Since Katie was born, I’ve struggled with not wanting to use deodorant. When she was a newborn, I was concerned about the strong fragrances. I mean, with her nursing all da and having her nose a few inches away from my pits, it seemed to me that the fragrance in the commercial deodorant would potentially be too strong for her. Newborns have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell. In fact, it’s their primary sense. They use it to find Mama and find the breast to nurse. I wanted her to bond with me. Not my deodorant.
I tried a number of unscented options, and the first thing I discovered is that unscented things definitely do have a smell. And often a really gross one. They also didn’t work that well. They left me feeling sticking and stinky by the end of the day. It wasn’t working out.
I tried the crystal thing. The spray version, the roll on version, and the actual hunk of rock. No luck there either, although that really didn’t smell like anything which was nice.
I tried a mix of coconut oil and baking soda. This worked for a while (and was pretty much scent free), but eventually I started reacting to the baking soda. Let me tell you, itchy, burning armpit rashes are not awesome. Adjusting the coconut oil to baking soda ratio did not help.
Finally, I settled on plain coconut oil. This worked really well actually! Shockingly well. So much so that I started recommending it to friends who shared my concerns about using commercial deodorants.
Fast forward a few months. Katie is now well out of the newborn stage, I’ve started using things that smell like things again (NO CHEMICAL FRAGRANCES!) and I’ve gotten tired of the plain coconut oil.
Also, I moved to a hotter climate and the plain coconut oil wasn’t cutting the mustard anymore.
I started doing research again, found a few recipes, experimented, and I would like to reveal to you all how I get by being a non-deoderant/anti-perspirant wearing hippy who doesn’t smell at all!
You will find loads of similar recipes around the web (and I have linked to some below). I have no idea who to credit for the original base recipe that I have modified to suit my purposes and my baking soda-sensitive skin.
Some things to be aware of:
- Use high quality essential oils here. Don’t get your oils from the health food store because they are basically garbage. Trust me here. Don’t do it. They will not work the same way.
- This is not an antiperspirant. Yes, you will still sweat. This is a good thing. Your body needs to sweat. This is a deodorant to keep you from being stinky and it definitely works for that.
- I’ve picked essential oils for specific reasons (and noted those), but if you don’t like the way it smells, feel free to play and make your own scent.
Refreshing Homemade Deodorant
You will need:
- 1/3 C arrowroot powder (you can find this in the baking section of any natural food store)
- 1 T baking soda
- Coconut Oil warmed slightly so it is liquid (you can stick it in a sunny window for a few hours) – naturally anti-bacterial
- 3 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca) essential oil – anti-fungal, soothing for razor burn and other rashes
- 3 drops Peppermint essential oil – cooling and refreshing, be aware that adding too much can be REALLY cooling
- 7 drops Lavender essential oil – anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, soothing to the skin
Combine the arrowroot and baking soda thoroughly. Drop in the essential oils and mix. Begin mixing in the coconut oil until it makes a paste that is slightly thinner than toothpaste. Start with 4 Tablespoons and add as you need to get the consistency. I find that a fork works best for this. At this point, you can tweak the scent by adding more essential oils one drop at a time if you wish. Go slow with the essential oils. They are strong, and less is often more. The dry ingredients will want to sink to the bottom so as soon as you get all the lumps out and it’s well mixed, pour it into a lidded container and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours. This will harden the coconut oil and help keep everything in suspension.
To use, scoop out a small amount (the size of a large pea) and rub between your hands to warm it up to liquid. Then, rub it onto your pits like a lotion, and you are good for the day!
I keep mine on my bathroom counter, and my house is cool enough that is stays solid. I also think the arrowroot is helping to keep it solid. If it liquefies, that’s okay, too. It won’t spoil.
Have any of you ever tried a homemade deodorant? How did you make it? How did it work for you?