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The Dark Side of Deodorant

Apr 24, 2020


Hey gorgeous people!!  I want to talk about your armpits today.


Sexy, right?


Well actually I want to talk about the deodorant you are putting in your armpits to prevent you from being a stinky person.

We’ve all been taught to believe that its unbecoming to smell … “au natural”…. and we’ve also been taught that every morning before we start our day we are supposed to put on deodorant to stay nice and fresh all the live long day.




To understand why this is harmful, we need to dive into your pits a little bit.  It’ll be fun I promise!

So scattered throughout that gorgeous body of yours are these little clusters of lymph nodes.

They are found from head to toe, and some parts of the body have a higher concentration of collections of these lymph nodes.

Your groin, your neck (just under your chin bilaterally), your abdomen, and yep, you guessed it! Your armpits!

The lymph nodes are part of an awesome system in your body called your lymphatic system.

For a deeper dive into your lymphatic system and why its so damn important, please refer back to my previous post found here. 

Lymph nodes are intimately connected with the immune system. They are also responsible for helping our body filter out waste, toxins, dead cells, and metabolic by-products. 


Okay, that is lymph nodes in a nutshell.  Very basic.

Now lets move onto skin.




We eliminate metabolic by-products, poisons, pharmaceutical waste, etc through the following ways: urine, stool, and sweat.  Pee and poo are for another day (for more on poo, check out this post here!), but today I want to highlight the importance of sweating.


It is insanely important to sweat. 

I also want to point out that while your skin is responsible for helping you eliminate toxins via the sweat, it also plays an important role in absorption.

What you put ON your body via your skin will get INTO your body via your skin.

Why do you think transdermal medication patches work? They get into the body by way of your skin! Fentanyl patches, nicotine patches, lidocaine patches, birth control patches, etc etc etc. These are effective because the skin allows the drug IN!


In my quest for whole body wellness, I’ve decided that I don’t want to put anything on my body what I wouldn’t want to eat.

This sounds crazy to some of you.

You’re probably thinking of your sunless tanner, your body lotion, your shampoo/conditioner, your night creams and toners and make up….

Yes all of these things that you put ON your body eventually end up IN your body.

If you wouldn’t want to take a big spoonful of your moisturizer, I would consider whether it is the right choice for you to be putting on your skin (because it will ultimately end up in your body). 


(do you want a post on my skin routine and products I personally use?  Let me know in the comments.)


So deodorant.

When we put conventional deodorants that are also antiperspirants on our armpits, we are blocking the sweat glands whose purpose is to eliminate toxins.

We are also swiping on other unwanted/naughty ingredients that are in the product (like aluminum ((actual legitimate poison linked to neurodegenerative diseases)), phthalates ((more legitimate poison linked to hormone imbalance and infertility)), triclosan ((more legit poison, FDA classifies this one as a pesticide…), preservatives, fragrances, AND.

Remember the purpose of your skin – it eliminates as well as absorbs.

So that means you are absorbing all of those naughty things, clogging up your lymph nodes, and impeding the purpose of your sweat glands which is to eliminate toxins in the first place, all to smell a little bit prettier and not have sweaty pits? 


So being totally au natural is not for everyone.

I get it.

It’s kind of gross smelling yourself.

Also of note, if you are super stinky in the pit region, that could be a sign of something deeper like gut imbalance, whole body toxicity, bad diet, a sluggish lymphatic system, chronically elevated cortisol, or some other underlying chronic infection that you may have to go a little deeper into to figure that out.


I have been making my own deodorant for years now, and its beyond simple, keeps me from becoming very stinky, BUT it still allows me to sweat (which is the whole point anyway)!


Antiperspirants are so so bad for you.  Your body’s natural state it to sweat.

Let it out baby.

If anyone teases you for having sweaty pits, you can use that moment to educate them on the importance of sweating being a healthy, natural bodily response and you’d love to direct them to this awesome blog post that taught you this very thing!  (haha 😉)

If people are still giving you a hard time, its often because people don’t want to hear that they have to change things that have been ingrained in their psyche since the beginning of time.

Its hard work making change. And when people aren’t ready for it, they get defensive.  Just meet them where they are, smile, be kind and move on.   


Here is my 4 ingredient homemade deodorant recipe.  Full disclosure here:

I am a stinky female.  I have pretty gnarly B.O when I’m au natural. It’s a little off-putting even for me, but I’ve embraced my imperfections and I own it now.

But, for times when I am going out in public or going to work or going to be around other people and sweating, I use this deodorant and it not only puts all the poisonous crap from Walgreens to shame, but it actually keeps me from stinking up something fierce during extremely hot Southern California weather while hiking uphill with ankle weights and carrying gallons of water in my backpack.

(super super easy) Homemade Deodorant Recipe!

  • 3 TBS coconut oil

  • 1.5 TBS arrowroot powder

  • 2 TBS baking soda

  • Essential oils of choice

(some good essential oil options that have natural anti-bacterial/anti-viral/astringent properties are melaleuca/tea tree, bergamot, lavender, cypress, juniper berry, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon, lime)


Get a glass jar.

Scoop your coconut oil into the jar, and then place the jar in a sauce pan with water in it on the stove for a few minutes to melt the coconut oil (skip this step if its hot where you are and your coconut oil is very malleable and/or liquid) (don’t add water to the jar with the coconut oil in it.

Add it to the sauce pan and then set the jar with coconut oil in it into the sauce pain.  (Like a double burner for melting chocolate chips for baking).

Then add in your baking soda and arrow root powder.

Stir together.

Add your essential oils.

Add more baking soda or arrow root powder as necessary to create a thick paste. 

Apply to your under arms and enjoy smelling amazing with no toxic poison under your delicate under arms all day!


You’re done.

That’s literally it.


Its not uncommon for this mixture to become very hard as it cools (depending on the time of year, it may be hard or soft).  You don’t need much, like ¼ to ½ teaspoon per armpit.  It will spread on smoothly like a paste. 


And play around with this recipe! 

Try a different combination of essential oils.

Maybe you find that the proportions aren’t exactly what you need for optimal stink control (add more baking soda).

Maybe it’s a little too rough (add more arrow root).

Maybe it’s not malleable enough (add more coconut oil).

You could get real fancy and throw in some shea butter or charcoal if you want!  The rules are there are no rules when you’re making your own deodorant. 


Have fun with it and enjoy knowing that you’re making a healthier, less toxic personal care choice.  Your lymph nodes, sweat glands, and overall toxic exposure status will thank you!


Do you have your own deodorant recipe?  Did you try this one and have luck/not so much?  I want to hear from you in the comments! 


Sending you love, health, and happy underarms!



Emily 😊

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