Hi, so for the second week of my 6 months challenge, i decided that I would find a natural alternative to deodorants (such as the sprays and roll-ons that last few weeks). The objectives are reducing the chemicals I apply on my body, reducing the environmental impact of the packaging and production of such deodorants.
note: You can find my week 1 article here: an alternative to buying bottled water.
6 months challenge – week 2, replacing deodorants with a healthier and eco-friendly option.
I’m not gonna suggest that we stop using deodorants though some people may be lucky and have no bad odors. But I believe most of us need to use some kind of deodorants to ensure that we do not have bad body odor. Nowadays most of commercial products are antiperspirants. I do not recommend using them. Sweating is a natural process that allows us to cool down and purge the body of toxins. Antiperspirants stop this process by blocking the pores of the body. Body odors are generated by the bacteria breaking the toxins released by our apocrine glands. So getting rid of the bacteria is a better solution than stopping our natural toxin release process.
My alternative choice: alum ston
After a lot of reading and researching, I found got this alum stone. alum usually refers to potassium alum. (usually obtained from aluminium sulfate and the sulfate monovalent cation). It is very convenient to use, just wet the top and apply on your armpits. So far, it works fine for me. It leaves a fine salty, alkaline film on the skin which will prevent the growth of bacteria. Without bacteria, the body does not produce any smell. This stone will probably last few years. So it is also very economical. you can find it in most of the pop & mom shops in Thailand or traditional pharmacies sold by the kilo. (it is called sansom in thai – สารสัม). You should therefore be able to get it in your own reusable bag.
It has no smell but since it stops body odor in the first place, it should be fine. It is mildly antiseptic so you could also use it for the following:
1- on your feet if needed.
2- as an aftershave to clean small cuts
3- as a relief for insect bite (it reduces the swelling and redness)
note: it does contain aluminum so it is better to avoid this solution if you are looking for aluminum free solution. i was not able to find clear findings on whether such usage is dangerous for the health. if you want to share any information on this, please comment below.
if you cannot fine alum in a small thai shop, you should be able to find more commercially available alternatives such as Grace Crystal deodorant. They should even be available in 7/11.
Another alternative, which does not contain aluminum, is to use a coconut oil deodorant (think about the environment if you live in a place without coconuts…). You can either do your own or get some natural one from Zero Waste Thailand. This comes from Pai Seedlings Foundation which will be able to finance local environmental and education projects as well as create employment. There are plenty of other alternatives, so don’t hesitate to put some in the comments below.