As a future naturopathic doctor, I can't help but want to avoid products that just seem so un-natural too me. Deodorant falls into my suppressive chemical category that I try hard to avoid. You know, products that don't address the root cause and just cover-up the problem? (Another big example is taking tylenol/aspirin for headaches). Deodorant/anti-antiperspirants prevent your underarm from sweating by inhibiting sweat glands. I decided about a year ago that I'll have no more unnecessary suppression in my life, hence my decision to drop deodorant. I've spent most of the past year without anything under my arms. I just made sure to give them a good cleaning (with soap and warm water, typically though I just clean them when I shower) once a day to prevent smell. Did you know that perspiration (aka sweat) is odorless and that it's the bacteria growing under our arms that feed off the sweat and cause the stink?
However, with warm weather and inevitably sweaty days on the horizon, I decided to create homemade deodorant to help combat smelling armpits. I've been using this product for a month now and so far so good! No mid-day smell detected, even on my sweatiest days. I also feel fairly dry even when sweaty thanks to the baking soda. The recipe makes a lot, I'm thinking between 4-6 months of deodorant from one batch! If you are considering reducing your dependence of deodorants/anti-antiperspirants, I'd suggest giving this recipe a try.
Two cautions: First, apparently baking soda can stain clothes, so you may not want to use this product when wearing your best shirts. I haven't had this experience, but I read of some people online with this problem. Second, some people find the soda irritating if applied to freshly shaven armpits. Again, I haven't had this problem, just throwing it out there.
DIY Deodorant (inspired by this recipe):
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup coconut oil (key ingredient because it stays solid at room temperature)
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (cornstarch would probably work too!)
Drops of essential oils for smell, like lavender, peppermint, orange, etc (optional)
Melt the coconut oil on low heat in a pan or pot. Stir in the starch and soda until combined. Pour into a little bowl or container. Let sit on counter until firm (it will solidify completely!). Store container in the bathroom. To use, simply use your fingers to dig-off a marble-sized amount of deodorant and spread under clean armpits (this amount will do both armpits). Wash hands after applying.