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Friday, October 5, 2012

Homemade Coconut Oil Deodorant Recipe


Why you should make your own deodorant and how to do it    


Coconut Oil Deodorant Recipe

I’ve been making my own deodorant for about 3 months now.  It’s the best natural deodorant I’ve ever used, and I think I’ve tried almost all of them!  I EVEN USED IT ON MY WEDDING DAY, that's how much faith I had in it.  I applied it early in the morning and then forgot about it and was totally non-stinky all day despite a full day of preparation madness, vows, photos, dining and greeting guests.  It’s also really, really easy and cheap to make.  You only need 4 ingredients:

- coconut oil
- baking soda
- cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- essential oil

I've been using "natural" deodorants for years, but the switch to coconut oil came about when a friend on Facebook asked others what aluminum free deodorants they used, and someone linked up to a homemade coconut oil recipe, and I just had to check it out.  I haven’t used another deodorant since!  

8 Reasons to Make Your Own Deodorant / Antiperspirant

1. Most antiperspirants and deodorants have aluminum in them.  Studies have shown that aluminum can be absorbed into the skin and affects neural matter.[1]  This is creepy. 

2. Some studies suggest that antiperspirant/deodorant is linked to higher levels of breast cancer.[2]  This is scary, and I don’t intend to wait for more conclusive studies.   

3. People with renal dysfunction (kidney failure) are at higher risk when using antiperspirant with aluminum.[3] This is dangerous.

4. Most commercial antiperspirants have aluminum in them, and some people are allergic to aluminum.  It can cause allergic reactions and rashes.[4]  This is uncomfortable.

5. Last month I posted an articleon the importance of checking your cosmetics list of ingredients for allergens that can cause anaphylactic shock and allergic reactions. The more cosmetics you make yourself, the less likely you are to die of a hidden ingredient. Just sayin’.   

6. It’s cheap!  You probably already have most of the ingredients kicking around your kitchen.  If you don’t, a small investment will provide you with enough ingredients to last you like a year.  All of the ingredients can be used for other things, so it’s totally worth getting them.

7. Antiperspirants leave yellow stains on clothes that are really hard to wash out.  While sweat might still stain, it is much easier to wash out. 

8. Personally, I dislike the smell of most commercial deodorants.  They leave a weird film on the skin, and a funky smell on your clothes.  You know that can’t be right.  Trust your gut here folks. 

VS OTHER NATURAL DEODORANTS:

Over the years I’ve tried everything from the old school Crystal to Tom’s of Maine to Herbal Magic.  Several of these resulted in a sort of “eau de hippie” scent (some of them even came right out of the tube smelling like that!). 

This is fine if you don’t mind smelling like you’ve been living in a tree and peeing in a jar for the last few months.

Not that I don’t respect those of you out there who actually do that type of thing in the name of saving our old growth forests.  If that’s your case it’s totally ok for you to smell that way.  Wear it and be proud of it. Heck, wear a sign that TELLS us you’ve just crawled out from under a logging truck after laying in front of it for days in protest and reap the accolades.      

But back to your homemade deodorant; Coconut oil deodorant has whatever scent you chose for it, since you add essential oils in to it, so you can choose anything from peppermint to grapefruit to pine tree to whatever tickles your nose buds. 

CAN A HOMEMADE DEODORANT REALLY WORK? 
Yes.  It makes more sense than a commercial one for several reasons.

- Coconut oil is good for your skin, it acts as a moisturizer, and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.  Fungus and bacteria cause body odor.  Eliminate fungus and bacteria, help eliminate odor.  Make sense?

- Baking soda absorbs odors. 

- The cornstarch or arrowroot powder absorbs wetness. 

So here it is! 
Ingredients:
  • 2.5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted (I’m lovin’ Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade oil right now, it smells heavenly and imparts the most coconut flavour I’ve found in a coconut oil so far, leaving my baked goods and stir fries with a mouth-watering flavour)
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch OR arrowroot powder*
  • 10 drops essential oil (optional, but it will smell nicer this way)**
Directions:

Mix all your ingredients together in a small container.  Allow to firm up.  To use, scoop out a dime size amount, divide and rub into skin. 

Storage of your deodorant will depend on your room temperature.  I keep this in a glass jar, with a small amount in an old pill case for traveling, or popping in my purse in lieu of deodorant when I’m going out all day. I've also seen blog posts where people shape them in muffin tins, or candy molds, then keep refrigerated and use them as a roll on.

Depending on your room temperature you’ll need to refrigerate this or just leave it out.
In the summer, I had to keep this in the fridge, and remove first thing in the morning to soften a bit (or run under warm water, place in a pot of warm water to melt, or microwave for about 10 seconds).  Now that it’s cooling off, I can leave it out on the counter and it’s the perfect consistency.  You don’t want it melting, or else it will separate and all the oil will be on top. 

* Cornstarch may be irritating for some people, especially if you’re allergic to corn.  Arrowroot starch is a good alternative, and less abrasive. 

**The type of essential oil you use depends on preference, but some have a stronger scent and anti-bacterial properties than others.  For example, lavender, lemon, peppermint and grapefruit are nice scents that will fight odor. 

DO YOU MAKE ANY OF YOUR COSMETICS AT HOME? IF SO, PLEASE SHARE BELOW, OR LINK TO YOUR BLOG ARTICLES!  

Credits:
[1]   "Antiperspirant Drug Products For Over-the-Counter Human Use; Final Monograph". U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
[2] Exley C, Charles LM, Barr L, Martin C, Polwart A, Darbre PD (September 2007). "Aluminium in human breast tissue". Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 101 (9): 1344–6. doi:10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2007.06.005. PMID 17629949.
[3] Antiperspirant Drug Products For Over-the-Counter Human Use; Final Monograph". U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
[4] Garg S, Loghdey S, Gawkrodger DJ (January 2010). "Allergic contact dermatitis from aluminium in deodorants". Contact Dermatitis 62 (1).  doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.2009.01663.x.

*Inspired by a post by the Ex-Consumer

This post appears on the following great sites: Monday Mania, Make Your Own!, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Eat Make Grow, Simple Lives Thursdays, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Fresh Bites Fridays,  

34 comments:

  1. I use straight up coconut oil. You have to be careful if you use cornstarch that it is non-GMO. :-) Found you on MOnday Mania

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  2. Lyza, thanks for stopping by. I've heard that some people use just coconut oil, and I've wondered if it is as effective? I may have to try it one of these days.

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  3. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

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  4. Thanks for linking up to Eat Make Grow! I've been making and using that same recipe for years... though recently switched to using peppermint infused apple cider vinegar after my husband developed a bad rash. We're not sure if the rash is due to the essential oils or the arrowroot powder, but he's cleared up now and only occasionally uses straight baking soda.

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  5. Hi Miranda, I've never heard of using ACV, that's very interesting, I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing your experience :)

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  6. Must try this. I love coconut oil after a shower. Arrowroot is difficult to find here, so will use cornstarch (or wondering if ricestarch would be ok aswell?)...and perhaps clary sage essential oil. Thanks for sharing, hope to link up on wednesday.

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    1. Diva, I suspect rice starch would work, too. The starch is to help absorb some of the dampness from sweat, so following that logic I suspect that anything that absorbs moisture would work. Clary sage would smell lovely :)

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  7. This is the easiest coconut oil deodorant yet. This will probably work good, but the cornstarch I have is not non-GMO, so I'll have to either look up some brands that are, or get arrowroot powder (no idea where to get this besides Amazon).

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    1. Hi Lucy, I've had good luck finding arrowroot starch in the gluten free section of my store, along with other GF flours, and sometimes in the baking section. My local co-op also sells it in the bulk section.

      Otherwise you *could* use non-GMO cornstarch *if* you are comfortable with it (this depends on you and your personal feelings about non-GMO corn). Or you try could skipping it altogether.

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  8. I have had success with just using coconut oil by itself =)

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  9. Thanks for the recipe, Danielle! I'll have to give this a try.

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  10. I'm excited to try this out. I react very badly to all antiperspirant and natural deodorant. My under arms get very sore, red, and actually swell. I currently use Lafes mineral, but will definitely try this one. Thanks Danielle. I love your blog!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Paula! If your underarms are very sensitive, you may want to try just straight up coconut oil as some of the people suggest in the above comments, or add a couple of drops of essential oil and try that :)

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  11. Danielle, I am on my second batch. This is amazing. I'll never use anything else!

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    1. That's so great, Rosanne! So glad you're enjoying it and thanks for letting me know :)

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  12. Neat recipe. I wonder if I could substitute rice flour for the cornstarch/arrowroot. I use rice flower - Bob's Red Mill- to make face powder. I have mixed it with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or ginger. If you have carob you can try it. I keep it refrigerated and apply with a cotton ball. Read women in China use rice flour as a facial sun screen when working in their fields.It seems to work that way for me.

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    1. Hi there, I haven't used rice flour instead of the corn/arrowroot, but I have used tapioca starch instead and it's been just fine. If I were to try the rice flour I think it's a good idea to make sure it's a very finely ground flour (like the Asian ones, which I find are finer than some North American ones), so that it's not too abrasive when you rub it in. And yes! I've been looking in to making my own powders as well and recently made one with some rice flour and cocoa as a bronzer, and used a blush brush for it. I really like it :)

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    2. Hi, the deodorant is amazing. I used Spectrum coconut oil and baking soda. I gave my sister, a breast cancer survivor, one and one to my mother too. My rice flour seems finely ground. I will try this. Thank you so much. I was born in the sixties. It is great fun to be natural.
      Peace, Beth

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  13. Hi, I'm new! I had a question about the deodorant- if it has already separated, can it be mixed back together??

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    1. Hi Lori, yes. I've had it happen a few times in warm weather when the coconut oil has melted and the starches sink to the bottom. I just give it a swirl and put it in the fridge to harden.

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  14. This actually works better than anything I ever bought at a store. Been using it a few weeks now.

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  15. Thanks for sharing!! Btw, ever use Lavilin?

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    1. Hi, no I haven't ever seen it in the stores. I'm mostly in Canada, though, so I'm not sure how widely available it is there?

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  17. Can i change coconut oil with olive oil?
    What temperature's good for storage in a room?

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    1. Hi Miki, no, you can't use olive oil, it has a different consistency from coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at a typical room temp, olive oil is not (and often is not at all). I keep my coconut oil in temperatures below about 22C, or else it melts. Most of the time it's fine in my apartment, but in the summertime I keep it in the fridge.

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    2. Ups.. I only know that unrefined coconut oil's basically virgin coconut oil ^^
      My mom always made it back home so i think i can make this recipe soon.. BTW is it ok to use this recipe for toothpaste?

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    3. Hi Miki, sorry, I have no idea if you can use it for toothpaste. I use regular toothpaste that my dentist recommends :)

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    4. How about the dose? If i only use Baking soda & coconut oil is it the same? (2.5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil & 2 Tablespoons baking soda)

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    5. Hi Miki, that might change the consistency of it a bit, but you could try it. Otherwise, you could also substitute tapioca starch for the arrowroot or cornstarch.

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  18. Hi Danielle,
    I am interested to know if the oil leaves any marks in clothing? I am keen to give this recipe a go as I am about to start treatment for breast cancer and the doctors have suggested I stop wearing regular antiperspirants.

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    1. Hi there, with normal usage (apply the mix and then get dressed), I haven't had any problems. I have noticed sometimes if I sweat a fair amount it can leave a bit of an oil mark, but this usually seems to wash out. I hope that helps and all the best to you :)

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