Even though I’ve always been inclined to live a much more natural life than the average person, I didn’t take this seriously until I signed up to an Ayurveda class a few years ago. For the first time in my life, I found myself surrounded by like-minded people who were passionate about the same things as I was, and who I could learn a lot from. It was in this class that I first made the connection between using commercial antiperspirant deodorants and health. I don’t know what led us to discuss this topic, but I quickly learned that none of my classmates was using these products. They obviously knew something I didn’t. After a couple of them briefly explained why they avoided these popular bars, rolls, and sprays at all cost, everything made complete sense. What was unbelievable was the fact that I hadn’t realized this on my own.
In short, our bodies are meant to sweat. Through sweating, we cool down when it’s too hot, so that our bodies can keep their perfect temperature. Through sweat, we also release many toxins. By blocking this natural process, we keep our bodies from doing their job properly. On top of this, the countless chemicals in these products are quite harmful, starting with aluminum, which has been directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Using them has also been linked to breast cancer and kidney disease.
Not wanting to promote disease, but not prepared to embrace body odor, I began experimenting with natural deodorants. My first natural deodorant was a mix of milk of magnesia and alcohol. I liked it, but wanted to experiment more. My second attempt was just squeezing some lemon juice on my underarms. I found that this worked, but it irritated my skin after a few applications. The same happened when I applied straight baking powder onto my skin. Lastly, I tried a natural preparation with coconut oil, Shea butter, lavender oil, and arrowroot flour recommended by Alejandra Graf, a fellow Hip Latina contributor. This one didn’t really work at first, but after a while, once my body got used to it, it worked perfectly well, and I love it.
Please note that using these natural deodorants will keep you from smelling, but not from sweating. This may be hard to get used to at first, but it should really be a non-negotiable fact. We are humans, and we have to sweat. We shouldn’t be using chemical products that we cannot pronounce to keep us from doing what we are meant to do. You wouldn’t want to use a product that kept you from going to the bathroom, or one that dried up your tears, would you? Nothing good can come of denying our natural bodily functions.
After this first immersion into the world of natural products, I started applying this to every other area of my life. After all, skin is the largest organ in our bodies, and anything we put on it is easily absorbed and goes into our bloodstream. It’s funny how many of us take such good care of what we put in our mouths, yet are not concerned at all with what goes into our skin.
Of all the things I’ve tried, I would say coconut oil is the most useful product. You can remove make up or clean your skin at the end of the day by spreading some oil on your face and wiping it off with a cotton ball. You can massage your hair with coconut oil before taking a shower, for a natural and wonderfully smelling conditioner. And of course, coconut oil is the best and most healthy skin moisturizer you could use.
Check out this helpful video on the many uses of coconut oil:
In the winter, I like to moisturize my skin with sesame oil instead because it’s more warming. And brushing your teeth with a little baking soda is a great natural toothpaste. You can also make a killer mouth wash with this amazing alkalizing powder.
Where to Search Natural Products
If you do want to use actual products that don’t come out of your kitchen, I recommend you search for the most natural options in a website called Skin Deep. This cosmetics database will tell you everything you need to know about your favorite products and you will be able to learn how toxic they are and make informed decisions when purchasing them. Good luck on your journey to a more natural health and beauty routine.