Smells Like Vegan Spirit!

I am thinking of changing the name of my blog.

To me, Fresh Picked Vegan sounds like it would focus wholly on foods.  I guess in a way, since a lot of the non-eating posts I write use kitchen ingredients, “Fresh Picked” still applies.   But I don’t know – anyone care to weigh in?

Anywho.

I mentioned the other day that I use homemade deodorant, and I thought that may have sparked some curiosity in those of you interested in implementing more natural day to day remedies (or those of you who already do, and are looking for a change).

First of all, it’s probably important to understand that the words Deodorant and Anti-Perspirant aren’t interchangeable.  When you consider them for a moment, that becomes immediately evident, but after years of seeing “deodorant and anti-perspirant” on every stick on the shelf, I think we often begin assuming they are.

Just to clarify: a deodorant masks or (supposedly) eliminates any foul body odour, while an anti-perspirant actively plugs up the pores of the underarm to stop – or reduce – sweating.

When put that way, I hope it is quickly clear that while deodorizing isn’t the worst thing (assuming the ingredients are natural), blocking the natural production of sweat by stuffing little microscopic corks into our pit-holes is far from healthy.  Or natural.

Which is why, if I’m not mistaken, you won’t find many (any?) natural deodorants that also boast anti-perspirant qualities.

There are a ton of store-bought products on the market.  Green Beaver, Jason, Tom’s of Maine, Burt’s Bees … to name just a very few.  I’ve tried some and turned away from others for the outrageous cost ($7 for a small stick of Tom’s!).  None have worked for me.  I even tried out the rock crystal kind.  That one worked for about half a day; I would have to reapply at noon.  But if there was some smell by then, a second application isn’t going to mask it, since they’re unscented.  I would have to wash my underarms first.  Definitely not always feasible!

Now maybe one of them works for you.  That is fantastic!  Even if you do decide to make your own, it’s never a bad idea to have a spare tucked away if you unexpectedly run dry or need one for the gym.  The one I have right now, Green Beaver, smells awesome and citrus-y, and would do the trick in a dire, short-term emergency!

deodorantthe “easy way out” isle

If you’re like me, and have given it a valiant gung-ho only to return weary and unkempt to the Walmart isle for a tube of Secret, then listen up!  Coconut oil is your new best friend!

It occurs to me that I’ve never written a post on the ups and downs of coconut oil.  I will do this, at some point.  For putting in your mouth, there is a lot of controversy.  But for smearing on your bod, the reviews are abundantly positive.

The recipe I’m about the share is not only easy, fast and made with ingredients you probably already have (assuming you’ve previously discovered the wonder of the oil), but it actually does a little bit to minimize sweat – naturally!  So saddle up!

photo

Coconut Oil Deodorant

(borrowed from any number of the hundreds of sites touting it, but most heavily from here)

  • 4 T coconut oil
  • 3 T baking soda
  • 2 T cornstarchMix it all together! You can experiment with different ratios of ingredients.  A lot of the recipes I have found suggest equal parts of all three ingredients, but since I have also read that the oil work pretty well on its own, I opted for a bit less of the other.

Shall we break it down?  You may be surprised to find that you’re not surprised at all!

Coconut oil boasts great anti-bacterial qualities, is a wonderful moisturizer (the only one that your hair will actually soak up, just fyi), and smells absolutely delicious.

Baking soda absorbs odour; think Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh.

Cornstarch absorbs wetness; if you haven’t replaced your store-bought dry shampoo with this yet, you’re behind the times!

Et voila!  This stuff is great all by itself – the oil gives it just the slightest coconut scent, but this last time I mixed in about 8 drops of Lemongrass essential oil (because it’s what I had on hand, and my only other option was peppermint), and it was a great success.  Nothing like catching an occasional whiff of lemon/coconut goodness when you’re near to nodding off at your desk! (update: it’s actually kind of like cleaning liquid; Iwill likely opt for another scent next time…)

As a final note, I’d like to mention some inspiration I read somewhere (sorry – I’ve been to so many sites about this I have no idea which one – and I’m sure it’s on a few): after awhile using this, you may find you sweat less!

What?!

My guess is that it works like your hair, if you’ve ever looked into the no-poo method.  Your body is so used to overcompensating because the shampoo/deodorant is blocking natural oil/sweat production that it goes whole hog for a bit before realizing it doesn’t need to anymore.  If that isn’t an excellent reason to at least give this a go, well…call me a giraffe’s second cousin!

moo-im-a-goat

Cheers dears,

*Lou

PS: I kept forgetting to go take picture of the deodorant isle at my local walmart.  Borrowed photo credits are linked to images!

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