Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
Deodorant is something most people wear every single day. Often chosen because of scent preference, deodorant is layered onto armpits without a second thought of its ingredients. But armpits are incredibly sensitive areas of the body and a place where detoxifying occurs. They serve a purpose and aren’t just meant to smell good. Your armpits are an absorbent area and will easily intake harmful ingredients that are found in standard antiperspirants.
Charcoal deodorant recipes are a natural, healthy, planet-friendly alternative. Made at home or found at specialty stores, making the switch to charcoal deodorant can be an effective preventative measure against cancers and other diseases. Let’s dig deeper to understand the role your armpits play to maintain overall health and how activated charcoal could improve your hygiene.
Read the Label
Before you recreate an activated charcoal deodorant recipe, it’s important to know exactly what lingers in your current deodorants. Checking labels usually means discovering there’s no actual lavender in your “lavender-scented sports stick” and instead of being bombarded with hyphenated words that are impossible to pronounce.
Standard deodorant doesn’t have too many ingredients but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. Here’s a list of the most common categories of active ingredients and how the body responds to them.
Aluminum-based compounds are the most common active ingredient in and perhaps the most dangerous. Acting as an antiperspirant, aluminum blocks sweat glands trapping the body’s natural waste from escaping. If absorbed (and it often is depending on how long you wear your deodorant), aluminum will alter the structure of estrogen receptors in breast cells (because of proximity) and increase the likelihood of breast cancer.
To reduce sweating without these risks, Potassium Alum is a better alternative. It’s a naturally occurring salt and its molecules are too large to be absorbed and pass through the bloodstream. Include Potassium Alum in your activated charcoal deodorant recipe for an effective and natural antiperspirant benefit.
Triclosan serves as a preservative and powerful antibacterial in things like deodorant, antiperspirant, hand sanitizer, and other cosmetics. Seems natural to want to kill the bacteria on your pits but at what cost?
The FDA labels Triclosan as a pesticide while the EPA calls it a probable carcinogen. The use of these ingredients creates toxic buildup in the body and deteriorates our environment especially aquatic life.
Prosecuting parabens isn’t new for this blog but unfortunately, they continue to be used in 75-90 percent of cosmetic and body care products. The most common include methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, and butylparaben.
Parabens are used as a preservative but what they actually do is alter hormones, specifically estrogen. Studies have proven a concentration of parabens are found in breast tumors and that women are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer in the part of the breast closest to the underarm. All that just so a product can sit on the shelf longer!?
Exposing yourself to the chemical soup that is a synthetic fragrance can be damaging to your lungs and cause allergic reactions.
Unfortunately, the danger of these deodorants don’t manifest themselves immediately but over time can result in asthma, kidney damage, allergies, and even cancer. Beyond the long-term damage, the use of products that contain these toxins can cause you to be tired, unfocused, affect appetite and mood.
Have You found the perpetrating ingredient in your current deodorant? If so, toss em out. Your armpits deserve better, your health is too important, plus we’ve got stellar alternatives for you.
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is making serious headway in the natural beauty industry for it’s subtle but effective health benefits. You can find activated charcoal in shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and now–inside your very own deodorant.
So, what is activated charcoal? To start, it’s NOT the charcoal used at a barbecue. Activated charcoal is carbon that has been treated with oxygen and then activated using extreme heat. It’s been used in medicine for a very long time. One of its favored benefits and uses has been to aid in overdoses as it quickly absorbs toxins. Activated charcoal also plays a significant role in water purification. It removes all sorts of impurities and contaminants.
But what can it do for your pits!?
As you may know, the reason armpits smell isn’t from the sweat that’s produced. Bacteria on the skin mixed with sweat caused the bacterial acids to break down releasing an odor. Activated charcoal is highly porous and absorbs the bacteria and other toxins, thus eliminating the chance to develop smelly pits.
If you’ve used standard store-bought deodorant you make have backed-up some of the toxins listed earlier. Activated charcoal deodorant can detoxify your armpits of toxins, parabens, and aluminum over time.
Now, let’s make some shall we!?
DIY Charcoal Deodorant
There are a million DIY activated charcoal deodorant recipes out there. After a few alterations and personalizations, I’ve come up with this.
- Use a face mask or avoid breathing in the fine powders included in this recipe.
- A scale (measurement in grams) is much more accurate–and easier than tablespoons.
- Feel free to multiply this recipe to make a larger batch for friends and family. Everyone loves a DIY gift.
- This recipe is great for sensitive skin and results and makes one deodorant stick.
Ingredients & Measurements
- 4oz jar or tin (I like these ones)
- Double boiler
- Kitchen scale
- 30g coconut oil ( I like NutriBioPlanet)
- 20g shea butter ( my brand pic is Better Shea Butter)
- 10g carrier oil ( I like almond or jojoba)
- 10g organic beeswax
- 15g arrowroot powder (Bob’s Red Mill is my brand pick)
- 10g food-grade diatomaceous earth
- 10g activated charcoal
- 5 drops of vitamin E
- 15-25 drops of your favorite essential oils (optional)
- Measure oils, shea butter, and beeswax into the upper part of your double-boiler (for me, this was a glass bowl)
- Melt with the heat on low over the bottom part of double-boiler (or pot with shallow water) until everything is melted (the beeswax will be the last thing to melt, keep stirring)
- Turn off the heat to allow it to cool for a few minutes
- Add arrowroot, Activated Charcoal, DE, Vitamin E, and essential oils; whisk vigorously to fully combine
- Pour into container
- Place somewhere safe so it can cool and solidify (doesn’t take long)
- That’s it!
Consistency is key. If you want it softer or firmer just adjust the oil measurements to your preference.
Want another DIY deodorant recipe? Check out our coconut oil deodorant recipe.
Making your own activated charcoal deodorant recipe is not only cheaper, but it also puts you in control of what’s going on your body. No need to put your health at risk with a standard deodorant when all you need is a few melted oils and natures strongest detoxifying powder.
If you are looking for natural deodorant recommendations, head over to 6 of the Best Natural Deodorants.
And if you have any questions about the recipe or about activated charcoal in general, please leave them in the comments below and we will do our best to help you out!