Sunday, July 18, 2010

Making my own deodorant

Here's another reason why small steps are a good thing: each time one small step results in success, it encourages me to take another.

My latest is making my own deodorant. A few years ago, learning about the toxins in many antipersperants, I switched to natural deordorants. Most I tried didn't work well at all, leaving me wet and a little stinky at the end of eat day. Finally, I tried Tom's of Maine's long-lasting deodorant. It worked very well, except on very hot days. Thus, I began carrying a deodorant stick with me during the summer in case I needed to reapply it.

Last week, I read an article about unhealthy substances in deodorants that fingered many "natural" deodorants as culprits. One of the bad ingredients listed was propylene glycol--which turns out to be the first ingredient of my Tom's of Maine deodorant. Wikipedia states that propylene glycol is not harmful to humans in small amounts, but that it can be a skin irritant, and I wonder if that was the case with me. My underarms have had red, itchy patches on them lately.

It was time to try making my own. After googling and looking at several recipes on the web, I decided to try this one, found at the blog Cheap Like Me:

* Place 5 tablespoons of coconut oil (unrefined from natural food store) in a pot and liquify over low-medium heat. This happens very quickly.

[Amy's note: I used 2 T of coconut oil and 3 T of shea butter, since I love shea so much! Shea takes a little longer to melt.]

* Remove from heat and add other ingredients.

* Add 1/4 cup of corn starch

* Add 1/4 cup of baking soda

[Amy's note: I added 1 T of witch hazel to the mix, which the first article (on toxins in deodorants) recommended as a good ingredient. So I also added an extra tablespoon each of corn starch and baking soda, to retain the mixture's consistency.]

* Stir continuously until smooth

* Add essential oils drop by drop until desired scent is reached

[Amy's note: the blogger used lavender and tea tree oil. I used sweet orange oil.]

* Pour into a 4 oz canning jar.

*Leave lid off until cool. Re-stir once cooled, as essential oils sometimes float to the top. Can refrigerate for a couple days to solidify.

Once more, the results have been awesome! The homemade deodorant has kept me dry and smelling good all day. I've carried a small amount with me in case I need to reapply it, and I haven't had to. And the red, itchy patches have gone away!

So many natural products I make myself work just as well, and usually better than the commercial varieties, without the toxins or (for my sensitive skin) the side effects. Other than the time factor of making them, why would I ever go back?


  1. Well, this is a first. Wonder if it would work in Miami in the summer?!

  2. Beverly, all you can do is try! If you get the chance, please let me know if it works for you!