Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Experimenting with Natural Deodorants - part 2

So in part 1 of this post, I talked about my motivation behind wanting to switch from antiperspirants (ap) to a more natural deodorizing solution.

I tried Tom's of Maine and thought it worked great.  But, because I like concocting things in my kitchen, I decided to try making my own.

If you do a search for home made deodorant you will come up with a LOT of people talking about their experiences.  You will also see a lot of the same ingredients listed:

Coconut oil - if the internet is right, this stuff is basically magic
Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda - have you ever put it in a dish in your fridge to keep it  from         getting smelly?  Same idea.
Cornstarch/arrowroot powder - some people say this is a thickener, but they will also act by absorbing some of the moisture
Essential oils - if you want to scent your concoction

I'm in pretty early stages of experimentation.

I have read a lot about how the baking soda causes irritation - especially if this is put on right after shaving. 

Protip: shave at night.  I shower in the morning but I'll give myself a quick shave at night so my skin has time to heal before putting on the baking soda in the morning.

I used a small empty plastic hand balm container for this, which I put into a pan of boiling water so I could eat and mix everything in its final resting place.  I learned quickly not to use my measuring cup for these type of experiments.

My container fits about 1.8 oz and in it I've put:

1/2 teaspoon of  baking soda 
1 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
(about) 15 drops of tea tree essential oil (it's antibacterial so will combat smell)
3 grams shea butter (for a bit more stability than just using coconut oil alone)
2 tablespoons coconut oil 

I melted the oil and shea butter together, took the mixture off the heat and added in the powders and the essential oil. 

So far I've had no irritation, but I find the prescribed "pea sized" amount to be too much, creating a very oily surface, so I use less.  I also find that I do get a bit smelly by the end of the day, but if I don't put my shirt directly into the wash, the smell will be gone by the next day.

Next time I plan to add in a bit more of a stabilizer - maybe some beeswax, and up the amounts of baking soda and cornstarch. 

For now, though, my mixture is totally fine for days I'm not in work but if I'm going to have a bit more of a high-stress day, I'm sticking with the Toms.

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