Hello my lovely people! So today's post is going to be a bit different, but hopefully not too smelly! As you all know, we really try to cut down the amount of harmful chemicals in our home and one way we do that is making our own products from natural ingredients. On a side note, this also really helps us save our pennies, because the natural products we make cost only a fraction of a natural product we would buy that does the exact same thing. For the past couple of months, I've been trying out different homemade deodorants, and today I will tell you why, and about one "deodorant" in particular, as well as my experience.
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For years, I've heard about all the terrible things in a lot of the deodorants we find on store shelves today. One ingredient I always associated with "bad" deodorant was aluminum being linked to breast cancer, but of course I needed to find out for myself. After all, I grew up in a family that taught hygiene and that smelling good was only polite - and deodorant is a part of that. I mean, who doesn't love smelling good?! However, after some research, it appears as though aluminum is not the only negative thing about this particular product, and I should perhaps find an alternative. Of course, there are mixed reviews. Some studies show that while antiperspirant use does alter the bacterial communities in our armpits, further study is needed to show exactly what this means (February 2016 source). My conclusion is that I want to use the most natural things I can.
A little breakdown of some common ingredients found in deodorant:
Aluminum has been a discussion for years - and not just within the deodorant/antiperspirant realm. Sweating in and of itself is actually a good thing, but aluminum compounds blocks sweat ducts (hence, antiperspirant) and has allegedly been linked to breast cancers.
"Fragrance" is also something to avoid. I talked about this in the DIY Foaming Hand Soap post, but FDA laws allow the word "fragrance" on our labels to include whatever the product makers want. It's considered a trade secret of sorts. I don't even want to know the kinds of toxins that are included under that umbrella.
Triclosan is another one I've mentioned, and even small amounts of it is discouraged. Not only is it bad for humans (even low levels can lead to thyroid issues, etc.), but once it gets into the environment (waste water treatments can't remove all of it), it is harmful to aquatic life. It's also known to irritate the skin.
Parabens are preservatives found in many deodorants. They have been linked to breast cancer as well, with traces being found in human breast tumors. Read more about parabens and breast caner here.
Despite conflicting research and information, I've made the decision to use natural ingredients as much as I can. I didn't need to read more studies to convince me to make a more natural choice.
Enter: Deodorant spray.
I first came across this spray while reading one of my frequently read blogs, Sweet Simple Living, and became intrigued! I researched the ingredients Rachel used, checked out her sources, and decided that this was something I would try.
Magnesium oil is the main ingredient in this spray. It's actually not oil at all - it only feels like oil, which is why it doesn't stain your clothes (Read more about magnesium oil from Wellness Mama, here.). An extra benefit of this deodorant spray, is that your body will get some magnesium from it as well - which could lower stress and help with your sleep! It was easy to make with magnesium flakes - dissolving them in water to create the "oil" and then adding an essential oil to it.
All I had to do was put on a few sprays and let it work it's magic. I expected a little tingle, as was described by Rachel, and that really was the case. Except it was itchy and tingly. Really itchy. If you know me, however, the more painful it is, the more it must be working, so I was rejoicing and ready for the day. It stung less the more I used it, of course.
While I did find that the spray was effective, I also concluded that it was a bit...messy to use if I wasn't careful to let it dry. I found that if I put clothes on before it was absorbed, I had an "oily" shirt (Do note that it didn't stain my clothes at all. It came right out in the wash). For maximum effectiveness, I needed to apply this twice a day, which was fine, as long as I wasn't in a hurry. If I didn't bother with the second application, I didn't smell bad at the end of the day, but peace of mind is everything to me.
1/2 C (4 oz.) magnesium flakes
1/2 C (4 oz.) distilled water (make sure it's distilled to extend shelf life)
10-15 drops essential oils (I've tried tea tree and peppermint)
In conclusion: I would totally recommend this. I can't deny that it works. There's no nasty residue, and feels fresh. I never mind an extra dose of magnesium either!
What about you? Would you ever try a natural deodorant? Have you? What about this one? Leave a comment telling me about it - I'm all ears!