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A Stink Solution: Deodorant Alternatives

beth November 28, 2012

Image by How Can I Recycle This

Not long after Miss Moo was born my underarms starting acting weird. I just assumed it had to do with all the hormone imbalance and recovery in my body and ignored it for a while. When I got pregnant with Miss Roo 9 months later, the problem got worse. After she was born the problems still didn”t go away. At this point I tried to figure out what was going on.

Looking at the Issue

Aluminum

My first assumption was that I was having a reaction to the aluminum and other chemicals that are present in many mainstream deodorants. Most people don’t really pay attention to the ingredients in that little stick they slather across their arms daily. A quick trip around several medical and natural living websites will show you links to studies that indicate a connection with aluminum and diseases such as Breast Cancer, Alzheimer”s, and other neurological disorders. With this information in hand, I decided I would by natural deodorants and wait for the improvements.

Natural Deodorants

After trying aluminum free deodorants I felt better about the chemicals I wasn”t putting in my body, but my skin irritation didn”t go away.  I also felt that the natural deodorants, while less toxic, didn”t work as well for me. I was using the product several times a day and I still didn”t feel that it worked effectively. They also cost quite a bit more than I was used to spending on a health item.

I then tried using a Thai deodorant stone as a solution but it burned each time I applied it — no matter if my underarms were wet as recommended or dry. Clearly this path wasn”t working either.

So What Now?

I decided I needed to try something simple — but I had no idea what that something was going to be. At first I spent some time looking at sites that suggested reasons for sensitive skin. However, I felt that self-diagnosis might be a waste of time and money on ideas that I had no real justification for using.  I then started looking up ways to replace deodorant- or more specifically how to prevent any odor from occurring. One suggestion that I came online casinos across was spritzing rubbing alcohol on your underarms to prevent the growth of bacteria and in turn any smell. It would not prevent perspiration, just any unpleasant smell associated with bacteria. I grabbed one of our small spritz bottles and filled it with alcohol from the back of the cabinet. After two days my underarms were better. No redness, no bumps, no burning. And using alcohol was a cheap short term/long term solution.

Cautions of Alcohol

As with any chemical, there are safety precautions to take when using alcohol.

  • Keep it out of the reach of children. Alcohol online casino poisoning is potential if little hands are curious and find bottles they shouldn”t touch.
  • Keep it cool and dry. Alcohol is highly flammable and should be handled and stored with care.
  • Use in ventilated areas. Alcohol has a strong smell and should not be directly inhaled or used in a small room.

What I am Considering Now

Image by Jocelyn|McAuliflower

Now that our house as a whole is more conscious of chemicals, toxins, and strives to use as much natural product as possible, I have been researching making my own “deodorant.” I don”t think that alcohol is the worst thing that I could be using, but I think there are more steps I need to take to move away from any chemicals seeping into my skin.

Right now I am interested in the idea as coconut oil alone as a deodorant. There are many recipes around the web with coconut oil as a base for a deodorant.  With two little ones and a third on the way, having  time to actually make thing that are for myself has become a challenge. I am trying to keep things simple and in turn keep things less toxic. The less ingredients, the better. So my next experiment once we get through all the holidays is just plain, old fashion coconut oil.

What do you use as a natural deodorant? Do you make your own? What tips can you share with all of us?

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  1. I use just coconut oil, have for over a year. Works great.

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  2. I have tried just coconut oil and that didn’t work. I use c. oil, arrowroot, natural baking soda. The soda makes my pits get a little red, so some days I use plain milk of magnesia in my pits instead of the diy deodorant. (I also use less soda than most recipes call for). The milk of magnesia works great, but not all day.

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  3. I read an article the other day and people were just using essential oils.
    I tried it and it seemed to work well!

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  4. When I was searching for a natural deodorant, I found that DIYNatural.com suggested applying grain alcohol (aka Everclear or high proof vodka) instead of rubbing alcohol. They said it worked better and resulted in less irritation over time. My problem with that was having to carry a small bottle of liquor around with me. Texas has an open container law and I’d hate to get a ticket for that. Could you imagine having to explain why you are carrying a spray bottle of Everclear around with you to a police officer? Lol.
    I used to use coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch scented with grapefruit essential oil but I reacted with the baking soda and had to cut it out. Plain coconut oil didn’t work. I tried coconut oil with lemon, grapefruit and eucalyptus (separately and together) but it didn’t work for me either. I’m going to replace the cornstarch with arrowroot powder and see how it works.

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  5. Bubble and Bee has awesome organic deodorant! It is the best I have tried (and I messed around trying stuff for years). They call it Pit Putty, and the new cream version is amazing and easy to apply.

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  6. Lush cosmetics has several natural deodorants with few ingredients. My two favorites are Coconut (made with Coconut oil, smells yummy) and the Guv’ner. The Guv is made for men so it is much stronger and will leave rings on white Tees but its great for those “I know I’m gonna get funky” days! 🙂 I lke that they are both powdered, anything cream based just makes me sweat more – ugh.

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  7. I now use just plain coconut oil. But I have also used coconut oil, baking soda, corn starch and a drop of patchouli EO and a drop of tea tree EO. Verrrrrrry nice:) just be sure to use very little baking soda as I have heard ppl say it burns, thankfully not my experience. You do generally have to reapply once throughout the day.

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  8. Plain, unrefined coconut oil works wonderfully for me (the kind that still tastes and smells like coconut). But I’ve also been using a mixture of mostly unrefined CO, small amount of non-gmo corn starch and baking soda, and a “thieves oil” blend of a drop or two each: clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon EO’s. Usually I just scoop about 1/2 C coconut oil from my kitchen stash into a 1/2 pint mason jar, melt it down over hot water (or cover and run it under hot tap water), add a Tbsp or so of corn starch, a tsp or 2 of baking soda, and the EO’s, mix them up really well and allow to cool/solidify. It’s obviously softer when warm, more solid when cool, but even then I can easily scrap off enough to rub in under each arm (adding corn starch and baking soda keeps the CO from solidifying as hard). Plain CO or this mixture will usually do me 2 days or so with one application UNLESS I’m getting ready to start my period – then I notice I have to reapply late on the same day. But that’s only for a few days; once I start, everything goes back to “normal.”
    I’ve also found that magnesium oil makes a great deodorant. To be honest, when I’m good about making sure I’m supplementing well with magnesium, I have absolutely NO need for any sort of deodorant at all. (That’s one of the signs of not being mag deficient, when trying to reverse mag deficiency – which most of us have.) Might want to check into magnesium deficiency, particularly since the stinky problem occurred after the 1st preg.

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  9. Milk of magnesia!! Seriously amazing. NO odor. I made our own for quite awhile using coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and EO, but it never quite worked for me. Milk of magnesia is amazing. Just magnesium hydroxide and water.

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  10. Coconut oil stains clothes. I loved one I made but it ruined the pits of my favorite shirts so I quit. Even lye soap didn’t remove it. I would appreciate any help because I really loved it.

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  11. I use a recipe that calls for coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, bentonite clay, and EO’s. It was working better than any natural deodorants that I’d tried, but not as well as I hoped, and the coconut oil was staining my shirts. A lot of homemade deodorants call for arrowroot powder. One day after I’d put my homemade deodorant on, I left it for a few minutes, then took a cotton ball and patted some arrowroot powder over it. It absorbs the greasiness so my shirts aren’t stained, and the combo together works great for odor control as well. I’m completely satisfied w/ this now.

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  12. I’ve tried the crystal rock type of deodorants, and they didn’t work. I’ve tried the homemade coconut oil kind with baking soda and that caused irritation. I just ordered a roll-on deodorant to try out from iherb, and if I don’t like it , I plan to fill the applicator with milk of magnesia. I guess it’s the magnesium in it that makes it effective but I don’t know if there is anything in the product that would be harmful. I’ve read that it works but it’s rather sloppy to apply. I know that most people are deficient in magnesium so will probably supplement with it and see if that helps.

    One thing that I thought of recently is that we’re told to wash our hands for two minutes to get them thoroughly clean. I figure too, that we’re sometimes are in a hurry and don’t take the time to clean our armpits for two whole minutes and that might be the reason that the bacteria isn’t being removed.

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  13. Thank you all for the replies and the information!! I love that we have all the ingredients you mentioned in our pantry and medicine chest. I will be trying out the suggestions. Thanks again and keep checking us out!

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  14. I have been using milk of magnesia for about 6 months now. I am so happy with it! I haven’t had BO since the first application. I had read on a blog somewhere that one person used it until they found out they had trouble with heavy metals and quit using it because of the aluminum. Well, I asked my chemist niece about that because the ingredients are just magnesium hydroxide, water and bleach. She thought it might work because it is a base and the bacteria can’t survive. Also it is near the atomic weight of aluminum and there might be some contamination in the mining of the element. I have searched some online and don’t find anything about contamination with aluminum or with any harmful affects of using milk of magnesia on the skin. It really works so well for me that my concern would be that something could clog the pores or sweat ducts. I will keep using it unless I find some documented reason to stop.

    I would just like to mention that Dr. Hulda Clark in her book “The Cure for All Diseases” warns against using rubbing alcohol on your body. It is a poison that absorbs into the blood stream and has to be dealt with by the liver. I used to use Everclear and it was the best I had found (before mom), but I smelled like I had been drinking. It also did not last all day, but won’t poison the body the same as rubbing alcohol. If you are using rubbing alcohol, you may want to research the safety of it. I would love to hear if anyone knows any reason not to use milk of magnesia.

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  15. […] A Stink Solution: Deodorant Alternatives : Modern Alternative Health Jill Marks My name is Jill, and I am the editor here at Modern Alternative Kitchen. I have been on a real food journey for the last year and am passionate about food. I am a Jesus-loving, Bible-reading, kombucha-brewing, raw milk–drinking, real food–eating gal. I was born and raised in the Midwest, but am currently living a non-mainstream life in Seattle with my husband Graham and our Boston terrier Java. Tagged: […]

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  16. I have the same concerns about both aluminium chlorohydrate and the zirconium compounds in deodorants,. Alcohol can be irritating and frankly, a bad idea since the armpits are one of the most permeable parts of the body. I’ve turned to using Nasanta Magnesium Deodorant. It’s got no aluminum, alcohol, fragrance or parabens. Magnesium is naturally alkaline and also antimicrobial. An added benefit is that I don’t get residue build up on my shirts anymore either. Also, Magnesium is one of those minerals that most people are actually deficient in, so any absorption through the skin will likely be of benefit to you. How about that! A deodorant that is designed to work with your body 🙂

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  17. I’ve been using MOM for a week now and it is fantastic!! Thank you so much for the idea everyone!

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  18. Where do I find milk of magnesia. I am desperate for something natural that works.

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  19. Lavilin is amazing!! I use it once a week, sometimes twice, and it works perfectly! Sometimes I still find myself surprised at how effective it is. It’s also great if you’re going for away for a long weekend – no need to pack deodorant. Try it out! If you Google Lavilin, you’ll find lots of information on it.

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  20. […] your own with coconut oil, baking soda, essential oils, witch hazel, or other simple ingredients. Here  is some more information you might like to check out. Sweating is important, but stinking […]

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  21. […] MAH – A Stink Solution – Deodorant Alternatives  […]

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  22. Very helpful indeed Malissa, thanks for sharing this informative deodorant alternatives issue that people must know for their own good of course. And just want to share too that I’ve been purchasing my deodorant from http://bodymint.com/ since they’ve proven me and to many that they don’t use harmful chemicals for it.

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  23. […] A Stink Solution: Deodorant Alternatives […]

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  24. I had tried everything over the past 10+ years (too many to list but including the crystal, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, coconut oil/baking soda/cornstarch, Pit Putty and all of the natural deodorants on the market). I found that it would work for a week or two and then no more! The best (and cheapest solution) that has worked for me for over 6 months is organic lime juice applied with a cotton ball every morning. It’s amazing.

    Word to the wise, if you shave your armpits, wait 15 minutes before applying.

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  25. A few years ago I started getting a red and burning rash under my arms. For a while, I simply stopped using the aluminum-based antiperspirants and the rash went away, but the odor became a major problem. Then I used a series of “natural” deodorants – from home made to fancy $20 a pop – some of which stopped the odor, but none stopped the rash from coming back. Then I found DeodoMom by 30someweeks.com. It’s a deodorant designed to be safe enough for pregnant women and has only two ingredients: water and magnesium hydroxide which is actually safe to eat! It’s the only product that not only doesn’t give me the rash (even after applying on freshly shaven skin), but also completely prevents the odor even after evening yoga classes . It’s also completely unscented which I love. I use the cream version and my active husband uses the roll-on. So grateful I have found them and highly recommend to all of you still in search of a safe deodorant that works.

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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