Kitchen Living Room

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Homemade Deodorant & No More Yellow Stains

I've been making and using my own homemade deodorant for about half a year now. I started last summer. If you think that sounds gross, I understand. I was really nervous at first to try it because I thought making my own deodorant would be difficult and I would smell bad. But you should read on because 1. it's easy to make your own deodorant, 2. it's cheap, and 3. it's much better for you than unnatural deodorants. OH YEAH and 4. it works!

I used to use Dove deodorant in an unscented formula. I think most scents are way too strong and really just...yucky. They can even give me a headache. Plus mainstream deodorants have really, really horrible ingredients. Ingredients that are known to have chemicals that can harm your body. Plus, to top it all off, your underarms area is very susceptible to absorption. So those ingredients go straight into you. So about a year and a half ago I began my search for a natural deodorant without harmful ingredients.

There are a lot of 'natural' deodorants on the market: JASON, Tom's of Maine, and Kiss My Face, just to name a few. These are the brands that you can find in health foods stores like Whole Foods. But I've also seen these brands in mainstream grocery stores like Publix. There are also plenty of designer deodorants that don't have nasty chemicals, an example of which is the variety by La Vanila that you can find at Sephora. A tiny bottle sells for $18. Ouch. The other brands are less expensive, but can cost you as much as $6. The problem is that THEY DON'T WORK! (At least not for me. And I have tried every single variety I can find.) 

So, after smelling pretty bad for a pretty long time, I decided to try to make my own. You can use my recipe (which is very informal) to make your own! I've found that it's easiest to apply using your fingers (oh come on, don't freak out, you'll get used to it) so you can put it in really any empty container. I use an old deodorant container because I had one on hand. Plus then I know exactly what it is and so does anyone else who happens upon it. But the upside is that you could actually eat this deodorant (yes, I tried some, it's OK if you think I'm insane or just disgusting) because it's made from ingredients that you might use in a batch of cookies anyway.

My deodorant is made from: coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch plus OPTIONAL oil essences. You could use vanilla or peppermint. I've tried both and they work fine.

My method for whipping this up is not very scientific. Don't let that drive you crazy. You just want to get it to a consistency that you can easily rub on your underarms to create a thin coating. Here are the steps:

1. Put a scoop of coconut oil in a small bowl.

2. Pour in a bit of baking soda (amounting to a little less than half of the coconut oil)

3. Add in a bit of cornstarch (less than the baking soda). 

The coconut oil is the main ingredient. The baking soda helps with odor, and the cornstarch helps absorb moisture. 

4. Mix it all together with a fork, or better yet your fingers if you are already feeling brave, and add whatever ingredients you need more of (more baking soda/cornstarch if it's too wet or goopy, more coconut oil if it's too dry or crumbly).

5. Squish it all into your container.

6. Use to your heart's content!

If you live in a really hot climate you may need to keep it in the fridge. But I live in the southern United States and I just keep it in my travel bag. No biggie if it gets a little melty. My underarms and I are now best friends forever so it's all good.

If you've read this far than you deserve to know a secret. This stuff is also the magic cure for yellow underarm stains and lingering odors on your lovely clothes. I haven't had either since I started using this stuff. I would recommend putting it on AFTER you put your clothes on though. Otherwise it can make a mess. 

Good luck and happy underarms!

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