Summertime and our thoughts are naturally on outdoor eating, playing and perhaps even sleeping. Every opportunity I get I am out in the garden, either sprawled out with a selection of newspapers (I am a news junkie – but a traditional one), eating a meal with my family, deadheading various overblown plants, or doing some food prep under the shade of our 80 foot oak tree.
Unlike some people here in the UK, I LOVE this heat. I am a Florida girl at heart, so instead of wilting, I am positively energised. Even without the benefit of air-conditioning (no homes have it and few workplaces do either) we are finding ways to catch the breeze in our house, and of course we are drinking loads of cold drinks.
My and Miss R’s default drink is iced matcha tea with lemon and a squirt of acacia honey. But we are also loving frozen watermelon, lime, mint and chilli (!) whizzed up to a deep vermillion brain-freezing froth in the Vitamix. Occasionally a drop of vodka falls in to mine and Mr A’s. Oops!
Because I am currently unusually active and energised (I blame the copious glasses of matcha), I am incredibly lucky to feel confident about – ahem – my underarms. This is despite the fact that I am very allergic to all commercial deodorants. Like horribly allergic. ‘Patient A in a medical textbook’ allergic. I am not sure what I react to but even the fancy, pricey aluminum-free ones are off-limits. This has been the case for over six years.
After a short time of wondering what in the world I was going to do – living in the Arctic or Antarctic were not options – I decided to investigate making my own. After experimenting with numerous combinations of both dry and wet formulas I hit on one that really works. And it smells ruddy fantastic too. Weirdly I am not infrequently complimented on it, and there is always an incredulous laugh when I say,”it’s homemade deodorant”. In conjunction with a slick of bacteriostatic alum crystal (I use Pitrok) during warm spells, this formula keeps me confident and dry. The oils I use are known for their natural drying and bacteria-zapping properties, but truthfully many other essential oils are as well, so it is worth experimenting if you fancy having a go with it yourself. But I do urge you to read the links I mention as far as potential interactions if using other oils. The ones I have in the two recipes are deemed safe for all.
I had to find a new way to keep myself whiff-free, but others choose to do so for other reasons, including a suspicion that commercial deodorants may cause breast cancer. In truth, not enough studies have been done to establish whether or not bought deodorants with all of their chemicals (that do work, for sure) cause some cancers. But I do think it is a watch-this-space situation. I monitor the scientific literature for any new studies but so far nothing conclusive. I am not an alarmist on this, however, and I don’t tell others to avoid deodorant.
If you are intrigued enough, check out my homemade deodorant recipes – one feminine and one manly. I have updated the research since I wrote it in 2011, and added quite a few new links too. In addition, I have slightly tweaked the recipe, so if you have seen the recipe the first time round, you will see it has changed slightly. For the better, of course!
And it goes without saying that although the recipes use vodka (!), don’t be tempted to drink it: Spray responsibly 😀 Keep the vodka-drinking confined to cocktails and watermelon and lime brain-freeze slushies.