>> Sunday, July 15, 2012
It's been awhile since I've shared a DIY I experimented with so today I bring you homemade deodorant. I'm sure someone I know reading this will think I've totally lost it and am about to run for the hills to live out my days free of shampoo and razors (I can think of a few who think I'm weird so this will just add to the list), but honestly, that is not the case. I still shave; I still wear makeup (sometimes...less so during the summer); I still use shampoo, although, healthier kinds. I'm not 100% hippie but I do have my tendencies, which I'm proud of. Peace.
Anyway. I gave up using antiperspirants years ago and began using deodorant. What's the difference between the two you ask? One blocks/clogs your pores (bad) and one lets you breathe (good). Read here for more. Basically, steer clear of antiperspirants for your health (say no to aluminum). Deodorant is much better. If you're still curious, just google 'antiperspirant dangers' or click this link for an overview. My opinion: even if it's not proven to cause cancer (and not proven it doesn't), why risk it? If the possibility is there I try to avoid it.
So, I had been thinking about making my own deodorant for quite sometime but hesitated because it seemed a little too granola but I also was concerned about the oil content wondering if it would it get on my clothes.
Well, I got over the granola factor but still worried about the oil so in order to know I had to make some. Plus it's waaay cheaper than buying deodorant and healthier because there are only a few ingredients.
My underarms are a little sensitive. Another reason I hesitated to try this. My pits don't like roll-ons (too sticky) or the mineral rock deodorant (again, involves stickiness). I never did sprays (do those even work?? I don't like fumes so I never tried it) and the antiperspirants when I used them, I had to be careful to not use the ones that claim to not leave any white marks because whatever chemical they used made my skin break out in a rash.
I found that the basic recipe of coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot or cornstarch is pretty much the same wherever I looked (see here and here) but I followed the recipe Kelli posted on Animal Friendly Eating because I know she's tried it and shared her notes.
5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Combine equal portions of baking soda and arrowroot powder. Then slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon until it maintains the substance you desire. It should be about the same texture as the store bought kind, solid but able to be applied easily. You can either scoop this into your old dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. After applying the product, you can just rub the remains into your hands as a lotion! This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.
I used arrowroot powder (you can buy this in the bulk section at your local market). If you opt to use cornstarch, make sure it's GMO-free and/or organic. Also, I used 6 tablespoons of coconut oil since Kelli noted that the baking soda may cause itchiness for some. Lastly, I added in drops of essential oil -- I used sweet orange -- but you can add whatever scent you like. Kelli suggested 5-10 drops, I think I used close to 10.
When I first made this, I put it in a couple of empty deodorant bottles. But as I was tapping it down into each and seeing that it was still warm, it made everything quite messy leaking out of the turn-dial that I gave up and put it in a glass jar. Works very well actually.
If you've been thinking about trying this too, I say give it a go! It certainly can't hurt, right? What we've learned is antiperspirants are bad for our health, deodorants are better but not perfect and can also be pricey, homemade is the best choice with minimal ingredients and inexpensive. Whaddya think?