by Todd Walker
The importance of probiotics to intestinal health has been common knowledge for some time. I’ve written about the helpful bacteria we ingest via fermented foods here. But there is less known about the health benefits of probiotics for our largest bodily organ – our skin.
Just as our gut is infested with billions of microorganisms busily doing their thing to boost our immune system, researchers are now looking into how these friendlies actually help our skin.
Our skin is literally bathed with trillions of bacteria. For all you ultra clean freaks, you can’t just wash them off. Why would you want to anyway? Just as a healthy gut flora benefits overall immune function, studies are showing the colonies of skin microorganisms play a major role in your overall health as well. Though you can’t see these little critters, we live together with them in a symbiotic relationship, much like a bird lives in symbiosis with the hippopotamus. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
In other words, the bacteria living on your skin are involved in a symbiotic relationship with you.. The bacteria on your inner elbow, for instance, process the raw fats it produces and in turn moisturize your skin. – Source
Let’s talk arm pits shall we. I stopped using commercial deodorant a while back. Aluminum chlorohdrate or aluminum zirconium found in commercial brands was not something I wanted absorbed through my skin. I’ve always used natural brands. They’re expensive though. I’ve used a coconut oil and corn starch mix before – and other homemade recipes – but was never really satisfied.
Then Andrea over at Frugally Sustainable comes out with a probiotic deodorant recipe. Right on! Two of my favorite things: probiotics and another DiY project!
So, Dirt Road Girl and I go shopping for ingredients. What a hoot. I broke one metal – yes metal – scoop digging out bulk cocoa butter. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk and I was determined to do just that. The store had everything we needed that we were missing at home. And they were probably glad to see us leave before breaking more equipment.
I used Andrea’s recipe over at Frugally Sustainable. Click here to for details. If you haven’t visited her site, stop by. It’s loaded with great tips on frugal preparedness and health tips.
Instead of rehashing her recipe, I’ve added it below with a few of my own [italicized] comments in brackets. Also, photos are mine. To see original pics from Andrea’s site, click the link above.
Homemade Probiotic Deodorant
-1 tbsp. cocoa butter
-1 tbsp. coconut oil
-1 tbsp. shea butter
-1 tbsp. beeswax
-2 1/2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
-1 tbsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp. vitamin E oil
-15 drops essential oil of your choice
-2 capsules powdered probiotics
1. Melt cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax over low heat. [I used a grater to shave of the beeswax. The cocoa butter is rock hard. I dug out enough with a spoon – without breaking it – to get the tbsp. need. We almost passed on the shea butter due to its smell. I talked DRG into buying it since we’d be adding peppermint essential oil to the mixture.]
Let it cool before adding probiotics
2. Remove pot from heat, then add arrowroot powder and baking soda. Whisk with chopsticks until all powders are dissolved and combined. [Since I don’t own chopsticks to stir with, I used an old-fashioned fork and a whisk. Even if I had chopsticks, I prefer the whisk and fork. It seems like they’d accomplish the desired effect (stirring) better. I’ve never been skilled with those little sticks.]
Add vitamin E oil and essential oils at this time. [I added 12 drops of peppermint essential oil at this point. I’m calling my concoction “Candy Cane B.O. Killer”.] Allow mixture to cool in pan. Once it is cooled and the consistency of pudding, open capsules of probiotics and add powder to mixture. Stir with spatula quickly to combine. [Let it cool. I dumped two capsules of probiotics into the pan before it cooled. Realizing that the heat cooked my probotics, I followed directions and added two more after the right temp was reached.]
3. Add mixture to a clean, used deodorant container. Place in refrigerator to cool and harden. After this, product may be stored on counter (Note: Using a shelf stable probiotic such as Bio-Kult will prevent the need for refrigeration). This recipe will fill container and last for 3-4 months. Remember…a little goes a long way!
The stick on the left is only partially full.
-When choosing a probiotic supplement for this deodorant it is important to find one that is shelf stable. It should also contain highly resistant beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. These “good bacteria” have the ability to survive the pH of our stomach acid during digestion and are the one’s that should be included in this recipe.
-If you have sensitive skin, substitute baking soda and use arrowroot powder solely. You may also consider omitting the essential oils.
-Use good smelling essential oils, any scent or combination of scents will do. So pick your favorite and have fun with it!
I used my Candy Cane B.O. Killer for the first time yesterday. It was a typical work day for me. Standing all day teaching. I also did my usual 3 sets of 30 push ups between classes and on breaks. In the past, the natural store-bought deodorant starts to wane by 4 or 5 o’clock. Not big a problem since I’m getting home by then where I can reapply as needed.
But here’s the real test.
DRG has a highly sensitive sniffer. When I walked in after work, I kissed my lovely wife, dropped my lunch pail, and raised my arms in surrender and said, “Smell.” Drum roll…..
It really works! I pasted the DRG sniff test – and with only two light swipes under each arm. My old deodorant took several swipes and left my pits soaked.
My pits, my students, and DRG would like to give a sniffing shout out to Candy Cane B.O. Killer!!!
Keep Doing the Stuff,
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