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by Nicole Wines

It’s not something that most people discuss on their blogs, or in the course of normal everyday conversation, but it’s something almost all of us have in common.  So let’s be blunt-sometimes, we can all get a little stinky.  Now, even though it’s natural, most of us don’t want to smell like body odor.  Unfortunately, too many of us turn to what we know will work, commercial deodorant in a plastic packed push up stick or roll on bottle.  But there are more natural, simple ways to control this natural, healthy process.

Human sweat is actually odorless and there are 3 to 4 million sweat glands all over the surface of your body.  How it all works is a little complicated, but what causes that scent is a byproduct of a type of bacteria as it breaks down proteins found in sweat into acids.

Why DIY Deodorant?

There are two types of commercial deodorants.  The name-brands and the naturals.  The name-brands are mostly not deodorants, but antiperspirants that actually stop you from sweating.  Sweating is good for you. It does so many wonderful things for your health like rid your body of toxins, help keep your face clear, promote healthy circulation and even fight infection.  It’s a no brainer that for natural, healthy living, you wouldn’t want to put antiperspirants on your body.  An aluminum compound is the active ingredient in these antiperspirants, and while the claimed effects of aluminum are controversial and not proven scientifically, it is clear that if you use it, your body does absorb some of this compound and even a single application can leave traces in your blood stream for over 6 weeks.  With the inundation of chemicals and toxins our body receives daily, why take the risk and add to the mix?

Then there are the all-naturals.  There’s mineral salts and alternative all-natural brands.  These work well for many people, but for me and for many of my all-natural friends, their effectiveness always seems to wear off after a while…and they still come in plastic, something we should be trying to reduce the use of if we want to be sustainable.

There are complicated recipes for DIY deodorants that I never got around to trying to make.  You can look those up on a search engine and find a lot of recipes you can try.  But I like to make things as simple as possible and I found two super simple, all natural, one-ingredient deodorants that work like a charm.  Instead of covering up odor or stopping the process of sweating, they neutralize the bacteria that create the acids that make the foul odor known as B.O..

Mineral Wonder and Plant Power- All Natural Homemade Deodorant

Here’s the two all natural deodorants that worked for me:

Baking Soda – Sodium bicarbonate is my all natural deodorant of choice.  Put a small amount, just a pinch or two, into the palm of your hand, add a couple drops of water and  mix it to make it into a liquidy paste (not fully dissolved, but just enough so the baking soda won’t chafe your skin).  Apply directly under arms.  You don’t need to use so much that it leaves a visible pasty residue, just a small amount works wonders!  It works by absorbing some of the sweat and neutralizing the odors.

Lemon or Lime Juice – Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice onto your palm and rub directly under arm after showering or bathing.  Wait to apply if you just shaved your armpits.  Over time, this will change the pH under your arms, increasing the acidity and creating an environment that is unfavorable to the bacteria that cause body odor.

WARNING: Citrus can interact with UV rays to cause chemical burns on skin.  Do not use on skin that will be exposed to sunlight.  To be safe, be sure NOT to use lemon or lime as deodorant if you are wearing a tank top or bathing suit, I learned from experience.  If you opt for the lemon or lime, either cover up skin on the top part of your arm with at least a t-shirt or use the baking soda option on days that you want your arms bare.

Natural Deodorant
Baking Soda and Lemon or Lime Juice make excellent all natural deodorant alternatives.

These are the ones that worked for me, but there are plenty more effective and natural deodorants out there.  Check out the links below for more information and ideas, do your own research and try whichever alternatives seem like the best choice until you find the one(s) that work for you.

Links and Resources:

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