It's been exactly 17 days since I stopped wearing deodorant and I still have all my friends.
In order to transition from commercial deodorant to homemade your body needs to detox and open up its pores. This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks and in the process you should feel a noticeable difference in your body. After about 6 days I could feel my underarms getting softer and smoother. And it turns out that I didn't really sweat that much! I used to think I needed "clinical strength" deodorant. Not because of odor, but because of perspiration. I had no idea what I was doing to my body! I mean clinical strength!? I might as well have been rubbing toxic waste on my body.
This is something we have convinced ourselves we all need.
Not just deodorant, but antiperspirant, moisturizer, skin softener, anti-aging, anti-apocalypse producing deodorant.
Ironically, the request for these sought after features of providing moisturizing/skin softening are most likely a direct result of the potentially cancer causing irritants used in commercial deodorants. Look at your deodorant. I can almost guarantee you the active ingredient is some variant of aluminum such as Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly. Some claim that this ingredient may cause cancer or has been linked to Alzheimers disease and while I'm not yet convinced of this I do know that this is one of the ingredients causing skin irritation. It's used as an antiperspirant where it temporarily clogs your pores preventing you from releasing toxins from your body.
Of the listed inactive ingredients on the box of my "clinical strength" deodorant, the only one I could pronounce was "fragrance" - an ingredient that couldn't have been more vague.
After 17 days deodorant free I decided it was time to try a recipe of my own. I emptied an old deodorant stick and whipped up my own deodorant with ingredients I could not only pronounce but understand the purpose of and be assured of its safety.
My Homemade Zero Waste Deodorant Recipe
1/4 Cup Pure Baking Soda* (in biodegradable box) - used for natural deodorant and itch relief
1/4 Cup Organic Cornstarch* (bought in bulk) - used as thickening agent and moisture absorber - note it is not an antiperspirant as it's not blocking pores preventing sweating, just absorbing moisture post sweat!
2 Tbsp Shea Butter* (fair trade, unscented, vegan, unrefined, non-gmo - in plastic container I will reuse/upcycle) - used for moisturizing and binding
12 Drops Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil* (will reuse the glass bottle for something!) - used as antibacterial and fragrance
Add shea butter to heated double boiler. Stir consistently as it will not take long to melt.
Once mostly melted, add baking soda and cornstarch and stir until blended.
Take double boiler off heat and add essential oil, mixing it in well.
Pour mixture into a shallow jar or reuse an emptied stick deodorant container. Place in the fridge to cool and harden for at least 1 hour.
(Please note I understand the irony of pouring hot substances into plastic and cooling it - this likely can cause negative effects such as potentially releasing plastic particles and toxins.)
Once hardened, apply using deodorant stick container or with a finger from the jar.
Now enjoy using a product that you know exactly how it's made and never fret when you're running low because you're self sufficient now and can make your own deodorant!
Feel free to swap out the tea tree oil for another antibacterial essential oil such as lemon grass, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, etc. To be honest, I most likely would have used eucalyptus essential oil if I had some on hand - it's my favorite for sure! You can also swap out the shea butter for coconut oil!
If this deodorant does't work for you please don't give up - tweak the recipe I have here or try one of the thousands of others on the interwebs!
Thanks for reading,