So as part of the FreEco Bus journey and my personal journey, it has also been important for me to consider how I will meet my hygiene needs in as eco friendly way as possible whilst still trying to reduce my dependency on money. As part of this I have used a lot of the eco alternatives, both shop bought and homemade.
Here are some eco options to consider and my experiences of them.
Salt Crystals: The ones I used had no scent to them and were used in a similar way to roll on deodorant, except that you need to get you or it wet first. I didn’t notice any bad odor when I used these, but equally didn’t get that nice clean feeling or scent. They left me with damp skin which I didn’t want to dry off in case it rubbed of the salt. They were long lasting though and they seemed to work ok, not great but ok. I just found them a bit clumsy and uncomfortable.
Lush Deodrant: I haven’t tried Lush deodorant as I went straight from the above to the homemade alternatives as they are so easy to make, but I have used a lot of Lush products during my transitioning phase with each cosmetic and hygiene product that I use. I use them as they use recycled and/or compostable packaging and they try and reduce the use of chemicals in the products, don’t test on animals… the ethical list goes on. So if you are going to go for shop bought I recommend them!
Homemade Bicarbonate of Soda & Coconut Oil Roll On Deodorant: This is one of my favorites, but I think there are more eco friendly alternatives out there. I like it because it feels like a typical roll on pretty much, you can add scent if you want to but I prefer not too and it is easy to make. The bicarbonate of soda provides the deodorizing effect whilst the coconut oil moisturizes the skin. Simply keep an old roll on tube and when empty wash it out to put the homemade alternative into. Mix enough melted coconut oil (to fill the container when solidified) with 1-2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Then pour into your container and let set.
Homemade Natural Deodorizing Spray: This is my favorite for environmental reasons and is the one that I will likely keep, although I may vary it slightly over the years as most people do with homemade recipes. What I did was I kept a pretty old perfume bottle (use pliers to get the spray bit off) to use as a container but any spray bottle will do. Make a herbal infusion (or if you’re a bit lazy like me a tea) with bay leaves and scented herb, I used rosemary to scent. I also didn’t clean my perfume bottle out too much so a bit of that scent comes through. Then when it’s cooled pour the liquid into your perfume bottle and spritz on armpits. Granted it doesn’t last as long as the others and the wetness takes some getting used to, but I like this for the environmental benefits. I have my own bay tree and rosemary plants so I can make this completely from home sourced materials. Therefore it is the most sustainable form of deodorant that I have found so far. I tend to spritz it more often than I would traditional deodorant to make up for how long it lasts. Generally though it seems to work for general day to day use. You might need something stronger if you were doing something more intensive. Generally though I would just wash after those things… but if you can’t then maybe opt for the bicarbonate of soda method above?
I tend to be of the belief that if you eat a healthy diet and maintain good hygiene (i.e. wash regularly) you shouldn’t be too smelly. So something like the natural deodorizing spritz should be enough to give your body a little bit of help. I also oppose the use of antiperspirants as our body has evolved to sweat for a reason! So I really hope this post will give you some ideas to try out some new alternatives, and if one doesn’t work for you keep trying different options.
If you have any other ideas for eco options for deodorant please comment below, ideally homemade with local materials.