I have not had any skin sensitivities, bad smell or other issues in my armpits in the past, so I have always used all kinds of deodorants, depending on the accessibility and budget I had at the time. In the past I was not loyal to any brand, type or ingredients, and was never worried about using an aluminum-free one.
At some point, I cannot remember why, or when, I decided I wanted one with the least ingredients possible. I guess I then had the budget to choose the one I wanted and became more interested in understanding and deciding what I am putting on my body. Since I don’t understand half of the ingredients in all health, beauty and care products out there, I now try to buy something with just a few ingredients I know what they are. I have tried the crystal deodorant stone, made of a natural mineral salt called potassium alum, and it worked just fine for me. It was also cheap. I then found the brand Agent Nateur, with a deodorant with just a few non-toxic natural ingredients, and I used it for a few years. It was expensive, though. I never tried using just baking soda or a starch and have neither tried using no deodorant. Many people use these and it works great for them.
Since I started being more aware of the waste I produce and working towards reducing it, I became interested in products without a disposable container. Reusable containers are a fine option, but there are only so many containers you can repurpose. I did not have to do much research. My sister Elena is the master of DIY. She does all the research and the trial and error. She loves learning and doing things herself and, luckily for me, gifting them to family and friends. So, among the things she has gifted me, there was a deodorant she made in 5-10 minutes in her kitchen while I was observing and taking notes. She poured it in a small empty moisturizer container, and I took it home. I loved it! I have used this recipe a few times now and, always, I found the process easy, quick and enjoyable and loved the result. There is always also a sense of pride when a DIY project turns out perfect. The ingredients are pantry ingredients to me, things I generally have at home, and I think many do, except for the beeswax, which I find easily in Brooklyn Herborium.
So here below it is, my sister Elena’s deodorant recipe, which she learned from the blog Happy Virginie (in French), which inspired many of the recipes she uses. It takes about 10 minutes to make and the measures below will get you approximately 2 oz / 60 ml of deodorant.
- 4 gr / 0.1 oz grated beeswax
- 20 gr / 0.7 oz coconut oil
- 16 gr / 0.6 oz baking soda
- 10 gr / 0.4 oz arrow root powder, corn starch or potato starch
- 15 drops essential oil
1- Place the grated beeswax in a small glass container that fits inside a small saucepan.
2- Fill the bottom of the saucepan with a cup of water and heat the water on the stove (medium-high heat) until it boils.
3- Place the glass container (with the beeswax in it) inside the saucepan, creating a double boiler, reducing the heat to medium-low. Allow the beeswax to melt.
4- Add the coconut oil to the beeswax, while still in the stove, and stir (using a wooden or plastic small spoon or chopstick), allowing both ingredients to mix and melt.
5- Turn off the stove and take out the glass container from the saucepan.
6- Add the baking soda and starch to the glass container and stir all ingredients together.
7- Add the essential oil and stir. I love lavender and it is the one I use. Rose works well too.
8- Quickly after adding the essential oil, and before the mix solidifies, pour it in one, two or as many containers as you need. If you have empty cream, moisturizer or oil containers, you can use them for your DIY deodorant.
9- Let it cool and … voilà! Use your fingers to apply on clean armpits.
Whether you want a more natural, less toxic, cheaper or, like me, minimum waste deodorant, this may be a great option for you too. If you try it, let me know what you think. If you have a different recipe you love, please share!