An unexpected antidote

I have very sensitive skin, consequently I get rashes pretty often. Even if a substance is one I’ve been exposed to without any reaction, there is no guarantee that substance will stay on my skin’s safe list forever.

This was the case with my beloved, tried and true homemade deodorant. I borrowed from several different recipes I researched online and created a blend that worked better than any commercial option I had ever tried. It stood up to long days of biking all over Brooklyn teaching yoga class after yoga class with no need to reapply, was easy to make, kept well, and was very cheap to produce. Not to mention all of the plastic and glass packaging I avoided putting into the waste stream.

I used this recipe for years without any trouble, until one day I developed a painful, burning, itchy rash under my arms. After some googling, it became clear that the baking soda in my deodorant recipe was the root cause of this rash. Apparently it’s rather common.

So began a few years of tinkering with my recipe, followed by many trials of commercially produced deodorants that did not contain baking soda. I found plenty of options that left me rash free, but not a single one that worked as well as the one I used to make myself, at least not without 2-3 reapplications throughout the day.

Skip ahead to two weeks ago when I was looking for another brand to try when by chance I glanced at a product description that suggested a means of preventing the dreaded baking soda rash: apply apple cider vinegar before applying their deodorant. I’ve kept up with making a large jar of my homemade deo every couple of months for my partner, though with much less baking soda than the original recipe. Even so, it still gives me a rash. Since I had some at the ready I decided to give the ACV a shot.

And holy shit, it works.

I bought myself a small glass spray bottle and filled it 50/50 with ACV + water. After my armpits are clean, I put 1-2 spritzes under each arm, and rub it all around to distribute it evenly. I let it dry while I’m applying body oil, putting in my contacts, etc. Once it’s dry, I rub a small amount of my homemade deo between my fingers and apply it in an even layer under each arm. It’s so simple and I have no idea why, but it has prevented the rash from popping up for two solid weeks and counting. I’ll update this post if anything changes, but for the moment I am elated!

Let me know if you try it and how it goes for you.


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