Friday, March 16, 2012

Homemade Deodorant

Commercial-grade deodorant and I don't get along.  Even if I didn't have concerns about aluminum and parabens, my skin reacts to most anti-antiperspirants.  Over the years, I've tried many variations of deodorants without antiperspirants and come up empty-handed. 

Tom's of Main doesn't do much other than add an annoying fruity scent. 

Adidas cotton-blend worked fairly well, but they discontinued making it. 

Arm and Hammer had a decent deodorant, but stores stopped carrying it. 

For a while, I resorted to Arm and Hammer's antiperspirant, since it didn't seem to cause the irritation that other antiperspirants did, but between the fact that it has an even higher concentration of aluminum than other brands and that Jon hates the scent, that's no longer an option, either.

So what to do?

Enter homemade deodorant.

After doing some research online, it appeared to be a fairly simple process, and as an added bonus, it's frugal, too!  I grew excited to try it and finally settled on this recipe from Tammy's Recipes.  (I used corn starch instead of arrow root powder, partly because I had the corn starch on hand, but mostly because I have no idea what arrow root powder is.  I'm assuming I could find some at a health food store, but I'm not even certain about that.)

The results?

So far, so good.  Since it's not hot here yet, I can't definitively comment on its effectiveness, but Jon likes the scent, it seems to be okay at wicking moisture, and most importantly, it doesn't irritate my skin (as long as I don't rub it on to heavily, that is).  Most importantly, it made a great hands-on experiment for the spark plugs and me to do together! 

One thing I did that Tammy didn't find helpful:  putting it into an empty deodorant tube.  While this is a little messier than commercial deodorant simply because the coconut oil melts a bit from body heat, it's got to be less messy than applying it with fingertips!  It works well enough for me, even though it isn't quite as neat as the store-bought stuff.

Since coconut oil liquefies at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, I've been keeping my deodorant in the fridge, which sometimes amounts to my forgetting to apply it.  This should be fairly easy to overcome, though, and it's much better to have it there rather than worrying about melted oil oozing throughout my bathroom drawer.

For a good (albeit lengthy) homemade deodorant review, check out Kitchen Stewardship's blog post here.  I think she does a good job of answering the many questions that naturally arise with DIY deodorant, such as staining and refrigeration.  I think she also suggests the use of essential oils for custom scents, but since I don't own any and I like the mild, tropical coconut oil, I didn't see the need.

At any rate, this is what's working for me, right now, and I love that it's so gentle on the budget despite the fact that coconut oil can be costly (I bought mine from Amazon to keep cost down).  Can't beat a cheap and (for me) healthier alternative!

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