Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homemade Deodorant

Most commercial "deodorants" are actually antiperspirants. An antiperspirant is a substance that prevents or reduces perspiration. I think the "anti" part pretty much makes that definition obvious, but what's not so obvious is how toxic this is to our bodies.

Our bodies have unique ways to get rid of wastes and toxins. One of those unique methods happens to be perspiration. Thus, if you prevent or reduce your body from perspiring, you are preventing or reducing your body from releasing toxins. Simply put.

Another misunderstood concept is that sweaty = stinky. Not true. Just like bad breath, it is bacteria that causes the smell, not the sweat. Bacteria feeds on the moist area, thus creating "the funk." ;-)

So let's perspire, release toxins, and remove bacteria; thus, creating a safe, effective, socially accepted (it's true no one wants to smell you) alternative to anti-perspirants...Here's the recipe as to how:

UPDATE: I use an even easier recipe now, view it here.

Yield: 1 deodorant stick (approx. 2.5-3 oz)
Cost per stick: $1.50 (Cost may vary. This is an approximation.)
Shelf Life: Indefinite, refrigeration not necessary for product stability
Time: 5 - 10 minutes (a few hours before use)
Benefits: Cost effective, most or all ingredients are on-hand, safe for children (when necessary of course...and's necessary...LOL), safe & soothing to use after removing underarm hair using the sugar hair remover application

1 oz arrowroot powder (substitute w/ baking soda if necessary)
1 oz baking soda
1 oz virgin coconut oil
1 oz (2 tbsp) raw unrefined shea butter
1 oz (2 tbsp) beeswax (optional, explanation below)
5-10 drops of tea tree 100% essential oil (optional, but highly recommended for anti-bacterial properties)

Old deodorant mold, cleaned and thoroughly dried 

Small pot
Mittens or tongs (tongs must be able to pick up the measuring cup without tipping it)
Glass measuring cup
Measuring spoon (tbsp)
Stirring spoon or whisk

  1. Prep your mold by twisting the insert back down into the bottom of the container. (Yes, you will probably have to sit there and turn and turn and turn until it goes back down. Unless you have a push-up container, just pushing the insert back down will probably not work.)
  2. Fill 1/4 of your small pot with hot tap water and heat on medium to medium high on stove.
  3. Using your measuring spoon, measure and add 1 oz (2 tbsp) of each of beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil to your measuring cup.
  4. Carefully place your glass measuring cup in the water.
  5. Allow the 3 ingredients to melt, stirring as needed.
  6. Once melted, remove carefully with tongs or mittens. (DO NOT allow water to get into mixture. If this happens, you will be have to refrigerate your deodorant to ensure you won't have mold later)
  7. Stir in 2 tbsp arrowroot powder and 2 tbsp baking soda.
  8. Stir the entire mixture thoroughly.
  9. Add the tea tree essential oil and stir mixture thoroughly once more.
  10. Pour the mixture into the deodorant mold, cap, and refrigerate until solid.
Mix equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda. You could also add an equal part of arrowroot powder to help prevent moist underarms. I suggest using a few drops of tea tree essential oil. Although it's not required, I think tea tree essential oil makes the de-odor part more effective. Pouring this into a mold and refrigerating it would create an instant homemade deodorant.

Apply to underarms and you're good to go. 

Refrigeration still not required. Keep in a small lidded jar.

Where to Buy:
Arrowroot Powder (also referred to as arrowroot flour/starch and can be used in cooking instead of cornstarch; much healthier alternative)
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • Any brand, any local grocer
Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (any brand of virgin oil is fine)
  • Most local grocers
  • Walmart
  • Amazon
Raw Unrefined Shea Butter
Tea tree 100% essential oil (Any brand as long as it's 100% essential oil)

Deodorant mold:
  • An used commercial deodorant mold works perfectly fine. A push-up mold may be easier to clean and can be found at one of the following places:
  • Elements Bath & Body (twist up) 
Recipe Notes:
Beeswax is not necessary, but will help with the firmness of your deodorant, especially if you choose not to keep it in the fridge or travel with it. The coconut oil will liquify in temps higher than 76 degrees, softening the product. On the contrary, coconut oil will assist in firming the product if kept refrigerated, which I prefer, but refrigeration is not required for product stability.

No water is present and all ingredients are stable at room temperature so refrigeration is not required.
You may use additional essential oils for fragrance. I have used rosemary and lavender. Hubby loves how I smell when I get out the shower and put on my rosemary and lavender deodorant ;-).

I put this recipe to the ultimate test on our family vacation. I had on a sleeveless shirt in 80-90 degree weather, a guaranteed sweat-fest. Yes, that was pretty bold to have on a sleeveless shirt, but I wanted to know for sure. We were outside for hours and when we finally got back to the hotel, I did the ultimate check.......I raised my arm and turned my head and..........sniff, sniff, sniff........Not even a bit of funk! WOW! I was expecting at least a little whiff. Nope, not at all. It smelled only of shea butter and rosemary essential oil that I added for fragrance to that particular batch.

Coconut oil liquifies at temperatures higher than 76 degrees. If you travel with this product, I recommend putting it in its own baggie to ensure it does not leak onto other items in the event it exposed to high temperatures such as when left in a car.

Check out my list of products on my Products page here.

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