I simply want to give you a few recipes for DIY deodorant and toothpaste. I originally started writing this post giving all sorts of links to articles about the perils of aluminum in deodorant and the problem with those tiny polyethylene microbeads found in some commercial toothpastes. I even threw in a few references to the pros and cons of fluoride added to toothpaste. But in the end I deleted everything to simply give you some recipes and allow you to do your own research if you are so inclined. A 1000+ word post on all of the health benefits of making your own personal hygiene products is neither simple nor minimal.
#6 Simple – Homemade Deodorant
Wellness Mama has a great all-purpose homemade deodorant that only calls for a few ingredients, many you probably already have at home. Just in case you don’t want to click over I’ll give the recipe that I have used successfully for over a year.
6 T coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot (or cornstarch, but I wouldn’t recommend cornstarch because it can cause irritation)
It is always easier if you start out with melted coconut oil since it blends with the baking soda and arrowroot easily. Simply mix the ingredients together and that’s it! You can add a few drops of essential oils if you don’t like the smell of the coconut oil, but I find it pleasant. It’s up to you. Just swipe the stuff with your finger and rub it on your pits. Too easy, right?
If you are one of the few people that develop under arm acne from the above deodorant (very pretty image isn’t it?) then you might try dabbing your pits with a mixture of 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 cup filtered water (use a spray bottle or cotton ball, whatev) before applying the deodorant. Baking soda can irritate the skin by throwing off our natural pH balance as it is very alkaline. The ACV helps restore that balance. Just let ‘er dry and slather on the homemade deodorant above. If you want to read an entertaining article with lots more detail about the ACV fix check out Crunchy Betty.
I’ve also had really good success with plain old Milk of Magnesia. Really! I buy the jumbo bottle, generic brand is fine, and dab that on – either over the deodorant or by itself. I’m one of those that has struggled with arm pit break outs so the MoM has worked wonders. It dries fairly clear as well, so you don’t have to worry about big white arm pit rings (if you apply it in a thin layer)!
Please do try one or two or even all of the above and let me know what you think. It costs PENNIES people — pennies! Super frugal. Yipee!
For those of you who would never, ever make your own deodorant I have a tip for you. You can avoid aluminum by bypassing the women’s deodorant section (nearly all are antiperspirants which contain aluminum), and going straight to the Old Spice deodorant in the men’s section. They have a couple of good smelling deodorants in their Wild Collection (don’t ask me why it is named that). I personally like the Wolfthorn scent. Use this in place of your regular antiperspirant even though there are questionable ingredients I’m sure. After a quick swipe with the Old Spice add a smear of Milk of Magnesia. Between the two you will have your bases covered; no stink, no sweat. I was out in 100+ degree heat for over 6 hours this weekend and my Old Spice/Milk of Magnesia combo did not fail me. I was covered in grime from the sand in the blowing wind and a bit sunburned, but I did not stink!! I chose that combo rather than my usual homemade version because I knew I’d be in extreme heat conditions in close confinement with strangers. I also use this combo when I travel since I can never know with certainty if my containers holding my homemade version with coconut oil will make it in one piece. I’ve had some pretty spectacular oily messes to clean up after an airplane trip and rough baggage handlers. Now I buy Old Spice and take along a small plastic bottle of the MOM (wrapped in a paper towel) and I don’t fear unzipping my toiletry bag anymore.
#7 Simple – Homemade Toothpaste
Super easy. Coconut oil (I LOVE that stuff!) and baking soda with a sprinkle of peppermint essential oils and voila, toothpaste in a cup! I’m not going to give you exact measurements on the coconut oil and baking soda because everybody’s taste varies. Just start with a couple of tablespoons of each and go with the consistency that works best for you. I like mine hard enough to have to scrub my toothbrush across the top. You can get all fancy and add xylitol (for sweetness), but why? You’re just spitting it out anyway. There will be no foaming bubbles or dubious blue pieces of plastic to enhance your brushing experience. Instead you’ll get clean teeth and tongue. If you need that minty freshness swish with mouthwash if you must. Hmmmmm, seems there has to be a natural mouthwash recipe out there! I’ll check it out and let you know.
Okay, that’s it for days 6 and 7. How am I doing so far?