Not long ago, I began reading up on how aluminum in antiperspirants could be contributing to an increase in Alzheimer’s, as well as being an estrogen mimicker and clogging pores (see more info HERE @ Kitchen Stewardship). Considering I’m youngish, I kind of just ignored most of that, until I began seeing symptoms in several family members of early memory problems, and wanted to do whatever I could to help reduce my chances. My husband already used deodorant only products as the antiperspirant causes other problems for his skin. So..I switched. However, it’s become increasingly hard to find deodorants for women. If I used a man’s version, I smelled like a man all day. Not that it’s bad, but I didn’t want to smell the “I’m fresh from the shower and smelling all manly” smell all day long. I just don’t want to smell my underarms all day – even if it is a clean fresh shower smell. I switched to a deodorant stone, but found that I’m allergic to them and broke out in welts. So, I went to the organic deodorants. Those didn’t work at all. And when I tell you not at all, I mean not.at.all.
As I was researching about our change in diet (going to a less typical American diet to a more traditional, whole food diet), I ran across this article on making your own deodorant at Passionate Homemakers (this also includes a video to see the concoction being created). I was REALLY skeptical, but I was running out of options. I really didn’t like smelling like my husband all day, and my alternatives weren’t working. So, I went out and invested in my first container of coconut oil.
I followed the directions for mixing the concoction, and used an old deodorant dispenser from one of the versions that weren’t working for me. I gave it a two-week test. And I tested it hard. I didn’t shower for 3 days..used the new stuff, and you couldn’t *smell* that I hadn’t showered. I also tested regular deodorant under one arm, and the new homemade stuff under the other. I could tell no difference in how the two worked at all. And, I only half smelled like a man (and maybe all that scent was covering up that it might not be working as effectively as I thought?).
The only problem with it is that coconut oil melts at 76F. Our house is never that cool in the summer. So my options were to use it in a tub and apply it by hand or store it in the container I chose in the fridge. I just pull it out as I get my first drink in the mornings, and apply it after my shower, then put it back. It blends into my skin, doesn’t leave residue on my clothes, and leaves me fresh as a daisy all day long.
I have now converted 100% and am loving it. I’m not having skin reaction issues at all, I don’t smell like some dude alll day, and there are no harmful chemicals going on my skin. It’s worked wonderfully.
How to make your own deodorant
- 1/4 C Baking Soda (you can use the non aluminum version)
- 1/4 C arrowroot powder (you can use cornstarch, but I try to stay away from the GMO effect)
- 5-6 TB Coconut oil in it’s mostly solid form ( a little pliable is good, but you don’t want it melted)
- Essential oil that you want your armpits to smell like (optional)
- Melted beeswax
Add baking soda + arrowroot powder together in a bowl and begin mixing the coconut oil in. You’ll want a smooth, creamy consistency that isn’t too dry and crumbly.
Add a few drops of essential oil of “whatever pleasant smell you’d like to smell coming from under your arms all day” to it if you’d like to smell your deodorant. I have started using about 10 drops of tea tree oil because I want that anti-fungal thing happening to help prevent any wayward smelly stuff happening, but it’s really not necessary. And bonus for the coconut oil – it’s anti-bacterial – which is what makes all that smelly stuff happen in the first place! YAY coconut oil!
* You can add a little melted beeswax to your concoction to help it harden in a dispenser. However, I’ve never bothered because I genuinely like the creamy application for my own underarms.
Store cream in an easy access wide mouth jar or in an old deodorant bottle (the push up kind, not the roller kind (does anyone still use wet deodorant anymore?)
OH! Total bonus. Do you know that stinging feeling you get sometimes if you’ve shaved under your arms, get right out of the shower and put on deodorant? Doesn’t happen with this at all!
Storing is personal – coconut oil is no longer a solid at above 75F, so if you want the hard solid of a deodorant dispenser, you can keep yours in the fridge. Works great for me in the summer when our house rarely sees anything below 80F. If you choose to go in the jar option, the excess you might not have gotten smoothed under your arms can just smooth into any part of your body. Coconut oil is a great option for moisturizing, so just rub any excess onto a body part that needs a little extra care (and it won’t smell all day, either!)
Please see Lindsay’s directions @ Passionate Homemaking for a video how-to.