I love making things from scratch. Perhaps it’s my desire to know exactly what goes into the things I consume and put on my body. Or maybe it’s a warm up for the day I achieve my long standing daydream of home-steading in the middle of nowhere. It’s definitely in part to help realize my goal of being disposable (plastics, garbage) free. And undoubtedly its because like any overgrown child, I still love playing mad scientist.
It’s no secret that many natural deodorants only make you stink worse (I’m looking at you, Tom’s). And it is even less of a secret that nearly every deodorant in the pharmacy is made by a company that tests on animals (yes, even Dove) and are made of questionably carcinogenic compounds involving aluminum, among others. I’m not one to spread paranoia based on inconclusive/conflicting studies, but I’ll be over here melting shea butter in my apron… er, lab coat.
I offer you here not a manual but rather a jumping off point for dicking around in the kitch. I’ve had several friends recommend their homegrown recipes but here is my own latest concoction. I made a similar batch just before a trip to Indonesia, and am proud to say despite excessive sweating, and scant showering habits (i.e. cold buckets of water), my stench was kept in check better than any store-bought natural deodorant I’ve found to date.
1/3 cup / 75ml Shea Butter (super moisturizing)
1/4 cup / 50ml Coconut Oil (anti-bacterial & moisturizing)
2 Tbsp / 30ml Baking Soda (magical. it cleans/deodorizes anything and everything)
1/4 cup / 50ml Starch (arrowroot, tapioca, corn, potato… etc.)
1/4 tsp / 1.25ml Vitamin E Oil (optional, but super good for your skin)
1/4 tsp / 1.25 ml Tea Tree Oil (anti-bacterial; or less, I used 1/2 tsp and it was very very strong)
20 drops Rose Essential Oil & 10 drops Cedar Wood Essential Oil (or whatever smells you fancy!)
I would say that if you plan to put the deodorant in a stick, it’s a tad soft, (though perfect if you’re putting it in a jar to apply with your finger); to solidify it more, you can keep it in the fridge, or add 1-2 Tbsp wax such as candelilla or beeswax.
First melt together the shea butter and coconut oil (1-2 minutes in the microwave). (And wax if using).
Then whisk in the dry ingredients.
Lastly add the tea tree, Vit E and essential oil.
Pour into a mold and chill in fridge or freezer for a few hours.
To keep it affordable, I would highly recommend purchasing some of the ingredients online (such as shea butter & essential oils), from a wholesale company (such as those geared for soap makers).