Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Experiment in Homemaking #3 - Deodorant

Now that you know I’ve gone No’poo, I’ll tell you about how I’ve gone No’dorant. Anti-antiperspirant maybe?  Either way, it’s not pro-B.O.
           A few months after I made the No’poo switch, I started looking into other ways to remove chemicals from my personal care products.  So I started with the one that I liked the least, my deodorant.  I just really hated it.  Why?  1. It didn’t work. At all. I tried many kinds - none worked.  2. It just seemed creepy to cover my skin in chemicals to trap in the toxins my body was trying to release.  So I turned to the internet and found that many people were using concoctions made up of things like baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil and essential oils. 
            I’ve tried a couple of different methods.  Some folks just “splash” on some regular old baking soda after a shower, I found my skin way too sensitive for this method (believe it or not, straight baking soda on the skin can cause a rash).  I kept the baking soda in a fancy salt shaker and would just shake a bit into my hands and rub it in. However, there was often a lot of “over-splash” and I wound up with a layer of baking soda dust on my bathroom sink.  I researched more and found that the best way to fix the “my-skin-is-too-sensitive” problem is to cut the baking soda with cornstarch.  I tried that mixture, but I would still occasionally itch and of course, still had the over-splash problem.  So I moved to the next and still current solution.  BUT, before we move on from these dry mixtures – don’t discount them because they have a purpose!  Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s not but no one will admit it anyway but I have some clothes that even when I wash them the armpits still smell.  Like the deodorant residue (from traditional yucky-type deodorants), from the old days when I wore it, has trapped a layer of b.o. with in a gross film.   Or sometimes you just need to wear something again before you have a chance to wash it.  Well let me tell you, sprinkle a little baking soda (the cornstarch mixture will work too) on the inside armpit fabric and the problem will vanish.  And yes, I have done this with black sweaters and have had no negative outcomes.

Now on to the good stuff…

My final recipe consists of:
Baking Soda
Lavender Essential Oil
Tea Tree Essential Oil
     (NOTE:  I opted not to use any essential oil in this batch -   
         so it just has a light coconut scent)

Simple.  I bought a decorative glass jar at IKEA (where else?) and basically just added the first three ingredients until I got the consistency I was looking for.  I had seen recipes where people have added very little coconut oil and shaped the mixture into a bar and some even went as far as to shove it into an old empty deodorant container for easy application; I was not at all successful with this method AT ALL.  I really just ended up with a bunch of messy crumbs.  I opted to go for a “lotion-like” texture.

I used a two tablespoon cornstarch/one tablespoon baking soda powder mixture and then added two-and-a-smidge tablespoons coconut oil and stirred.  Ready! This is also where you would add your few drops of essential oil if you so chose.  They add a nice scent and lavender and tea tree both have antiseptic properties – bacteria fighting BONUS!. My mixture is fairly soupy (think more like thick cream soup, or better yet thick chili, as opposed to broth) as I think it makes it easier to apply.  I just dip my fingers in and rub on.  Just be careful not to rub too hard because the mixture is kind of gritty and can abrade your skin if you rub too much.

I do only make a small amount at a time.  This will last a long time but not too long - this contains no preservatives so you don't want to keep it around forever.  Sticking your fingers in the jar everyday can introduce bacteria into the mixture - so making a fresh batch every so often is nice.

CHALLENGE: Coconut oil changes from a solid to a liquid somewhere around room temperature.  So in the winter the mixture can become too solid.  My solution – I keep the jar on the warm spot over the pilot light on my stove.  You’ll have to find a solution that works for you.

NOTE: Did you read that?  I do keep my deodorant in the kitchen and on the stove.

NOTE 2 (The real note):  IF YOU KNOW ME AND WANT TO MAKE THIS – you will need to buy your own baking soda and coconut oil – however, I have extra cornstarch and a large amount of Lavender Essential Oil and a fair amount of Tea Tree Oil so feel free to get a few drops from me.  Wait, does this count as a blog give-away?!

GIVEAWAY: Tablespoons of Cornstarch and drops of Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils!!!!  (Contest Rules:  The award can only be given out at a time when we are already hanging out, unless you want to make a special trip to me to get your oil and cornstarch.  So really, if you don’t know me or we don’t hang out – sorry, but you can’t win.  Also, offer only applies while supplies last.)

1 comment:

  1. !? A giveaway? I'm fairly certain we have cornstarch but I would love to win a few drops of oil to give this a whirl. Also. I heard this blog gives away awesome brownies baked inside of cookies and delivers them to your door if you win. Please confirm if this is true.