I feel a little bit like I'm entering a new realm of natural/crunchy mama with this project. Although, I'm not sure why because once I got rid of the microwave, I think I pretty much crossed a line. Anyway, if someone told me two years ago that they made their own deodorant, I definitely would have thought it was weird. But here I am.
Since antiperspirant has many questionable ingredients, including aluminum, and it's applied so close to the breasts and lymph nodes, I thought it couldn't hurt to give a natural version a try. I also don't really like to buy products from the big cosmetic companies because of their questionable practices, even though I haven't eliminated all of it completely. I have to admit that I usually wear men's deodorant and buy the strongest stuff I can find, so my expectations for this were very low. I was pretty sure I'd be back to the old stuff pretty quickly, but I thought it couldn't hurt to give it a try.
I thrive on simplicity when it comes to many things, so I needed a recipe that was simple. I decided on this one because I already had all the ingredients (baking soda, corn starch, and coconut oil), and it sounded like I could do it in about 2 minutes. It was very simple. Basically, you just combine equal parts of the 3 ingredients and then melt it on the stove, stir, and pour it into whatever container you want. I used an old deodorant container that was empty and cleaned out. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees F, so you can put it in the fridge for a minute to solidify it or just leave it at room temperature for a while. I've read that some people mix the ingredients by hand instead of melting them together, but that sounds like more work to me. You can also add essential oils if you're so inclined, but again, I like to keep it simple. This recipe has a faint coconut smell.
I figured out that it cost me about 81 cents to make this. I estimated about $1 for a box of corn starch, $1 for a box of baking soda and $5 for a jar of coconut oil. Dividing by the amounts I needed, it turned out to be 7 cents for each of the first two ingredients and 67 cents for the coconut oil. I know you can get a better price on coconut oil if you buy online or in bulk, but I don't use a huge amount of it, so I get it at Trader Joe's. Using 1/4 cup of each ingredient was just enough to fill a large deodorant container.
I waited until a Saturday to try this deodorant so that my husband could help me determine how it was working and also so that I'd just be home with him and not self conscious about being stinky in public. Amazingly, this stuff worked just as well as the crazy strong store bought stuff I've been using forever. I really, honestly did not stink, and my husband was even surprised. For the record, he wasn't just being nice–he gets a lot of joy out of telling me when I stink. I even wore it to yoga this week, and it's been like 80 degrees out (so weird, but I love it!), and I have been shocked at how well it works. Total success! I will say that next time I'll probably just pour it into a tub container (like a cream cheese tub or something), as the old deodorant container is a little finicky, and the deodorant melts a little too much when I apply it from the container. I think it's actually easier to just rub it on with my fingers.
What do you all think? Too far out there for you? Or planning to try it? Do you make any of your own beauty, hygiene, or household products?