I can be really stinky. Unfortunately, my armpits (and feet!) are my biggest culprits. I used to go weeks and weeks without having to wear deodorant. But something changed in my late 20s. (I blame hormones. I blame them for everything.) Nowadays, unless I want to fill up an entire subway car with my stink, I have to wear something.
I am forever searching for a natural deodorant that actually works. I have tried Toms of Maine and it just doesn’t work. (It works for my husband, however.) By the end of the day I end up smelling like an onion sandwich.
Old Spice works (and they offer a stick without aluminum) but they are owned by Proctor and Gamble and I try not to support P&G whenever possible. The Old Spice sticks are also filled with other questionable ingredients, so I’m not pleased with them either.
I’ve also used Arm and Hammer deodorant. But the sticks include chemicals such as propylene glycol. And I’m a little bit wary of propylene glycol (PG). While I’m pretty certain that it won’t cause harm in small amounts, industrial strength PG is used in engine coolants, antifreeze, paints, enamels and varnishes.
I always come back to the same question: If I can find something completely “natural” that actually works, why not try it? (Plus, the hippie in me gets a boner for such things.)
Last Friday, friend and twitter contact Mary wrote about making her own deodorant. I’ve always wanted to try this, but never really researched it. So I reached out to Mary and she totally came through. (Thanks, Mary!)
Today I’d like to share that homemade deodorant recipe with everyone. While this doesn’t fall in with my usual “Mom It Down” recipes, it’s pretty awesome. (And it is actually edible! But don’t eat it, because that’s weird and I can’t imagine it tastes very good.)
One more thing I should mention: I put this stuff to the test yesterday. I had an 8-hour pastry class, one where I spend all 8 hours standing next to and over many, many hot ovens. Plus, we’re made to wear long-sleeve, chef jackets. Guess what? It worked!
What you will need
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
Mom It Down!
Put everything into a saucepan.
Over low heat, mix until melted and milky in color.
Remove from heat. If you’re adding a secondary smell, add it now.
Pour into a lidded container. (I made a label for the one made with patchouli because I’m a dork.)
Put it into the refrigerator to firm up.
The refrigerated mixture will be rather hard—the consistency of very cold butter. At room temperature, it will loosen up a bit. This is perfectly normal. Mine ended up being the consistency of lotion as did the one I made for my husband.
The smallest amount goes a long way.
Shea butter and coconut oil can be pricey. The good news is, they go a long, long way. I reckon you could get a good year’s worth of deodorant out of one container of each. In the end, I know it’ll be MUCH cheaper than buying deodorant sticks all the time. And your body will thank you.
One last thing from Mary: she mentions that baking soda can irritate freshly-shaven skin. Please keep is in mind, ladies. I would wait a little bit after shaving to apply it.
As mentioned earlier, feel free to add essential oils to your mixture. I did one all-natural (smells like cocoa butter) for Toby and one using a dash of patchouli for myself. (Might as well turn the hippie up to 11, right?) Be warned, however, that some essential oils can irritate the skin. I would suggest testing any oils before adding them to the deodorant.
As usual, please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!