Finally Settled On A Homemade Deodorant

zappPhoto courtesy of Anchor Wife

Ok, this is my third and hopefully final post about deodorant.

My journey started here, with finding a store-bought deodorant in place of my antiperspirant.

Then my journey lead me here because someone at my local health food store recommended this regimen.

Now, finally, I’ve settled here.  With a homemade deodorant paste I found via Anchor Wife.  (Plus I added two drops of essential oil to create a scent that I loved).

Now I’m happy with what I’m using because it’s all-natural (to talc, no parabans, no artificial scents or colors), it smells good, it’s easy to apply in a paste form, and IT WORKS!

If you’re not into making your own, a company called Primal Pit Paste uses essentially the same ingredients – you’ll just pay a little more for them.

DIY Lip Scrub

My husband’s most hated store, next to Forever 21 of course, is called Lush.

When you walk in, the smell of a thousand different scents of flowers, fruits and herbs rush up your nostrils, into your brain and they cause a section of your brain to capitulate.  For me, this is a lovely, very pleasurable experience.  For my husband, it is excruciatingly painful and he instantly starts gagging and complaining about his allergies.

But anyway, this lovely store, Lush, sells all sorts of handmade soaps, beauty products, make up, etc. etc. etc.  It’s heaven and I want to buy and eat the whole store.

So picture this: we are in Maui in the hip little town of Lahaina.  The ocean breeze is blowing, someone is playing a uke on a curbside bench, people are happily strolling around eating gelato and shaved ice and BAM!   I see Lush.  So I scurry ahead, duck into the shop and start smelling everything.

After a nice complimentary hand treatment from the sales associate, I am encouraged to try their Bubblegum lip scrub.  Tasty!  Just like candy!  Then I was encouraged to buy this nifty little lip scrub.  The sales associate explained to me how using a lip scrub before applying lip balm removes the dead skin cells and allows your lips to absorb the lip balm better and blah, blah, blah.

Um, no.

After checking the ingredients, the lip scrub was essentially an oil, course sugar, flavor and coloring that made it pink.

No matter how tasty, there ain’t no way I ‘m paying $10.25 for a tablespoon of yummy sugar and oil.

So I bought two of their lip balms, which are in fact amazing, and I stuck a little note in the back of my mind to remind myself to make some DIY lip scrub when I returned home.

The benefit of lip scrub:  It makes your lips makes your lips feel soft and smooth.  Helps lipstick last longer.  Increases kiss-ability factor.

Simple enough, yeah?

So here is my amazing, blow your socks off, one of a kind recipe:

Step 1:   Find jar
Step 2:  Put coconut oil and brown sugar into jar.  Mix.
Step 3:  Use it.  AKA: Scrub lips and lick off (or rinse)

And this tasty lip scrub will probably run ya about 25 cents per jar.

You’re welcome.

I even had my husband try my concoction to which he responded that it was fine, but asked if I could make some in bacon flavor.  Bacon grease and brown sugar anyone???  Mmm, breakfast lip scrub…

5 Awesome Tips

I’ve learned a lot of good tips over the little blogging hiatus I took.  Things that have helped me save money and added convenience to my life.  So I thought I’d share.  In no particular order, here are the tips:

Rubbing Alcohol = Make-Up Fixer

NARS Laguna bronzer open

I saw this tip on the Today Show one morning and I tried it with my Nars bronzer that I dropped a while back.  Worked like a charm!

If you have any kind of compressed powder make-up (eye shadow, powder, bronzer, blush) that has broken apart simply follow these steps to reconstruct it:

  1. Cover make-up with a cloth or plastic wrap and use a coin to smash the make-up into a powder, eliminating the large chunks
  2. Saturate the make-up with rubbing alcohol.  It should look like wet sand.  90% alcohol will dry faster than 70%, but either will work fine
  3. Press with the cloth-covered coin to compact the make-up
  4. Let dry.  Your make up will be one compacted piece again

If you want to see a step-by-step tutorial this YouTube video is really helpful.


Brown Sugar/Olive Oil Exfoliant

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I will never buy an exfoliant again.  This on is all natural and makes your skin feel sooooo soft!  It’s pretty self explanatory.  Mix brown sugar and olive oil in some kind of jar or container.  Rub onto skin.  Rinse.  Done!  And it smells amazing too!

Or, as an alternative, before you throw away used coffee grounds, rub them over your hands.


Peppermint Vanilla Tea

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This year I discovered Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Green Tea.  Oh my, it is delicious!  The bummer part: they only sell it for a short while before Christmas.  By the time I realized my deep, passionate love for this tea it wasn’t available anymore.  So I had to figure out how to concoct this delicacy myself.

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I bought peppermint tea at the store.  Then I added some vanilla.  Not vanilla extract because that was too strong, but just vanilla flavoring.

The Trader Joe’s tea also had orange peel in it so next time I may add a little orange zest to my tea, but since I don’t always have oranges on hand, the peppermint with vanilla will do the trick.  Yum!


Freeze Minced Garlic

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I don’t know about you, but I love garlic and I use it A LOT, but I dislike how it takes me so long to shell and chop it for each individual use.  So I bought a massive bag of shelled garlic at Costco for around $5.  Then I minced it.  Froze it into ice cube trays.  Cut it into smaller cubes.  Stored it in a ziploc bag and voilà!  Ready-to-use garlic for a year!  It’s similar to Trader Joe’s frozen minced garlic, but much more cost effective.

You can also do this with onions too!   This is next on my list to try since chopping onions doesn’t make my eyes water, but rather it turns my eyes into a raging river.


Keepin’ The Shower Clean

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I saw this idea on Pinterest and it’s awesome!  Take one of these dish scrubbers.  Fill it with natural dish detergent and vinegar and keep it in your shower.  Use it occasionally to keep your shower clean and chemical free.

With a little one, this is a great time saver and way to keep his bathing area clean!

No One Wants “Mom Hair” – Hair Tutorials

In the words of my friend Kristen:

So, I just have to share that I am loving this blog. I don’t feel like I ever have time to do my hair (besides the fact that I never really know what to do with it). This woman’s hair tutorials are really easy. Just thought I’d share because ho one wants “mom hair.” 😉

I checked out her blog recommendation today and I love it too!  Really I need a haircut, but until that happens I’m gonna try out some braids and twists and fun stuff like that.  The blog is called The Small Things Blog and I hope you like it too.  Here are few pics to give you an idea of some styles she has video tutorials for.

Look What I Found In My Closet!

Sometimes it pays off to have an overcrowded closet.

I bought this sweater I think three years ago from the Gap.  Probably haven’t worn it in two years now.  Probably kept thinking I should donate it.     But I hung onto it and now, even though it’s three-ish years old, I feel like it’s brand new!

So check out my new sweater!  It’s awesome right?  And it was totally free!  (Well, sort of).

Gosh I love when styles repeat themselves.  Love, love, LOVE.

Here are a couple sweaters currently on sale at the Gap.  Maybe if you buy one, you too will have a new sweater every three years!

Hat Accessory

I’m wearing a lot of hats these days.  Partially because it’s fall so I’m liking the extra warmth and styles that involve jackets and boots, but mostly because my roots are growing out pretty bad and I still have a month left until my next hair appointment.  Eek!  So, as if one accessory isn’t enough, my new favorite idea involves accessorizing an accessory…

Step 1 – buy a cool hat at a friend’s garage sale

Step 2 – pin the leftover napkin holder from your friend’s wedding onto said hat

Step 3 – rock the hat

Better Blonde

About a month ago I was ready to shave my head.  After spending 4.5 hours in a salon where they color stripped my hair, then dyed and highlighted it back to blonde, my hair looked like orangish straw.  It felt dry and crinckly when I touched it and the orange…ah, what can I say about the orange???  Although impossible, I wanted to go back in time and claim my hair virginity back.  Back to the days when my hair was pure and natural.  But since that would take me shaving my head and waiting about five years for it to grow back, I was frusterated.

While in Chico for Jon’s grandpa’s 90th birthday party, Jon’s brilliant cousin Nicole – a hair stylist in San Fransisco – told me I should try using purple shampoo.  So I did.  And it worked!  I’m not a scientist, but something about the purple cancels out any orangy or brassy color hanging out in blonde hair.  Although, she did warn me not to use it more than once a week or my hair might actually start to look a little purple.  Note taken.

I found this stuff at Sally Beauty and along with repairing my hair using intense conditioning treatments, my hair is actually starting to feel good again.  At this point my plan is to try and get my hair back to my natural color as much as possible just so I don’t have to deal with any hair drama as I try and adjust to becoming a new mom.

Olive Oil Spa

Ever since I met Jon he has been telling me that olive oil is the elixir of life.  When I drizzle some on my salad he will advise me to pour a little more on.  If my hands are dry he’ll tell me to go rub some olive oil into my hands.  He’s half Italian, can you tell?  I always thought his advice was a little over the top – kind of like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who uses Windex as a cure-all.  But, I am now officially retracting all my previous judgments about olive oil.  Now I’m a believer.

The Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans all took full advantage of this prized oil.  Olive oil is high in antioxidants, including vitamin E.  Antioxidants are nutritional powerhouses that protect against age-accelerating free radicals.  Mediterranean people today are still known for their radiant skin and great health due to a diet rich in fish, nuts, vegetables, whole grains and olive oil.

A couple months ago we started keeping a bottle of olive oil in our bathroom after I looked at a label of a popular belly moisturizing, stretch-mark preventing cream and discovered that the ingredients consisted of olive oil, some other kind of oil and added fragrance.  And it was hideously overpriced!  So I started rubbing olive oil all over my belly every time I got out of the shower, sometimes slapping some on my elbows, knees and ankles as well.

Some other olive oil beauty treatments include:

Nail & Hand Treatment
Soak your hands in a small bowl of olive oil and massage it into your nail bed.

Olive Oil Hair Mask
Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil to a warm (not hot) temperature.  (Might need more depending on hair length)  Massage into hair until hair is completely saturated.  Cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap.  Leave on 30 – 90 minutes.  Then shampoo and condition as usual. (Don’t shampoo more than once because you want some of the olive oil to remain in your hair.)  An alternative hair mask: wisk two eggs into the olive oil before applying to hair.  I did this to my hair tonight since last week my switch back to blonde left my hair feeling like straw.  But one olive oil mask later and my locks are feeling moisturized and much shinier!

Pre-Shave or After Shave Oil
Jon rubs some olive oil into his neck before and after shaving to reduce razor burn.  It really works!  If you don’t like the smell you can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil into the bottle to create a nice fragrance.  Sephora sells a one ounce bottle of this stuff for $14.  If you read the ingredient list of this pricey little bottle all it consists of is: castor oil, olive oil, fruit oil and fragrance.  Same idea can be used for women shaving their underarms or legs.  If you want to keep a bottle in the shower just make sure to pick up a all-purpose plastic bottle from the drugstore or Sally Beauty to avoid accidents with glass in the shower.

Ultra-Moisturizing Face Mask
If you have break-out prone skin I wouldn’t recommend much olive oil on your face although you can make an intense moisturizing face mask by wisking some olive oil, honey and an egg yolk together.  Then apply to the face.  Relax for 15 minutes while it works it’s magic.  Rinse with warm water.

Eye Make-Up Remover
Put some olive oil on a cotton pad to remove mascara and other eye make up.

Greek Goddess Bath
Drizzle some olive oil into your bath as it fills up to enjoy a moisturizing experience fit for goddess.  I like to add some scented bubble bath as well to make it smell prettier.  It will leave your skin feeling super soft!  Just be careful next time you step in the shower.  If you forget to swish it out with some dish soap you might encounter a slippery tub.

The great thing about olive oil beauty treatments is that you usually already have everything you need to do them somewhere in your kitchen.

Still On The Hunt For Modest, Fashionable Swimsuits

A little while back I posted about my Hunt For a Modest, Fashionable Swimsuit.  Well, today one of my best friends, Jessica Carroll, sent me a picture text of her new swimsuit and it was yes, modest, fashionable AND just plain stinkin’ adorable!  So I figured I would share her awesome find with you in case you’re still on the hunt yourself!

Jessica bought this suit pictured below.  It’s called the Beach Blanket Bingo One Piece in Red.  Long name.  It’s $89 from Mod Cloth.  Um wow!  Right?  The retro style reminds me of the character Senora Webster from one of my favorite childhood movies, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.  Classic.  

And the same style in Daze-y One Piece – Plus Size.

Some of my other favorites from Mod Cloth are the Bathing Beauty One Piece in Black.

Or the Bathing Beauty One Piece in Cherry Pie.

And then we have the Yesteryear Glam One Piece.  Although this one will cost you a bit more at $127.

So there you have it!  More modest, fashionable swimwear that will no doubt look good on many different body types!

Ya know, I’m starting to think I should get paid by these companies for promoting their products to all my friends, don’t you think?

Meet In The Middle

I have often been referred to as impulsive, extreme and intense.  Sometimes your greatest strengths are also your greatest weaknesses, right?

Well this time my extreme-ness took me from one end of the spectrum to the other before I landed somewhere in the middle.  No, I’m not talking about politics or religion, I’m talking about deodorant.

In my quest to embrace more natural products, I decided to ditch my long-time reliable anti-perspirant:  The Dove 5-pack from Costco.  Somewhere I had heard that anti-perspirants had been linked to breast cancer.  However, after investigating that claim more, I found that the correlation is actually rather slim, according to the National Cancer Institute.  They said for the most part, it’s just a rumor.  Yet, on the other hand, The Mommypotamus and Passionate Homemaking articles claim that common anti-perspirant ingredients such as aluminum, talc and parabens have in fact been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and other health issues.


So, what to believe???

Well, this is where I stop scouring the web and resort to my own common sense reasoning.

Erin’s brain:  So, God designed my body.  He built in a natural cooling system so that my body would have a way to self-regulate it’s temperature.  Therefore, I should try to interfere as little as possible, while still finding a way to feel civilized.   

In high school, I’m pretty sure anti-perspirant was a necessity- at least for social reasons.  With teenage hormones raging, my body had a hobby of sweating!  But as I hit my twenties, I think my hormones settled down, as did my sweat glands.  I kept wearing anti-perspirants because that’s what I’d always worn even though I probably didn’t need as much sweat protection as I had before.

Jon and I took a trip to Walmart on Saturday in search of deodorant.  Not deodorant plus anti-perspirant – JUST deodorant.  I was shocked!  Other than two scents of Tom’s natural deodorant, there was absolutely no regular deodorant for women!  There were a bunch of options for men, but none for women.  I guess they make what we demand.

I was in search of plain ‘ol deodorant because, like I said, my extreme-ness lead me to run out and buy a tube of Tom’s Natural deodorant a couple weeks ago.  After three days of wearing that stuff I couldn’t take any more.  My underarms constantly felt sticky and it gave me some kind of rash either from an ingredient or just from the constant sticky traction when I moved my arms around.  Not to mention, I had to apply the stuff three times per day – and even after all that fuss, my husband still disapproved of of my new, more “natural” (AKA: gross) scent.

So all-natural deodorant was a complete fail, but the option of a regular chemically-scented deodorant seemed like it might be a happy medium!  I could still smell and feel fresh without using some of the potentially harmful chemicals used in anti-perspirants that can be absorbed into the skin.

After much sniffing in the Walmart deodorant aisle, I came across one men’s deodorant that didn’t smell manly at all. In fact, according to the marketing it smells like “Palm Trees, Sunshine & Freedom!”  Wow, all that in a deodorant?!

The scent actually is rather lovely and in my opinion, it’s not too overpowering.  So far I really like it!

I haven’t done any extensive research on the ingredients of this Old Spice deodorant yet, so I can’t say if all the ingredients would be considered “good.”  Right now I’m simply shooting for “better than I had,” – which I think this is.  At first glance the ingredient comparison seems promising.

Here are the ingredients in the Old Spice Fiji Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant:

Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly 18% w/w, cyclopentasiloxane, stearyl alcohol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, PPG-14 butyl ether, hydrogenated castor oil, petrolatum, talc, phenyl trimethicone, fragrance/parfum, cyclodextrin, mineral oil/huile minérale, behenyl alcohol

Compared to the Old Spice Fiji Deodorant:

Dipropylene Glycol, Water, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Fragrance, PPG 3 Myristyl Ether, Tetrasodium EDTA, Blue 1

So maybe one day I’ll give all-natural deodorant another chance and I’ll try making the homemade stuff.  But for now, I’m fine with Fiji.


UPDATE: As of 2012 I have actually converted to a completely natural deodorant option.  You can simply try rubbing some coconut oil under your arms followed by some baking soda or you can make your own homemade chemical-free deodorant.