Just because I enjoy hanging out in a barn doesn't mean I want to smell like one. So just like most of you, every morning I slather my pits with deodorant. Many years ago I used the mainstream varieties which contained an antiperspirant. But after researching the ingredients in most commercial deodorants/antiperspirants I realized I really did not want those chemicals on my skin. I started to buy natural deodorants from the store but they were expensive and not very effective. Finally, I discovered the magic that is coconut oil and found some recipes containing coconut oil to try online. Once I started making my own I was hooked. It was inexpensive and very effective. Plus, all of the ingredients, minus the essential oils, are edible! Not that I want to eat deodorant but if I can put it IN my body I feel comfortable putting in ON my body.
There are tons of different recipes on the internet for making your own deodorant. The problem I have found is that there is not one exact recipe that will work for everyone. So I am going to share with you the guidelines I use to make what I consider to be a very effective deodorant. Feel free to play around with the ratios to find something that works for you.
First step is to gather your supplies. Organic is better, but use what you have available to you.
- coconut oil (unrefined or virgin is best)
- arrowroot powder
- baking soda
- essential oils (optional, but they do enhance the effectiveness)
- container: a small jar or an empty deodorant tube
Arrowroot powder can be found at most big stores like Whole Foods and Wegmans, as well as local health food stores. It is usually in the baking isle near the specialty flours.
Adding essential oils is optional but since a lot of them are antibacterial they will help the deodorant be more effective as well as adding a nice scent. The combos I use most often are peppermint/tea tree and orange/lemon/lime.
The second step is to mix together the arrowroot powder and baking soda. I use about 6 tablespoons total to fill a 2 oz jar. My current ratio is 1:5, so I use 1 T baking soda and 5 T arrowroot. You can play with this ratio to see what works for you. Some people go 50/50 but I have found that much baking soda was too harsh for my skin, however it didn't bother my husband.
The third step is to add your essential oils. Add enough to get your desired scent. I usually use 10-15 drops of each oil, but again, it is really up to you.
The fourth step is to add the coconut oil. Make sure your coconut oil is in liquid form. If it isn't, warm some up on the stove. You should only need a few tablespoons but do not add all at once to the dry mixture. Add it little by little, mixing very well, until the desired texture is reached. If you want a cream deodorant you apply by hand, then you will add more coconut oil until it is a play dough consistency. If you want a stick deodorant, you will only add enough coconut oil to make the arrowroot/baking soda mixture start to stick together. The mixture should seem almost on the dry side but will still clump together.
The last step is to put your new deodorant into a jar or refill an empty deodorant tube. I prefer using an empty deodorant tube. To keep the deodorant solid we store the tube in the refrigerator for most of the year.
Tips for using the deodorant.
- If using a deodorant stick, store below 76*. This way the coconut oil will be a solid and you will have a smoother application. Apply gently.
- If your deodorant cream turns into a solid, have no fear. Just scoop out a small amount (pea-size) and it will melt on contact with your pits.
- Less is more. I have found that it is more effective when I use only enough to cover the pit area. If I use too much I just sweat it off.
- If you have irritation from using the deodorant, it is probably from the baking soda. Lessen the amount of baking soda and don't apply right after shaving.
P.S. This post is linked up with Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, From The Farm Hop, Awesome Life Friday, Scraptastic Saturdays, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, and Simply Awesome Saturdays.