Friday, May 12, 2017

DIY Deodorant With Essential Oils

I was recently talking to a friend of mine about traditional deodorants.  Our conversation was eye opening as she enlightened me to just how harmful they can be.  Upon conducting research, I found there to be aluminum in virtually all store bought brands.  Not being entirely sure what that would do to my body, I decided to find out for myself.  Some of the most alarming side effects are that it clogs your pores and therefore minimizes your ability to sweat.  My initial response to that information was, well, isn’t that what deodorant is supposed to do?  However, our bodies were made to sweat, as it in an effective and healthy way of eliminating toxins.  I think we already have enough hygiene products that we don’t feel entirely comfortable using, or even some where we avoid the ingredients label all together!  I set out to find a homemade deodorant recipe that I felt was safe and would help me maintain my hygienic sanity as two of my boys approach their teen years!  As an added bonus, it’s only 1/3 of the cost of traditional deodorants!  After some trial and error, the best one I have found is the following coconut oil deodorant recipe. 

Baking Soda; I use this often to neutralize odors around the house.  It helps balance your’ body’s PH levels keeping you smelling nice! You know your skin the best, if you feel like this ingredient is a bit abrasive for you then replacing it with arrowroot powder will give you the same results. If replacing it entirely doesn’t resonate with your skin type either you can use both baking soda and arrowroot powder and find a good balance of both. Luckily with this recipe you can fine tune it to you or your family’s needs.

Arrow Root; Absorbs excess moisture and the contains calcium chloride to help balance your PH levels. 

Corn Starch; Rather than blocking your pores, like store bought deodorant, it helps to absorb excess moisture.  It can help soothe skin irritation, relieve issues caused by warm/damp environments, and keep your pits nice and dry. 

Coconut Oil; This is another ingredient that helps keep your body balanced and eliminate skin conditions that can potentially cause an unpleasant odor.  The high content of Lauric Acid found in coconut oil offers a nice support to your immune system.

Bentonite Clay; This is my favorite ingredient because it actually HELPS your body by drawing out toxins, keeping your lymph nodes clear.  Your lymph nodes are a part of your body largely responsible for fighting infection, illness, and eliminating things the body doesn’t need or may be harmful.  Keeping your lymph nodes clear is necessary for a fully functioning immune system. How cool to add an extra boost to your health by using your deodorant!  Plus, it doesn’t stain! 

Tea Tree; Warm and damp places are an ideal place for fungus and other germs, aka our armpits on any given day. Luckily, tea tree is a great remedy for the unwanted substances and whatever odor could accompany them. Tea tree has a high content of Terpinen-4-ol which is what makes unpleasant odor lose the battle. If you struggle with skin sensitivity or razor burn tea tree can also help with bumps, break outs, and general skin irritation. Because of its immune boosting constituents it has health benefits that extend far beyond your armpits. Not only do I LOVE the aroma of tea tree but it was also the first essential oil I was introduced to so it has a special place for me. Because, of the previous factors tea tree was the best options for me. However, if you want a bit more soft and synergistic aroma Lavender is a really fabulous addition.  Not only does it help with odors but it also has a very calming effect on the mind and body.   

Beeswax; I used this to ensure the deodorant would stay solid at room temperature.  We throw these in our gym bags and I would hate to open it up to a melted mess when I need deodorant the most!  Not to mention the benefits of vitamin A for your skin and immune system. 

What you’ll need;
  1. ·      9 grams Beeswax (1 Tablespoon)
  2. ·      30g Unrefined Coconut Oil (2 Tablespoons)
  3. ·      10g Arrowroot Powder (1 Tablespoon)
  4. ·      10g Corn Starch (1 Tablespoon)
  5. ·      15g Baking Soda (2 Teaspoons)
  6. ·      10g Bentonite Clay (2 Teaspoons)
  7. ·      18 drops Tea Tree
  8. ·      2 ounce Twist Tube

What you’ll do;
1.     Over a double boiler melt beeswax and coconut oil.
2.     Remove from heat.
3.     Whisk in dry ingredients and essential oils.
4.     Pour into Twist Tube.
5.     Let sit until hard.

I specifically wanted to stay with a 1% dilution for my essential oils since we’ll be using this often.  This will help minimize the risks associated with sensitization.  This is my FAVORITE natural deodorant recipe, and has given me the option of never going back to expensive and unsafe store bought deodorant.  Using this natural deodorant helps me to smell nice, boost my immune system, and detox all at the same time! 

What are your favorite essential oils to combat unpleasant odors?

Can Essential Oils Help You Live Forever?

Antioxidant-Molecules with the ability to donate an electron to free radicals without destabilizing itself.
Oxidative stress-An imbalance of free radical production and the ability to counteract it.
Free radicals-An atom that has lost an electron and is highly reactive with other molecules. [1]
Enzyme-A substance produced by a living organism.
Electron-A subatomic particle with a negative charge.

Oxidative stress is the production of free radicals in the body.  Especially when breaking down food you’ve eaten, the process the liver uses to break down the constituents in food naturally produces free radicals.   Our body has enzymes designed to help eliminate or minimize these free radicals before they disperse throughout your body to do their damage.  These enzymes are called glutathione transferase, superoxide dismutase, and quinone reductase.  Essential oils have been shown to stimulate the production of these enzymes, therefor building a stronger army to aid our bodies in being their best.  Glutathione transferase is stimulated by; Angelica, Coriander, Garlic, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass, Nutmeg, Orange, Oregano, Sandalwood, and Thyme.  Other contributors that create oxidative stress are aging, injury, smoking, alcohol, and as mentioned before, a poor diet. 

You may be asking yourself what’s the big deal, my body has enzymes to help take care of free radicals!  Unfortunately, there’s only so much these enzymes can battle at once.  An overload of free radicals can cause a variety of issues, including, but not limited to; neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid disease, and even cancer.  So, regulating these radicals truly is imperative to both our short, and long term health.  Our liver will often take the brunt of the damage when it comes to oxidative stress.  One type of free radical is called DPPH, Robert Tisserand referred to the following oils as potent DPPH Scavengers; Clove Bud, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Thyme.  He said that they may be helpful in minimizing the cancer-causing DPPH and a good use for preventative measure. 

In studies done on rodents it showed that a small daily dose of savory essential oil prolonged their life by 120 days (the equivalent of 10 years for humans).  One of their findings specifically showed an increase in DHA which is thought to have been one of the contributors to the prolonged life span.

We’ve talked before about how it’s the synergistic effects of the plant constituents working together that make them effective.  In a study done on DPPH scavenging a comparison was done with Rosemary as a whole, then isolated constituents of 1,8 Cineole, alpha-Pinene, and beta-Pinene (the constituents mainly attributed with the DPPH scavenging).  It showed that Rosemary as a whole was 20% more effective at DPPH scavenging than any of the one isolated constituents. 

Many studies have been done on isolated constituents.  I found it fascinating that alpha-Caryophyllene, Diallyl disulphide, Eugenol, and Thymoquinone all increase Glutathione transferase in normal cells, and decrease it in cancer cells.  This does not mean we’ve found a cure for cancer by any means, however it certainly shows progress.  It also shows the benefits of integrating essential oils containing those constituents as a preventative effort and as an overall health benefit to aid us in living longer and healthier lives. 

How to stuff a boys easter basket, sugar free, with fun and useful gifts for under $25!

As I continue to watch documentaries, read studies, and observe my childrens’ behavior after consuming sugar I become more and more determined to deter from involving candy in celebrations.  This is certainly at the forefront of my mind as Easter approached.  How do I help my children to enjoy our Easter egg hunt, without candy?!

I quickly decided that I would get books and summer gear for their baskets.  So they all got umbrellas and hiking boots.  I watched for 50% off book sales on amazon and was able to stock up on Dr Seuss, Magic Treehouse, and biographies for my little ones baskets.  It’s totally worth it to make a wish list of your kids favorite series and check the list a couple times a week to see if prices have decreased.  I think it’s very important to set a limit.  That can be overall, per item, or per child.  It’s so easy to get lost in good deals and continue to stock way too much, or supersede the budget you had planned. 

The Easter egg hunt was a whole different ball game.  I knew that each item had to meet four criteria;
1.     Fun
2.     Sugar-free
3.     Compact
4.     Inexpensive

That is certainly not an easy task with four boys!  I saw tons of recommendations for nail polish, hair ties, and stickers, but that obviously doesn’t apply to my four sons ages 5-10.  I did a little bit of hunting, price comparisons, and made my purchase for six fabulous egg stuffers!
1.     Water Beads (These were so awesome!  The grow huge and feel so therapeutic, they were a huge hit!)
2.     Grow Capsules
3.     Sticky Hands
4.     Bouncy Balls
5.     Finger Lights
6.     Change (just had to swap out a few dollar bills to get some coin rolls)

They had an absolute blast!  My 5 year old was quick to put Uncle Jimmy to work saying, “you carry this and follow me”, then the mad dash was on!  It was my 2 year old nieces first Easter Egg hunt and she was so excited each time she found a treasure!