Have you really thought about the chemicals we put in our body? Sure, I mean, we think about the chemicals in our food, and even the chemicals on our food. But do we think about the chemicals in the rest of our lives? The skin is the largest organ, and whatever we spread on the outside of it is absorbed and becomes part of us.
Several years ago, I went on a spree to kick out all the nasty chemicals from my bathroom. I managed to find some healthy soaps and shampoos (LUSH’s shampoo bars are so awesome). But as much as I looked, I coudn’t find a natural deodorant that I liked. Most left me still worried about odor, and others were sticky or strange feeling. Finally, I found an online recipe for making it myself. I was skeptical, but I decided to give it a try.I figured the worst thing that could happen would be that I’d continue to be sticky and stinky and only be out a couple of bucks.
Instead, I was quite pleased with the way it worked, and I haven’t looked back since. I have been using this recipe for two years, and haven’t had a single complaint about odor or ever felt uncomfortable. If you’re interested in giving it a try yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
You’ll need some coconut oil, which is a solid at room temp, but melts easily. It’s a bit expensive in a container like this (about $12) but it’ll last a long while. You can find it at most markets, usually in the “health” food aisle. I know people who use this for cooking, and they swear by it.
You’ll also need a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. This is a staple in our cleaning, and so we get the very large container.
The perfume oil is optional, but I recommend it. Alone, the mixture doesn’t really have much of a smell, but it’s not a particularly friendly scent either. Kinda bland, really. A couple drops of oil gives your underarms a nice light scent. Of course, be careful about selecting an oil to use. Some oils like lavender or clove smell lovely, but may irritate your skin.
Finally, you’ll need a container to keep the mixture in. I’m reusing a jar that originally contained facial moisturizer. You’ll want it to be wide-mouthed, so you can get your fingers in it. And it should be rigid plastic or metal, so when you’re scooping it out with your fingers on a cold morning, you have something to press against.
First step is to take a tablespoon or so of the solid coconut oil and put it into a small glass dish:
Then place this container in a slightly larger dish filled with hot water. This will warm the oil so it will melt and be easier to mix.
Keep it in the dish until it starts to melt. You can stir it to help speed it up, but it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.
Once it is completely melted, remove the dish from the water. Begin to add the baking soda one spoonful at a time.
Stir it in, and continue to add more baking soda, one spoonful at a time. Keep mixing it in until the mixture is no longer smooth and shiny. When it gets just slightly grainy looking, it’s done. For me, this usually takes about 4-5 spoonfuls. You can mess around with the ratios until you get a mixture you like. Too much baking soda isn’t the end of the world, but it can leave a residue on your clothes. Too little, and the deodorant might not work as well.
Once you get the baking soda mixed in, you can add the perfume. I like to add about 5-10 drops of oil, depending on how much I’m making, and what oil I’m using. It shouldn’t be overwhelming, and you don’t want to upset the balance of oil/soda. For this batch, I’m using some perfume oil I picked up at Body Shop several years ago. It’s a bit too strong for my taste as perfume, but works great in my deodorant.
Once you’ve stirred in the perfume oil, you’re ready to transfer the mixture to your container.
So, you’re probably wondering how to use it? Super easy. Just use your finger to scoop out a bit, and then spread it on your underarms. Easy as that! This much will probably last me about 3 months, maybe longer.
My only complaints about this mixture is on very cold mornings, the mixture may be too hard to get my fingers into. But I started keeping it on the top shelf in the bathroom, and that slight variation in temperature made a bit difference. If it’s still too cold, I’ll often warm it up in my hands or under warm water for a minute.
If you’re at all squeamish about using your fingers, I suppose you could use a cotton ball. I have considered trying this mixture in an old deodorant container, but I haven’t really been bothered by this method. I mean, I’m usually putting on my deodorant after a shower, so I figured it’s fine, right?
Of course, keep in mind it’s just deodorant, not antiperspirant. You’re still going to sweat. If that’s an issue for you, then this may not work for you. But I encourage you to take a look at the chemicals they use in antiperspirants, and think twice about using them.