I first heard about links between aluminium and breast cancer when I was around 13 years old; I have no idea where I heard this especially back in the early 2000’s but somehow this information trickled into my consciousness from somewhere. This resulted in me buying a salt rock deodorant; however through my early teenage years the desire to fit in and be “normal” was stronger than my concern over cancer (as ridiculous as that sounds), so I pushed this to the back of my mind and continued using conventional anti-perspirants. Over the next 10 years, I journeyed through spray-on deodorants (which made me choke), The Body Shop tea tree roll-on, back to salt sticks, shop bought natural deodorants, finally bringing me to present day where I have finally taken the plunge and made my own. And I think it is my favourite out of the lot, regardless of zero waste or natural credentials.
It is worth nothing here I have been using natural deodorants for around 2-3 years now, and it’s so important to consider that there is around a one month purge period after initially switching to natural deodorants, meaning you will probably be really stinky for around one month. I think this puts a lot of people off, which I can completely understand, so I recommend people to switch at a time of the year when your sweat levels aren’t at their peak, and you can’t afford to be a little stinky temporarily. This is also why flitting between natural and non natural is completely pointless as you will never overcome the purge period and you will probably be put off the natural deo for life. However once you do switch, your natural body odour should become more pleasant because you aren’t putting the harmful chemicals into your skin which causes your body to react and release the stink.
I followed the Trash if for tossers recipe (thank you Lauren!), and used calendula essential oil alongside sweet orange as they were what i had to hand, but you can use whichever scents you please! This is not only moisturising but honestly keeps me dry all day. I don’t even think the chemical anti-perspirants kept me this dry. You can use a recycled glass jar for storage, and I bought all the below ingredients except the Essential oils Zero waste and organic at the Bulk Market in Hackney, London.
3 teaspoons coconut oil
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons shea butter
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)
Essential oils (as you wish)
(all the above can be switched to tablespoons if you want to make a larger batch; I made both a smaller and larger batch for myself and my sister and they both came out well)
- Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in a glass bowl over a saucepan over low heat until mostly melted
- Once removed from heat add arrowroot powder and baking powder, and mix together
- Add any essential oils you like and mix again, pour into your desired container. I don’t keep this in the fridge.
Other alternatives (non-zero waste) if you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge with making your own but want to get started with some natural deodorants are:
-Schmidt’s naturals range (ingredients are basically the same as the homemade one above!)
-Aurelia Botanical Cream Deodorant
-Lush solid deodorant
However please consider making you own, it’s much cheaper and works better than any of the above have for me!