I can’t say at what point cheap, run-of-the-mill deodorant/anti-perspirant stopped working for me. I only remember that some time ago it became a frequent thing for me to have to sniff my pits to make sure everything was kosher…. Even though I know I had applied deodorant. Something didn’t feel quite right, and it wasn’t a pleasant smell. While it stopped short of full-on BO, I still didn’t like it…. Then it started to become a regular thing for me to reapply deodorant, once, twice, then eventually more often throughout the day. That’s about the time “clinical” deodorants/anti-perspirants appeared on the scene. Suddenly half the deodorant aisle consisted of expensive clinical-formulated deodorants. So, not only I, but many more people suddenly needed expensive industrial strength deodorant and anti-perspirant? Sorry, I hate to sound cynical but that seems a little too convenient…
I also can’t say at what point I decided that I’d like to try a natural deodorant. Maybe it is because I want to simplify my life and just to shop for less things overall. Or maybe what they say about aluminum and its potential health risks scared me. Or I could have just become fed up with paying a lot of money for a wee bit of product, not to mention the loads of plastic containers building up when you have to buy one a week. Whatever made me do it, one day I just decided I was done with the stuff. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a well thought out plan. After about 4 days of refusing to wear the stuff (good thing I work from home, huh?) my hubby informed me it was time to address the lovely odor emanating from my pits. Okay, it is kind of scary that it got that far… thankfully I have an understanding husband.
So I went into the kitchen and mixed up a little coconut oil, a little vodka (citrus flavored to be exact) and some cornstarch. I applied the paste and happily did not smell, at least for a few hours. I was almost ready to admit defeat and go back to the clinical deodorant life when I discovered that maybe I was just missing a few ingredients. So I added baking soda and some essential oils to my mixture and wow, I just made some excellent deodorant. Not only does it work very well, but I can actually smell my pits right now and say they smell pretty darn good! And it turns out for me it is just as effective as an anti-perspirant as the clinical versions! Even my hubby now uses it and loves it. Also, this stuff doesn’t get all over my clothes like the other stuff does. Some times in life you just win and it’s awesome.
Before I give out my beloved deodorant recipe – here are some things to consider:
- The recipe isn’t exact based on the variations of brands of ingredients. If it is too thin, add more dry ingredients – add more cornstarch for more of an anti-perspirant effect, add more baking soda for more of a deodorant effect. If it is too thick, add more vodka or coconut oil. If you want it to smell stronger, perhaps add a couple of drops more of essential oil.
- Some people have reactions to essential oil. Watch for that. You may have to adjust the amount of essential oil you use or use entirely different essential oils. I like tea tree oil for its strong clean scent and anti-bacterial effect but some may not tolerate it. Before using essential oils, research how to use them safely as there are guidelines for their use.
- I use my fingers to apply the paste (it easily washes off after) but you can buy empty deodorant containers and fill with the homemade deodorant to use just like the store-bought kind. Be sure to reuse the container to save on costs and to keep additional plastic from the landfills!
- This is far less expensive than the clinical version deodorant. For me and hubby, it works just as well (if not better!). Most of the ingredients I had purchased in bulk for other uses, and a mixture lasts hubby and I for a long time.
3 tblsp coconut oil (I use organic, refined)
1 tsp baking soda (see note below)
4 tbsp cornstarch
1 to 2 tsp vodka
8 drops tea tree essential oil
8 drops lemon essential oil
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I’d be thrilled for you to try it! Let me know if this works for you, or if you make your own deodorant!
*Note – originally this recipe had a much higher concentration of baking soda. However, some people may be sensitive to baking soda applied to the skin while others are not. I have decreased the amount of baking soda and increased the amount of cornstarch because I believe the power of baking soda is strong enough in small doses. Remember this is a recipe that is working for my hubby and I, but you will want to adjust the proportions to make it your own! As with any homemade/diy recipe, watch for reactions and discontinue use immediately if your skin is irritated.
*Another Note – this is literally a powerful enough deodorant and anti-perspirant that we have found over time the need to apply it only a couple of times a week.