Troubleshooting tips for your foaming pump bottles

Troubleshooting tips for your foaming pump bottles

Firstly, I am so stoked with the foaming bottles that we stock here at The Inspired Little Pot. They are made from PET plastic (and safe to use with essential oils when properly diluted – as all of the TILP foaming recipes are!), they have a lifespan of at least 2 years when used correctly, and the foam they dispense is thick and luscious!

I have sold thousands and thousands of these bottles, and only have I ever had half-a-dozen issues arise. Occasionally a bottle will be faulty, I can’t deny that. BUT, most often, they just need some maintenance, and users need guidance. If you happen to be one of those with a sticking or ineffective pump, read on for some helpful tips.

 

TIPS

Follow the recipe

These foaming pumps work by mixing liquid-thin soap (I use castile soap) and air, and turning it into foam. Always follow the correct dilution rates as suggested in my recipes. Note that using extra castile soap will not produce a thicker foam, it will only clog your mechanism faster, causing it to ‘stick’.

 

Don’t use your pump under running water or overfill bottles

If water gets into the air chamber it may cause the pump to fail.

 

Don’t seal the bottle too tightly

This may affect performance, and you’ll start seeing the actual bottle creating suction. Loosen lid and continue using.

 

Keep your pump active

If you don’t use your foaming pump frequently enough, any soap trapped in the mechanism can dry and cause the pump to stick or fail.

 

Try flushing the pump in fresh water

Just remove the pump top and place in a glass of water. Keep pressing until clear water is being dispersed. Then try again with your bottle.

 

Don’t use additives beyond TILP recipe suggestions

There is a little mesh screen inside your pump that allows the soap and air to mix, creating foam. These holes are so super tiny, and they can clog easily. Therefore, adding thickeners, glitter, micas, powdered colouring etc, will cause your mechanism to fail.

 

Try turning the bottle upside down and pumping.

I’ve heard some manufacturers recommend this.

 

As a last resort, pull the pump apart and clean (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DON’T DO THIS!)

In my 5 years using foaming pump bottles I have NEVER had to do this. But if you insist, go for it. Note that it takes some force, and will come apart into about 6 pieces, and it’s not easy to put back together. I advise taking multiple photos to assist you during reassembly. Please only pull your pump mechanism apart if you’re comfortable in doing so, and confident you can put it back together. TILP takes no responsibility for pumps that are damaged due to manual tampering.

Good luck and happy foaming!

DIY Shampoo. Why I don’t really do it…

DIY Shampoo. Why I don’t really do it…

“Do you have a shampoo recipe?”

This is a question I get asked a lot.

Here’s the weird thing with hair – people tend to be SO much more fussy about their hair than their skin. We all have different hair types; curly, straight, frizzy, flat, dyed, grey, thick, thin… Finding a recipe that suits everyone is not an easy thing to achieve, and each person would need to try quite a few recipes until they found one that suited them. From my experience, this is not something most people are willing to do when it comes to hair. They want the right recipe NOW! Sound like you? 😉

 

So, the short answer to the question

Keep watching, my new recipe book includes a shampoo recipe. Naturally Inspired will be available for pre-sale in April 2019 – join the pre-sale list here!

 

The slightly longer answer

The recipe I have included in my book is perfect for babies and small children. You might love it too, depending on your hair type and how fussy you are 😉 I have tried every single combination of ingredients; my usual offenders (castile soap, aloe vera gel, rose water, coconut oil etc) and fresh food ingredients like coconut milk, avocado and egg. I just haven’t found a combination I am personally happy with for my hair.

 

Water quality plays a role in results too (even with commercial lower toxin brands). The results I get from filtered versus unfiltered varies greatly. I have tried the ‘no-poo’ method, which basically involves not washing your hair with shampoo, and allowing your body’s natural oils to do their thing. I tried that for about 8 weeks in the summer of 2015, and it just didn’t work for me. Perhaps I could have tried for longer? I just didn’t have it in me – I enjoy fresh hair too much!

The internet says that a bicarb scrub and apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse is magic. What I believe happens with this is that the bicarb (which is alkaline) causes your hair follicles to open, while ACV (acidic) causes the follicles to shut again. While I would say that occasionally this is fine and perhaps a good way to get built-up gunk out of your hair, relying on it as your constant go-to could cause brittle hair in the long run.

As for castile soap-based DIY-shampoos… It’s not so great for dyed hair (highlights, ok though). Castile soap is alkaline and this opens up the hair follicles, meaning that the colour will fade faster. In saying that, if you follow immediately with an ACV/water (1:1) rinse, you might just be ok.

Conditioning is much easier to DIY. A simple coconut oil application is great for the hair. Just don’t go overboard or you’ll be a greasy mess. A little (like, tiny) blob on your palms, run through the ends and brushed through is all that’s required. You could also use argan oil – our hair loves that gorgeous oil.

You can also treat your hair with some yoghurt and honey, egg, milk and olive oil, etc… Precise recipes coming soon in my new book!

 

Here are a few hair care product brands I believe to be awesome, or the best of the bunch

Note that I have thickish, wavyish, un-dyed darkish hair, with body, and these brands may not suit you personally. At last check, they met my requirements for low toxin (not always NO-toxin), but brands are always changing formulas so be vigilant. Also note that there isn’t enough research on all ingredients on the market, so my decisions are based on information I have been able to find out now.

 

My absolute favourite

Ethique shampoo bars! What’s not to love about this brand? No plastic, easy to travel with, effective and no notable nasties that I am aware of. This is a relatively new discovery for me, and is on the very top of my list for shampoo. They do a conditioning bar too.

 

Other brands I have tried and like 

MineralFusion, Mukti, 100% Pure, Lavera, Pineapple Heads (for kids). Google for stockists, or check out your local health food/organic store; companies like Nourished Life and Biome may stock them online too.

 

Supermarket options  

The only brand I have seen that passes the test for me is Ecostore.

 

 

Now, if your ‘20% too-hard basket’ currently houses hair care, LEAVE IT THERE! Get to it when you’re ready and don’t feel guilty about it. You can reduce your toxin exposure in other ways, through the replacement of other products. Or you can try washing hair less frequently (using a no toxin natural dry shampoo in-between washes).

Always, always do what feels right for you. If a simple castile soap wash works for you – do it! If in your 20% basket is a mainstream (possibly toxin-filled) bottle that you simply love – do it! This is YOUR journey, and while guidance is nice, the decision is always yours.

5 Simple Tips For A Less Toxic Body

5 Simple Tips For A Less Toxic Body

We all want to be the healthiest and happiest version of ourselves, don’t we? Reducing the number of toxins we expose ourselves to on a daily basis is a great place to start to achieve just that!

 

These 5 tips will help to guide you in the right direction and empower you to make better choices concerning skin and body care, and in turn, reduce your toxic load.

Tip 1

Ditch the perfume and use essential oils instead. Did you know that companies are not required to tell you what ingredients they use to create their fragrance? Whether it be in perfume, washing powder, lip balm or toilet spray, they can simply list ‘fragrance’, ‘aroma’, ‘parfum’, etc., and that’s it.

Fragrance has been linked to headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, and irritation of the skin, eyes and throat. Some fragrances even contain chemicals that are known to disrupt the way our hormones work. So the best thing you can do is avoid it. Read more here.

 

Tip 2

Simplify your beauty routine. The average woman uses close to 200 chemicals on her skin daily; the average male uses under 100. The personal care industry is not required to test their products prior to putting them on the market. That means that we are largely unaware of how chemicals react with each other – especially dangerous when women are applying so many different products and chemicals to their skin on a daily basis.

Despite companies claiming that they are using chemicals at ‘safe’ limits, this limit may be exceeded if you apply that product twice in a day, or in a thicker layer than recommended, or if you’re applying another product that day with the same chemicals. It’s worth simplifying your routine and using less in the first place. Ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter make excellent body moisturisers; jojoba and apricot kernel oils are beautiful facial oils (and make-up removers); sugar and olive oil together make for an effective exfoliator; and there are plenty of reputable brands out there making safer hair care, and make-up.

 

TIP 3

Avoid sprays and aerosols. Not only do many mainstream personal care products present us with the issue of too many toxic chemicals, the addition of butane and propane, and the ‘convenience’ of spraying (think hair spray, sunscreen, body mists) means tiny airborne particles are inhaled directly into our lungs and absorbed directly into our bloodstream. Limiting your use of these products is another great step towards an existence with fewer toxins.

 

TIP 4

Become familiar with ingredient panels. I have some very useful information for you here and here, aimed at empowering you to make the right decisions for yourself.  To start with, some key ingredients I would encourage you to look out for are:

Parabens

Phenoxyethanol

SLS/SLES

Triclosan

Fragrance

These ingredients have been linked to hormone interference, toxicity to organs and aquatics, persistence in the environment, skin irritation – just to name a few.

 

TIP 5

Start with ONE little swap – especially if you feel overwhelmed. I don’t recommend going through your cupboards and throwing everything out! Look at the products you use the most, check out the ingredients and decide if this is something you really need, and whether a better alternative exists. If a DIY option is available (and there are plenty available at TILP!), you might like to have a go at making it. Then, once you have the hang of that, find another product you use a lot of and work on swapping that. Now, that sounds achievable, doesn’t it?

 

 

Just remember to take it one step at a time, especially if the concept of a less toxic lifestyle is super new to you. It is physically impossible to remove all chemicals from your life – IMPOSSIBLE. So, striving for the forgiving 80/20 approach will ease the pressure and stress, and allow you to make small changes, when YOU are ready to make them. The most important thing is to not create a stressful situation out of something that is meant to make your life healthier, happier, greener and cleaner. Eventually, you will get to a place you’re happy with, whether it be DIY, or finding honest, transparent brands to shop with that have your best interests at heart.

Why I love my JuJu cup, and tips to help you love it too

Why I love my JuJu cup, and tips to help you love it too

I just LOVE talking about the concept of the menstrual cup. People are either intrigued or grossed out! The thing is, if you’re female and between the ages of around 15-50, you’re most likely getting a period around 12x a year; over 400 in your lifetime. And if the average woman uses 25 tampons/pads in one cycle, that equates to 300 in a month; 10,000 in a lifetime. There are around 6,000,000 women of menstruating age in Australia, so in one month, you could expect around 18,000,000 pads and tampons are being used. All of that heading off to landfill. ALL OF IT. Unless of course they’re using a menstrual cup! Did you know menstrual cups have actually been around since the early 1900’s?

I have tried, LOVE and use JuJu cups, made in Australia, but there are other brands out there too. They all work in practically the same way: they catch your menstrual flow. That’s right, they catch it all, and only require emptying and cleaning 2-3x a day. And once it’s in, you shouldn’t feel it at all.

Juju is TGA approved, and made from medical grade silicone with no BPA, fragrance, latex, dyes or colours. You can expect it to last for around 10 years. At less than $50 (yes, the price has gone down now that menstrual items are no longer subject to GST in AU, yay!), that equates to less than .45c per cycle over those 10 years, for the average woman. AND NO LANDFILL.

When making the switch to a menstrual cup, it helps to know your anatomy. And it’s totally ok if you don’t! I used to teach high school health classes, so I have heard it all! If you’re unsure of what your cervix feels like, prior to first using your JuJu, use your finger to locate it. It feels like the tip of your nose with a teeny hole on the end (glamorous, hey?!). If you feel around your cervix, you’ll notice muscle wall. The JuJu can’t go too far up.

Why I love my Juju cup | The Inspired Little Pot

 

Selecting the right size

Here are some tips when choosing:

 

Model 1

Recommend if you are under 30 and have not given birth, or if you have exceptionally well-behaved pelvic floor muscles. This model holds max. 22mls.

 

Model 2

Recommend if you are over 30 or have given birth, vaginally or via C-section. This model holds max. 33mls.

 

Model 3

Recommend if you have a high cervix or long vaginal canal. Usually a high cervix is hard to feel during a self-examination. This model holds max. 28mls.

 

Model 4

Recommend if you have a low cervix or short vaginal canal. A low cervix sits quite close to the opening of your vagina. This model holds max. 32mls.

 

If you’re leaking but your cup isn’t full it may be that you don’t have the right size cup for your anatomy. Bear in mind that you may have had a baby but may find model 2 isn’t quite right for you, or visa versa. I hope you find the right fit first time, but if after 4-5 cycles, you’re still seriously struggling, it may be that you have the wrong size.

 

Insertion

Squeeze and fold the JuJu and insert it into the vaginal canal, just like a tampon. For more folding techniques, check this link.

It helps to use your pointer finger and thumb and as it slips in and opens, keep your thumb in there to make sure it opens fully and creates a seal around your cervix – I swipe around the entire rim to be sure. If you can feel the tip of your cervix, take it out and start again, or adjust it.

You may prefer inserting your JuJu while sitting on the toilet, or squatting, or with one leg on the toilet seat. Just make sure you are relaxed.

Once inserted, it opens and creates a suction seal and collects menstrual flow. Until recently, the guidelines from JuJu were to remove and empty 2x times a day, so every 12 hours. Now it is advised to empty every 8 hours but to be honest, mine gets emptied at around 6.30am and 6.30pm, in the shower because I find that the easiest way to empty, wash and reinsert.

When starting out, you will be surprised as to how much flow you’re actually creating. Even those with heavy cycles are shocked at how little there is. But of course, in the early days, go 3-4 hours and see what’s happening in there; get educated on your own cycle.

 

Emptying and replacing

When it is time to empty, simply sit on the toilet or squat in the shower (preferably in peace or the kids will be calling 000), RELAX and squeeze the JuJu until you feel the suction release. You may need to bear down slightly (like when doing a poo) if you have a high cervix and can’t reach the JuJu to squeeze it. Remove and empty, wash in hot, soapy (low tox of course) water and reinsert. Make sure you’re cleaning the little holes around the rim too. Use a toothpick carefully if they don’t unblock with running water.

 

Sterilising and storing

At the end of each cycle, sterilise by boiling (a rinsed and washed) JuJu for a max. of 3-5 min. Then allow to dry fully before storing it in the little breathable pouch included in the box. Never store in plastic or an airtight container.

 

Replacing your JuJu

The average JuJu cup should last 10 years, however, that depends on how it is used, stored and cared for. Replace your JuJu if it has an odour, any cracks or tears, is VERY discoloured (some discolouration is normal), has a sticky film or is causing you irritation.

 

Tips and other info

  • Juju holds 2-3x the volume of a tampon or pad – cool hey?! It can be worn overnight, during exercise, swimming etc.
  • Cut the silicone knobby tip off if you feel like it is stabbing you – that was my final tweak before true JuJu-love.
  • So many people say that their periods are lighter, shorter and less painful. True story.
  • When you buy a JuJu, there is an instruction leaflet inside and lots of info at juju.com.au – read it!
  • Some people worry about the JuJu popping out when they go to the toilet. Peeing is typically fine, but for some, depending on many factors, pooping may dislodge it. If you find this happens, perhaps remove your JuJu for that business, or use toilet paper and apply pressure to that area. If your fingers are clean, you may just need to push it back up there.
  • If you have an IUD, you might like to talk to your doctor. JuJu advise you wait 2 full cycles after insertion of your IUD, and to be careful you don’t accidentally pull the strings of the IUD when removing your JuJu.
  • Never use a JuJu cup during postpartum bleeding or following a miscarriage (due to the risk of infection).
  • The thing I love the most is the convenience of feeling protected when I THINK my period is due. Unlike tampons (which shouldn’t be worn unless you’re actually menstruating), JuJu is your ‘safety net’. Please don’t use a JuJu between cycles!
  • Let’s look at your average tampon. It may contain cotton, viscose rayon, or synthetic textile polymers. I have tried to search a few popular companies that sell pads and tampons and it’s hard to see what they’re using. Brands like Toms are made from 100% organic cotton and nothing else; Cottons are made from 100% chemical-free cotton – excellent. Bear in mind that some tampons and pads may be made using cotton that has been treated heavily with pesticides, and other chemicals during manufacture. Alternatively, look at investing in some reusable menstrual pads.
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome is usually associated with tampon use and is serious. If you have suffered with this condition in the past, check with your practitioner before using internal sanitary products.
  • Adolescents can use JuJu cups but it could take a little longer to get used to. If you have a good relationship with your teenage daughter, it may be useful to them if you help them. Lots of tips here.

 

JuJu is incredible! I’ve been using mine since 2016, and despite a few teething issues in the first few cycles, it gets 10/10 from me! Give it 3 cycles to fall properly in love with it and I can almost promise you won’t turn back!

 

This post contains affiliate links. Please note, I reach out to businesses and ask if they’d like to collaborate with me, or offer me affiliate links, because I love THEM, not the other way around. I only team up with businesses whose values align with mine. I may earn a small commission as a result of any purchases you make with this brand which allows me to invest more time into running my website, and providing free content for you.

Choosing the right oils for your skin

Choosing the right oils for your skin

Our skin craves nourishing plant oils to replenish, renew and perform. Many mass-market cosmetics contain mineral oil, a petroleum-based liquid. This cheap oil offers no nourishment and has a drying effect on the skin. Synthetic chemicals are also present by the dozen in so many products available; not only do these have a negative effect on our health, but they should never be applied to compromised skin – that means after shaving or when skin has sustained damage such as sunburn, paper cuts, angry pimples etc.

There are literally dozens and dozens of choices when it comes to skin care oils, so choosing the right oils for your skin can be confusing for some. Aging, fine lines and wrinkles; acne-prone and oily; dry; damaged or scarred; everyone’s skin, whether on the face or body, is unique. Depending on personal requirements and budget, different oils will appeal to different people. Whether you’re looking to apply oils ‘neat’ directly to your skin or add them to your DIY skin care products, the following information will serve as a helpful guide.

 

Tips on dealing with a few of the most common skin issues

Dry skin

Keeping skin hydrated from the inside AND the outside is crucial for maintaining soft, hydrated and supple skin. Environmental stressors will impact on skin dryness, so those who spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun, or in buildings where air conditioning systems operate 24/7, need to pay special attention to their skin. Oils like olive and coconut for the body, and argan or jojoba for the face, are great for dry skin as they’re thicker in consistency.

 

Oily skin 

This skin type is actually awesome – you’ll get wrinkles a lot later in life!! But, make-up that doesn’t stay put, pimples that keep popping up, and that ‘shine’ is just not always welcome now is it? It is important not to over-scrub the face or use harsh cleansers with detergents that strip the skin of its natural oils. Did you know that the more you remove natural oils, the more the body works to replace them? So, you’d actually be making the problem worse. Oil dissolves oil so you might like to try the oil-cleansing method which is basically cleaning the face with, you got it, oil! I find a brief facial steam or warm/hot cloth pressed to skin (to open pores) is an essential first step, then massage an oil like argan, jojoba or sweet almond etc., over face and neck, wiping clean with a warm/hot cloth. No need to moisturise afterwards.

 

Wrinkles & fine lines

They are more prominent on dry, dehydrated skin. So keeping your skin hydrated, from the inside and out, will certainly help. Essential oils like helichrysum, lavender, frankincense and ylang ylang are renowned for their anti-aging properties. Moisturise morning and night, with oils like evening primrose, apricot kernel, or rosehip oil, or include them as carrier oils in your DIY moisturisers.

 

Acne

Everyone hates it! It may be environmental, it may be hormonal… I am in my 30’s and STILL have breakouts! Over recent years, I have definitely seen a pattern that aligns with my monthly cycle, so I know it is hormonal and there’s not a huge amount I can do about that to eliminate it completely. However, there is plenty you can do to stay somewhat on top of it, whether you’re struggling hormonally or not. Be sure to eat a diet full of fresh and whole foods, and drink at least 2 litres of filtered water every day. Don’t ‘clean’ your face by over-scrubbing and try not to pick or pop pimples! Light oils like apricot kernel and sweet almond are great to moisturise with. To reduce the redness of angry spots and stop them in their tracks, dab on a bit of apple cider vinegar, or lavender essential oil and then tea tree essential oil over the top – this works wonders!

 

Stretch marks

They occur when skin stretches beyond its natural elasticity, and collagen is disrupted. They affect more women than men and can vary in their noticeability. Nutrition can certainly help prevent and somewhat heal stretch marks. A diet rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, and Zinc, in fresh foods like leafy greens, sweet potato, whole grains, almonds, kiwi fruit, mushrooms and avocado, for example, are beneficial. Add oils like argan or jojoba to your palm, and a few drops of frankincense and helichrysum essential oils, and rub directly onto affected skin.

 

Notes on a few of the most common skin care (carrier) oils. Let me help you choose your favourites!

Apricot kernel oil

One of my absolute favourites! Rich in fatty acids, it is soothing to irritated skin, may improve skin tone, and reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It is a light and nourishing oil that is easily absorbed – and suitable for most skin types, particularly dry and mature skin.

 

Argan oil

This is a precious oil, rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamin E. Its powerful hydrating, strengthening and softening properties makes it perfect for hair, skin and nails.

 

Avocado oil

Is an oil which penetrates deeply and is perfect for dry skin. It is rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K and high in oleic acid which is moisturising to the skin. This oil is also known to boost collagen production. Despite its wonderful properties, it is thick and not something I recommended for face care.

 

Coconut oil

Hardens in temperatures below 24°C | 77°F and is high in the wonderfully moisturising lauric acid. So versatile – can be used as an all-over moisturiser, a make-up remover, a hair treatment, etc. Coconut oil is a heavy oil and doesn’t absorb as well as the lighter oils mentioned in this blog. Unless you use a naturally refined coconut oil (which I recommend in my skin care recipes), you may find it has quite a strong ‘coconutty’ odour, and for some, can leave behind a somewhat intense smell on the skin.

 

Evening primrose oil

Rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, this oil is known for its skin-rejuvenating and restorative properties. It is easily absorbed and brightens tired and dull skin. Add it to most face care products for an extra boost.

 

Fractionated coconut oil

This is a stable and light carrier oil that is non-greasy and is absorbed well by the skin, and rich in natural antioxidants and vitamins.  A component of regular coconut oil; the long-chain fatty acids (lauric acid) have been extracted meaning that it remains liquid at all temperatures. It still contains beneficial medium chain fatty acids like capric and caprylic, which are super moisturising too. This oil is odourless and suitable for most (unless you have a coconut allergy of course).

 

Jojoba oil

Rich in vitamin A, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, Jojoba oil is actually a wax and a well-known anti-aging oil. It is so similar to the skin’s sebum, meaning that it penetrates deeper, allowing for better moisturisation. It creates a barrier on the skin, protecting it from environmental stressors.

 

Olive oil

An oil most people have on hand in the pantry. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E and helps to keep skin soft and moisturised. Did you know Cleopatra reportedly used this oil in her skin care routine? I do find it to be an oil that doesn’t absorb very quickly so keep this in mind when applying it.

 

Rosehip oil

Supports collagen production and is perfect for dry and ageing skin. Rich in vitamin C, fatty acids and antioxidants, it helps to naturally repair skin (so good for scars and burns), reduces the depth of wrinkles, improves skin tone and elasticity. Rosehip oil goes rancid quite quickly so keep it refrigerated.

 

Sweet almond oil

Another favourite of mine! Practically odourless and easily absorbed, this oil is rich in concentration of essential fatty acids (oleic and linoleic), and vitamins. It is softening and conditioning for skin, and deeply nourishing with anti-inflammatory properties. Be aware if you have a nut allergy.

 

Vitamin E oil

This oil is a fat-soluble, potent antioxidant, slowing free-radical damage (which leads to premature aging). It strengthens skin and reduces the appearance of scars, and an oil I recommend adding to all of your oil-based DIY projects. Vitamin E helps to prevent oils from going rancid.

 

 

When purchasing carrier oils, look for organic if possible. Sometimes the price of organic oils may turn you off, but keep in mind the pesticides, growing conditions, chemical intervention etc., that may be involved in growing, harvesting and processing non-organic oils. Of course, we need to keep the 80/20 rule in mind, and if you’re making the switch from commercial mainstream moisturisers, then you’re already heading in the right direction!

Transitioning to natural deodorant – my top 10 tips

Transitioning to natural deodorant – my top 10 tips

Natural deodorant is growing in popularity, and it is no wonder, with the amount of research out there now highlighting the detrimental effect that the commercial stuff has on humans. Some of the key ingredients in many commercial deodorants that you want to be avoiding include aluminium, fragrance, BHT, propane etc… See this link for more info on my list of the worst offending chemicals.

There are some excellent brands of deodorant balms out there. These companies genuinely have our best interests at heart. So, if DIY isn’t an option for you, don’t think that you don’t have other/better choices to make. I highly recommend heading over Biome or Flora and Fauna – I trust that these guys have our best interests at heart.

But, I am obviously here to encourage you to have a go at making it yourself. If you haven’t given it a go yet, I can guarantee that once you have tried it, you will realise that it isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

For those of you who have tried, you’re either loving it from the get-go, or you need a little help fine-tuning. Here are some tips on transitioning to natural deodorant, so you will find nothing but success from your DIY natural deodorant venture.

 

TIP 1 – When starting out

I am a bit of an all-or-nothing girl, so when I made the transition to natural deodorant, I went cold-turkey. I applied some deodorant that morning, played a hard and fast game of netball, and was so pleased to learn that my deodorant worked! I shared my recipe with quite a few friends and the testimonies were a little bit ego-inflating!

If you’re a little doubtful and want to play it safe, try natural deodorant on a day you’ll be home, calm and not under pressure to avoid BO. Starting in winter is also a good idea as we sweat less when it is cold.

 

TIP 2 – Avoid staining of clothing and only apply a small smear

Check out how much is on my finger in this image; that is enough for both pits (actually, I use even less now). Any more than that and you’ll have the paste transferring to your clothing. If this tip comes too late for you, and your clothes are a little stained already, try one of my stain removal recipes. There is a paste and a solution. They’re both brilliant!

 

TIP 3 – Boost your deodorant with tea tree essential oil

There are days when I know I am going to be busy, hot and on-the-go, and on those days, I boost my deodorant with tea tree essential oil. First, scoop out a little paste, smear it on your two index fingers, then drop the essential oil onto one, rubbing both fingers together and applying to your armpits.

 

TIP 4 – Body odour – start with the source

Good hygiene practice (ahhh, showers) is obvious, right?  But do you know that the foods you eat, and the health of your body, in general, makes a huge difference to your BO? Also, the types of clothing you wear may have an effect on your BO. I personally find that cheap, synthetic fabrics, do not do me any favours.

 

TIP 5 – We need to sweat

Don’t forget that we need to sweat, so enough with the ‘this deodorant doesn’t work, I’m still sweating’ business. Ingredients that stop that natural bodily process need to go. Natural deodorant will not stop you from sweating, and that has to be ok.

 

TIP 6 – Don’t feel guilty

If you wear (or want to wear) natural deodorant, but you have an important event to attend, and it’s just not an option to simply change your outfit to something that hides sweaty patches on the armpit sections of your clothing (I’m thinking weddings, presentations, etc), then don’t feel bad about using something else. Of course, I would hope that no one has to resort to the chemical stuff, but if it feels like the only option you have, just do it and own that decision (as a once-off, hopefully!). The stress we put ourselves under does more harm than the occasional ‘slip off the bandwagon’.

 

TIP 7 – Wet wipe mid-day

When starting out, you may feel a little unsure and even sceptical about your new deodorant’s performance, so a mid-day wet wipe over your pits may be your saviour. Wipe and reapply. 

 

TIP 8 – Bicarb can be irritating for some

If you find that you’re starting to develop a rash from natural deodorant, it could be the sodium bicarbonate (aka bicarb) that is bothering you. I can only advise that you stop for a while and try again when the rash has subsided, or switch to one of these low-carb or carb-free recipes.

 

TIP 9 – Anxiety and stress contributes to body odour

I was having such great success from using my natural deodorant recipe that I was totally thrown about 18 months ago when I flew to Vegas solo and could smell BO! I remember the feelings of overwhelm and anxiety that consumed me, leaving my kids in Perth while I globe-trotted for work. Since then, there have been a few occasions where I have noticed that even my amazing natural deodorant hasn’t cut the mustard for me, and each time, the common factor was mega-stress. It’s worth keeping this in mind.

 

TIP 10 – Try a pit detox

If you have tried many or most of these suggestions and you’re still struggling, it is worth trying some gentle dry brushing* and a pit detox. Basically, it is a paste made from bentonite clay and water or apple cider vinegar, which you’ll leave on for 5-20 minutes, then rinse off. Massaging your underarms will help to promote lymphatic drainage, the paste will help to clear your pores, and this will certainly help with odour issues.

*If you are new to dry brushing, here’s a simple explanation. Using a good quality body brush, start at your feet and work towards your heart, brushing in long, light strokes up your body. It can help exfoliate your skin, promote blood flow towards your heart and help with lymphatic drainage. Follow with a body cream and your skin will thank you for it!

 

Bonus Tip – Don’t shave/wax then apply deodorant. It will sting!

Only a bonus tip because I forgot to add it sooner, AND I didn’t want to change my graphics and blog title, AND ‘Top 10 Tips’ sounds better than ‘Top 11 Tips’, lol! When you shave or wax, you damage the delicate skin under your arms, creating little nicks. So, it is best to shave/wax the night before, and by morning, you shouldn’t feel a sting when you apply deodorant. If you do, next time wait a little longer.

 

 

While it takes some people a while to fall in love with natural deodorant, those who get there, don’t look back. I know I haven’t. For me, it isn’t an option to use the toxic commercial stuff, and it won’t be an option for my children either. I do hope these tips help those of you who are struggling, and that someday soon you see and appreciate the awesomeness of DIY natural deodorant.

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