The internet has taken me down a dark and scary earthy-crunchy rabbit hole. I started by looking up toothpaste recipes since I use Arm & Hammer toothpaste and I figured it’s got to be easy enough to make your own baking soda based paste… and that search turned out to be the gateway drug. Before I knew it I was looking up homemade/natural hand soap recipes, researching no-poo hair washing techniques and wondering just how well DIY deodorant could possibly work. I try not to get too wrapped up in the hype surrounding the fact that every commercial product I use is going to give me cancer… BUT EVERY COMMERCIAL PRODUCT I USE IS GOING TO GIVE ME CANCER. That coupled with the fact that I’m poor makes homemade products that much more appealing and there’s just so much to try! It gets me super excited.
And so I started to browse my medicine cabinet looking for places I could make healthy changes. In reality, I should probably ditch 95% of the products I have and maybe I will over time, but for today I start with my pits. That’s right. I’m going to try DIY deodorant. I’ve read a bunch of recipes and it seems like there are pros and cons to each. Some (specifically those without baking soda) sound like they would be easier on sensitive skin but contain more expensive ingredients. Others could be harsh but are made from items I already have on hand. Some will be more liquid and need to be kept in a jar or in the fridge, others should be solid enough to pack into a deodorant stick. Since the possibilities are seemingly endless I decided to just start with a recipe consisting of what I already had on hand and then I could adjust in the future depending on what works for me.
I based my recipe off of this one since I am a huge fan of citrus scents and I already had the bulk of these ingredients in my pantry. I would have followed this recipe without making any changes at all but it turned out that I didn’t have any lemon essential oils like I thought I did and frankly, I was a little bit nervous about the potential of the baking soda causing me irritation. In light of those issues I halved the recipe to make a sample size of the deodorant and I made a blended scent using oils that I had on hand. Below is my recipe if you would like to try it yourself!
SAMPLE SIZE DEODORANT RECIPE
- 3 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 6 drops lavender oil
- 4 drops orange oil (If I could do it over I would have used lime or lemon instead)
Making it is as easy as it gets. I just mixed everything together in a bowl, spooned it out into an old glass container that I have been saving and allowed it to come back to room temperature and firm up. Once finished it yielded a little over 1.5 ounces. To apply, just swipe two fingers across the top and rub into your armpits.
My immediate impression. The smell is kind of MEH. I made it a lavender/orange scent because that mix is touted as being a great anti-anxiety blend and I thought it would be genius if you had a deodorant that actually started to calm you down when you got the stress sweats… but the scent just isn’t for me. Something about the orange throws me off. If I could do it over again I would have had everything that I wanted already on hand and either swapped the orange for lime or lemon or just eliminated the lavender and do it all lemon as the original recipe suggests. That being said, I asked everyone else in my household to smell it and they seemed to like this blend. So ultimately I guess it is just a matter of personal taste. I will say this however, once I put it on and it mixed with my own body chemistry I liked the smell a lot better. So that’s a plus! I don’t know if you have ever smelled something heavenly and then put it on your body only to have it STINK but it’s the worst.
Applying it was easy. I got a little bit of it on my fingers, rubbed it into my armpits and allowed it to soak in while I got ready for work. Unexpectedly, it felt great! The coconut oil really goes on nicely and I have the feeling that over time consistent use will actually improve the texture and feel of my skin… not that people are exactly lining up to feel my armpits or anything but you know, still an added benefit.
Did it work? YES. Unequivocally yes. We had a CPR certification class at work today and pumping those dummy’s chests was fairly strenuous. I worked up a bit of a sweat (because this is deodorant and NOT antiperspirant… people are supposed to sweat) and there was no smell. Nada. I was totally surprised! From what I understand the first few weeks antiperspirant free you go through a bit of a detox and you sweat more easily but that period is supposed to end fairly quickly. And frankly as long as I don’t smell… I don’t care.
Thankfully, I also have had no issues with irritation from the baking soda yet either. I plan to check back in next week with an update on this grand experiment so I’ll be sure to post if I run into any problems down the road.