When I first read this article at the website of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/AP-Deo), I was stunned. I’m sure everyone heard the rumors that anti-perspirants were linked to breast cancer, but I assumed that if this was true the FDA would take these products off the market. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
According to the National Cancer Institute, use of anti-perspirants and deodorants alone have not been proven to cause breast cancer. But use of these products in combination with shaving your underarms has. I turned over my Dove Fresh stick and on the back label it says, “Do not use on broken skin.” Stupid me, I never considered my occassional nick to be broken skin. But it is. Every time I cut myself and then apply my Dove right afterwards, chemicals are seeping into my blood stream. Chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer. Furthermore, the earlier that you begin to shave under your arms and the more frequently you use deodorant, the higher your chance of developing breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute suggests that women who begin shaving before age 16 (most American women, I’d imagine) and use deodorant daily, will be diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years earlier than those who do not.
So why have I never considered making it myself? I just assumed it wasn’t possible. I assumed that my homemade deodorant would be less effective or smell gross or require strange ingredients that were impossible to find. I just assumed that it was easier to go to Wal-Mart and pick up my stick. I assumed wrong.
I love this deodorant recipe. I had everything in my kitchen with the exception of the coconut oil and the essential oils. It took me about 5 minutes to put it together and it is more effective and smells better than my Dove. Here’s what I did:
Ingredients for Lavender Deodorant:
- 1/4 c. cocoa butter
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil
- 3 tbsp. baking soda (odor absorption)
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 10 drops tee tree essential oil (antibacterial & anti-fungal)
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
I mixed these ingredients in a small bowl until I got the consistency that I wanted. I want my deodorant to be of lotion consistency to keep it in a baby food jar that I can store in the fridge. This way it stays creamy (and cool for application) and it is easy to stick a finger in and rub it under my arms. I made two baby food jars full and each jar should last at least 3 months.
You could also pack this into an empty stick deodorant container. If you love to roll your deodorant on, this is easy to do. Just scoop add an extra tablespoon of baking soda and cornstarch, and reduce the cocoa butter by a tablespoon. This will make it more gritty and easier to compound into an empty deodorant container. Drop it in, press it down and make sure to store it in the fridge. In the winter months we can keep in in the bathroom, but for the hot summers it needs to be kept cool.
This recipe is easy to make, extremely effective and cost conscious. And the best part is that you can customize it to fit your tastes. If you prefer amber or patchouli or eucalyptus, buy that essential oil instead of lavender. I’m thinking of using sandalwood when I make my husband’s. If you want to save a few extra bucks, skip the extra oil and just use the tea tree.
And you will have plenty of tea tree oil left. But don’t worry, I’ll be posting a shampoo and conditioner recipe to help you make use of it!