Friday, November 1, 2013

A few thoughts for the day on homemade deodorant with baking soda...

If you make homemade deodorant and it bothers you, stop using it. You aren't doing something wrong. This product is very alkaline and can bother a huge portion of the people using it. I say this after reading through quite a few pages about making and using homemade deodorant with huge amounts of alkaline baking soda and seeing the complaints people are making about how it is irritating their armpits. I saw a response that said you should change your pH by coating your armpit with diluted vinegar before using said product, but some people still had problems.

Two main thoughts: One, you can't change the pH of your skin permanently. Your skin has an acidic pH, and really alkaline things - especially those you don't rinse off for a while - are going to irritate it. (You don't want to change the pH of your skin as bad things can happen, like horrible diseases, cuts, and irritation!) 

Second, and a more general comment, if a product doesn't work for you, don't use it. Don't think you're doing something wrong. The product is alkaline, which will irritate many many people, not just those with sensitive skin types. 

I see posts on blogs that remind me a bit of faith healers. If the product doesn't work for you, it must be all about what you're doing wrong, and that's not the case. I see this with conditioner washing, baking soda and vinegar washing, and with homemade deodorant. I had a very lengthy interchange with a woman who believed that catnip was a conditioner, and anyone who said it didn't work for them was shouting down by allegations they weren't doing something properly. (Catnip is no more a conditioner than cat hair in our products as it lacks any qualities that would make it a conditioner.) You aren't doing something wrong if a less traditional way of doing things isn't working for you. In fact, if it's working for one person and not for the rest, odds are pretty good they're doing something they either don't realize they're doing or something they aren't sharing or they are freaks who can handle stuff no one else can! (I use "freak" in the nicest sense of the word.)

If you want to use a homemade deodorant filled with an alkaline ingredient like baking soda, then do it, but don't feel bad if it doesn't work for you. Lots of people swear by it, and there might be something there that appeals to you.

One of the pages I read implied that a blogger was trying to convince you that these were bad for you and wanted you to use storebought instead. I don't think it was a reference to me as I think the writer would have her head explode if she visited here and saw the ingredients I used, but if it was I want to make it clear that you are more than welcome to use what you want as a deodorant or anti-perspirant. Not to sound horrible, but I don't really care either way. I'm just trying to offer some information to help you figure out how to make products. I'm not affiliated with any companies, let alone one that makes anti-perspirants. I recommended the Secret cocoa butter one because it smells really great. 

Related posts:
Making deodorants (some thoughts and links)

Want to know more? Visit LiseLise's Natural Skin Care blog as she's incredibly knowledgeable about this topic! Check out her informal survey of people who had skin reactions to baking soda deodorants. It's around 85%! Eek! And read this post based on a conversation with someone about baking soda deodorants. Finally, if you want to make a natural deodorant, check out her recipe using clay instead of baking soda! Her blog is such an amazing resource for all kinds of things, but she really knows her baking soda deodorant stuff! 


Lise M Andersen said...

HI Susan - First THANK YOU for speaking up about baking soda deodorant and the skins pH. I LOVE your reference to faith healers. This is indeed the kinds of reactions I get from some folks who comment on my blog or write to me. Some have commented about my 'crusade' against baking soda deodorant when all I am trying to do is educate about ingredients... I guess that after over 26.000 people have approached me for answers to their skin reaction from using baking soda deodorant, it starts to look like I am on a crusade. I have used an inordinate amount of time researching this, but that's because I just keep getting questions from folks. I'm so pleased you wrote about this. Thank you!!

Ambra said...

I always find your post very informative and non judgmental. You have a great deal of knowledge and I really appreciate that you are willing to share it :)

Catherine Trudel said...

Hi Swift
I have a question for you about a handmade deodorant ingredient. I've seen some articles online about people using milk of magnesia or Magnesium Hydroxide as an additive in homemade deodorants. Supposedly it's a fantastic deodorizer, but I can't find any professional info, most of what I find is second or third hand info on the subjects from blogs.
I find this ingredient interesting and would like to find out more about it and what your opinion is on it, because I make a deodorant that I am really happy with but I am always looking for more options for deodorizers that aren't baking soda.
I look forward to hearing your response
Regards :)