Make your own all-natural, homemade deodorant with ingredients from your kitchen - it's quick to make, works like a charm, and you never need to use a chemical-laden commercial concoction again! (Skip to recipe.)
Today we're going to talk about something that's easy to make, but it's not food (even though you could eat it).
I've been 'cooking' this up in my kitchen for several years now and thought it was time to let you in on it, even though it relates to one of those hush-hush topics - body odour!!!
And, yes, I know this is a food blog, but really, most of the ingredients are found in my kitchen, so I think it qualifies. (If you wanted to eat it - you could, but then you'd just have to go and make some more to use for your armpits!)
I'd been using non-aluminum deodorant for many years, but still, when looking at the ingredients list I'd cringe reading all the unpronounceable words of supposedly healthy alternatives. Some studies have linked aluminum in antiperspirants and deodorants to breast cancer and Alzheimer's Disease, and other studies have proven inconclusive. So until the experts decide whether or not it is safe to apply products containing aluminum and other toxic chemicals to the largest organ in our body, the skin, to be absorbed into our systems, I think I'll just stay away from all that nasty stuff as much as I can.
The last couple years I've been making my own deodorant and I've been thrilled with how well it works - not only on my delicate feminine 'glow' (ha-ha) but on my husband's manly sweats, too. This all-natural, homemade deodorant doesn't stop perspiration, since it's not an antiperspirant (in which the aluminum molecules plug the pores so the perspiration, and toxins, can't come out through the skin in the armpits - how good is that?), but it does a wonderful job of retarding bacterial growth and neutralizing underarm odour - which is the main idea.
Don't worry about the idea of beeswax or honey being sticky under your arms, or the coconut oil being oily - when combined with the baking soda and starch, these ingredients completely forget about their bothersome tendencies. They get all cozy and smoochy, emulsifying into a creamy paste that glides on smoothly and doesn't feel sticky at all.
Each ingredient in this recipe has a purpose and helps fight bacteria and odour. You can substitute corn starch or another starch such as potato starch or tapioca starch and it will still work fine, but there is a reason for using arrowroot starch if you can find it - it aids in drawing toxins from the body.
The dab of honey, while also being antibacterial, helps keep the deodorant soft at colder temperatures, while the beeswax keeps it from melting at higher temperatures. A bit of vitamin E, if you use it, helps with skin smoothness and healing (in case of razor burn) and the essential oils are purely for their lovely fragrance, but can be omitted. I like using a black spruce or white pine essential oil for the men in my family, and use a more floral aroma for my own deodorant - it's fun to try different 'flavours'.
But aside from all that - this homemade deodorant just WORKS. Period.
Don't just take my word for it. Here's the email my youngest sister sent me after she tried the recipe:
"Hi Sis, Thank-you so much, I've made it and it works wonderful. I keep smelling my armpits throughout the day and Nothing!!!! I really didn't think it would work as well as it does, even the natural stuff I buy doesn't leave me so stinkless!!!! Thank-you again.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: I saved empty stick deodorant containers and refill them with the homemade deodorant. I also like to fill silicone muffin liners to make deodorant cakes. I use a small piece of cut-up washcloth to hold the end and just swipe the cake across my armpit to apply it. Or just fill any small, lidded container.
Because coconut oil melts very easily in the summer time (melting point is 25°C), this deodorant can get a little soft on hot days. During the hot months, I place one of the muffin shaped deodorant 'cakes' into a small plastic container with a lid, and pinch off a bit of deodorant between my finger and thumb, then apply it under my armpit. Easy-peasy.
adapted from the lovely Chocolate & Zucchini blog
- 1 tablespoon chopped beeswax (I just hack a bit off a 100% beeswax candle)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch or other starch)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 vitamin E capsules (optional)
- 25 drops essential oil (optional, for scent)
- empty roll-up deodorant stick, silicone muffin cups, or small lidded container
Place the beeswax, coconut oil, baking soda, starch, and honey in a microwave safe dish (like a spouted glass measuring cup).
Microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir, and microwave for 15 to 30 more seconds. (Start with 15 seconds, add more until just melted.
Or heat it all in a glass or metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
Poke the vitamin E capsules with a needle or the tip of a sharp knife, and squeeze in the contents, if you are using them. Add essential oil drops, if using. Stir well until your deodorant is nice and smooth.
Let the deodorant cool until it thickens to to a creamy consistency - about 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour into empty deodorant sticks, silicone muffin cups, or small containers. Place in the fridge to harden. After hardening, the deodorant can be stored at room temperature.
Fills one deodorant stick container and two small muffin cups.
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