About a month ago I stopped using deodorant. Now, now, don’t gasp in horror! Let me explain. I am, as many of you know, studying nutrition at university, a part of these studies are in depth looks at how the body works, and all the billions of things that can make it go kerflooey.
These studies (plus some of the things my daughter tells me, she is studying biotechnology, so looks at things from a different angle) are making me more and more reluctant to put anything on or in my body that could cause it harm. I must admit to having become a bit of an evangelist, a few weeks ago on my way to get my hair cut I passed a popular fast food take away which had a line of cars all the way through the drive through and out onto the road and I had to suppress the urge to run through and shout, “take your poor kidneys home, they do not choose to be here!” And then I told my hairdresser all about her kidneys, resulting in a Lego Hair Helmet in her rush to get me out of her chair. Sigh. My friend Kate says I need to learn to choose my audience. Anyway, so where were we? Oh yes, deodorant.
I have never been keen on chemical deodorants, for one, they make my armpits itchy, for two I worry about what the chemicals are doing to my body, for three, many of them are so highly perfumed that they make me ill just putting them on. (I blame my Mum for this, Hi Mum! she has never been able to tolerate anything that smells).
So I have tried so many of the natural deodorants, the crystals that you wet and rub under the armpits, the creams, the roll ons, the sticks, some of which have an alarming amount of ingredients that are the same as the ones on the regular deodorants!
So I decided to make one myself. I researched about underarm smell, interestingly, not made by us, our sweat and oils do not smell, it is made by the bacteria that live on our skin, who like the dark, moist places, and it is the byproducts of this bacteria feeding on our sweat that makes the smell. IIIICCCCKKKK! So I looked at essential oils and found one that I could tolerate the smell of that has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, lemongrass essential oil, and at carrier oils and solidifying compounds and I gathered my ingredients to make myself a balm. Then I loaned a friend my beeswax that I had bought for doing that, and had not replaced it, so promptly forgot all about it. Then, about six weeks ago, I found the lemongrass essential oil and thought, what the hell, I will mix it up with the carrier oil (sweet almond oil) and just rub some on my armpits and see how it goes. Well, I was, and remain, shocked. There is no itch, no smells, no rash, nothing at all, just soft, moisturised armpits that do not get stinky, I can spend all day slaving over a hot oven or digging holes for fence posts, or wrangling the horses, I get sweaty, but do not have any body odour smell. The lemongrass oil smell is discernible when it first goes on but quickly fades and all my armpits smell like is what my arm or knee smells like. Like clean human. I have trialled it for two days no shower, without putting on a second layer, it remains the same. I have trialled it on Mr T’s stinky man armpits. Same, no smells. Cookie House tadpole Emma also trialled it, she said it worked at first and then stopped working, so this, to me, means it probably won’t work for everyone, mind you, she also left the lid off the jar, so the essential oil probably disappated, meaning all she was doing was moisturising her armpits with almond oil. She is trialling it again with an extra two drops of essential oil and assures me she will keep the lid on the jar, I will let you know how she goes. If you would like to try it, here is the recipe I am using.
1 tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil
3 drops lemongrass essential oil
Combine these in a small clean container with a lid. Rub on a little bit after showering and in the mornings if you choose.
Lemongrass essential oil is not one of the cheaper essential oils, but I chose it for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. And the sweet almond oil I am using is just a cheap bottle from Aldi. All up it cost me less than $30, I am figuring at the rate I use it it will probably last me about five years, which makes it very cheap, and I am not using endless disposable containers, roll ons or sprays.
If you do decide to use it please do a patch test, make sure it is safe to use on your skin.