Sunday, June 12, 2011

Homemade Deodorant

About two years ago I had an epiphany.  Actually, the beginning seed of this epiphany was an overheard conversation at the Kauai airport... 

A young man was telling his two travelling companions that he wouldn't put anything on his skin that he could not also ingest.  Why would we? he stated.  Our skin absorbs it into our bloodstream...just think about how medicated patches work.

A few months later I looked around my house and realized that I was surrounded by toxins that I was either breathing in or absorbing through my skin.  I had already become a label reader and had been trying to not purchase any food items with ingredients in it that I did't understand.  Why wouldn't the same wisdom go for what we breathe or put on our bodies?

So, bit by bit, we are trying to change out all of the household items for their natural counterparts or just doing without:

  I make my own bar soap out of all natural ingredients (a recipe post on that will be coming soon!)  We use it to wash our bodies, faces, hair, and as shaving cream.  It doesn't work very well as dish soap and is too clumpy for laundry...although we did it for awhile.  I am still looking for a better recipe for those items.  Any ideas? 

We switched from after shave and perfume to homemade oils with a jojoba or grape seed base and essential oils.  This is really a lot of fun because of the combinations you can come up with.  Just got to love a man who smells like cedar with a hint of cinnamon! 

We got rid of lotion, hair conditioner and baby oil and now use organic cold-pressed coconut oil.  Oh!  and I use baking soda as an astringent for my oily spots on my face. 

As for deodorant, I at first tried not using any and just rubbing some of my homemade fragrance oil in my pits.  However, this didn't work very well and I smelt a bit funky at the end of the day.  Sorry if that is TMI, but we're talking deodorant here and these are the things you need to know! 

A girl who works with my husband makes homemade deodorant and has been sending some home with him for me.  It seems to work very least for our weather here in the rain forest.  I still smell nice when I get in the shower the following morning.  I got the recipe from her and whipped some up this week. 

Emily's Deodorant

In a small saucepan measure:
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons Cocoa Butter

Heat on Medium Low

Stirring occasionally

Until it is all blended.  I left it on the heat and stirred for about a minute more once it looked like this.

Remove from heat and let sit for a minute.  Then add your oils.  I used vanilla, rosewood, grapefruit, and tea tree oils.  Tea tree has natural antibacterial properties.  I won't use vanilla next time as it created brown specks which I don't like.  All together, I put in about 30 drops of scent.  Keep in mind that some essential oils can irritate skin so it is a good idea to understand the properties of each before use.  Emily suggests cypress, melaleuca, lavender, or rosewood.

Next, pour into empty deodorant containers.  Or, you could just put it in a short wide-mouthed jar. 

As you can see, I had some problems with this step!  The large container I washed completely with hot water and melted all the leftover deodorant out of it before filling.  Silly me!  That left it open to spill right out the bottom! 

Seeing my mistake, I did not melt all of the leftover deodorant out of the small ones, so they worked fine.  I discovered that these sticks (at least the ones I had) were meant to be filled upside down.  You know the clear plastic cap that is on stick deodorant when you buy it in the store?  Not the outside cap, but the one that actually is touching the top of the stick?  You leave that in, turn the container upside down, remove the plastic plug in the bottom and pour it in.  Or, just don't clean the last little bit out.  But, that bugs me....I want it clean. 

Anyway, after pouring it in, refrigerate for a day, then no further refrigeration is required and you can just keep it on a shelf.  It does melt at body temperature and so goes on a bit different than store-bought deodorants.  It melts in your armpit more quickly...kind of feeling like a roll on. 

Here is the final product.

Keep in mind that this is NOT an antiperspirant!  You should not use an antiperspirant if you can possibly avoid it.  Nature gave us sweat glands for a purpose and plugging them up is bad berries!

Have fun!


  1. G'day Raven. What great advice. I will have to try the deodorant. I look forward to your soap recipe. Take care. Liz...

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