Does this not sound like a socially scary experiment? I may sound brave, but it is not like I work in a close-cubicle situation with a roomful of people everyday after biking ot work either. I just have little kids that will tell me straight up if I smell funny. To be fair, I have already been antiperspirants free for a while now, via my Tom’s of Maine trial. My husband even starting using it too, as he is tired of undershirts with stained underarms. Now, I am not aluminum-phobic and I am not worried about health issues from antiperspirants. I am just curious 🙂 Why make my own deodorant. Again, curious, plus I get a huge kick out of making things. Plus anything you can make from ingredients is usually more frugal than buying the item already made, and more time-efficient than coupon clipping, deal hunting, and going to the store to buy said item. Plus, my baby routinely sticks her chubby little hand around my arm, getting her fingers into my arm pit, and those fingers go into the mouth. I do not think Sure or Tom’s of Maine are on the “safe for toddlers to eat” list…So, there in a nutshell are all my reasons for wanting to mix up some edible deodorant.
Most of the recipes I found online are the same:
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
4-6 Tbsp coconut oil
Hmmm, I did not have coconut oil in my pantry. This put the experiment on hold until we got to the last Tom’s of Maine I had in my stockpile (got them for $1 each at CVS), and I figured that rather than pay full price for 2 more Tom’s of Maine, I’d spend that money getting a little jar of coconut oil and go for it. Plus, I found a ton of uses for coconut oil as a moisturizer and cooking alternative, so I have back-up uses if the deodorant does not work out. I found a 16 oz jar on Amazon, had it delivered free and paid less than $8 through Subscribe and Save. When I opened it, it was clear liquid. Apparently, coconut oil has a melting point of around 76 degrees F.
After letting it cool back to a solid, I mixed up a small batch. I used it for 2 days just by rubbing a little in each pit in the morning with my finger. Worked well so far, so I made a big batch, however I adjusted the recipe just a little, to have less baking soda. Some of the reviews on other blogs I researched said the baking soda caused itchiness. When I tried my baking soda shampoo alternative, my scalp itched like crazy, so though I had better make this adjustment from the get-go:
2 Tbsp baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 heaping Tbsp coconut oil (maybe 6 level?)
2 drops Tea Tree oil
I added the tea tree oil as an anit-fungal and anti-bacterial to help with odor and as a preservative. I mixed the dry ingredients first, then added the oils. When mixed, it looked like vanilla icing:
I used a spoon to shove it into 2 cleaned out and washed deodorant containers, and then shaped the tops with the spoon. This recipe completely filled the two containers (one was a Sure and one was a Tom’s).
I will be keeping the deodorant in the fridge to keep it solid. My thermostat is set at 76 degrees now, because I want it comfortably cool for showings and my own sanity while cleaning, but during the hotter months I keep it at 78 degrees to keep our utility bills in check. It’s already pretty soft and mushy now at room temp, I do not want to open a deodorant container and have it pour out all over me one morning, so I think the fridge is a safe option 🙂
I will come back and update once I have had a chance to try it out in some sweatier situations. I’ll let you know if my kids tell me that I smell, because they will. And if my baby takes to trying to lick my underarms, I’ll let you know that she likes this flavor better than the store-bought stuff (Ugh, so gross! How come they do not mention that in the baby books?)
UPDATE: This stuff works! I do keep it in the fridge, and apply in the morning post-shower. It works better than Tom’s of Maine! No odor, just soft underarms. There is some white residue from the baking soda and cornstarch, but I think I am applying it too liberally. I usually just rub it in with my fingertips. Warning, a little TMI here: you know those changes in your body that happen when you are pregnant that stick around after you have the baby? One of mine is my cleavage now sweats like my underarms do. Yeah, I know, nice. I have noticed that it is not my underarm perspiration that still has odor, but as lovely as it sounds, I can still smell when I sweat from my cleavage! And, since” work-out sweat” smells different from “stress sweat”, I have noticed that this area really only smells during “stress sweat”. So I applied a little coconut oil deodorant to my cleavage one morning, and viola, problem gone. I never would have done that with regular ol’ antiperspirant, but this stuff feels so nice on the skin and has a nice coconut fragrance. So, I will have to update after the temps get in the 90’s, but so far I can say I am not going back to the “store bought” stuff anytime soon. It is just too easy and works too well!