Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mercredi: The Art of Beauty

My younger daughter stayed home from school yesterday but, being an antsy redhead with a unique perspective on the wide world, she was done sitting still by noontime. When her father and I returned from the snowy trek to our polling place, we found her on our back deck shoveling snow. She did a bang up job of it too, and Dad only had to help with the really heavy lifting.

Later in the evening she and I were relaxing before dinner and she looked at me with her nose wrinkled. “Ewww. I stink and my pits are sweaty.” “Well you worked hard,” said I. “I know, but ewww!” “Good thing it’s shower night, and you need to use your deodorant,” was my final response.

“Oh yeah,” said she before returning to her new Rick Riordan novel.

The deodorant in question in not the kind you buy in the market. My redhead and her Dad have such sensitive skin that packaged deodorants will cause them a violent and painful rash. Nature – and history – to the rescue of course. As always.

Contrary to popular belief our ancestors were not smelly, knuckle-draggers who couldn’t figure out how to brush their teeth or wash the stink off themselves. They actually did brush and floss and bathe and apply anti-odor preparations that worked surprisingly well. I have a few of these last that will not only make you smell delightful, they won’t interfere with your pores or your cologne and they won’t sting the heck out of your sensitive underarms.

Some modern herbals recommend using alcohol in their deodorant preparations. Personally I won’t do it as I find the alcohol can be just as irritating as the ingredients in store-bought preparations. Why go to all the work only to have a bad reaction? Everyone has to find what works for them though so if you do find a recipe you really like, let me know. Meanwhile, I’ll give you my favorite concoction and follow up in future posts with a few others.

2 tbsps dried rosemary
2 tbsps dried thyme
2 tbsps dried sage
¾ cup witch hazel
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp hempseed essential oil
25 drops citrus seed extract
15 drops lavender essential oil

Put the dried herbs, witch hazel and vinegar in a glass jar with a tight lid. Shake and store in a cool, dry place for two weeks over which period you shake the jar again once a day. Strain the liquid and pour into a glass bottle. Add the oils. Apply to underarms with a cotton square. Shake well before using.

Note that you can also put your deodorant in a glass spray bottle and mist your pits in the morning. I like the direct method but it is an issue of what works best for each individual. While the herbs bring anti-odor properties to the mix, it is the hempseed oil that actually surrounds and neutralizes odor causing bacteria. All are available in health food stores and from purveyors of herbal supplies. À votre santé ~

Header: Three Sisters sketch by Ingres


Timmy! said...

And it won't give you an annoying rash... Thanks, Pauline!

Pauline said...

Exactly; no one likes that.