Category Archives: Skin Care

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant

Learn how to make safe and toxin-free homemade natural deodorant, and which harmful ingredients to avoid in conventional store-bought deodorants!

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Ever since learning about all the toxins present in conventional deodorants, I stopped using deodorant for years. Luckily, I’m not much of a sweater so this was working out for me fine. If I felt a bit stinky, especially after a workout, I would just wash my underarms and was good to go.

However, after moving to Southern California, summers here can get pretty darn hot and sweating all day is just inevitable. I couldn’t just get away with not using deodorant anymore in the recent months, so I decided to make my own. I wasn’t sure if I would like my hippy-dippy version and if it would actually work, but I’ve been using it for over a month now and I absolutely love it. It gets rid of the stink and sweat, and it doesn’t stain any of my clothes like other deodorants I have a tried.

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

But before I share the recipe, I want to share just WHY I stopped using conventional deodorants and the ingredients in them that I don’t want to apply on my skin ever. Our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it, so being extra diligent about reading the ingredient labels is so important. After all, the toxins and certain chemicals in these products alter our hormones, burden our liver, and are linked to various types of cancers. Who wants that?

Here are the top 5 ingredients to avoid in conventional deodorants:

1. Parabens

Parabens are extremely common in the US, and it can be found in both skin care products and food. They are used as a preservative, but also are known to mimic estrogen and cause hormonal imbalances by accumulating in our tissues. A study showed a presence of parabens in 99% of the breast tumor tissue samples.

You can usually spot parabens on the ingredients list easily (They are found in 75-90% of all products on the market!), because they are followed by some kind of prefix like methylparaben, and propylparaben.

2. Triclosan

Triclosan is a type of pesticide that you’ll find in most deodorants on the market because of its ability to kill bacteria. It is also an endocrine disruptor and can also be carcinogenic when it comes in contact with chlorine in tap water. As we know, it’s not too difficult for our deodorant to come in contact with water, especially when we apply right after showering.

3. Aluminum-based Compounds

Aluminum-based compounds are used because of their ability to block the body from sweating by blocking the pores, which sounds ideal for antiperspirants. However, this ingredient is easily absorbed by the body and accumulates overtime.

This study has linked long term use of deodorants with earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis. Aluminum exposure has also been linked to interfering with estrogen levels, which increases the risk of cancers, and causing brain health issues like Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Fragrances/Pthalates

Chemical fragrances in deodorant products are very common and they usually come with pthalates, which help lotions penetrate the skin and fragrances last longer. Pthalates are a bit trickier than other ingredients to spot on the label, because they are usually listed as one of the following acronyms: DBP, DHP, DBP5, and DEHP.

Pthalates are also endocrine disruptors and known to cause kidney and liver cancers. While most studies I found on pthalates and their harmful effects were done on animals, I’d rather be safe than sorry and steer clear, especially when they are considered probable carcinogens by the EPA.

5. Propylene Glycol 

Propylene glycol is used to retain moisture in products, and it’s also used the auto industry in brake and hydraulic fluid. It is a form of mineral oil, which can block the pores and cause skin allergies and/or rashes. It has also been linked to liver and kidney damage.

You may be able to spot propylene glycol (also can be listed as PEG) easily on the deodorant label, because it is usually one for the first 2 ingredients on the list.


Are you surprised by the toxic chemicals that are present in our store-bought deodorants? Keep in mind that many of these ingredients are actually banned in Europe because of their harmful effects. Until our country steps up their game, I’ll gladly make my own homemade natural deodorant to avoid these cancer-causing chemicals.

If you don’t want to make your own deodorant, these are some my top favorite safer choices that actually work:

Native Deodorant

Primal Pit Paste

Honestly pHresh Magnesium Roll-On

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in DeodorantsHomemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Homemade Natural Deodorant
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler or a microwave, melt together shea butter and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot powder. Stir together.
  3. Add essential oils, if using, then pour into a glass jar and let cool. You can cool in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
  4. To apply, use your fingers to scoop out a small amount and rub on your armpits until invisible. A little goes a long way!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant

8 Awesome Benefits of Sea Salt

Learn the benefits of sea salt and why you should incorporate into your diet everyday!

Benefits of Sea Salt

You’ve probably heard of the common health warning, “Stick to a low-sodium diet for better heart health.” While there is some truth to salt causing hypertension, this only applies to refined white table salt that you’ll often see in salt shakers at restaurants. That’s because these salts have been stripped of their beneficial minerals and only have sodium and chloride, which create imbalances and disease in the body.

Real sea salt has been used for thousands of years by our ancestors and have been a precious commodity to season food and boost their health. I’m talking about unrefined, health-promoting salt like Celtic sea salt and Himalayan sea salt that are gray, black, or pink in color. These salts are actually very helpful in balancing the body and providing the body the nutrients it is lacking from our modern diet. And helloooo, it enhances the flavor our food!

So what are some of the amazing benefits of sea salt? You may be surprised that there are many but here are just some of the important ones:

1. Keeps you hydrated

Contrary to popular belief, sea salt is extremely beneficial in keeping us hydrated. The amount of nutrients in sea salt also satisfies our thirst for a longer period of time and keeps us holding on to the fluids for longer.

Table salt, on the other hand, dehydrates us and actually leeches essential minerals from the body. It also makes us crave it more (I used to be a salt addict!) because our bodies is in need of nutrients that it wants in natural sea salt that cannot be satisfied by processed table salt.

2. Reduces fluid retention

Some people think that salty food makes you bloat or retain water, and yes, this happens when you consume white table salt and refined salt used in processed foods. I remember the days I would wake up feeling groggy and bloated after a late night pizza binge with friends.

However, with real sea salt, the opposite happens because of its balanced ratio of minerals, especially potassium and sodium, which help release retained water. Eating real food and salting your own food with sea salt will help eliminate bloat and water retention.

2. A great source of minerals 

Did you know that high-quality sea salt has 84 trace minerals that nourish and strengthen our body? We used to be able to get enough minerals from the food we eat. However, with monocropping and improper farming methods, our soil has been depleted of these essential minerals and doesn’t provide the nutrients to our food like it used to.

However, we can supplement with sea salt and replenish our bodies with these easily absorbable minerals. I even put a pinch of sea salt in my water each day for that extra nutrient profile!

3. Balances electrolytes

Because of its amazing mineral content, sea salt is a great source of electrolytes like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. These electrolytes are vital for muscle, brain and heart health, because of its critical role in the nervous system. Instead of the typical sugar-filled electrolyte drinks you can find at the supermarket, try adding sea salt to water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

4. Prevents muscle cramps

When your electrolytes are low, you can experience muscle soreness, cramps, charley horse, and even restless leg syndrome. The lack of minerals keeps the muscles from relaxing and cause contractions that are out of your control. This is why epsom salt baths are recommended for any kind for muscle fatigue. The magnesium in epsom salt plays a huge role in loosening and calming the muscles and your entire body.

If you know you’ll be doing a strenuous activity, make sure to add sea salt to your water before and after to replenish your body with the minerals that it loses during the exercise.

Benefits of Sea Salt

5. Great for skin health

Because of its potent mineral content, sea salt has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for skin health. There are many beauty products that use sea salt, because it has the power to detoxify the skin, while exfoliating, increasing circulation, and providing the skin with nutrients. Sea salt has been shown to be especially beneficial for acne, psoriasis, eczema, and anti-aging.

6. Improves digestion

Sea salt is necessary in the role of digestion, and it starts in the mouth. The salivary amylase, an enzyme which helps break down carbohydrates in the saliva, is activated by the flavor of salt.

Also, salt plays a huge role in the making of hydrochloric acid, which is secreted in the stomach for the breakdown of food, especially protein. Most people are insufficient in hydrochloric acid, and this can cause numerous digestive issues like bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion, and can eventually lead to leaky gut and chronic disease.

7. Nourishes the adrenal glands

Adrenal fatigue of varying degrees is extremely common today, resulting from stress and poor diet. With adrenal insufficiency, one of the main symptoms is salt cravings. This is because the body is craving the nutrients it needs from sea salt.

Among their numerous demanding functions, our adrenal glands release hormones that regulate sodium and potassium in the body. So in order to make this particular job easier, the adrenals need a balance of these minerals through high quality sea salt. This is especially important when they are already tired from the stress we put through them everyday.

8. Regulates blood pressure

Yes, high quality sea salt is greatly beneficial for regulating blood pressure. The rise in blood pressure is the result of inflammation in the body, which is primarily caused by a high sugar, processed food diet, which also includes white table salt that’s devoid of most nutrients.

Real sea salt actually reduces inflammation by bringing in the necessary minerals that the body uses to boost its immunity. By providing the body with enough water and potassium, it actually helps prevent heart disease and improve cardiovascular health. ‘


To receive all the healing and health-boosting benefits of sea salt, make sure to purchase quality brand like this Celtic sea salt and this Himalayan sea salt. Always reach for salt that has color. It shouldn’t be white, because that means it has been refined and stripped of all its beneficial minerals.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate sea salt into your diet everyday, because it truly is a nourishing and healing superfood!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

8 Awesome Benefits of Sea Salt

Safer Beauty Swaps: Popular Cosmetics

Safer Toxin-Free Skin Care Makeup Swaps

One of the reasons why many of us are hesitant to swap out our beauty products is because we are so used to and dependent on the ones we have been using for years. I’ve definitely been there with my favorite eye makeup and foundation.

However, there are so many toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors in popular drug store and department store cosmetic brands, that it’s 100% worth thinking about switching to safer brands that won’t compromise your health, both inside and out. These ingredients include lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum, parabens, and a slew of other chemicals that burden the liver and are even known to cause cancer.

Luckily, Beautycounter and other great brands provide safer and toxic-free options and they come with reasonable price tags. I was hesitant at first to switch out my products because “safer” sounded a bit too hippie-dippie to me and I was skeptical that they would stay on and work like my previous favorites. However, I was so pleasantly surprised that they look as great as my older makeup and last a long time, which means I didn’t have to sacrifice performance when choosing products that are safer.

After all, my top priority these days is to avoid putting anything in and on my body that may cause harm, and I want to inspire you to do the same. So I put together the following beauty swaps for the most popular top-sellers of Sephora. I have tried out all of the recommended products, so these are based on my personal experience. I hope this list gives you a better idea of what products to purchase next!

If you want to learn more about safer skincare, read about my personal experience HERE, and what ingredients you should be avoiding HERE.

CLICK ON THE PRODUCT IMAGES TO SHOP! 

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Want to purchase Beautycounter products on a discount?

The best way to save money on these high quality, toxin-free products is to become a Band of Beauty member! There are so many benefits to being a member and you end up saving so much money when you join and you can see it outlined below. Click below to find out more and join!

Band of Beauty Membership

Looking to swap out your products but not sure where to start?

You can begin by entering your products on EWG’s skin deep database. It lets you know how safe your current personal care products are by giving them a rating. If they come up yellow or red you really need to prioritize switching to something safer – for your sake and your family’s, especially if you have children in the house. Swap out the worst offenders first!

Can’t find a product? You can also search individual ingredients to see their rating as well!


Want to learn more about safer skincare, product recommendations, and beauty tips?
Join my Safer Skincare Facebook group!

Safer Skincare FB

 Safer Toxin-Free Skin Care Makeup Swaps