Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Not Your Mom's Deodorant

It's not your mom's deodorant, but it should be, and yours too. Personally I think we owe it to all our female friends to share this bit of genious, and if you're a real humanitarian you can share it with the fellas too.
Where to begin? Let's start with what matters most. Does it work? Yes. Better than commercial deodorants? You betcha. Ah, vanity. It's what keeps us girls a buyin'.
Now as much as I'd love to tout natural, handmade products (as making them is how I make my living) just because something is natural doesn't necessarily make it better. At the end of the day we want results. In this case, this product is so much better than commercial ones I honestly don't know why anyone would use anything else. Point being, I don't use this only because it's natural and I'm not sharing it because I'm on a crusade to convert the masses to handmade products. It works. Try it. You'll be glad you did :) Anyway, enough blabbing. On to the recipe.

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 Tablespoons, 2 oz, or 56 grams coconut oil
10 to 20 drops essential oil (orange, lavender and tea tree are favorites)
Container - An old deodorant tube will work. Screw it down and clean it out first of course :) Or just any small container you can put a lid on.

This next bit might seem somewhat random, but there are some key things you should read before you attempt to make this. First, your measurements don't have to be precise so don't sweat it. This isn't rocket science. However, don't go over 1/4 cup baking soda. You might think adding more will make it work better, but likely you'll just cause yourself a nasty little rash. Some people are sensitive to this ratio of baking soda. If you know you have sensitive skin try starting with 1/8 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup cornstarch, so instead of having a 50/50 baking soda to cornstarch ratio you'll have a 25/75 ratio. Still with me? Good. On with the show ...

Next, if you don't have or can't immediately get your hands on an essential oil, don't let that stop you from making this. While they do add scent and some antimicrobial properties, they're not the show stealer here. Baking soda is the star, and coconut oil itself is mildly antimicrobial. It'll work just as well without the essential oil. Promise.

If you do have essential oils handy, a word of caution. Citrus oils (my personal favs) can be irritating. Don't add more just for the sake of scent. Cinnamon or any of the hot oils I'd stay away from altogether. Lavender is antiseptic and mild, so again if you're sensitive, it's a good oil to start with. Just don't go whackadoo with it.

Coconut oil you buy at the grocery or health food store is what's known as 76 degree coconut oil, meaning it's solid until it gets to 76 degrees then turns into liquid. You can purchase 92 degree coconut oil online. One doesn't work any better than the other, but if you're going to be putting this into a deodorant tube and plan to travel with it I'd think about getting some 92 degree in the future. Oh yeah, and you can pay out the whazoo for a small jar of organic, virgin coconut oil at a health/natural food store or get Lou Ana brand in the cooking oil section of Walmart for less than $6.00.

There are two ways you can make this. The first way I'll tell you about is the method I use. It just makes sense to do it my way. You'll see why after I've explained them both.

1. Melt coconut oil in the microwave just until melted, not too hot.
2. Add baking soda, cornstarch and essential oil, stir until mixed.
3. Pour into container, put the lid on, let harden a few hours in the fridge.

Or, you can ...

Add solid coconut oil, baking soda, cornstarch and essential oil in a bowl all at once and with a large spoon ...
mix, mash, squish, mix, mash, squish ...
mash, mix, mix, mash, mash until incorporated ...
then scoop mixture into your container and ...
squish, mash, squish, mash, squish, squish, squish, mash.

Put lid on container, let harden a few hours in the fridge, clean up the mess you made mixing, mashing and squishing.

Whew, all done!

Here are some random observations I'm posting just for the hell of it.

If you've put this into a container and will be scooping it out, try using about a nickel size dollop under each arm. That amount works well for me.

This is DEODORANT, not antiperspirant. You will still sweat, you just won't have odor. (No really, you won't.)

You know how with Secret and all the others you have to do the periodic pit sniff to make sure it's working? Not with this stuff! Likely you'll go several DAYS without a hint of odor.

Don't use 92 degree coconut oil unless you're making stick deodorant. That stuff is rock hard. You'd have to chisel it out of a tub container. Seriously.

If you have coconut oil but don't know if it's 76 or 92 degree, it's 76. Trust me.

This recipe has never stained my clothes with oil or white residue.

Can also be used to help keep the groin area dryer and odor free. Go ahead and laugh it up on that one, but it works. That's not to say slather it on your no no cha cha's (men or women), just the groin AREA. I'd go with the 25/75 ratio for that purpose though.



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