Oh Sweet Sweat, a DIY Deodorant

by Madeleine Hawks

I’m not much of a sweater–never have been.  But I do start sweating from too much coffee or when I’m too lazy to take my coat off while riding the metro. I still wear deodorant every day, but I’ve avoided antiperspirant since my sophomore year in college.  Tom’s deodorant is a good match for me, but in a pinch or when I want to change up the ol’ routine, I sometimes switch to a homemade version.  It’s relatively easy to make and I actually tend to have all the ingredients on hand, so it’s easy to whip up a batch of deodorant.  Personally, I like to bake a sweet treat to eat while I’m making my deodorant – on different equipment, of course! I mean, if I’m in the kitchen waiting for my deodorant to set, might as well!

Of course, you’ll have to vary the proportions a bit depending on your preferences.  Don’t worry, if you need to ramp up the baking soda or change the essential oil balance, your sister will probably tell you. That’s what sisters are for, right?  To mention your body odor at inopportune times…

Anyway, a bonus for this deodorant is that it’s mostly coconut oil, which is a moisturizer.  So it doesn’t bother irritated skin!  I borrow this recipe from Mindy at Colemans in Love.  She has some great DIY stuff on her blog too.

Home Made Deodorant 

Equal parts (1/4 cup is a good place to start):

  1. Arrowroot powder – for absorbing some sweat (the powder is white and I found it in the bulk section at Whole Foods – it can be a little tricky to track down); I believe cornstarch can be substituted for this as well
  2. Baking soda – for cutting down on the stink
  3. Coconut oil – for making it so creamy
10+ drops:
  • Essential oil – whichever floats your boat! Suggestions: tea tree oil (antibacterial, anti fungal, antiseptic, antiviral), citrus oils, lavender – mix and match!
Container of your choice:
  • Suggestions: small glass jar with one-piece lid, balm tin (I either root through the recycling bin or look around at your local health food store). Make sure you boil both the container and the lid so it’s perfectly clean!

Because coconut oil hardens at around room temperature, I warm up the oil by boiling its whole (closed) jar of it in a pot until it softens and pours a little.  Then I just mix it with the powders in a bowl until it’s very smooth and let it cool a bit  more. It’s important for the coconut oil to be only slightly higher than room temp when you add the essential oils because they should not be heated or their properties start to be destroyed.  Once everything is mixed in, pour it into your empty container.  Let it cool completely and then by golly use it!  Warning: this requires using your hands to apply the deodorant.

I just use three fingers, swipe off about a quarter-sized amount and rub the deodorant on until it’s pretty well absorbed.  Since it does include oil, avoid getting it on your clothes because it will be temporarily stained just like with any other greasy food or product.  For example, wait a minute or two before pulling a shirt over your head.  Once it absorbs pretty well, there shouldn’t be an issue!

Give it a try – it’s a cheap and easy trial.  Plus, now you can have a personalized signature scent!

As an infrequent sweater, it’s particularly easy for me to use a homemade concoction to control odor.  However, it’s not for everyone.  If you are shopping for deodorant, even the aluminum-free brands can contain plenty of chemicals you just don’t need.  Read the ingredients and look for a brand you trust.  After all, the skin is very porous.  For more information on why you probably should avoid antiperspirants like the one from the above Secret commercial, look here.  Happy sweating!

Thanks, Matt, for all the time I just wasted watching the Secret commercial and some other campy vintage advertisements!

4 responses to “Oh Sweet Sweat, a DIY Deodorant

  1. Pingback: Perfume: the Good, the Bad, and the Smelly « Get Clean, Girls·

  2. Pingback: Personal Care Rituals: Bon Voyage! « Get Clean, Girls·

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