This might be an embarrassing way to start a blog post, but I have a body odor problem. I was a smelly teenager, then I was pretty normal for a while, and lately I smell again. I don't smell all the time, luckily I don't sweat that easily, but it's bad enough that I'm self-conscious about it.
Unfortunately, deodorant is one of the most toxic toiletry products out there. For the past few years I've been using an aluminum-free "healthy alternative" deodorant, which is completely pointless because not only does it not stop me from smelling bad, it actually may even make me smell worse. Sometimes non-toxic products just don't work as well as the toxic ones, and they're more expensive. What to do?
A few months ago, I started making some of my own products, and I'm so happy with them. I make my own moisturizer (here's a recipe) and hair conditioner (1:2 apple cider vinegar and water), but homemade deodorant still seemed gross. There was definitely some "social de-conditioning" that needed to happen before I could stop buying deodorant. If you are the type of person who can use normal products and otherwise have your beauty-routine shit together, homemade deodorant may seem even weirder to you than it does to my makeup-less hippie self. It may also seem more difficult for men, or women who don't shave their armpits, because you have to apply it like lotion, with your hands. I thought it would be oily or sticky, but it isn't, and I swear I smell way better than I have in years. I'm a total convert. Try it for a week and see what you think, you may never go back.
Here's the recipe I used:
½ cup organic coconut oil
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup arrowroot flour (you can get it in bulk at New Seasons, it's with the spices)
10 drops essential oil (I used lavender and sandalwood, but it just smells like coconut oil so maybe I didn't use enough essential oil?)
Mix everything in a food processor, adding more coconut oil if needed to make a paste. I've heard that baking soda can be harsh for sensitive skin, you can replace some or all of the baking soda with cornstarch or more arrowroot flour if needed.
To use it, just scoop up a quarter teaspoon or so, rub it between your hands to melt the coconut oil, and apply like a lotion. I was worried about getting oil or baking soda stains on my clothing, but it absorbs quickly and so far I haven't had any problems. I've been using it for about 3 weeks now.
If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments!
As I'm writing this, I'm paying so much attention to breathing normally that it's distracting. That means I usually hold my breath when I'm writing, and apparently so do 80% of other people: http://www.businessinsider.com/email-apnea-how-email-change-breathing-2012-12#!Hmz37
Next time you're reading an email or facebook post, pay attention - do you hold your breath? It really surprised me that I never noticed this before, but I definitely do it, so now I have to put some effort into correcting it.
How much time do you spend on the computer? If it's all day, every day at work, how much low-level oxygen deprivation is that causing?
Pay attention to breathing while you're on the computer for the next few days. If you're holding your breath or changing your normal breathing patterns in some significant way, try to correct it whenever you notice. Like any habit, it will take a while before you breathe normally without thinking about it. Take breaks between emails and take a couple slow, conscious breaths before you move on. It could help correct the oxygen loss from email apnea, and it just might make you feel more relaxed overall.