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Homemade Deodorant

Get ready for this. Brace yourself. Seriously.

Ok, so you all know I’ve been on an all-natural kick, thus sparking the idea for this blog. I have tried most of the neat tricks that I come across and have willingly shared them with my vast audience (all 5 of you!). Whenever I run out of a traditional, store-brought product, I research how I can make it myself. I’m looking for healthier alternatives, with fewer chemicals and if I can save a buck or two, even better!

I was leery when it came to deodorant, mostly because I can seriously start to stink. Living in Southeast Louisiana in the middle of the summer, the whole city is musty at one point or another. Something about the thick air that you have to eat your way through and the blazing temperatures—the combination does NOT make for pleasant aromas. But, I also know that deodorants and antiperspirants are SO bad for you, so it was worth a shot at possibly stinking a little to prolong my life! (A lot of the mainstream deodorants that are advertised come filled with aluminum and zinc, not to mention they are pumped full of parabens and sulfates galore—all of which are potential carcinogens! How is this stuff still on the market??!!) So, I researched some of my favorite sites and on the first try, found a complete and total winner! (Thanks, as always to Crunchy Betty!)

It really works!

I have to start by saying that y’all should feel blessed that I’m sharing this recipe with you and not patenting it myself to make MILLIONS. But, alas, someone shared it with me, so it’s not really mine to hoard and profit from. I could make a killing off of this stuff because it works better than ANY deodorant I have EVER tried!! For the past few years, I’ve been using natural deodorants, like Tom’s or Crystal, but they’ve always left that faint B.O. smell, if for no one else to smell but myself.  And I’ve also tried going without it completely, which pretty much ends in the same result of using said natural brands. I’d wanted to make my own, but didn’t have an empty deodorant jar to use, so when I finished mine last week, I was ready for the plunge.

Oh my GOSH!! This is BY FAR the BEST kreative koncoction I have experienced! Works amazing!! I put a small amount of it on in the morning, go to work, hit the gym and by the time I get home, sweaty from a crazy workout, there is NO stinky smell AT ALL!! Even my boyfriend was surprised. Bless his heart. He always has to try my koncoctions or suffer through smelling mine. I often have him do a smell test when I’m feeling a little musty myself, with my armpit waving in the air. This usually ends in him crinkling his nose and saying, “You may want to powder that down”. This time was different. There were no words, no funny faces, no moment where he was thinking to himself, “Why do I love this stinky woman?” None of that. When I uttered the words, waiting with bated breath, hoping for the best, “Babe, how do I smell”, he says, “Fine.” “Fine? Like, you don’t smell any odor?” “Nope. Nothing!” I jump up and down and say, “How do you like me now, baby!? How do you like me now?!” It really was more of a victory, more so because he has put up with me going all hippie on him.  But, trust me, he’ll be trying this koncoction as soon as his deodorant runs out, no doubt!

Here’s what you need:

  • An empty deodorant container or jar to store finished product
  • 1/4 c. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 5 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Essential oils (optional – I used 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil (TTO) and 4 drops of Lavender)

In a small bowl, I mixed all the ingredients together until smooth. If you have never used coconut oil before, it is solid at room temperature and starts to soften when mixed with other ingredients, but still stays pretty solid. I also chose to use arrowroot powder because cornstarch can cause irritation on sensitive skin types. I often have reactions to regular deodorants, so I figured better safe than sorry. Once everything was blended, just spoon it into your deodorant container. Make sure if you’re using an old deodorant container, you clean it out really well and that the dial is turned as low as it will go, so you can fill it up to the maximum capacity. By the time I mixed everything up, the coconut oil was kind of soft, so I just put in the fridge for a few minutes and it hardened right up. Now I just keep it in my medicine cabinet like I did my old deodorant and it works great!!

The next time I make this, I would probably cut down a little bit on the ingredients. It made more than my old deodorant container would hold, so I had to store some in another container and just massage it in with my fingers. No big deal, but I’d probably use 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and less than a ¼ cup for each baking soda and arrowroot powder. It really just depends on the size of your container. I used TTO with lavender, but TTO can also cause sensitivity, so if you are unfamiliar with how your skin reacts to it, you may want to try something else to start off.

Don’t knock it. Try it.

Seriously, guys, if there’s one kreative koncoction that you try, I hope it’s this one. I was pleasantly surprised that 1) it was so easy and 2) it worked so well!! It kind of infuriates me that I’ve been spending my money on JUNK for so many years and I could have been making a FAR superior product right at home.

I know I definitely won my boyfriend over when he got a whiff of, well, nothing but the faint scent of coconut, TTO and lavender from my armpits. Guess I’ll be smelling mighty fine from here on out! Sweet!

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Oil Pulling Follow up

I think I have been doing my oil pulling for about three weeks now and unfortunately, not much has changed for me and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I’ve been pulling daily, first thing in the morning before I eat or drink anything for about 15-20 minutes. After I spit, I still feel my sinuses drain pretty quickly but my sinuses and allergies are still bothering me pretty regularly. (I was hoping to find a quick cure that would get me away from using my neti pot because Ihatethat feeling of saline in my nose, but I may need to go back to that because it is SO effective!) My boyfriend, who suffers from migraine headaches has also been oil pulling the same amount of time that I have and he is still getting his migraines pretty regularly. I had read previously that oil pulling can help with our particular ailments, but maybe not. We’re now even more skeptical that this may not work for us, but again, we’re going to keep at it for a while longer to see if our bodies “detox” and things start to go better for us.

A curious post by Dr. Andrew Weil that I came across today seems to stomp what I’ve read elsewhere by stating:

On the Internet, oil pulling is promoted as a cure for a long list of disorders including headache, bronchitis, toothache, thrombosis, eczema, ulcers and other diseases of the stomach, intestines, heart, blood, kidney, liver, lungs and female reproductive organs. I’ve also seen claims that oil pulling can prevent the growth of malignant tumors. I know of no evidence to support any of these claims. (Emphasis mine. Read Dr. Weil’s Q&A about Oil Pulling here.)

Well, that kinda makes me rethink this process. However, one thing I can attest to—my mouth feels and looks cleaner. My teeth are nice and white and it’s also helped with the pain from a cavity I have in one of my molars. If you’re anything like me, you hate going to the dentist, so I keep putting off getting it filled. It had been bothering me for a while and since oil pulling regularly, I’m not feeling any pain. So, maybe oil pulling won’t cure all of my ailments and maybe I need to go back to that darn neti pot, but I’ll probably keep the oil pulling up just to see what happens. From what I’ve read, the effects of oil pulling on internal organs and issues could take several months to clear up. I’ll let you know the outcome! 🙂

I did find a couple other websites related to oil pulling that you may find helpful if you have more questions. Happy swishing!

A Personal Experience with Oil Pulling

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

Dr Weil’s Q&A

Oil Pulling for Detoxing

Oil Pulling

What the heck is oil pulling!? Well, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which one simply rinses their mouth will oil by methodically swishing it around, like you would with mouthwash. Supposedly, it can relieve your body of numerous ailments including: gingivitis, periodontal diseases, dry mouth and throat, bad breath, sinusitis, migraines and numerous other diseases listed here. I want to preface this post by saying I’m somewhat skeptical and can’t really see how swishing some oil around my mouth could heal any of these issues, but I want to give it a try personally.

That being said, I figured that such a simple technique thousands of years old can’t hurt, can it? I decided I’d give it a try as part of my Kreative Koncoctions experimentation and see what happens. I’ve been reading a lot about it and hope it helps keep my mouth a little cleaner. Now, according to Sharath Asokan, who wrote “Oil Pulling Therapy”, oil pulling should be done as follows:

…A tablespoon (teaspoon for young children) of sesame oil is taken in the mouth, sipped, sucked, and pulled between the teeth for 10-15 min. The viscous oil turns thin and milky white. It is claimed that the swishing activates enzymes and draws toxins out of the blood. The oil should not be swallowed as it contains bacteria and toxins. Oil pulling therapy should be followed by tooth brushing and rinsing of the mouth. It is preferably done on an empty stomach in the morning.1

Asokan says to use sesame oil, but I’ve also heard you can use olive, coconut or various other kinds of oil (just not frying oil). Do your own research and see what different oils do for different ailments and find what may work best for you.

I’ve been doing the oil pulling for about two weeks now, although I did miss a day or two during the first week. I have been using coconut oil, just because I’ve heard so many great things about the stuff and had it around the house. I do as the directions above say: first thing in the morning, before I eat or drink anything. I usually do it while I’m washing my face and getting ready and then once I discard the oil, I follow it with flossing and a good old-fashioned toothbrush. I do feel like my mouth is cleaner than when I just floss and brush and maybe my teeth are getting a little whiter?

I have  also noticed that my breath isn’t a dragonly as it normally is upon waking in the morning and it seems like right after I spit the oil out, I have a surge of mucous that needs to be spit out as well. (I know it’s kinda gross but, hey you want the nitty-gritty details, don’t you?) I’m not sure if this coincides with the oil pulling but my sinuses have been draining like crazy lately. I did read that sometimes your symptoms can get worse before they get better, so I’m going to keep persevering and hope that some of my allergy/sinus issues get cured or at least calm down a bit. The only other thing that has really ever helped with my seasonal issues is acupuncture and using the neti pot (and I hate the neti pot, even though it’s like a miraculous tool for me).

So, that’s been my experience so far. The oil pulling is like a detox for your mouth/body and I don’t want to give up too early on it. So far, no negative side effects, other than what I mentioned above. I really like the idea of going natural and finding healing remedies that are older than ‘modern medicine’ which has only been around a couple hundred years. (At some point, I’ll do a post on my opinions on Western Medicine and how it’s primarily driven by corporate America. That will be another rant:).)

One last thing I must confess…I’m finding it’s much easier to give up my old products for my hair, skin, beauty, etc., but I’m having a hard time going natural with what my body takes in. I’ve gotten better at eating healthier–trying to bring in more fruits, veggies and whole grains, but I have a long way to go. I know I’m at least on the right track and that’s what matters. Baby steps.

Watch out for my next post on my no ‘poo progress!

1 Cited: Asokan S. Oil pulling therapy. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2008 [cited 2012 Apr 20];19:169. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2008/19/2/169/40476

For more information on an Oil Pulling study, see also: http://www.oilpullingsecrets.com/OilPullingStudy1.pdf