Homemade Natural Deodorant

After my last post about Natural Deodorants, whether they work and the testing of a few brands, I decided to look into a homemade option as even the ones I tested contained a few ingredients I was unsure of. For full comfort and control over what is going on my body, I went with a simple recipe whose competence is assured by many bloggers and naturalists.

After scouring the internet, blogs and write-ups, I discovered that one recipe monopolized the internet. I decided to try it out for myself and see if it was something practical and efficient.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil (solid state)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (aluminum-free)
  • 1/4 cup starch (arrowroot powder, cornstarch)
  • essential oils (optional)
Mix together the arrowroot powder and baking soda in a bowl before adding the coconut oil. Warmed the oil a little bit on the stove in a water bath to soften it. Add the coconut oil and any desired essential oils. Place the mixture in a flexible container and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to harden. Silicon ice pop trays work well.

Coconut oil solidifies at roughly 76°F so it is best to keep this deodorant in the fridge, especially during the summer and to take great care when traveling with it. One of the bloggers who used this recipe loaded it into a cleaned out deodorant stick before being placed in the fridge to harden and form a deodorant “stone.”

All of these ingredients are inexpensive and the concoction works! Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is deemed to have antibacterial qualities. The starch assists in keeping you feeling dry while the baking soda removes any and all odors. As the coconut oil is cold pressed and organic, it is as unrefined as possible and only has a slight coconut smell that will not last long. I decided to add a few drops of peppermint essential oil and lavender essential oil for a fresh and fragrant scent. Be careful when dressing as it does contain oil and can stain your clothes (will come out in the wash). It helps to let it soak in for a bit before dressing. I still found applying twice a day to have the best results.

All Natural Homemade Sunscreen

With summer approaching it is time to start stocking up on those summer essentials to keep our skin happy and healthy. But be wary of what you put on your body.

The average drugstore sunscreen contains toxic chemicals as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals that studies have shown to promote skin cancer growth as well as free radicals in the body. Many of these ingredients are even found in some “all-natural” sunscreens.

Making your own sunscreen is simple, but it does require some tools and materials that cannot be found at your local grocery store. If you prefer to stick with the store bought stuff or need some sunscreen on the go, stick to the brands listed here. These are the best on the market. My personal favorites are Badger and California Baby, both relatively easy to find at your local Whole Foods and some drugstores.

Be aware that the sun provides are bodies with vitamin D, an essential vitamin for health. We need about 20 minutes of full face and arm exposure (no sunscreen) every day  for adequate vitamin D absorption, even more in the winter months. As most people do not work outdoors, it can be a challenge to get enough sun, especially when the majority of people apply lotions or makeup with sunscreen on a daily basis. Vitamin D deficiencies have increased with the rise in use of sunscreen products as has skin cancer.

Do not use sunscreen every day and steer clear of any sunscreens with harsh chemicals. When planning for a long day in the sun, limit your exposure by wearing a wide brimmed hat and clothing that provides more coverage. In a situation in which sunscreen is required, either pick up one of the brands noted above or try this homemade remedy from Wellness Mama:

Homemade Natural Sunscreen Recipe very moisturizing and easy to make Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

Natural Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oil (coconut, olive, almond or grapeseed are good)
  • 5 tsp Zinc Oxide (available online or in many stores on the diaper aisle, just make sure it is pure zinc oxide)
  • 1 TBSP Beeswax or emulsifying wax
  • 3 TBSP natural aloe vera gel (not the kind with alcohol or propylene glycol)
  • 1/2 cup distilled water or brewed green tea (strained)
  • 2-3 capsules of Vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 10 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)
  • Essential Oils of Coconut Extract for scent (optional) [Note: do not use citrus essential oils since they can actually cause burning]

How To Make Natural Sunscreen:

  1. Heat Oil and beeswax on double boiler until just melted.
  2. Remove from heat, and add vitamin E and essential oils.
  3. Put into bowl that will not be used for food, and add zinc oxide powder, set aside.
  4. In small pan, heat water or tea and aloe vera until just warm.
  5. Add the water/aloe mixture slowly while whisking vigorously or use an immersion blender.
  6. Add any additional essential oils or fragrances (except citrus)

Additional Notes:

  • This sunscreen is not completely waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
  • Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask
  • This recipe has an SPF of about 20, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
  • Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
  • I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
  • Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
  • I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.

Enjoy, stay safe, and have a wonderful summer!

Evening Radiance Ritual

Bright, clear eyes, vibrant flush of the cheeks, energetic spirit, and a natural, healthy, glow. The essence of radiance.

As my diet has begun to shift in the direction of purer and cleaner, I have also begun to incorporate techniques that promote a natural well-being on the outside focusing on the skin and hair. A clean diet is the first step, free of animal products and processed chemicals. Cleaning out the inside will naturally promote a fresh exterior, but this can be thwarted by layering harsh chemicals and questionable ingredients onto our skin which readily absorbs all we feed it.

In order to speed up the purification process (my New York minute attitude cannot handle much of a wait) the substitution with all-natural bath and beauty products as well as the addition of homeopathic techniques has transformed my daily rituals. Here I will focus on evenings.

As the evening winds down for sleep, I begin my ritual with a steaming mug of chamomile tea and a good book. Sipping for fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes, until I find sleepiness taking over and the urge to conclude my reading. I take my time. Linger and enjoy. Savor the relaxing moment of each evening, because with each rising sun comes another 8-12 hours of tedious work and complex dilemmas.

Next step: Dry brushing. This is something I recently picked up and initially hated. The brush felt course and almost painful against my skin and I did not notice any effects that made the process worthwhile. However, after about a week my skin grew to love the feel of the course bristles and it looked brighter and felt silky soft.

Beyond supple skin, dry brushing promotes circulation of the lymphatic and circulatory systems which work to remove toxins from the body. This can also diminish the appearance of cellulite. This is a wonderful addition to your morning routine as it stimulates the body and wakes you up. Be sure to brush towards the heart, movement can be seen below. I use a natural plant fiber brush I purchased at Whole Foods. Steer clear of synthetic fiber as irritation may ensue.

Direction of brushing

Next Step: Warm shower. After dry brushing, your pores are awake and alive. Keep the shower warm rather than hot. I step into the warm stream and allow the water to course down my back and relax my muscles, washing away the grime and environmental hazards of the day before massaging my body with Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castile Soap, my preferred scent as it is light and sweet. I also occasionally use this as a shampoo as it is wonderful for giving body and thickness though it can occasionally leave the hair feeling dry. I am currently using Nature’s Gate Tee Tree shampoo and conditioner. It is not ideal, but it leaves my hair shiny and feeling silky.

I conclude my shower with a burst of icy water before quickly retreating to the warmth of a fresh towel made from organic bamboo.

Next Step: Hydrate. While my skin is still damp, I apply a generous amount of cold-pressed organic coconut oil from head to toe, even lightly on my face, and allow it to soak in while I brush my teeth with Tom’s of Maine and floss. I even apply a little oil to my eyelashes. This helps to condition them for thicker and healthier lashes. I give my body another good rubdown for optimal absorption before easing between the sheets to escaping reality and slip gently into oblivion.

Images courtesy of Google.