I just came up with a homemade deodorant that is all-natural. If I could, I would switch to all-natural toiletries overnight. But you would all agree with me that in our age, that is almost impossible. Everything seems to be refined and processed in some way. Still, going back to the old way of eating, drinking and cleaning is a good goal and one that we should all be striving for. Some may sprint their way to the goal, while others, like me, take a few baby steps here and there. But at least I’m getting there.
This week I finally got around to making my own homemade deodorant. Next week I’ll work on the toothpaste. (Update: Here’s my homemade toothpaste recipe.) I got the recipe for this homemade deodorant from wellnessmama.com, one of the health blogs I follow and love. However, I tweaked the original recipe a bit as it was too runny in our tropical climate. Funny how a Filipina who has lived all her life around coconuts (me) would learn how to make homemade deodorant made of coconut oil from an American mom (who probably has not seen a coconut tree yet). Go figure.
You probably have read (or probably didn’t) my post on my potassium alum stick—that it’s something I prefer over those commercial anti-perspirants/deodorants which have been associated with a host of illnesses like breast cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. I am updating that post to include a confession that I am, from now on, no longer using Potassium alum or tawas as deodorant. The reason is partly because I still have doubts about it, but mostly because I have now found a far, far better alternative to it in the form of this healthy and homemade deodorant made of virgin coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch.
It is very important that we use toiletries that are safe, and what ingredients could be safer than those which we can eat? Here is how I made my all-natural homemade deodorant.
- 1 part virgin coconut oil
- 1 ½ parts cornstarch
- 1 ½ parts baking soda
- In a small mixing bowl, dump in the cornstarch and baking soda. Take note that I used “part” instead of a specific measurement. This means that you can use anything as long as you keep to the proportion—the part could mean a spoon, cup or liter.
- Mix together the cornstarch and baking soda and then make a well in the midst, just like in baking. Pour the virgin coconut oil into the well and start stirring, preferably in one direction, until the mixture is lump-free.
The homemade deodorant recipe over there at wellnessmama.com does not have the same proportion as mine. I tried the original recipe but it was too runny as it had a greater proportion of VCO. I think maybe because VCO solidifies at American room temperature, that proportion would work just fine there. Here in the tropics, my recipe is just perfect. I think. (wink)
I have been using my homemade deodorant for three days now and here are my personal observations:
- The smell: smells faintly of fresh coconuts but becomes odorless when applied.
- The texture: a little oily but if you use just a pea-sized amount for each underarm, it won’t be a bother. Baking soda and cornstarch take care of the oiliness of VCO.
- Effectiveness: I have found that it REALLY keeps BO away for up to 24 hours. My husband and teenage daughter can back that up. It is also as good as commercial anti-perspirants in controlling sweating. I do a lot of household chores and gardening and I appreciate its mild anti-perspirant activity on top of its deodorant powers.
- Bonus: It doesn’t leave any stains on clothes.
- One problem: Application may be a bit messy as you need to scoop with your finger a pea-sized amount and apply on your underarms. It would be best to place your deodorant in the bathroom so you could apply it just after shower and then you can just wash your hands afterwards.
- Another problem: A layer of oil forms at the top when left standing for a day. My solution to that is to simply leave in the container a small wooden spoon or stiff plastic stirrer which you can use to stir it up before using.
- Frugal points: It is cheaper than commercial deodorants. I probably spent just 10 pesos or a quarter of a dollar for this volume which would probably last us for three months.