Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homemade Deodorant

So I have been wanting to make my own deodorant for a while now, but anyone who has done this knows that it is a big and scary commitment. Like, really scary. Once you make your own deodorant, you are officially on your way to hippiedom, at least in your head. Traditional deodorants just weren't doing it for me anymore. I hate the smell the artificial fragrance smell they leave on your clothes, blegh.

So, during this time of inner turmoil and deliberation, I began to do some research about recipes. I combined a few together into one recipe that I thought would work for me. And guess what. IT WORKS. Better than any store-bought deodorant I have ever used. I have been completely stink-free and moisture-free since I started using it. In fact, I cant stop sniffing myself out of disbelief (too much information?).

Homemade deodorants are actually not supposed to prevent moisture. Sweating is a natural process which is necessary for your body to get rid of toxins. Your pharmacy deodorant stops you from sweating because it contains aluminum. And you dont want aluminum in your body, so try to avoid that, k? However, my homemade deodorant has so far prevented me from sweating, and I think that this is due to the arrowroot powder in it. Anyway, I'm not complaining.

So for all you fearless gals (and guys) out there, here is my recipe:

  • Beeswax. 1.5 tablespoons. This is used to maintain a hard consistency. If you live in a hot climate, you might want to use a little more.
  • Coconut oil. 5 tablespoons. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties, which is why it is the best oil to use for deodorant.
  • Shea butter. 1 tablespoon. This moisturizes your skin.
  • Mango butter. 1 teaspoon. This is optional. I added it because I just like mango butter and I feel like it has kind of a drying effect on my skin.
  • Baking soda. 1/4 cup. This is to keep you from stinking!
  • Arrowroot powder. 1/4 cup. This keeps you dry. You can find it near the starch in the baking section of your local Whole Foods.
  • 20-25 drops essential oils. I used a combination of tea tree, lavender, sweet orange, and ylang ylang. The tea tree oil is an antibacterial and an antiseptic, so I highly recommend it. Just go easy on it, because it has a strong fragrance that will overpower all of the other essential oils if you use too much.  Use your own judgement to combine these, depending on the smell you like. Ylang ylang is especially flowery, feminine, and fragrant. Your pits will smell great!
Melt the beeswax in a double boiler first, then add the coconut oil, shea butter, and mango butter. Once this is all melted, take your container off of the heat. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Wait until the consistency of the liquid is syrup-ey. Now, you can pour your deodorant into an old deodorant container (clean it and roll it all the way down first!) or into a jar, so you can apply with your fingers. I put mine into an old deodorant container because this is just more convenient. 

Here are some other tips:

Some people find that baking soda irritates their skin. If you have this problem, lower the amount of baking soda until you have a mixture that does not irritate your skin. If you find that the arrowroot irritates you, try adding less. Another option is to substitute cosmetic grade clay (the kind you use for facial masks) for the baking soda or arrowroot. If the deodorant is too drying, try adding more shea butter. You can always remelt the deodorant and fix your recipe, so do not be afraid to make changes.

There are other deodorant recipes around the web that you may find helpful:

  • Here is one from Crunchy Betty, which is an alternative to the baking soda and arrowroot, for those with sensitive skin.