Archive for June, 2011

My last anti-plastic post was a bit telling of my priorities, I expect. Trying to modify my diet has left me a little obsessed. Food is great, and it may well be the primary source of plastic in my life, but it isn’t the only one. The next big hurdle is personal hygiene.

First, a disclaimer. I don’t shave my underarms, nor have sensitive skin, I’m not allergic to anything that I know of and  I’m switching from a men’s roll-on anti-perspirant/deodorant (I seem to sweat a lot, and women’s anti-perspirants don’t seem to work for me).

First, I tried Lush’s aromarant deodorant block, which was a bit pricy (but evens out when you consider how long it lasts), but smells nice and works pretty well. I had no smell and no wetness while using it. Unfortunately, I used it for a week before an allergic reaction left me with with sore, red underarms and peeling skin. (it seems I’m not alone in this: [link]). The Lush website says ‘pat on dry skin’, so I may be doing it wrong.

I went back to my normal roll-on  to give my skin a chance to recover. I ordered a box of bicarbonate of soda (also called baking soda or baking powder, depending on where you live) from the internet and bought a soft brush for when the commercial stuff ran out.

My roll-on ran out yesterday, so this morning I applied the soda (or at least, tried to apply it) directly to my underarms – straight out of the box, with no messing about. I don’t yet understand how it works and, given the quantity of grit now on my bathroom floor, I’m inclined to think it hasn’t (I’m very gad I didn’t try this while standing on carpet). I think one of my armpits might have still been a bit damp, and it’s retained some of the soda, which is kind of scratchy and unpleasant, but we’ll see how it goes.

[EDIT] Badly. Very, very badly. People on the internet who claim to put this straight onto their skin are either masochists or misanthropic sadists. I’ll be thrice-damned and blind before put this stuff straight into my armpits again.

Other things to try with bicarb:

  • Adding cornstarch or cornflour to the soda, in a 6:1 mixture [link]
  • Adding essential oils (Patchouli, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Rosemary, Cinnamon and Clove) [link]
  • Mixing into a paste with with water (1/8 tsp soda dissolved in 1/4 tsp water; if water easily rinses away the “slimy” feel of sodium bicarbonate, you’ll need to use more. If water does not easily rinse it away, you’ll need less) [link]
  • Mix into a paste with 2 TB corn starch, 2 TB baking soda, 2 TB olive oil and a few drops of essential oils
  • Equal parts baking soda, cornstarch, and coconut oil

If the bicarb doesn’t work, I have a few backup plans:

  • 3 Tablespoons shea butter
    3 Tablespoons baking soda
    2 Tablespoons corn starch
    2 Tablespoons cocoa butter
    2 vitamin E oil gel caps (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
    Essential Oil (e.g.: ylang yang and orange)
  • The crystal deodorant I saw in the rocks and fossils shop. Apparently, this only works on clean, bacteria-free pits, and still contains aluminium (not sure if I’m worried about this at the moment, but it’s something to bear in mind).
  • The Aromarant seemed to work quite well, so I wouldn’t mind trying Lush’s sensitive skin deodorant Aromaco at some point.
  • Wads of sage under the arms is fairly unappealing, but misting a sage dilution into my armpits is a bit more promising.
  • Cider vinegar is right at the bottom of the list – I don’t have a lot of time in the morning to get rid of the vinegar smell.

More reading:



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Besom and staff

I bought a besom on Saturday. I’m not sure why, which made explaining my fiancé and his mum’s questions about why I bought it and what I’ll use it for difficult. I regret the stupid answers I gave.

I was conflicted for a while – should I have made it? Do I need it? Will I use it? What for? I’m a druid, not a witch. Is my fiancé right, and was it a waste of money?

In the end, I bought it because I like it, and because some part of me thinks that it’s important and that I should have one. Even if I only ever use it as a yard broom.


I also bought a sturdy stick which is taller than I am and has a fork at the top. I’m not calling it a stag, because I have no idea what it is yet, nor what it’s for, but I’ a lot more definite about this than I was about the broom.

I also bought it because it seemed important.

I REALLY like the stick. It has grooves spiralling around it where a vine used it as support. Parts of the vine are still there, where the three grew around it. This all seems significant.

I want to hang charms, feathers, bones and bells from it (I want to hang charms, feathers, bones and bells from everything at the moment). I want to mount a skull in the fork and to carve or burn symbols into the wood. I want to do all sorts of things that would eventually make it look like a prop from a third-rate occult thriller from the 80s, but I won’t. I need to be sensible about this, and curb my enthusiasm. I trust that these things will come as and when and if they’re needed.

But maybe a few bells won’t hurt?

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