Friday, February 28, 2014

Deodorant DIY

coconut oil, baking soda, cornstarch

Why make your own deodorant?

1)No stain: Ladies' antiperspirant can stain your clothes yellow. This deodorant helps me to smell good and keep my whites pretty.

2) Avoid Aluminium: Store bought antiperspirants can have aluminium in them. A higher aluminium count in breast tissue (which is near where you apply deodorant) is associated with breast cancer, according to Note: this is not a proven cause and effect, but a correlation. Also, they haven't proven the high aluminium counts come from antiperspirants. But why not avoid aluminium? 

3) Cheap and Easy: This recipe has only 3 fairly cheap ingredients and easy directions.

4) Smells Good: This recipe smells like coconut. Mmmm.

I first made this recipe about 6 months ago. It looked really basic--I only needed to buy 1 ingredient, coconut oil, and I'd heard so many good things about coconut oil, I figured why not have some on hand.


1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil (= 6 tablespoons coconut oil)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda


Soften coconut oil in the microwave 20-30 seconds. Stir cornstarch and baking soda together and then stir in the coconut oil. Store covered at room temperature.

To apply: Scoop some with your fingers and apply.

6 months ago I made a half recipe to try out--3 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons baking soda. I did this just in case I needed to adjust some ingredients, but I actually liked it as is. Perhaps start with a half recipe just in case the baking soda irritates your skin and you need to add more coconut oil and cornstarch to compensate, but I haven't had a problem.

Coconut Oil

I bought my coconut oil at Trader Joe's for $5.99 for 16 fluid ounces (2 cups). This means there is enough oil in the jar for 5 1/3 recipes of deodorant, so it's relatively cheap--about $1s worth of coconut oil per recipe. 

The oil has a very low melting point--between 76 F and 78 F. This means that if your bathroom ever gets warmer than 78 F, you'll find your deodorant a liquid!
During the warmer months I kept a disposable spoon in my jar and gave the deodorant a quick stir before applying it each day. (I cut off part of the handle so it would fit.) During the colder months some days it was quite firm, but when I picked some up and rubbed it between my fingers it softened really quickly.

Q and A

Q) How long does a recipe last?

A) It depends on how much you use. I only use a small amount--I want it all to rub in so I don't get it on my clothes. A recipe lasts me a year, but you may use more or less.

Q) Does it stain clothes?

A) I've never noticed it staining anything, but I do try to keep it off my clothes. I just rub it in, then dress.

Q) Since it's just a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, do you sweat more?

A) Not more than store bought deodorant/ antiperspirant. I find the baking soda, which is a good deodorizer for lots of things, works well.

Q) Does it irritate your skin?

A) No, but everyone's skin is different. Coconut oil is very good for your skin. It's gentle and moisturizing. However, baking soda could be irritating and you may need to experiment with less if you have a reaction. Also, don't put it on raw skin (obviously).

Adapted from this recipe at Sew Green. Thanks!

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