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Baby step: homemade deodorant

I've spent the past couple of weeks with my nose buried in my armpits. Anything? My husband still welcomes my hugs, and the children continue to vie for the morning snuggle spot under my right arm, so I think it's working. IT'S TOTALLY WORKING. I made deodorant, and I'm loving it.

This is not the first time we've lamented the state of our pits here on EnviroMom. We are motivated to try alternative odor control due to the sketchy ingredients in our Secret antiperspirant, like aluminum. Renee recently tried straight baking soda, which she abandoned after concerns over a developing rash. We've both tried out store-bought natural deodorants and discovered that the experience was akin to setting $20 on fire. Then there was the tea tree oil debacle of 2008. It started out with such promise! only to stop working after a few weeks. Woe to stinky tree-hugging mom! Now Renee is dabbing her pits with milk of magnesia (thank you People's Pharmacy) and is cautiously optimistic. I, however, am holding out hope for my latest concoction. 


This is not a new-fangled recipe. In fact, many of you are probably using it already! But for me, this has been a huge baby step. I've always believed that I required an antiperspirant to stop the sweat and the odor. Now I'm wondering whether the antiperspirant was causing me to feel a bit damp. Because, believe it or not, I actually sweat far less with this homemade deodorant. And when I do sweat, it doesn't stink. Go figure. I think that the 'invisible' sheen of residue left by Secret was making me feel sweaty, whereas this homemade stuff absorbs into my skin leaving me feel dry. Here's the recipe, which I got from Simple Mom:

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of corn starch

Mash in 5-6 tablespoons of coconut oil with a fork, stirring until you get the desired consistency

I halved that recipe to fit it into my tiny jam jar, which I just apply with my fingers. But you can also scoop it into an empty roll-up antiperspirant container for easy application. Since the coconut oil is a solid, the final product is almost identical to the consistency of a solid antiperspirant. This recipe has a very mild, pleasing (to me) coconut scent, and I haven't experienced any rashes. I suspect this jam jar will last me until summer, at which point I may need to make some changes. Because the downside to using coconut oil is that it liquifies once the temperature rises over 76 degrees. Fine in the winter, not so good in the summer. I'm not sure keeping my deodorant in the fridge during warmer months will work for me, so I might experiment with milk of magnesia this summer.

So there it is, yet another chapter in the Armpit Chronicles. Stay tuned for our next installation! Will Renee backslide to Secret, or try a bold, new initiative like Listerine?! Will Heather be driven mad by the coconut odor and take to drinking pina coladas for breakfast?! Stay tuned...


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