A Ph.D. In Life

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Why I Will Never Give Up the White Powder and Why You Should Get Hooked

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Okay readers – the truth comes out. I can’t hide it anymore. I won’t hide it anymore.

I am addicted to the white powdery stuff.

Yes I am. And it’s about time I open up and discuss this with the world with hopes of helping others. This blog is about being honest, with myself and with my readers. How honest would I be if I didn’t share one of my deepest, most life-changing secrets with you all? It would be like lying to myself.

It all started when, about a year and a half ago, I got fed up with some things in life. I was so upset about these things that I began a search for something new. And then, I found it: the white powder. This white powder proved to be there for me, everyday. It proved to give me the confidence I needed to be around others. It also proved very easy to find, and in today’s day in age, very cheap, too.

My husband knows about it. My sisters may know. And I think I’ve even told a few close friends. But now, I’m sharing it with you, dear reader. And I think the best way to do it is to be as straightforward as possible and to just come out and write it, clear as day. So here it goes:

I am addicted to the regular use of baking soda.

(What did you think I was talking about???)

Yes that’s right. I’m addicted to baking soda. I use it for lots of things, but the biggest, most important impact it’s had on my life is using it as a deodorizer, especially on my body. And that’s what today’s post is all about.

Let’s face it people,

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Image from Rachel Allen Writes Blog

In fact, I’ll include myself in that point. We stink. And we can’t deny it.

Back in the day, like, the cave days, body odor was an important tool for humans. It triggered attraction of mates and warded off enemies, namely the ones that wanted us for dinner. Thank God for body odor – without it, humans might not be around today!

But, we’ve evolved. We now use clothes, make-up, and hopefully our sophisticated use of language to make ourselves more attractive. Not to mention the fact that today we also have the luxury of cleverly built shelters – with walls, doors, a roof, and even locks – as well as the convenience of store-bought knives & guns (when totally necessary) to keep away those who think of us as prey. We don’t necessarily need or want to stink anymore. Unless, of course, you’re like little Mary Katherine Gallagher from St. Monica School and the smell of your own stench somehow makes your day a little brighter.

MKG

No, most of us don’t want to stink, and thankfully, we don’t have to. Over the years, corporation chemists have been coming up with pleasantly smelling chemicals for our daily pit swipe. We now have the choice to smell like a breeze on a spring day, even in the winter, or for men, like a surge of energy (though I’m still unsure of what these things actually smell like in the natural world?). And for the most part, for most of us, these “lifesavers” DO work. However, it does come with a price, and a pretty hefty one at that. The trade-off: we have to be willing to give up our best possible health.

Hm….

Well, about a year and a half ago I decided that I was no longer willing to do this. 

But I also wasn’t willing to run with the Mary Katherine Gallagher crowd. So what’s a girl (or guy) to do when at this crossroad? You guessed it: research a better way. And that’s just what I did.

After all of my research, and almost two years worth of experience with the white powder, I’ve come up with a little tutorial in order to convince you to get hooked on the white stuff and end your obsession with the D-O drugs, just like I did. And at the end, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be willing to give it a try.

Baking Soda: What is it??

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Image by Eco-Inspired-Organics 

Also known, sodium bicard, soda ash, and sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a combination of calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. In the lab it is referred to as NaHCO3. Baking soda can be chemically produced through a process called ‘Solvary Reaction’ where said elements are mixed in water. It can also be found and extracted naturally at the bottom of certain dried riverbeds. When found in nature it is called trona ore. And because baking soda it is a product (or product of products) taken directly from the Earth, it is considered to be a completely non-toxic substance, to our planet and its various species.

Some cool facts about baking soda:

  • Ancient Egyptians are known to have used it first: to make glassware and ornaments. Even today, baking soda makes up to 15% of glass
  • The Romans were the first to use it as a culinary substance.
  • Baking soda is produced naturally by our bodies to regulate our PH balance and to neutralize plaque on our teeth.
  • It is 100% biodegradable
  • It is considered an alkaline substance (which explains why it is capable warding of gruesome, acidic odors from your underarms! More below.)
  • Is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer by helping the body restore its natural chemical balance

Why Make the Switch? What’s Wrong with Commercial Deodorants?  

For starters, check out this ad:

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The image above might be enough for most of us to get over our D-O for B-O addiction, but here’s a little more info for the rest of you:

Commercial Deodorant has lots of ingredients. Here’s a condensed list of some that you should be wary about, and why:

Aluminum: Aluminum in deo is used to block sweat from leaving the pores, in hopes of eliminating odor. But the thing is, sweat alone doesn’t make you smell. In fact, the odor, which actually comes from bacteria – not sweat – uses your sweat as its train to freedom. But does that really mean you want to stop the train altogether? I don’t think so – after all, sweating keeps your bod in balance!  Aluminum does this. And it’s so good at its job that it even pushes through your pores, leading to, you guessed it, unwanted materials inside of your temple. Hence, the link to cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. 

Parabens: They artificially mimic estrogen in the body. Hm. Okay. So there is our body, perfectly capable of maintaining the delicate balance of hormones within.  And then here comes us, splashing on an extra load of unnecessary, synthetic hormones in the mix.  What are we thinking? It’s a known fact that too much estrogen in the body leads to cancer, especially that of the breast; is it any wonder then why breast and other cancers seem to be becoming more prevalent?

Propylene Glycol: This stuff was originally developed as an anti-freeze. Yes. An anti-freeze. This chemical is known to cause contact dermatitis, kidney damage, and liver damage. Even more shocking, in propylene glycol’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), published by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, workers who are around this toxic chemical are ‘urged to avoid skin contact as it may cause eye and skin irritation, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, headache, vomiting, and central nervous depression.’ Need more be said here?

TEA & DEA (triethanolamine and diethanolamine): DEA is known as a possible cause of liver and kidney damage and TEA can cause allergic reactions. These chemicals are  restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects. Where the U.S. is in protecting their people, I don’t know. But you can choose to protect yourself by discontinuing its use on your underarms.

FD&C colors: These ‘colors’ are artificial/synthetic colors approved by the FDA for food, drug and cosmetics. Some are made from coal tar derivatives and have known to be carcinogenic; they also often cause allergic skin reactions. Ugh. Gross. 

Why not just use the ‘natural’ deoderants from health food stores?

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 From my experience:

  • Not all ‘natural’ deoderants are as natural, or as healthy as we’d like to believe. For example, Tom’s of Maine uses 21% aluminium in their deodorant. I don’t know about you but I am hoping for no aluminum in my products. That means if you really want your Ph.D. In Life, but really want to get a B-0 Buster at the store, you’ve got even more research to do. Or you can take my word for it. Your choice!
  • They don’t always work – at least not for me – which may make you secretly run back to your ‘Secret’ quicker than flies find horse shit! (Ew? Exactly my point……..Ew.) But if you don’t believe me on this one, like I’ll always say – experiment! 
  • They’re not necessarily cheaper, or cheap!
  • Baking soda is always cheap! (And I mean cheap! Check it out for yourself!)

 But Does Baking Soda Really Work?

Yeah. It does. Amazing well. And coming from a girl who honestly thought there was something wrong with her because she had to re-apply deo at least twice a day I can tell you firsthand, it even shocked me. I was one of those people where half of the deodorants on the shelf didn’t work and the other half would have to be juggled frequently in order to ‘trick’ my body into ‘doing it’s job’ and eliminating the odor (as if it was battling against me – though now that I think about it, maybe it was!)

I was totally paranoid when first using the powder. I applied it several times a day, especially when working out. For the first week I kept lifting my arms in the company of others (in the most subtle way, of course), but there was never any odor. I soon began to realize that not only did it work but that one application in the morning was all I needed. Problem. Solved. 

But How Does It Work?

As mentioned before: we sweat. No doubt about that. But we don’t want to disallow our bodies to let this natural process to occur – would you want to train a toddler not to pee, or not to pee in his pants? Big difference. Likewise, we want to encourage our bodies to sweat but at the same time ‘train’ the odor to take a ‘different route.’ 

Deodorant uses chemicals to try and force the sweat from happening in hopes of eliminating the odor that comes with it. Baking soda, on the other hand, allows you to sweat when necessary, while simultaneously neutralizing the odor by fighting your toxic smelling stench with its natural alkaline healing powers. It helps your body do the tough balancing act it was made to do. 

DIY (Do it Yourself) Deodorant Recipes

Okay, now that you know why trying the white powder is a good idea, here are some recipes to get started:

Recipe #1
By Katie – Wellness Mama

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What you Need:

  • 1T coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) arrowroot or cornstarch
  • Essential Oils (optional)

What to Do:

  • Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
  • Add oils if desired.
  • Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use.

Recipe #2
By: Clotilde – Chocolate and Zuchini

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What you need:

Use organic ingredients wherever possible:
- 

  • 6 grams (1/5 ounce) beeswax
  • 40 grams (1 1/3 ounces) coconut oil
  • 35 grams (1 1/4 ounces) baking soda
  • 15 grams (1/2 ounce) arrow-root (or other starch, such as potato starch, corn starch, etc.)

  • 20 drops palmarosa essential oil

              Makes 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces), about 60 ml (1/4 cup).

What to do:

  • Put the beeswax in a heat-resistant bowl and place it over a pan of simmering water. 
  • Let it melt gently (don’t overheat). 
  • Add the coconut oil and let it melt, stirring to combine.
  • Remove from the heat. 
  • Stir in the baking soda, arrow-root, and essential oil until you get a creamy consistency. Scrape into a small container (or an empty deodorant stick) and let set at room temperature.

Recipe #3
By: Crunchy Betty

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What you need:

  • Distilled or well-filtered water
  • Apple cider vinegar

 What to do:

  • Mix one tablespoon ACV to 1 cup distilled (or well filtered) water.
  • Put in a small container (if you have a spray bottle, this would be absolutely awesome as a little spray).
  • Before you apply your homemade deodorant, dab on a small amount of your sweet, simple rebalancer, and rub it all over your armpit area. Hold those arms up there and let it dry completely. 
  • Then, once it’s dry, apply your deodorant.

Recipe # 4
By Danielle : A Ph.D. In Life

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What you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • A Jar

 What to do:

  • Put the baking soda in the jar
  • Put the powder on your pits!

I tried a couple of deo recipes but they became a little too time consuming for me (though I really like Crunchy Betty’s recipe – it would take like a second longer than mine). Plus, from my experience it’s also harder to say no to commercial deo when you have to constantly compare buying one at the store to buying several ingredients and making a concoction at home, especially if you’re in a pinch or on vacation and forgot to pack your stash. Don’t get me wrong, the natural recipes are yummy looking, pretty, and smell delicious, that’s why I’m including them here. But if you’re like me and get discouraged easily, just follow my two-step recipe and you’ll be on your way in no time. And if you’re worried about getting the powder on the floor or you want to be a little fancier, get yourself a blush brush and use that to apply. Simple. Simply. Done. 

My favorite brand

Not all baking sodas are created equally – literally. As noted above, some baking soda is found in it’s natural state, mined right at the place of Earth’s production for use in it’s most natural state. Others are made chemically, in labs. While I’m not totally distraught over the less natural form of baking soda – I still consider it healthier than so many other things in this world – to me, all-natural is always the way to go, if possible. But that’s just me – no judging here! 

The brands that mine straight from the source:

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As a personal side note: I have tried both Bob’s Redmill and in a crunch, even the age-old brand Arm and Hammer (I’ve not yet tried Frontier). I’ve noticed that while Bob’s is a bit more expensive, it is softer, smoother, and lasts longer. Plus it has that extra perk of being in more natural form. BUT, I’ve never conducted a full on comparison study between the two so go ahead and experiment for yourself.

Conclusion

So that’s my spiel, lades and gents. Look out for more posts about the uses of my beloved white powder. In the meantime, enjoy getting hooked! It’s a party, I tell ya! 

*In honor of the Mary Katherine Gallaghers out there: I give you props for being you and baring all: namely sweat and odor – though I may not want to hang out with you. :/  (Click the skit below for some laughs on this one!)

A skit from SNL

Sources:

For Complete Recipe Guides:

5 comments on “Why I Will Never Give Up the White Powder and Why You Should Get Hooked

  1. Laura
    September 4, 2013

    My recipe is:
    baking soda
    organic corn startch
    lavendar or any other essential oil you like
    small jar

    fill slightly more than half the jar with baking soda
    add corn startch almost to the top – don’t fill all the way – leave plenty of shaking room :-)
    add several drops of your essential oil (maybe 20 drops or more)

    put the lid on the jar tightly and shake to mix the ingredients

    Apply with a brush or cotton ball

    • Dani C.
      September 4, 2013

      Thanks for sharing, Laura.

  2. christinafernando1982
    September 6, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this wealth of information. I am currently using Toms but I think I will make my own now from the ‘white stuff.’ :)

    • Dani C.
      September 6, 2013

      Awesome, Christina! Glad you enjoyed this post. And yeah, definitely switch – why not, right?

  3. Pingback: Itching For a Dead Bath | A Ph.D. In Life

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