A new year and new beginnings. Time to clean out old garbage and get rid of old habits. Time for a change and a fresh start. A good place to start is to look over the products in your bathroom cabinet and begin to switch them out for more natural and toxic free alternatives. Most important is to scrutinize the content of your deodorant and make sure that the one you are using does not contain aluminum. Read more about why in our article "Deodorants With or Without Aluminum - What Does the Latest Science Say? "
Today you can find several good alternatives to aluminum-containing antiperspirants that are both effective and toxin-free, but if you want to have full control over the content or find them a bit on the pricey side, it is an easy task to mix one up yourself. The most common recipe consists of equal parts of coconut oil, baking soda and starch. It seems to work just fine for many people, but if you have sensitive skin, the amount of bicarbonate can be a bit irritating. Below you find a recipe for a natural, milder and more skin-friendly deodorant containing a lower amount of bicarbonate. And thanks to two types of shea butter and jojoba oil, it is also creamier and easier to apply than many other versions. The essential oil blend gives it a fresh citrusy and slightly herbal scent that smells delicious at the same time as it makes the deodorant even more effective against unwanted body odors. But you can, of course, scent it to your preference. Try to include one or more of the antibacterial essential oils in the list for a more efficient deodorant and, if you make your own blend, make a smell test first using perfume sticks, so you don't mix up a large quantity of deodorant that you are not happy with. If you prefer, you can also skip the essential oils altogether for a neutral, scent-free version.
Essential Oils With Proven Antibacterial Effect
Many plants have over time developed antibacterial substances to protect themselves against bacterial infections. Scientific tests have found that the essential oils from the plants in the list are effective in killing a large spectrum of various bacteria.
Bay laurier (Laurus nobilis)
Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)
Chamomile roman (Anthemis nobilis)
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Frankinscence (Boswellia carteri)
Geranium (Pelargonium gaveolens)
Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)
Patchouli (Pogestemon patchouli)
Rosemary (Rosmarinarus officinalis
Sauge (Salvia officinalis)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Winter savory (Satureja montana)
Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)
If you are pregnant or trying to conceive or if you belong to any other high risk group, verify carefully that the essential oils you choose does not infer any risk.
Pattnaik, S. et al., Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro. Microbios, 1996. 86(349): 237-46.
Kalemba, D. and Kunicka, A., Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Curr Med Chem, 2003. 10(10): 813-29.
Ingredients (makes 100g)
20 g Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii, also called Vitellaria paradoxa)
15 g Coconut oil virgin
15 g Shea nilotica (Vitellaria paradoxa v. nilotica) (alt. 15 g extra of coconut oil)
3,3 g Jojoba oil
30 g Starch (optional organic - corn, tapioca, arrow root all works well)
20 g Baking soda (pure bicarbonate)
0,5 g Essential oil (about 15 drops if you don't have access to a precision scale)
1/3 (0,17 g alt. 5 dp) Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
1/3 (0,17 g alt. 5 dp) Sauge sclarée (Salvia sclarea)
1/3 (0,17 g alt. 5 dp) Rosemary (Rosmarinarus officinalis)
Melt the hard oils and butter in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and add the jojoba oil, starch and bicarbonate. Use a mini whisk to get a smooth consistency. Easiest is to use a good electrical milk frother. Add the essential oils if you have chosen to include them and mix again. Pour the mix in a jar and wait for it to set. Done!
Johanna och Ulrika