Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Natural Deodorant That Works

As I've written about many times, I've been trying to switch to more natural and healthy personal care products. I've switched to a new shampoo, and I already use a great soap. The main item on my list was moving away from a harsh antiperspirant. Honestly, I'm scared of the aluminum in antiperspirants and the parabens that are in a lot of personal care products. But I've had the hardest time trying to find a deodorant that works for me (I sweat a lot! And I live in Central Texas!). 

I fell in love with this natural deodorant sold on Etsy, but I'm allergic to it (my mom is also allergic to a lot of natural deodorants). The last time we talked about this issue, I was working on a solution. One of my ideas was to make this natural deodorant that was recommended by a blogger I respect immensely. 

But then I dragged my feet for a while. I was on vacation, I had a miscarriage, school started and I was working every weekend (even though it's only a part-time job). I confess that I resorted to using my old antiperspirant. 

And then Matt and I were digging through our pantry and refrigerator, trying to plan our weekly meals around random items we already had (we're on a saving money kick). I noticed that he had purchased coconut oil, which was on the list of ingredients for the natural deodorant. I looked up the list again and realized it only required three ingredients (why was I so daunted by such an easy recipe?). Since we already had baking soda, I only had to by arrowroot. 

Making the deodorant was a thousand times easier than I ever imagined. I even had the perfect container for it. I used one of the little bowls and tops we used for Henry's homemade baby food (purchased from Target). Once again, I felt bad for not putting in the 15 minutes it took to make a major change in my life. 

And you know what? It works! It's not perfect. First of all, there's no pleasant smell at all (and I'm too lazy and cheap to start experimenting with essential oils). Second, there is still some wetness (I told you I sweat a lot). And third, when I wore a tight, dark navy shirt, you could see small specks of baking soda under my arms. 

But still, I feel infinitely better about using it every day. It feels so much healthier and safer. 

I definitely recommend you give it a try (I swear it's super-easy).

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Anonymous said...

Teatree oil might be a good start and it will help to ward off bacteria, then grapefruit or something citrus-y might brighten it up.

Mindy said...

I have been making my own deodorant too (and I bet it's the same recipe!). You're right, it's not perfect but I feel much better knowing I could actually EAT my deodorant (not that I'd want to). The junk they put in conventional personal care products is so scary and I'd rather be a bit moist in my pits than be constantly worried that I'lll get breast cancer. Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy hearing your thoughts :)

Carissa L. said...

I've made the same recipe for deodorant that you posted and the trouble I have it with it right now is the temperature to store it at. The coconut oil melts if it is hotter than 76% (which my house of course is in the summer) and so I put it in the refrigerator as recommended but then it becomes too much of a solid to be able to easily apply.

I love homemade natural recipes for personal care -- so much cheaper and healthier for the environment. It is a win, win. Although I'm afraid, with this recipe, right now this may be my non-summer deodrant.

Stephanie said...

Can you tell me what proportions you use? I've had the ingredients sitting in my bathroom for a month! Thanks

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Stephanie!

4 T. baking soda
4 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
6 T. coconut oil

That's it! So simple.

Emily said...

I tried a homemade deodorant for many months. It worked great at first, then I developed a red, itchy rash. The recipe was similar: coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch. I'll be curious to follow the long-term success of your recipe!!/2012/02/in-which-i-quit-deodorant.html

Sara E. Cotner said...

I know, Emily. I think I'm allergic to baking soda. If I have a problem with this recipe, I'm going to switch back to the Etsy deodorant and ask her to leave out the baking soda. But them I'm afraid it won't work!

nichole said...

ha! arrowroot is on my grocery list! i actually looked for it while I was shopping the other day but didn't see it. I do have cornstarch, which is what I was thinking I could use as a substitute.

I was inspired by the same recipe on Beauty That Moves. Seems like it is spreading like wildfire. Must be good.

Michele said...

Check out the google doodle today :) Thought of you....

Meredith said...

A little off the topic, but what kind of shampoo do you use? I've been doing the baking soda thing for a while now, but my hair is still too oily. I'm wondering if just using a paraben-free shampoo would be a bit better? I would love to hear what you do!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Meredith! My general strategy for buying good shampoo is to stand in the personal product section with my iPhone and to use the Skin Deep Database to search some of the brands I see in front of me. Last time, I bought an Aubrey brand shampoo because the numbers looked good in the database. Hope that helps!

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