I realize not everyone wants to make their own deodorant. It probably falls into the category of lollipops for some, and for me, crackers. I just think, "Why?" However, I found myself revisiting the homemade deodorant issue again lately, and here's a few good reasons why; I stink, conventional deodorant ingredients freak me out, the natural stuff rarely works for me, and when I have made my own in the past (using rubbing alcohol or just baking soda, etc.) it's not really done the trick. Also, I love the way essential oils smell, especially ylang ylang and orange, which are easy to add to my own concoctions.
I thought all my problems were behind me when I started using Lush's aromacreme 2 years ago. I loved this deodorant. It's soft and smells heavenly. But, like many other users, I eventually got a rash. I had to use it less often, finally got sick of the smell, and the other deodorants Lush sells have ingredients I want to avoid.
Plus, I love making body products and get so sick of reading ingredients and worrying about all that. I also wanted to make my own because I thrive on the Stick-It-To-The-Man feeling I get when I don't have to buy basic necessities that most people assume you have to buy, you know? I find it thrilling.
And recently I have been curious about making crackers, go figure.
So, using the aromacreme texture as a goal, I made my own. I had recently bought and used Florere, which is also a cream deodorant and it's perfectly good—it just doesn't smell amazing. It's also a bit grainy. Here's what I ended up mixing together for this batch:
3 Tablespoons shea butter
3 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons cocoa butter
2 vitamin E oil gel caps (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
Essential Oil (I used ylang yang and orange)
I melted all the ingredients (except the oils) and gave it a good stir. This only took about 30 seconds in the microwave. Then added the oils, stirred again, and poured it in a jar, then placed it in the fridge to set. This recipe filled the jar in my hand, which is a 1/4 pint.
I bought the cocoa butter and shea butter here. I'm on week 3 and it works so well, I am stunned. When it's cold in the bathroom, it's not as smooth, but the warmth from my fingers softens it up enough to spread on. On hot days the texture is perfect. I can scoop a little bit out of the jar, roll it into a pea-sized ball, and rub it in. I am very very happy with it. I found other recipes online for cream deodorants that have beeswax, vegetable glycerin—all kinds of combos.
It smells wonderful. I had to add a bit more essential oil than you think—shea butter smells strong, not bad, just shea butter-y. If you try this I would highly recommend splitting ingredients with a friend and having a I'm Not A Dirty Hippie party, otherwise you'll end up with a lot of ingredients that could spoil in a year or so. In the next batch I think I will add a little vegetable glycerin to make it softer.
So, next up, homemade toothpaste. I know you can just use baking soda and water, but I also want to try it with a flavor and make it into a paste.
Oh! To report back: I am on month 2 of no shampoo but only baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse. More info here. And I forgot to mention, I haven't used shampoo on the girls' hair in about 2 years. I know this sounds insane, but the soapy bath water has always been enough. I really hate worrying about soap in their eyes and their hair is always clean and not greasy because I've never used shampoo that has stripped the oils from their hair to begin with. I swear, this is why. I'm just saying. I'm not sure why I didn't make this connection when shampooing my own hair, but I didn't until this latest baking soda kick I have been on.
Occasionally now I do use baking soda and vinegar on them (it's so great because there is no lather to worry about) but usually it's still just a good rise with the bath water. The baking soda is easy to just mix and pour carefully on their heads, but the vinegar I have to dilute a TON and then add essential oil so it smells good, otherwise they freak out. I have a bottle with a spray mister so I can just spritz on the acv and rise. They don't even notice. Sadie's hair is getting quite long, and the vinegar really helps with tangles, so this is awesome. Both girls have very different types of hair, and so far so good. I swear they aren't the stinky kids!
**update: some answers to questions (And thank so much for all the great info you all are leaving! woot!)
-Is the deodorant white or clear? sort of both. Goes on white-ish and gets clear-ish later. I haven't really tested it sleeveless. Does is really work? Yes, for me it does, but you know that's just me—we all react different to this type of stuff, but yes, I can tell you after 3 weeks of using it: 100% NO STINK. Will it keep you dry? absolutely not. I sweat buckets and always have, so I am used to it. How long will it last? Probably 2-3 months, possibly more. I would probably split the batch next time and keep half in the fridge. Do I like the no shampoo thing? Yes I do, I just got my haircut and was told my hair is in great condition, too. I will tell you, I am not super into hair/hair products, you know what I mean. I love my hair, but spend very little time thinking about it. It's not the way, say, shoes are for me, so my expectations and general level of fussiness about my hair is very low.