I love being industrious. When my children were little I learned how to make bread, grow a garden and can just about everything. I bought a cow and taught myself how to make butter, cheese and every other dairy product I could think of. Then I took up soap making, followed by lotion bars, candles and lip balm. I love knowing how to make everyday necessities just in case there comes a time when they are no longer commercially available. And to tell the truth, I generally like the homemade versions of things much better than the store-bought versions anyway.
One of the products that I had considered off and on but never attempted to make was deodorant. All of my experience (which was limited) with "natural" or "home-made" deodorant consisted of baking soda and cornstarch (puffed under the arms) or that crystal thing that was popular for awhile. Needless to say, I was not impressed.
Recently I was reading an article about beauty and hygiene products and was shocked to find that a number of ingredients in most mass produced products were actually poisonous! Apparently, because the toxins are in such small quantities, they pass the FDA inspection process with no problems. Not really wanting to introduce toxic chemicals through my sweat glands, but also not wanting people to be able to smell me before they saw me, I started to research making my own deodorant.
After looking at a number of recipes, I decided to try one that created a solid deodorant. That was what I was used to and was comfortable with. I also wanted a recipe that contained ingredients that I had in the cupboard from my other health and beauty endeavors. In the end, I found a recipe that looked good, tweaked it to suit our family and gave it a whirl. I have to say, I am immensely pleased with the results.
The first thing I did was carefully wash out two used deodorant tubes. I could have bought new tubes, but until I perfected a recipe, I didn't want to incur any unnecessary expenses. One of the tubes I washed had a bottom that wasn't solid, so I cut a piece of waxed paper and fitted it over the bottom frame so that the deodorant wouldn't just run through. Then I gathered all of my ingredients and went to work.
|Waxed paper fitted over the frame|
|A solid bottom tube|
|Bottoms screwed all of the way down and ready for the deodorant|
4 heaping T grated beeswax (or pellets)
2 T Shea butter
10 T Cocoa butter
1/4 C cornstarch (or arrowroot powder if you have sensitive skin)
1/4 C baking soda (aluminum free)
10 drops tea tree oil (optional - it is an anti-fungal)
5 drops vitamin E oil (optional)
15 - 20 drops essential oil (for fragrance)
2 - 3 new or used deodorant tubes (rolled all the way down)
- Melt beeswax
- Add Shea butter and Cocoa butter and heat just until melted. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add cornstarch and baking soda. Stir until the lumps are gone and the texture is smooth.
- Add vitamin E oil and essential oils and stir until well mixed.
- Pour into deodorant tubes and let sit a few hours before putting on the tops (you can cool in the refrigerator). You will want to fill them to almost overflowing (the deodorant will settle).
- Don't over-apply. 2 to 4 swipes is ideal.
- Only twist up as much as you need. It will be slightly softer than store-bought deodorant and may fall off if you twist up too much.
- You will need to give the deodorant a good 2 - 3 weeks use before deciding if it works for you.
- This deodorant will stay solid at room temperature. If you live in a very warm climate, you may want to refrigerate it to harden it up a bit.
- This is deodorant - it will not keep you from sweating, but it will keep you from stinking!
|Grating the beeswax|
|Everything measured and ready to go|
|Measuring the wax into the saucepan|
|Melting the wax (on the wood cookstove)|
|Melting the Shea and Cocoa butters with the beeswax|
|Stirring in the cornstarch and baking soda|
|Adding the oils (I'm not sure why it looks so yellow - it is ivory)|
|Pouring into the cleaned tubes|
|Filling to the top|
This recipe makes enough for 3 large deodorant tubes. I only had two, so I improvised. Sir Knight had the idea of pouring the excess into a toilet paper tube. We "greased" the inside of a toilet paper tube with shea butter and set the tube on a piece of waxed paper. After the deodorant solidified, we cut the toilet paper roll down to the top of the deodorant and placed another piece of waxed paper over the top to act as a cover. To use this tube, we just tear a small portion of the paper tube off the top of the roll and use the deodorant until we need to tear another bit off the top. It works like a charm!
|Pouring into the makeshift tube|
|A custom "tube" of deodorant|
I have large quantities of beeswax, so I just take out a chunk and grate it with a cheese grater, however, you can buy beeswax in pellet form if you are so inclined. The Shea butter and the Cocoa butter I buy from the same company I buy my tallow and lye for soap making, Essentials Depot. They also carry essential oils if you don't have those on hand.
Because this deodorant is "custom", you can make a special batch for each member of your family. I like pretty, "girly" scents like jasmine and sandalwood, but the boys prefer manly scents, such as Fir Needle Balsam and Cedar Wood. Miss Serenity likes hers to be scent free, so we don't add any essential oils, leaving just a hint of the shea butter and cocoa butter.
There is something comforting about having supplies on hand for all of our "Home Grown" hygiene needs. Not only do we get to luxuriate with custom cosmetics, we also save money. And an added bonus? We can pronounce every ingredient on the back of the bottle!