make: natural deodorant

i find it rewarding when i look around my bathroom, and notice how few things with labels live there. instead, our counters are covered in little mason jars full of deodorant and face wash, a big mason jar full of vinegar hair rinse, jars of homemade cream, bottles of tinctures, handmade soaps, and tins of lip balm and salves. make i’m weird, but it makes me smile to see all the homemade, natural products that line our space. it’s empowering, and it makes me feel like i have better control over what i put into and onto my body.

however, it’s been a longgggg road to get here, to this space of de-commodifying my home and my body. we didn’t wake up one morning and throw our all our store bought products, but instead have replaced store bought items one at a time over the course of six years. usually i wait until we run out of something, then decide to make it myself. i plan ahead so i have the supplies needed on hand, too. this seems more environmentally friendly to me than throwing perfectly good self care items away.

last fall, we finally ran out of deodorant (i had it stockpiled for some reason), so i decided it was time to make my own. i had heard about the aluminum in deodorant causing skin irritation and other health problems, but my biggest pet peeve with store bought deodorant was actually the stains it left on all my shirts. and the price tag! i was spending a lot of money for the clinical strength stuff, and each stick didn’t even last that long.

it took a lot of trial and error to come up with a recipe i liked – a batch would come out too runny, then way too grainy and rough to apply. i settled on the following recipe, with a lovely woodsy essential oil combo, and i’m quite happy. i’ve been selling this deodorant for months to lots of positive reviews, and it will be listed in my shop this weekend. but if you’re so inclined, try making it yourself – it’s not hard and only requires four ingredients.

homemade natural deodorant

ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cup coconut oil (you can use plain, or use an oil infused with an herb for skin care! i use comfrey)
  • 1/4 shea butter (i use refined)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (available in natural aisle at most supermarkets)
  • 2 TB baking soda
  • optional: essential oils

process:

  1. place shea butter and coconut oil in a pint mason jar, and place jar in a couple inches of water in a saucepan. heat the saucepan over low heat. stir coconut oil and shea butter with a chopstick or skinny spatula, until everything has melted and is well combined.
  2. remove from the heat. stir in arrowroot powder and baking soda until well combined. then stir in essential oils, if using. pour into small tins, or i find a 4 oz jelly jar works great!

apply a small scoop to each armpit daily. i apply twice a day if i’m sweating a lot.

this deodorant should keep for a long time, and i’ve found this much could last up to six months. it spreads easily, so a little goes a long way. i’ve also noticed that since switching to a natural deodorant, i’ve starting noticing my “body odor” more and becoming less offended by it? so i don’t really slather this stuff on – i just use enough to feel comfortable and good about myself.

good essential oils to use would be any that are thought to have anti-microbial properties. i use lemongrass for this reason, but lavender, mint, or tea tree would be nice too.

let me know how it goes if you decide to make it yourself!

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