Make Your Own Deodorant, It’s No Sweat

In Empowerment, Health, Recipes by Carlos Espinal, INHCLeave a Comment

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Carlos Espinal, INHC

Executive Director at 100th Seed Project
A long time activist for social change, Carlos has been involved with many non-profit organizations and community outreach groups dealing with struggles such as police brutality and accountability, immigrant rights, homelessness, and poverty in the inner city. Always passionate about change and how so many issues today overlap he discovered the one thing that connects us all is right in front of our eyes, on our plates. In 2013 he Co-Founded 100th Seed after meeting like minds at MAMNYC. His obsession with food justice lead him to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where he learned of many different dietary theories and how to better assist people who desire a healthier lifestyle by becoming a Certified Holistic Health Coach. He firmly believes that if you want the world to change you must be the change you want to see and through his work hopes to empower others to do so.
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There’s no way around it, to put it bluntly…we stink. It’s not a bad thing. Perspiration is the body’s cooling mechanism and it is a testament to the amazing specimen that is the human body. During extreme heat, exertion and exercise we notice it the most and it also serves to fight infection and bacteria. It is a natural biological function, so why all the fuss? Well, along with a little discomfort sweating also releases often funky, not so pleasant body odors which are the result of skin bacteria breaking down our sweat secretions. This was not a huge problem during our early stages of evolution since the pheromones released from fresh sweat could potentially land you a mate and to this day our bodies are hard wired to respond to these scents. Eventually we discovered how bathing, washing and keeping clean helped prevent spreading disease and made us feel and smell pretty damn good.

This was the norm for some time as we were quite content with washing and perfuming to keep our bodily fluids and scents at bay. Then, early 20th century marketers pushed advertisements on potential consumers to make them feel embarrassed about their own bodies, bringing deodorants and antiperspirants into the mainstream. A niche product became part of an industry that now sees profits of up to $18 billion a year. Early on, like most of American industry, little regulation and oversight led to all types of ingredients and additives being used. And it isn’t until recently that we are discovering possible correlations between them and disease.

The main ingredient in antiperspirants to prevent sweat is aluminum salts. They work by dissolving in the sweat or moisture on the skin surface of the armpit. The dissolved substance forms a gel, which creates a small temporary ‘plug’ near the top of the sweat gland, significantly reducing the amount of sweat that is secreted to the skin surface. Seems simple enough, but what we are learning through various studies is exposure to aluminum and aluminum compounds can cause pulmonary & respiratory issues, increase risk of liver and bladder cancer and its neurotoxic properties have now become well established fact! Further studies are beginning to link these aluminum based salts to increase risk of breast cancer.

Another ingredient often used in deodorants, antiperspirants as well as cosmetics are parabens which is a common term for a group of preservatives that prevent bacteria from growing in these products. You may have heard the term before and this is because a 2004 study by Dr. Philippa Darbre showed these preservatives were showing up in human breast tumors. It caused quite a stir and while not proving a direct link between parabens and breast cancer, it has inspired further research that may prove paraben’s carcinogenic properties.

Certainly these are not the only chemicals we are needlessly exposed to on a daily basis, but they are ones that can be easily avoided. Making your own natural deodorant can assist you in smelling a little better and save you a bunch of money too! So why not give it a try? I promise you its worth it.


1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

4 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil

Optional: 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (I used grapefruit & cedarwood)


Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl, mash, mix, stir into a soft consistency. Transfer into an empty deodorant container, then place in fridge allowing the mix to harden. THAT’S IT! YOU’RE DONE! Pretty simple ain’t it? I am still playing around with additional ingredients so if I find a better mix I will be sure to add it here.



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