Saturday, May 22, 2010

Daily Hygiene with No Added Chemicals!

Last week I ventured into the world few would dare to tread; I crossed a line I never thought I'd cross; I MADE DEODORANT!!!!  (And toothpaste).  

Something about both of these products, but particularly the deodorant, just grossed me out when I thought about making them myself.  I fear stink!  I do not want to be a "dirty hippie"- I prefer to completely surprise people when I tell them that lovely scent I am wearing is a homemade lotion, or that I have made my own all-purpose cleaner for years!  I don't want people seeing me or worse, smelling me, and KNOWING that I am a do-it-yourselfer.

And yet I firmly believe that if some giant corporation can make something, there is no reason I can't make it too!  With that in mind, and my home stock of toothpaste and deodorant running out, I began scouring the web.

A simple Google search will reveal dozens of recipies for either product.  I wasn't finding many reviews though, and quite frankly some of the recipies sounded weird! I found recipies that called for using coconut oil both in toothpaste AND deoderant!  One deodorant recipe actually called for the use of Crisco!  I do not enjoy the concept of smearing my underarms with Crisco, so I kept searching.

I ran across the toothpaste recipe I felt most comfortable with by way of  It's recommended by the American Dental Association (I'm pretty sure they said that in the page that directed me to the recipe page anyway).  It's a great paste- I've been using it 2 weeks now, it is very cleansing, and whitening!  I have been using peppermint essential oil, but contemplating using lemon or orange, or vanilla- the good news is with a homemade product you can make it anything you want it to be!  I also recommend adding some sort of sweetener to the paste- otherwise the salt will stand out behind the essential oil.  Unless you love salt in the morning, adding sweetner is a must!  I put mine in a cute little clear container that I salvaged from my make-up bin.

So now for the grand finale!  DEODORANT!  Like I said, there are a lot of recipes out there, varying from powder versions to those with Crisco.  I found a recipe I thought sounded reasonable at the Angry Chicken Blog.  It's a blend of shea butter, cocoa butter, baking soda, cornstarch and essential oil.  I chose to use Lavender, because I love the scent.  Again, the beauty of do-it-yourself is that you can make it whatever scent you want!  Her recommendation was to put it in a jar and scoop out small amounts as needed.  I did not think this sounded appealing.  Later I read that she didn't like it either, so she re-melted it and froze it into "pucks".  I decided to do a similar thing, only I used an old deodorant canister/holder.  There was some excess material, so I poured it into a small ramekin.  I put both in the freezer overnight.  I recommend letting the deodorant thaw before using, otherwise the frozen condensation will melt as you apply it, and you will be applying a layer of water instead of deodorant.

This deodorant works great!  I love it!  It goes on smoothly, no irritation (which I occasionally have trouble with from normal store-bought deodorants), and it keeps me from being stinky!  I will remind you that I ride my bike to the train every day- so I am doing a pretty good test job on this stuff.  And, I notice that as my body temperature goes up, the lavender scent is released, which is a nice soothing scent that helps relieve my stress!  It's a two-in one!  Stench repressor and stress reliever!  Woo hoo!  And, no aluminum seeping in through my pores and slowly leading to the development of Alzheimer's.  I'm a huge fan of this stuff, and plan to keep making it forever! 

In summary- making your own products reduces the amount of toxins in your daily routine, reduces the energy input for the products compared to commercially produced versions, reduces the packaging and transport associated with shipping products to stores particularly if you re-use old packages from products you already used up.  Doing this also reduces the amount of waste you create!  You pretty much hit all the right marks when you make your own products.

Please, try making some of either of the above products and let me know what you think!  Especially if you make any modifications- I am always on the lookout for ways to make things better.

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