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Coconut oil as a deodorant that doesn't burn shaved skin

Many people who shave parts of their skin complain that various deodorants applied to freshly-shaved skin can result in a burning sensation. But soothing unrefined (extra virgin) coconut oil can make a natural deodorant. Another variation is to mix a cup of the melted unrefined coconut oil with a tablespoon of baking soda. Then stir it and let it harden in the refrigerator inside of a cardboard (empty) toilet paper tube/roll.

Coconut oil as a deodorant or mouthwash.
Photo by Sergi Alexander

That way, the cylindrical shape might be pushed up when used if kept at a cool temperature so the coconut oil doesn't melt. For many people the coconut oil alone is enough without mixing with the baking soda, which some people add for extra protection. Other natural deodorants you can make from food include rubbing a sliced lemon on your skin such as in your armpits, but the acid can burn if there's an open in the skin or if it's freshly shaved. What you want is a soothing balm.

Making Deodorant from Coconut Oil with or without adding Mandarin Oil

Coconut oil, used extensively in the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia, is one of the best moisturizers for your skin. Coconut oil can be used as a mouthwash or as a deodorant. It's anti-bacterial.

Some people add Mandarin oil, which is tangerine oil, to the coconut oil to give it a fragrance. Other people don't want scented deodorants.

Mandarin oil has been grown in Sicily and Tunisia as well as in China, and has a delicate citrus scent. It’s an essential oil with properties to help relieve stress and digestive problem. Mandarin oil frequently is used to increase circulation to the skin, reduce fluid retention, and to help prevent stretch marks.

When added to coconut oil, coconut milk powder, and baking soda, a dropper full of Mandarin oil makes the finishing touch for a natural deodorant for the external use. It quickly becomes transparent on the skin. Or make your own shampoo by mixing a few drops of Mandarin oil with a few drops of olive oil added and a tablespoon of glycerin added to your favorite gentle shampoo base.

You can combine melted coconut oil, coconut milk powder, baking powder, and Mandarin oil to make your own natural deodorant. According to the Esoteric Oils site, Mandarin oil is extracted from Citrus reticulata (also known as Citrus nobilis, madurensis, unshiu, deliciosa) of the Rutaceae family and is also known as European mandarin, tangerine, naartjie and true mandarin. Here's how to make your own natural deodorant mixing coconut oil, powdered coconut milk, and baking soda with Mandarin oil.


1 cup of baking soda

1 cup of coconut oil

1 cup of coconut milk powder

1 dropper full of Mandarin oil (tangerine oil).

Mix the baking soda with the coconut milk powder in a glass bowl. Slowly melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a low flame. Coconut oil is solid when it is in a jar kept at room temperature or refrigerated.

You can buy coconut oil in most supermarkets. Powdered coconut milk is found in most Asian grocery stores. Or you can buy Mandarin oil online, for example at from Aura Cacia and other online sellers. Buy powdered coconut milk online from King Arthur Flour or Full Spectrum Organics or from numerous other online sellers that sell organics.

Add the warm, but not very hot, melted coconut oil liquid to the baking soda and dry coconut milk powder mix. Squeeze a dropper full of Mandarin oil into the liquid. Stir gently until all ingredients are mixed. Pour into a jar and let cool. The coconut oil will harden at room temperature.

Store the deodorant in a tightly closed jar. It will last a week or until used up. Make this deodorant in small batches. You want to make a fresh jar of deodorant every week or two. It will dry transparent.

Mandarin oil has a wonderful essence of citrus. It adds a gentle, delicate fragrance without being overpowering. If you’re allergic to scents, use a dropper full of citrus oil that is safely absorbed by your skin. Oils are sold in herbal shops and health food stores. Make sure the oil you use is the edible type used in foods, toothpaste, and mouthwashes and not the type used for burning in oil lamps or incense.

Don’t heat the Mandarin oil as it has a flashpoint of 133 degrees F. Check out more facts and safety levels of Mandarin oil at the Sigma-Aldrich® site.

Natural Touch Aromatherapy's Sicilian Mandarin essential oil obtained by cold-expression from the outer peel of ripe fruits. Mandarin is often adulterated with less expensive Orange oil. An excellent mandarin essential oil, amber-orange in colour with a deep, sweet, citrus-mandarin scent. To read more about Mandarin oil, see the Natural Touch Aromatherapy site.

If you have a teenage child who is first beginning to use a deodorant, consider one made from food or edible oils, for example, coconut oil. Just buy a jar of extra virgin coconut oil and have the child or teenager rub the coconut oil in his or her armpits. Nothing else is needed.

It won't sting and is great for children in those early teen or pre-teen years when they are first shaving underarms. Instead of buying some commercial deodorant that gets absorbed into the pores, coconut oil works just as well without all those synthetic chemicals that come in various deodorants. Another alternative is a salt stick.

Is there any link between frequent use of anti-perspirants and health issues?

See the study or even the abstract, "An earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of anti-perspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving," McGrath EKG, published December, 2003 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, vol. 12; 6:479-85. Also see: Department of Medicine, Saint Joseph Hospital-Resurrection Health Care.

Did you ever think in your wildest dreams that shaving and applying underarm deodorant would have any link or relationship to breast cancer? Yet the 2003 study reported that breast cancer incidence suggests a lifestyle cause.

According to this study six years ago, a lifestyle factor used near the breast is the application of antiperspirants/deodorants accompanied by axillary shaving. A previous study did not support a link with breast cancer. If these habits have a role in breast cancer development, women using antiperspirants/deodorants and shaving their underarms frequently would be expected to have an earlier age of diagnosis than those doing so less often.

An earlier age of diagnosis would also be expected in those starting to use deodorants and shaving at an earlier age. This is study had been the first study to investigate the intensity of underarm exposure in a cohort of breast cancer survivors.

Four hundred and thirty-seven females diagnosed with breast cancer were surveyed. Once grouped by their frequency of underarm hygiene habits, the mean age of diagnosis was the primary end point.

Secondary end points included the overall frequency of these habits, and potential usage group confounding variables were evaluated. All statistical tests were two-sided. Frequency and earlier onset of antiperspirant/deodorant usage with underarm shaving were associated with an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis.

Combined habits are likely for this earlier age of diagnosis. In conclusion, the study noted, that underarm shaving with antiperspirant/deodorant use may play a role in breast cancer. It is not clear which of these components are involved. Reviewed literature insinuates absorption of aluminium salts facilitated by dermal barrier disruption. Case-controlled investigations are needed before alternative underarm hygiene habits are suggested.

Sure, more case-controlled studies are needed. But everyone knows that when you rub aluminum salts into your pores the salts are going to be absorbed into your body.

There are healthier salts to put under your arms. How about plain old rock salt? It's a hunk of salt that is found in most health food stores. Think historically, in ancient times when bathing had been infrequent (or in some cold places, historically bathing was unknown) what do you think people used as a deodorant when they didn't use icy water?

Salt. Picture 3,000 years ago on the icy tundra of Siberia. Nomadic peoples used a chunk of rock salt as a deodorant. It worked then, and it still works well today.

Salt is one of the best underarm deodorants. Unless you're extemely salt sensitive, a chunk of rock salt found in health food stores makes a great underarm deodorant stick.

Let's look at what are in some of the commercial underarm deodorants. You have in some preservatives such as anti-fungal parabens. Look at various studies showing antifungal parabens that are taken into breast cancers. If you stop your underarm areas from sweating, you're cutting off one of the most important pathways for your body to detox of pollutants from the air, environment, and food.

It's okay to sweat, and salt gets rid of bacteria that cause odors

By shaving before you put on commercial deodorants, you're giving chemicals easier access to your bloodstream. Some of the commercial deodorants have chemicals containing estrogen-mimicking phthalates. These chemicals are being absorbed into your breast tissue and lymph nodes under your arms.

Besides rock salt, the easiest to apply, you can make your own deodorants also from foods. Baking soda is another alternative. A third alternative is making deodorant from powdered coconut milk and coconut oil mixed with baking soda.

Just make your own safer underarm deodorant from foods. You can use coconut oil by itself or mix up a batch with baking soda and powdered coconut milk. But plain coconut oil by itself works fine and is milder on children's skin than salty coatings. Think about using foods that neutralize odors as a deodorant compared to using chemicals that are not edible.

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