I have been reading about handmade deodorant for a few years now, but was always a bit skeptical. Each recipe seemed to involve melting stuff, or buying bulk ingredients to use in small amounts- not super practical. I have been off the traditional antiperspirant & deodorant for a long time since it is full of scary stuff like aluminum, phthalates & fragrance [See Secret Wide Solid's rating at Skin Deep] which is liked to neurological problems, cancer and reproductive toxicity. And there is an excessive amount of plastic used for each tube. Instead I used Trader Joe's deodorant which was pretty safe, eco friendly, and cheap. I saw no reason to make things more complicated for myself.
But here's the catch: I loved the Trader Joe's deodorant, and Toms of Maine, and other non-toxic deodorants I have used BUT they don't really work that well. I feel bad saying it, but they quit by the end of the day. I just assumed that was the nature of using non-toxic deodorants and have lived with it for far too long. Until now.
I came across this recipe, from this website and I had all the ingredients in my kitchen already. Plus there was no heating involved. But what really caught my attention was the rave reviews. And I am here to add to those reviews.
Let me say it loud and clear: THIS STUFF WORKS. And it works all day, and in to the next. In fact, since I switched, I have not had one single moment of smelliness. Total awesomeness.
Homemade Amazing Deodorant:
Adapted from Passionate Homemaking
The original recipe calls for either corn starch or arrowroot powder, but since I had both, I used both. Some folks complained about irritation in the comments due to the amount of baking soda- and found that using less helped. I have had no problem with the amount of baking soda so I will continue with these proportions. Also the coconut oil can go from solid to liquid depending on the storage temperature. Mine stays at a perfect semi-solid in my bathroom, and melts to an oil when I rub between my fingers.
5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/8 cup arrowroot powder
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda
Several drops of bergamot oil [optional]
Mix the powders together in a jar and slowly add the coconut oil until you have a "pomade" consistency and powders are mostly dissolved. Add a few drops of oil until it has a lovely hint of scent.
To use, scoop out a pea sized amount and rub between your fingers to melt and create a smooth texture. Apply under your arms and rub any left into your hands as a moisturizer.
Since the coconut oil changes rapidly from a solid to a liquid I would not recommend trying to use a traditional deodorant "stick" but rather to scoop from the jar.
If you are at all hesitant about making your own, this is the recipe that will win you over! Non toxic, plastic free, sustainable, and extremely effective. Total win-win.