To observe, enjoy and create in everyday life

A Weird Obsession





One of the very first natural body products I tried to make was deodorant. About ten years ago, I was on a kick to make more of my own things, and I had read that the aluminum used in anti-perspirants was potentially unhealthy. Plus, there was the money saving factor that came into play with making my own body products. So I thought I would give it a try. But in my attempt to find a homemade deodorant that worked, I failed many, many times. There were numerous times I would dash home in a stinky emergency to reapply whatever failed concoction I had used that morning.
I had become obsessed. I read about and/or tried so many recipes found in books or online in an attempt to find an easy-to-make, inexpensive, kind-to-my-skin deodorant. Some recipes called for ingredients that were just too costly or plain weird. The strangest one I ran across had you soaking grass clippings in vodka to make a homemade chlorophyll infusion...this is one I did not try. The other issue with homemade deodorants is that most rely heavily on baking soda for odor absorption. Many people, myself included, have really negative skin reactions to baking soda. Others sources swore that all you needed was a little witch hazel or a small smear of coconut oil to provide some deodorizing power. I am not quite sure who these folks are, but I needed a little more oomph than that. 
After all of these trials, I thought maybe it wasn't possible to find a homemade deodorant that really worked for me. I thought instead I could find a store bought deodorant that didn't contain aluminum. But again, many of these either did not control the stink factor, included too much of the rash causing baking soda, or were crazy expensive. So I went back to the drawing board. 
Finally a few years ago, I stumbled across multiple deodorant recipes on Wellness Mama's site and noticed her coconut oil based recipe. It used simple ingredients, was inexpensive, and I thought I could play with the amounts of corn starch and baking soda to keep it skin friendly. Her version called for equal parts baking soda and corn starch, but I knew that would be too much for my skin. Instead I cut back the baking soda to half the amount and increased the corn starch. 
I made up a small batch of the deodorant and crossed my fingers. And what do you know...it worked! I did not break out in any skin rashes, I didn't get stinky and I didn't spend a lot of money or time making it. I have worn this deodorant for many years now. And even on the hottest summer days, it has not failed me. So in case you are on a quest to make more of your own products, want to save some money, or are as strangely obsessed with making your own deodorant as I was...I thought I would share this with you.

Coconut Oil Deodorant (based on this recipe)

6 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 to 3 Tablespoons baking soda
4 to 5 Tablespoons corn starch -- Essentially you want your combination of baking soda and corn starch to equal 7 Tablespoons
10 to 15 drops essential oils (if you choose)

Stir these ingredients all together in a small jar. Set the jar in the fridge initially to help the deodorant set up. After it sets, I have just kept it in my bathroom. Use a small, pea-size amount under each arm.

That's it. Pretty simple, huh?

Some additional notes about using homemade deodorant.  In other words, let me pass on more that I have learned in my ten plus years of trying to find a suitable deodorant:
  • Some people have zero rash causing issues with baking soda. And when that is the case, they simply put a little poof of baking soda under their arms and away they go.
  • When you move from anti-perspirants to either store bought or homemade deodorants...there is a transition period. I would recommend making this switch during a cooler time of the year (like now)...not the summer. 
  • If you don't feel like making your own deodorant, we did find that Jason's Tea Tree Deodorant worked quite well and did not contain any baking soda. This is the brand that two of the guys in our family use and like.
  • Coconut oil stays solid at temperatures below 72 degrees. So when the temperatures are warmer, this deodorant will not be as solid. You can move it to the fridge for the summer months if you choose. I haven't had it turn to a soupy mess, so I haven't bothered moving it out of our bathroom. 
  • The longer I have used this homemade deodorant, the more baking soda I can add to the recipe. But I still do not feel that I need as much as the original recipe states. The amount I have included here, seems to do the trick. 
Have you ever considered making your own body products? If so, which ones?

4 comments:

  1. YES! I haven't ever made deodorant for all the reasons you just listed. I am one stinky girl and need the antiperspirant part AND the deodorant. I've been thinking about exploring homemade deodorants for years now but just couldn't bring myself to do it. But you've given me hope. I think I might just have to try this. I mean, I have all the ingredients already, so why not? And thank you for including your helpful hints about it.

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    1. Let me know if you give it a try! When I first made the switch, I really figured I didn't have much to lose. I had had enough stinky days using store bought deodorant as well, so I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try!

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  2. Hi Bekah - I haven't made homemade deodorant. Like others, I'm not confident it would do the job! I run really hot - almost always - and I worry that even the OTC brands struggle to keep up with me. My husband sometimes uses a "deodorant stone" when the mood hits him. (He also uses OTC brands.) He says it (the stone) works for him in non-sweaty settings.

    I have made a homemade facial scrub before and it was okay. It was a little drying (I have dry skin) so I didn't really keep up with it. I should be better about home care products!

    Thanks for sharing your post! Interesting to learn what people do for self-care! (PS: the link to the Wellness Mama site leads to the Jason DO site.) :-)

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    1. Thank you for finding that incorrect link. It's fixed now! I had tried the stone/crystal deodorants too, and sometimes they worked and other days they did not. I am an active person who gets sweaty and stinky just like everyone else. So, I totally get being unsure about trying something natural or homemade. This concoction works for me though, whereas many others did not. I don't know. Everyone's body is a little different.
      With homemade body products, I have found some that I absolutely love (soap, facial wash, body butter, salves, shaving soap) and others that I still prefer commercially made (shampoo and conditioner). It's fun to play around with recipes and see what you like, what actually works better and what saves some money!

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