Operation Caffeination

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Living it up

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I am such a huge hippie that I make my own deodorant.

There. I said it.

I haven’t actually needed to purchase any toiletries in three months, as I’ve learned to replace products with homemade alternatives, and to do without.

Society shares a special relationship with deodorant, though, so before I give you my recipe, let me tell you a bit about using homemade products to control objectionable body odor.

#1, they don’t work. I mean, they do work, they totally work. I don’t stink. I do, however, smell. No one other than my partner has commented on it and he loves it, but I have had more attention from the menfolk lately and I think it may be associated with my…smell. The attention certainly isn’t being drawn by my flourishing self-confidence because I’ve been a nervous wreck, leaving deodorant behind and all.

#2, if you screw up the recipe, you won’t just smell anymore. You’ll smell bad. On the other hand, the recipe is super simple…and if you do screw it up, you can add a pinch more baking soda to the mix and you’ll be as good as gold, as opposed to having to go out and purchase an entirely new stick of deodorant if you decide to try out a new type at the store that doesn’t end up working out for you. Hear that? You won’t have to go out to share your stench with the world!

#3, on super cold days, you’ll have to microwave your deodorant before you can apply it. I find this hilarious, but if you forget about it and leave it in the microwave to broil while you dress, you may struggle to find the humor in it all.

With that behind us, the recipe, and my thoughts on this experiment:

Ingredients:

1/4 c. baking soda
1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
5 tbsp. coconut oil

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients. Add the oil one tablespoon and mash/stir with a fork.

Ta-da!

Really, that’s all there is to it! This is, of course, a very basic recipe. There are as many recipes for deodorant out there on the Internet as their are skin types. I always prefer to try the simplest route first, though, and lucky for me, it worked!

Some thoughts on my three months of using only homemade deodorant:

I’m never buying deodorant again.

This stuff works at least as well as any commercially-produced deodorant I’ve ever tried, and I’m one of those women who uses man deodorant because I’m pretty sure that girl deodorant wouldn’t stand up to my lifestyle post-baby night sweats!

The coconut oil in this recipe leaves my armpits super smooth. Some people have had problems with the oil staining their clothes, but that hasn’t been a problem for me. I’ve also heard that some people can’t handle the baking soda on their skin and develop painful rashes. I actually did have some issues with peeling skin early on, but I backed off on the application and gave my skin time to adjust and the problem went away on its own without ever causing me any discomfort.

It feels great to be able to glance down an entire isle at the grocery store and realize that you don’t ever buy a single product on that isle. I have kicked the cleaner habit, I can skip the cereal isle, and now I’m free from a pretty significant chunk of the personal care isle as well. But beyond being a hippie and reveling in my rebellion against “the man,” this has been an eye-opening experience for me. So much of what I’m told is wrong with my body is actually weirdly wonderful when I take the time to understand it. For example, body hair: it isn’t there because nature hates me and wants to make me crazy. It is there to diffuse those intoxicating woman smells that deodorant knocks out with with dementia-inducing aluminum. For years, I’ve told myself that the aluminum exposure was better than smelling the way I did when I went without deodorant. In reality, I can be perfectly hygienic and lovely without putting my future health on the line. I just needed to take the time to understand what my body was doing. Nature isn’t perfect; my body is still equipped to attract males across miles of empty forest land, total overkill for our lifestyle today. Given the chance, nature will catch up with our current needs. In the meantime, though, I am learning to meet my own body halfway, by learning about it and appreciating what it has learned to do on its own through millions of years of trial and error. Could be (and has been) a lot worse!

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Written by GRSeim

January 25, 2012 at 6:49 am

3 Responses

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  1. That’s so cool! I remember having gone through a period of freedom from deodorant as a teenager – I just used baby powder instead – and I remember it not having been that bad. It’s something to think about for the inevitable day our current stock of Old Spice runs out, at any rate. (And I too use men’s deodorant! Mostly because for whatever reason, it does not annoy my armpits like most ladies’ deodorant.)

    jaqbuncad

    January 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    • I’m seriously very curious to know what, beyond packaging and perhaps fragrance, constitutes a “ladies” deodorant. They seem like totally different products -why?!

      Grace

      January 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm

  2. […] Sadly, being obsessively natural and eating farm-fresh vegetables by the truck load did not render us totally immune from viruses. As a fringe benefit to this newest round of the sneezies, however, I have discovered a new reason to love being product free people. […]


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