a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

Things I covet: Homemade deodorant


I’ve turned into quite the hippie in recent years. I kind of hate that word (hippie) because I feel it has negative connotations that I would not want to associate with certain important issues about which I feel passionately (e.g., home birth, organic/local food, etc.).  However, on this particular topic, I must concede that it’s just full-out hippie.  Making your own deodorant?  You crazy hippie, you!

Kidding aside, I see all kinds of benefits in making your own beauty care products. The most important, to me, is reducing the number of nasty chemicals and toxins you are exposed to daily.  This has seriously been on my mind in the last few months, and I have changed my makeup to be as toxin-free as possible (big plug for Coastal Classic Creations, here, who scored the lowest for toxicity on the Skin Deep cosmetic safety database), along with using more natural shampoo and conditioner, and yes, even experimenting with homemade deodorant!

I recently found two great links with recipes for homemade deodorants:

First, Angry Chicken posted a recipe for a more or less solid (cream?) deodorant you apply with your fingers. I like this one because it pretty mess-free (once it’s made and all set to use, I mean).

Photos by Angry Chicken

I also found another tute from Viva Woman. This one is a simpler recipe but involved making a fresh paste each day by adding water to a mostly baking powder mix. Maybe a bit messier but requires less prep time.

Homemade deodorant by Viva Woman

Photo by Viva Woman

What I’ve been experimenting with is just having a little jar of baking soda in my bathroom, and wetting a cotton make-up pad, sprinkling a couple pinches of baking soda on that, then applying that to the underarm.  Works well, and has so far kept me smelling pretty neutral.  I haven’t tried tea tree oil yet (though I intend to), but I did try mixing some grapefruit seed extract/oil in with the baking soda.  But I wouldn’t recommend that since I seem to have had a bit of a reaction to it!  It appears GSE has to be diluted to be used externally, and perhaps mixing a couple drops in with my baking soda didn’t dilute it enough.  I also read on the package: “do not use if pregnant” which gave me the creeps a bit.  (I mean, what the heck is in that stuff anyway?)  Anyway, I get the sense (from reading up about it a bit) that tea tree oil is a bit safer on the skin, even in concentrated forms.  Clearly I’ve got some experimenting left to do!

7 thoughts on “Things I covet: Homemade deodorant

  1. the baking soda idea seems neat to me (and next to no work).. although I can get sooo sweaty during the day.. antiperspirant?
    How do you like that makeup that you bought?

    • I don’t think you’re really gonna get a natural antipersperant, since perspiring is natural and not perspiring is… not. BUT, if you’re okay with being sweatier, you can at least control the odour naturally. And that’s all I’m really aiming for, since I still feel sweaty even with the nasty-chemical variety of commercial antipersperant.

      The makeup is good! I ordered eye shadow and mascara. The quality is great, but ordering colours online is tricky since you can’t see the products in person and the shade might not be quite right. So I ended up with a sort of neutral colour eye shadow that was too orangey to use as my base. I ended up buying another base colour that was more my shade from a company called Origins (available at The Bay, so I could actually go in and see it). Their toxicity rating wasn’t as low as CCC, but it was better than L’Oreal or whatever. Steps in the right direction.

      Also, shipping to Canada from CCC was expensive, so if I order from them again I will try to get other gals on board to split the shipping cost on a single larger order.

  2. I also feel sweaty while wearing the “nasty-chemical variety of commercial antipersperant” so maybe I’ll give the natural variety of deodorant a try.
    I think it’s a good idea to split shipping costs of a larger order with friends if you can. It’s a pain that the states have a lot of great companies, but that they’re often very pricey to ship from. Most of them are unwilling to ship via regular USPS. I’d like to do the same for some stamping goodies, but I’m unsure who to approach for this!

  3. I used to use tea tree oil a lot for pimples when I was a going through pimples. I love the smell! I put it on my pits a couple times after waxing and that was a BAD idea. I got a mean rash. And then I forgot and did it again.
    I just wanted to let you know so you’re careful applying it after shaving or waxing in that region.

    • Good to know! I think I’ll be careful with essential oils in the future after this reaction… Maybe I’m just reacty. Would make sense with all my other allergies!

  4. C and i have been using homemade deodorant for about a year now – it’s the bomb! the most recent recipe i made has been the best. I started out with angry chicken’s recipe but found it a bit too gritty and i don’t like ylang yang so i substituted in some eos i do like with antibacterial properties for less stinky stinky, natch. So my basic recipe now is:

    6 tbsps shea butter
    2 tbsps baking soda
    2 tbsps corn starch
    lemon essential oil
    pine essential oil
    mandarin essential oil

    Put shea butter in a double boiler til it is all melty, then add the two powders and stir really well. Take it off the heat and put it the pot in a bowl of cold or ice water and add your eos. I haven’t worked out quite how many drops of oil to put in – it seems like a lot of the oil evaporates off when i’m making it (because the shea butter is warm?) so i put it lots – like 10 drops each, and then always add more! Anyway, keep mixing the stuff gently, so that it the powders don’t settle out as the deodorant cools. When it has thickened up a bit, scoop it into a little jar and let it continue to cool. Ta da!

    • Awesome, thanks for sharing this, A! Especially since you’ve tested it out and tweaked it and have declared it a good recipe — it’s always nice to have that kind of assurance from someone you know 🙂 I think I’ll give yours a try eventually. Gotta pick up the ingredients first!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s