Wednesday, September 11, 2013

diy: homemade deodorant | #acleanerlife

Today is the first post of a series I've been wanting to do for a long time*. As this is the year of my 30th birthday, I felt it was about time I tried more consistently to live a cleaner life. It's not a thought that came out of nowhere as I was raised by a green-minded mother, but you know how life goes, those issues sort of took a backseat while I was a teenager/young adult trying to find a place in society, earn a living, etc. 
Trying to live a cleaner life can sometimes get quite expensive, especially when it comes to buying organic food. But it can also lead to a more thrifty and crafty way of going about things, such as  beauty and household products. I thought I would share with you some changes I've made in my life. I also created the hashtag #acleanerlife in case any of yous would like to share green tips, natural skincare brands you like, clean recipes or any changes you made you're proud of really.

One of the most daunting changes for me was to go from drugstore deodorant to a natural one. It certainly can go all kinds of wrong! I've learned to rely on chemicals to stop/reduce the sweat process ever since I'm a teenager. After reading about body functions and stuff, I came to the realisation that blocking my pores with aluminium and, by consequence, stopping my body from getting rid of toxins, didn't seem like such a good idea after all. And of course, we all heard by now of different studies linking aluminium with Alzheimer's or parabens with breast cancer. While it is never claimed as a definite thing, it does seem to me that you put your body to a lot of extra work by stopping the sweating. If you have a good metabolism, it is probably fine, but what happens to these toxins if you can't get rid of them in another way? Where do they get stuck? And where all the chemicals go? Kind of worrying since the chest area is so close to our armpits. But again, it is very much dependant of the performance of all your body regulations.
Because I'm getting to a certain age, I feel like I should be more careful with what goes into my body, I don't have the fast metabolism of a 15 year old anymore.

So just before this summer I started using a natural deodorant from the brand Dr. Organic (the range is sold in Holland & Barrett for those who live in Eire/UK). The whole experience was less traumatic than I thought (although it did prove to be challenging during the heatwave). But I wasn't totally satisfied, I didn't really like the fact that I sometimes had to reapply during the day (it could be a good winter deodorant though) and the roll-on cap unscrewed itself while I was using it. I felt like there should be a better alternative so I started scouring the net for natural recipes. I stumbled upon this one and gave it a go. Well, let me tell you after trialling it for nearly 3 weeks, I can vow never to go back to classic deodorants. I wasn't prepared to be so impressed, it really works and this is coming from someone who sweats a lot! #glamour

Not only it is effective but also it is incredibly easy to make, you can watch my video for the recipe:

*edit: The soundtrack of the video is Melancholly Hill by Gorillaz (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge version)

List of ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (preferably raw, extra virgin and organic)
- 1/4 of a cup of baking soda
- 1/4 of a cup of arrowroot powder (I found mine in the baking section of Tesco's, so it was very easy to get hold of. If for some reason you can't locate it, use instead corn starch or more baking soda)
- 7-10 drops of good quality essential oils (I only have grapefruit oil at home which is great but you can use any smells you like or take advantage of some essential oil properties, for instance tea tree oil is a good fit for a deodorant as it is antibacterial)

Additional comments:

- This deodorant applies like a paste that melts with the contact of the skin. It might seem awkward at first but it is no less annoying than applying body moisturiser right after the shower. Once you get into the habit, you don't really think about it anymore.
- You can adapt the texture according to your preference, add more or less powder (baking soda and arrowroot powder in equal amount) whether you want a thick paste or something a bit oilier and moisturising.
- As far as I'm concerned, there is no need to reapply during the day, this stuff is amazing!
- Aluminium is pretty much the only anti-perspirant. This deodorant is not going to stop you from sweating but the baking soda and arrowroot powder make a mighty good job at keeping you relatively dry and 100% smell-free.
- Some people can develop a sensitivity to baking soda so test it out inside your arm first and keep an eye for any redness while using this deodorant. If something happens, try replacing the baking soda by an equal amount of arrowroot powder.
- This deodorant can be kept for 4 to 5 months. Don't forget to write the date your batch was made on the label.
- Some essential oils can turn your skin photosensitive, so be careful with sun exposition.

Right, I hope you don't think I went all 'hippie' on you, but I felt like sharing this recipe first for this new series as I'm still amazed that something as effective could be created with my own hands and made with so few basic ingredients. If you do end up giving it a go, let me know what you think! Or if you want to share your favourite natural deodorants, please do so in the comments or tweet at me (@earwormplum) with the hashtag #acleanerlife. I'd love to hear your recommendations.
In the next installment, I'll show you my all natural skincare!

*I kept postponing doing the #acleanerlife series as I feel it is a touchy subject (especially when it comes to food), I feel like the whole topic can come across as moralising. This is in no way my intention, everyone is free to live their life the way they want, it is not for me to judge, especially as I have some horrendously bad habits. I thought this would be a good way for me to keep track of my progress and stay motivated. Also ideally, I'd like it to be a place where people can share their tips to live a 'cleaner' life. I am kind of nervous as to how this post will be received so any feedback would be greatly welcome, please do let me know if you would be interested in this series being continued or if you just think it's just a load of bollix :)


Emily said...

I'm loving the video! Worth the headache you claim it was. It's so sweet! :)

Ruth said...

This is wonderful! The song is wonderful, too, who is it by?

Jane said...

I think everyone would like to lead a cleaner life but like you said a lot of the time money gets in the way! I love the little video you did for the natural deodorant.

moira said...

@Emily: Thank you Emily! Glad you liked it x

@Ruth: oh crap, I completely forgot to insert the music reference in the video, sorry about that! It is Melancholy Hill by Gorillaz (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Version) x

@Jane: Yes, hopefully I'll be able to share some thrifty tips to make the change a bit easier on the wallet. Thank you! x

Anonymous said...

Wow! This was an eye-opener. I don't think many of us think what is in deodorants and what's quite scary. I have been about healthy eating for a while now, but I don't try too much on the outside, which needs to change. I will try this out, and it's nice it's fall because there won't be so much sweating :)

moira said...

@Stephanie Lula: it can get really scary when you start reading about what's inside our cosmetics or how the food industry works, makes you want to turn into a hermit living in a cave. Not that I need anymore excuse to adopt this lifestyle :D Please let me know how you get on, so far people around me who have tried it, are loving it! x

little henry lee said...

this is a really great post! i think i'm still stuck in the whole "i have too much going right now" phase but i am aware of things that i could be doing to lead a cleaner/healthier/better life and i do want to get around to making that a higher priority for myself, so i'll definitely keep this post in mind. making that deodorant actually sounds really easy and do-able. thanks for sharing!

little henry lee

moira said...

@little henry lee: totally get what you mean by this phase, you seem to be having the same approach as I did, collecting information until you feel ready for the switch.
Thanks a million for the positive feedback x

Magda said...

Now, you made me want to do deodorant. It just I want to do so many things, I will probably get there at some point. Natural things are so easy to make.

moira said...

@Magda: seeing how an amazing cook you are, i cant wait to see you in the 'beauty kitchen' :) i can make you some for the next time i see you so you can try and see if you like it x

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