorgasbord of toxic chemicals, starting with strange aluminum compounds and fleshed-out with things like parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan…
In the case of the aluminum, some studies have indicated that there may be a link between this little scamp and Alzheimer's and cancer. The bottom line is the fact that I don’t know how to spell or pronounce most of these things makes me less than enthused about rubbing them all over my body.
As I mentioned in my original blog, my initial plan was to order a Crystal Body Stick, which is described on Amazon as being "Composed from natural mineral salts that are completely free of perfumes and chemicals." However, it turns out that the "Ammonium Alum" in this stick is just another name for "ammonium aluminium sulfate" – so we're back with aluminum (aluminium) again. Give me strength!
Following the first blog, my chum Brian LaGrave emailed me to say that he had found a "do-it-yourself" recipe for underarm deodorant on the Internet. This recipe reads as follows:
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
At last -- a recipe so simple that even I can follow it! The coconut oil is the solid white stuff that you find in jars in the right sort of supermarket. I went to my Local Earth Fare
, which specializes in organic products (hey, my armpits deserve only the best!).BEWARE!!!
Check the list of ingredients on everything you buy. My first port of call was the shelf containing packs of baking soda. Fortunately, the first bag I picked up carried the legend "Aluminum Free!"
on the front. I hadn’t even realized that baking soda might contain aluminum – this rascally rapscallion of an element can certainly sneak up on you while you aren’t looking. Wouldn't it have been ironic for me to have been making my own antiperspirant for years, only to discover that it contained the aluminum I was trying to get away from in the first place!
All you have to do is to put 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a container – I used a small glass bowl that comes with a lid. Then you melt 1/2 cup of coconut oil in a skillet. Do NOT heat the coconut oil too much, because it can get VERY hot indeed. In fact, as soon as the oil has just melted you are ready to rock and roll, at which point you add it to the other ingredients in your container and briskly mix everything together.
Did I mention that the coconut oil can get hot? Hopefully it goes without saying that you should wait until everything has cooled down and solidified before you apply it under your arms (take this advice from a man who knows).
Anyway, I've been using my homemade deodorant for the last few days. Admittedly, the fact that I keep on sniffing my armpits may look a tad strange to the casual observer, but as far as I can tell, my concoction seems to be working nicely…
Having said this, I live in fear that one day when I'm out-and-about on my travels, I hear a high-pitched voice behind me trill out at full window-shattering volume "Mommy, why does that man smell like coconuts?"
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