September 26, 2012

In Which I Get Really Weird

The "Secret" is it's not really commercial!
I hope I don't weird anyone out with this post.

Y'all know I like to make things from scratch, be it food, clothes, cleansers, or beauty supplies like scrubs and soaps.

But awhile ago I made something from scratch that I've almost been embarrassed about... Deodorant. But now, since my sister-in-law just made a comment about it on Facebook, I figured I would share my findings because now at least ONE person will not think I'm super weird...

I think it's kind of a touchy subject for me because I'm so self conscious about smelling at all. Even a little. I will freak out and go wash and re-deodorize if I think I smell even remotely off. So the idea of people knowing I don't use the commercial stuff and therefore might smell makes me antsy. But this has been such a wonderful thing for me, maybe it's just time to share.

It actually started a few months ago after a lifetime of commercial deodorant. Every few days - and then every single day - I would start itching under the arms. Like, scratch myself til bleeding kind of itching. So annoying, and nothing I did got it to stop. I tried a few different kinds of deodorant. No luck.  I've also been a little weirded out that commercial deodorant never seemed to really wash off and learning that it contains aluminum....Well. Straw on the camel's back, if you will.

So after finally being uncomfortable and in pain for awhile and generally creeped out by the ingredient list, I remembered a post that I had found on Little House in the Suburbs about making her own deodorant. I figured it couldn't hurt. I'll try making my deodorant. If it didn't work, I could just go back to the commercial stuff.

So I did. I mixed equal parts cornstarch and baking soda (**Edit: I wrote baking powder at first - I meant soda**), mixed in just enough coconut oil to make it semi-firm, then put in a few drops of Tea Tree oil, which acts as an anti-bacterial (and other things) and some peppermint extract for a nice refreshing smell, then stuffed it into the empty commercial container.

Well it's been well over a month now and I can tell you it's way better than I ever thought it would be. Not only did I stop itching, but I think it works better at blocking any smell than the commercial stuff did. The first thing I noticed was I never got to the end of the day and had that "old deodorant" smell. It was just the same as when I put it on in the morning. We've been doing the P90X thing for 3 weeks now, and I've been through some very vigorous, sweaty workouts without any problems. And did I mention the itching stopped?? It only took 2 days for that to happen. Finally, some relief.

The only complaint I have with it is sometimes the coconut oil doesn't stay solid and will melt to make the deodorant kind of liquidy in the container (not on my body, it rubs in nicely) - but that's a problem of our own making since we keep the house at 76 and coconut oil melts at... you guessed it, 76. I have ordered some beeswax and will put that into the next batch which will hopefully keep it firmed up.

Now, for the really critical part which is just about the whole reason for my posting this. (And this is kind of personal, but I feel it's important.)

I have a mole just under and behind my armpit. Or ... I did...

A little bit before I switched to homemade deodorant I was really noticing this mole. It was kind of a weird color and stuck up quite a bit. It seemed like it had come out of nowhere. It was getting to the point where I was sort of eyeing it, wondering what the heck was going on. I thought maybe I had just scratched it and now it was irritated, but was wondering if I should have it checked out.

Well, a week after switching it started diminishing a bit. And now? Gone. Completely vanished. Can hardly even tell it was ever there. Creepy huh? What kind of stuff was in my deodorant that was causing that to happen?

About a week ago I saw a post on Facebook from one of the businesses I follow (Bar-Maids. Try them. They are FANTASTIC!) stating that 99% of breast cancer tissues contain parabens, which are the preservatives used in antiperspirants and cosmetics - and that most breast cancers start in the area of lymph nodes where antiperspirants are applied. After seeing what happened to that one, single mole, I am a believer of the dangers.

For that reason alone, I will never go back to commercial.

I think it's time to start making my own everything.

Happy Wednesday y'all - go make some deodorant!


Kessie said...

Oh wow, you had a serious problem going on! I've just been using baking soda and cornstarch, and dusting it on with a cottonball. I'll bet the coconut oil makes it really smooth and nice. I'm really happy with the powder, even. No BO at all! I have some regular deodorant (not antiperspirant), and I'm using them together. Its ingredients aren't nearly as freaky as antiperspirant.

Farm Girl said...

I would change just because you saw the mole disappear. I think I might have to try that just because I know what you mean about the itching. Wow good for you and I am totally impressed it works so well. The coconut oil doesn't get on your clothes?
Not to mention, I always have those ingredients around here. Cool!!

Kim said...

Wow, that's kind of amazing. Freaky about the mole too. Does it stain your clothes??

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

This is very interesting. I've not made my own simply because I've tried switching to Tom's of Maine, which is a baking soda based deodorant, and it's given me a rash each time I've tried it. You use baking powder??? I wonder if, since it's not full strength baking soda, it would work better. I would think the coconut oil would help tone it down as well. Hmmmm.....I will definitely be trying this. Thanks!!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I think this is a great idea. I will give this a try. When you said equal parts, what were the amounts you used and one more question Meg. Where can you but tea tree oil?

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