Coconut oil has been getting a lot of press lately. People use it for a surprising number of reasons. Not only are they consuming it and applying it topically; but they also give it to their pets. Two of the most important uses of coconut oil, that we’ll be discussing in this article, are as that of a deodorizer and as an insect repellent. So if you’ve ever wondered why popular organic deodorants and insect repellents increasingly use this “super ingredient” in their formulations, keep reading…we might just have some answers for you!
Coconut oil is a natural, healthy deodorizer. It neutralizes the smell of perspiration mixed with bacteria. Additionally, it provides round-the clock or long lasting antiseptic action that eliminates odor producing bacteria from sweat.
Sweating is essential for the body. It eliminates toxic waste and also regulates body temperature. Coconut oil does not interfere with this natural body process. Many chemical based antiperspirants contain skin-pore clogging ingredients which clog up the sweat glands with aluminum ions and prevent the release of perspiration. Coconut oil deodorants do not clog up skin pores and naturally allow sweating to happen. This makes natural deodorants healthier for our skin and the temperature regulating mechanism of the body, as compared to chemical based deodorants.
When we shower, all the deodorants and antiperspirants are released through drainage water into our lakes and oceans. This releases harmful chemicals into bodies of water, which then interfere with the natural cycles of marine animal life. A natural deodorant containing coconut oil has minimal environmental impact and does not harm our aquatic friends in this manner.
Many commercial deodorants and antiperspirants contain parabens as well as hormone disruptors like toluene and aluminum. With coconut oil based deodorants, you can avoid this toxic exposure.
Many people doubt the efficacy of natural deodorants. However, quality organic deodorants with coconut oil have long-staying power. They stick firmly to the skin and provide deodorant action for countless hours. Essential oil deodorants with coconut oil also provide a clean and even spread on the underarms, and a natural fragrance that can last for 6-8 hours. Coconut oil based deodorants with or without essential oils will keep you feeling and smelling clean and fresh all day.
Finally, coconut oil has a skin soothing action that also moisturizes the skin. It’s mild SPF or sun protective factor provides UVB protection, and it sticks to the skin where it is easily absorbed; meaning you need not reapply it over and over again for continued moisturization.
Here is an easy recipe of Coconut oil deodorant to make at home.
Coconut and Shea Butter Deo
• 3 tbsp or 45g each Coconut oil
• 2 tbsp or 30 g each Shea butter and arrowroot or cornstarch powder
• 2 tsp or 10g baking soda
• Essential oils (optional, no more than 1% or 0.85ml)
• In a double boiler, over medium heat, mix the Shea butter and Coconut oil.
• Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot.
• Mix well to combine.
• Once cooled sufficiently, add the essential oils.
• Pour into an old deodorant stick or wide mouthed container.
• This recipe can be stored at room temperature.
Although much less effective than DEET, Coconut oil is one of the plant based oils that have shown significant insect repellent activity. In many regions where coconuts grow naturally, the locals actually burn its husks to repel mosquitoes! (Raise your hand ✋🏽 if you didn't know that.) Below are several benefits of using coconut oil as a natural insect repellent:
Natural repellents with coconut oil and essential oils smell fresh and great, and provide an alternative from using terrible smelling or harmful chemical repellents. Many commercial insect repellents have a strong chemical smell which can be offensive to kids, babies, or those who are chemically sensitive.
Kids’ skin is very delicate and commercial repellents containing chemicals can cause rashes. Inhaling these chemical laden fumes is also known to cause headaches, eye allergies, skin irritation, lung damage, throat irritation, etc. Pregnant women must especially be careful and stay away from chemical repellents. Many EPA banned products are still circulating in the market and they are known to disrupt hormone function and can even impact the development of the fetus. Coconut oil provides a great alternative to these toxic products. It is safe to use, gentle on the skin and has a medium texture that is easily absorbed. When mixed with essential oils like lemongrass, citronella or tea tree, etc., you get a natural bug repellent action that keeps children’s skin soft, healthy and bug free. These organic repellents are also safe for pregnant women and lactating mothers, and effective even in small doses.
Coconut oil has a stable shelf life that allows repellents to last a long time. This means you can make your recipe in large batches and use it for several months!
SPF is a sun protection factor which is a measure of UVB protection. Research shows that coconut oil has a mild SPF value between 4 and 10. This is an added bonus so that you get protection from sunburn and skin cancer while also repelling bugs like mosquitoes, chiggers, no see ums, etc.
Chemical bug sprays pollute our air and harm our pets. Coconut oil based repellents are safe and non toxic. They certainly are safe enough to eat and use on pets’ skin to repel bugs like ticks, fleas, etc. So you are doing a huge favor not only to your body, but also to your environment, when you choose organic repellents made with pure coconut oil.
• ½ or 170 g cup coconut oil
• 5 ml (there are approximately 20-30 drops/ml) of a mixture of any of the following essential oils: tea tree oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, catnip oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, clove oil, geranium oil, palo santo oil, lavender oil, cedarwood oil, neem oil, turmeric oil, patchouli
Warm the oil and add the essential oil once the temperature is below 115 F. Apply the mixture all over the exposed areas of the skin. Reapply every few hours.
There are many benefits of using coconut oil in bug repellents and deodorants. The antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties of this fantastic natural ingredient keep germs away. The potent combination of coconut oil and essential oils safeguards you from illnesses caused by bugs and also keeps body odor away without interfering with the natural sweating process.
Our products containing coconut oil:
Coconut Oil for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Coconut Oil
By Britt Brandon
Naturally Bug-Free: 75 Nontoxic Recipes for Repelling Mosquitoes, Ticks ...
By Stephanie L. Tourles
Determination of ultraviolet filter activity on coconut oil cosmetic cream Eni Widiyati
Homemade Coconut Oil Sunscreen Recipe
By Jessica Espinoza
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