Deodorants and perfumes are at the centre of beauty routine for most people (or at least the former I would hope). While they should not replace basic hygiene (ie please don't spray on hoping for a cover up - it won't work!) they can be pretty useful tools to keep you fresh through your crazy work day or amazing adventure.
But these can come with a variety of chemicals, some more harmful than others - from parabens, triclosan, propylen glycol to aluminium. Fragrances by themselves can be toxic, containing a mixture of acetone, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate,benzyl alcohol, camphor, ethanol, ethyl acetate,limonene, linalool and methylene chloride, and aside from cancer worries these can also cause allergic reactions and severe headaches, to the point that in some work places fragrances have been banned, and I, myself, have happily worked in a university where these types of perfumes were not allowed.
Going back to the deodorant, did you know that your armpits have a great concentration of glands in your body? Which means that chemicals there will go into circulation in the whole body pretty soon - so treat your pits with care and respect! And especially for women, some chemicals found in deodorants have been linked to breast cancer. So hope you think twice and read the labels well next time you are in the deodorant aisle! Perhaps go check now, and throw your chemical one in the bin! Head to your local health food / organic store to find something more suitable - but even there be careful! Organic doesn't always mean healthy, and unfortunately even in these kind of shops you can find chemical-laden products...
So if you want to be even a little more extreme go DIY with the following advice:
As a lover of essential oils I find they are great natural deodorants due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties (most oils will have one or the other or both!!!), however, using them in pure form is usually not recommended, as they can cause skin burns or simply be too powerful!
Another great natural deodorant is sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda or baking powder. It is a great odour absorber, and you could simply rub it under your pits for a fragrance-free deo.
But I wouldn't recommend wearing black or dark coloured items, as the powder tends to leave marks and show..
As always, solutions are on hand! Why not make your own roll-on deo combining the power of the above two? How..you ask?
SIMPLE! Mix 1 tablespoon of baking powder with 1 tablespoon of maizena (cornflour), add enough warm water to make a thin paste consistency and add 15-20 drops of your favourite oil or combination of oils.
I personally love a citrusy smell for myself, so have gone for lemon, sweet orange and grapefruit. I have also added a couple of drops of tea tree oil for extra deodorising properties (it is the antimicrobial oil!). For a more manly smell, you could go for bergamot - another from the citrus family! Then pour into a roll on bottle and VOILA' - done!
Some separation may occur over time, but all you do is give a little shake. I can tell you - it works wonders!!!
Now, do you want to make a matching perfume?
Get a small roll on bottle, and mix your oils of choice with some carrier oil (I used almond). My autumn-winter smell of love includes sweet orange, clove and some vanilla! I apply a little bit behind my ears every morning and gives me uplifting happiness - and best of all no headaches typical of commercial perfumes (possibly due to the alcohol content or other chemicals...). Even better it doesn't change during the course of the day, or goes bad! Just make sure to keep it away from extra warm areas, treat as you would treat your nice cooking oil...
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