Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Healthy Safe Deodorant/Antiperspirant

The Best Deodorant/Antiperspirant You'll Ever Use
Makes a batch that'll last a month or so for 2 people
For men or women

FIRST the Health allert!
Aluminium and antiperspirants and health
Aluminium (or aluminum for Americans) is a common and controversial ingredient in many store-bought antiperspirant/deodorants.

Aluminium and breast cancer
Ok, so this has been a popular issue in the media of late ... particularly because so many women get breast lumps in the upper/outer quadrant of the breast (mine included!). But, the reality is that there has been no direct and conclusive link between aluminium and cancer. As science goes, some studies say yes, some say no.

However, when you shave your underarms you create small cuts through which whatever chemicals you put on that skin can get into. Think about that for a second ...

In the body, aluminium can act as an estrogen mimic - and estrogen feeds many breast cancers (including the one I had). So, I for one, am taking no chances. Read more about this here or, for a recent scientific publication - here.

Aluminium and pregnancy
I know I read not to use aluminium-based antiperspirants while I was pregnant or breastfeeding (or aluminium cookware, for that matter). But I tried to find any sort of reputable article to link to, and failed. Aluminium ingestion in large doses by a pregnant mouse does negatively affect the neuro-development of her fetal offspring, and there is evidence that humans can raise their blood levels of aluminium via eating lots of aluminium-containing antacids (check ingredients!) or using lots of aluminium-containing antiperspirants. For a comprehensive medical article about chemicals (including aluminium) and pregnancy, read here.

My opinion
As a scientist, I know that the way science works is that one study shows this and another shows that. It can be hard to follow sometimes! But as technology and methods and ideas move forward, we get more definitive answers.

I'm happy to change these things in my life that I can, like cutting out the use of aluminium. That's just the way I do things. It's up to you to choose for yourself, but I would encourage you most of all to think critically about what you put in and on your bodies. The large companies out there that make the products we use everyday are not always looking out for our best health interests. So Think. Question. And, if you see something you don't like, Change.

Treat yourself well!
Now the RECIPE:
The time
5 minutes

The ingredients
2 small jars and a small brush for application

For the cream
1/4 c extra virgin coconut oil
2 vitamin E capsules
5 drops tea tree oil

For the powder
1/2 c baking soda
1/2 c corn starch
5 drops tea tree oil
2 dried bay leaves (optional)

The process 
1. Mix together all the cream ingredients, poking a hole in the vitamin E capsules and squeezing out the contents. Put into a small jar.

2. Put all the dry ingredients straight into a small jar and shake to mix.

3. You're done! To apply, put a small amount of the cream in each underarm and then dust with the powder. Best to do this before you have your lovely black sweater on as it can be a little messy ...

... but saying that, this product doesn't cause funny marks on clothes, it doesn't smell strongly, and it really works for a whole day or more!

How does it work? Well, these ingredients have antibacterial and antifungal properties and/or absorb moisture. And the cream helps hold the powder onto your skin. Clever, eh? I wish I could say I invented this ... I actually found the recipe on a forum long ago (but sadly have lost the link ... ) Ah, well. Share the love, right?

NOTE: You can use either the powder OR the cream if you want, but you get the best-working product from both. And, the powder is an excellent shoe deodoriser!!

The cost
When I started buying organic-y deodorants, I was shocked at how expensive they were - $9 for a roll on? Ouch! I used organic ingredients here when I could ... and check this out - refined organic coconut oil (I had some non-virgin stuff to use up): $0.75. Tea tree oil: $0.20 (it is so hard to guessimate essential oils!). Vitamin E capsules: $0.10. Baking soda: $0.40. Cornstarch: $0.50. Organic bay leaves: dried myself from the markets ages ago ... $0.20. All in all? $2.15, for 2 people, for at least a month. Good stuff!


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