Body odour. It’s a tough subject, I know. But let’s just jump right in and all admit that we all stink from time to time. As such, we need a good preventative – some more than others. There are various natural ways to tackle this:
- Salt bars. Not crystal deodorants, but real salt bars. Read why I don’t recommend crystal deodorants here).
- Oil cleansing – applying certain essential oils to regulate and prevent bad odour.
- Regularly apply body spray. Here’s my natural body spray recipe.
- Make your own natural antiperspirant.
This blog post deals with the latter – making your own antiperspirant. I will also discuss oil cleansing briefly.
You may be wondering why the heck I want you to forget your wonderful roll-on that keeps you dry for days. Well, because the active ingredient that’s keeping you dry for so long is a heavy metal – Aluminium. And if you don’t believe me, trot along and have a look for yourself. Aluminium in deodorants is the subject of much research and is proposed to cause, or be linked to breast cancer, among other things you don’t want. Read more about the dangers of aluminium here.
The key to combating body odour naturally is preventing bacteria growth in the area. Antibacterial essential oils and coconut oil are perfect for this very purpose. Although you can use any essential oil or combination you prefer for scent, I would suggest that you choose an essential oil that has antibacterial properties. I personally use a combination of tea tree and lavender. Here is a list of some suggestions:
- Tea tree – fresh scent suitable for both men and women.
- Lavender – floral scent suitable for women.
- Rosemary – fresh scent suitable for both men and women.
- Eucalyptus – fresh scent suitable for both men and women. Smells like Vicks Vapour Rub.
- Peppermint – fresh scent suitable for both men and women.
- Geranium – rose-like floral scent suitable for women.
- Thyme – strong herb scent suitable for men.
Alternatively, the oil cleansing method refers to the application of antibacterial oils, like the ones listed above, directly to the underarms or diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil (not more than 1 drop for every 1 ml of carrier oil). For example, lavender is gentle enough to apply directly to skin, whereas stronger oils like tea tree require dilution to prevent skin irritation. I carry a bottle of lavender in my handbag, and apply whenever I feel like I need to freshen up. *Please always do a patch test to test your reaction.
COST & SHELF LIFE
Lasted me about: 2 months (using every day)
Estimated shelf life: 6 months (stored in an airtight container away from moisture).
Remember: Most of these ingredients have a long shelf life and are common in natural recipes, so you will be left with ingredients to make more recipes, and won’t have to buy everything all over again.
*Costs accurate at time of writing this blog post. Costs based on the best available prices I’ve personally found.
- You won’t remain dry as a desert for 24/ 48 hours like many synthetic antiperspirants promise, but you won’t stink.
- Unfortunately, this roll-on may stain some clothes like other products on the market. If this is a major problem for you, then I’d suggest using the oil cleansing method rather, or make an anti-bacterial body spray.
CHERRY ON TOP
- Aluminium free!
- Rather than being toxic, this roll-on is actually good and moisturising for your skin, and if you add the bentonite clay, it will actually draw toxins out of your body. Pretty cool, huh?!
- Depending on which essential oil you choose, you will benefit from the aromatherapy benefits of each. For example, lavender has stress relieving properties, and peppermint has rejuvenating properties which also aid in concentration etc.
- Coconut oil: Antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, which also means that this oil does not go rancid. Its vitamin E content makes it nourishing for skin too (buy here).
- Arrowroot powder: Helps keep skin dry by absorbing moisture (buy here).
- Bicarbonate of soda: has natural deodorising properties that work by increasing the pH of sweat, thereby creating a less hospitable environment for odour causing bacteria. *Must be diluted to prevent skin irritation. If you react to bicarbonate of soda, simply leave it out of the recipe and replace with more arrowroot or bentonite clay. You can find this at the grocery store or buy online here.
- Bentonite clay: deep cleansing and detoxifies the body by drawing out toxins (buy here).
- Bees wax: solidifies the mixture and prevents layering by acting as an emulsifying agent. This can be left out of the recipe if you live in cold area, or during winter months, since coconut oil will remain solid at temperatures lower than 24 degrees Celsius. (buy here).
- Lavender: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and soothing (which is especially useful after shaving) and has relaxing and stress-relieving aromatic properties (buy here).
Not sure where to find these, or other ingredients? My shopping guide may help you.
- 3 Tablespoons Arrowroot powder
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 Teaspoon Bees wax
- 1/2 Teaspoon Bentonite clay*
- 40 drops Lavender / antibacterial essential oil(s) of choice.
- *Optional ingredients.
- Makes 50g (approx. 1 standard roll-on container)
- Combine dry ingredients well - arrowroot, bicarbonate of soda, bentonite clay.
- Melt coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler. Be careful not to overheat, you just want the beeswax to melt into the mixture.
- Add the dry mixture to the oil mixture in the double boiler and combine well.
- Add essential oils and stir well.
- Remove from heat, and store in a container of your choice. Mixture will harden as it cools.
- Arrowroot powder --> Corn starch
- 1. Can leave bees wax out if you live in an area with a climate below 24 degrees Celsius.
- 2. Re-use an old roll on container, if possible. This makes application far easier and convenient.
- 3. Always do a patch test to test your reaction. Some people may experience irritation to bicarbonate of soda, if so, replace with more arrowroot or bentonite clay.
If DIY just isn’t your thing, I recommend buying these products which I have personally used and approved: Earthsap’s roll-on , or this Himalayan Crystal Salt Bar as an alternative to crystal deodorants. You can read my full review on the Himalayan Crystal Salt Bar here.
Which natural deodorant method works best for you?