The past two weeks with my homemade deodorant have been...interesting...to say the least. I found it to be really effective, but - TMI warning - I had these razor burn type bumps under one arm. I think they're because I used an old razor when I was shaving. The baking soda kept getting into these areas and it burned. I had to stop using the homemade deodorant for three days so that it could heal. Once they were healed, however, everything was fine. Then, two days later, I got a red rash under both arms. I took a picture because I couldn't find any when I googled it. I know everyone doesn't want to see that though, so if you're interested, you can find it here. That one sounds like it was caused by the deodorant. This was after a warm weather streak and the deodorant melted. I half-heartedly mixed it back together, but I think I got a bunch of baking soda in one clump. I think the next time I make up a batch, I'm going to drop the baking soda back to 1/8 cup to see if that helps with the irritation I experienced. And another thing I learned - it's really important with this stuff not to put it on directly after shaving! Shave, do everything else you have to do to get ready, then put the deodorant on very last. Otherwise it stings a lot!!
No 'poo is going better than I could have ever imagined. It's really freeing. I'm at the point that the day I was with baking soda, my hair looks 100% normal. The next day, it's about 80% normal. The third day, I start to feel a little gross. So I end up going 72 hours between baking soda washings with no real problems. That's a HUGE deal, because I used to feel gross just 24 hours after shampooing. Mind you, I do shower every day still, so it's not like I'm running around smelling like hippie. I've been keeping a diary of my routine and how my hair behaves. A bonus - my eczema is almost GONE. *B* even commented on it. Aside from during pregnancy (for whatever reason), I've had persistent eczema on my scalp since I was a kid.
Oil Cleansing Method
I'm kind of "eh" about OCM. My skin really didn't seem all that different than with my old skin care regimen. I use the phrase "skin care regimen" very loosely. I used to just lightly wash with a washcloth and no soap most of the time. I got some acne (which I'm not sure was going to happen anyway or was due to OCM) so I bought some castor oil. I've used it twice, and again, it's okay, but not mind-blowing. Then again, I did it every three or four days whenever I had time, so maybe I didn't give it a fair shake. In the next two weeks, I'm going to devote some time to seeing how well it actually works if done consistently and journal the results.
I'm pretty pleased with how the toothpaste has been working. The taste is definitely something to get used to, but I really feel a lot cleaner than with commercial toothpaste. I might drop the salt out of the next batch entirely just because it's a little overwhelming, and I feel like baking soda is abrasive enough on its own. I have been reading a bit that baking soda can damage enamel, so I'm going to keep using it while I research that claim.
So the verdicts: No 'poo is amazing, deodorant and toothpaste are probably staying for keeps, and the jury is out on OCM.