For many years, antiperspirants were linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum and parabens were bad words in the natural beauty realm, and many experimented with alternatives to curb odor naturally. However, several scientific studies have debunked those myths.
According to Cancer.org, there have been no decisive links between aluminum, parabens and breast cancer. MayoClinic.org agrees, stating that as of now, there is no link between cancer and deodorants. These findings don’t necessarily mean deodorants are completely harmless, however.
Once again, I’ll refer to my old friends, the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website. A search for common deodorants reveals that although some are indeed relatively harmless, others lie in the tricky space of “moderate hazard”. Check out your deodorant’s rating there.
If you’re not pleased with the results (or even if you are!), we tested out a few DIY natural remedies that have circulated the Internet. Surprisingly, all three worked, but some of them had unanticipated side effects.
The first homemade deodorant used apple cider vinegar.
- Swab a small amount of apple cider vinegar on the armpit using a cotton ball.
- Wear normally; it should last for most of the day.
- Once the strong smell dissipated, the apple cider vinegar was surprisingly effective at curbing odors. Some claim, as well, that the acid in apple cider vinegar helps boost the skin’s acid mantle.
- Although it eventually went away, the vinegar scent lingered for a few hours after I applied it. Apple cider vinegar is also highly acidic, and should be diluted before it is used on skin.
The second homemade deodorant used lime slices.
- Cut a slice off a lime, and rub the juice on the armpit.
- Wear normally for one day.
- Limes fight against bacteria by disintegrating their cell membranes. Odors emit from the armpit when perspiration interacts with underarm bacteria, so limes specifically work against those odors.
- The lime stung when applied. The pain did go away quickly, but the initial sting reminded me that limes are also highly acidic, and care should be exercised when applying them to the skin.
The third homemade deodorant used arrowroot powder and coconut oil.
- Mix together arrowroot powder and coconut oil in a 2 to 1 ratio. The coconut oil should be soft, but not melted. I made enough for one use, and used about 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder to half a teaspoon coconut oil, and had plenty left over.
- Rub directly on skin.
- Arrowroot powder doesn’t disrupt skin’s pH balance. Coconut oil provides numerous benefits for skin, but the best benefit for underarms is that coconut oil soothes skin. Since our armpits are exposed often to razors and possibly to harsh chemicals, coconut oil works to replenish them.
- Be sure to blend the deodorant thoroughly so it doesn’t leave a white residue on your skin; you may need to add more coconut oil to find a blend that works best for you.
Verdict: If you’re ready to make a switch, arrowroot power and coconut oil should become your new deodorant staple! These ingredients gently diminish underarm odor.
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