Homemade cosmetic recipes: How to make your own deodorant
An easy to follow guide to making safe and effective deodorant at home, with no harsh chemicals. Includes several recipes.
Today, as people are becoming more concerned with their own health and with the environment, many people are choosing to use homemade or natural products in their homes. These products range from household cleaning to toiletries to cosmetics. But many people who might use these products choose not to because they fear the products are either too expensive to buy, or too expensive and/or difficult to make. A toiletry product that is often difficult to find a replacement for is deodorant. It is a necessary item that most people never do without (and should never do without!). Therefore, many people are afraid to try something that isn’t mainstream. However, it is surprisingly simple to make a natural, safe, effective deodorant at home.
The first thing you need to realize is that fresh sweat doesn’t have any odor. It is only after a few hours that the bacteria begin to break down, creating a bad odor. Therefore, an actual antiperspirant isn’t necessary. You simply need something to either prevent the bacteria from breaking down, or to neutralize the odor once it begins to decompose.
The easiest homemade deodorant (though you really don’t make anything) is plain baking soda. Simply sprinkle some baking soda onto a damp cloth and pat it on your underarms. Do not rub – baking soda is abrasive and will cause a pain almost like rug burn (I speak from experience!) If you prefer a liquid, you can rub rubbing alcohol onto your armpits. The smell will dissipate as the alcohol dries. These are the very easiest and least expensive natural deodorants. From there, they gain ingredients and expense.
Baking soda remains an ingredient in other deodorants as well. You can mix baking soda and cornstarch (about ½ cup each) and add a few drops of essential oil. Lavender is very nice. Store this in a lidded jar, and apply as you would the plain baking soda. You need to be careful, though, when using essential oils. Never apply them undiluted. There are several that should not be used during pregnancy, and others that should not be used by people with certain medical conditions (including common conditions such as high blood pressure). You should research safety restrictions before using any essential oil. But, rest assured, there will likely be some nice essential oils you will be able to use.
You can also make liquid deodorant, which is sprayed on. These contain less common ingredients, but they are still easily found in many health food or aromatherapy stores. They can also be ordered from one of the many websites advertising such products. A basic recipe follows:
- 2 tsp zinc oxide powder
- 2/3 c. witch hazel extract
- 2 Tbs aloe vera juice
- 30-40 drops essential oil (you can use just one, or mix them)
- Mix and pour into a spray bottle
Another simple recipe:
- 4 tsp alum
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 8 oz rubbing alcohol
- Mix; pour in a spray bottle, and spray all over your body or just on your armpits
The next recipe is a solid that you rub on with your fingers. You need to be careful when making this one, because it calls for heating essential oils and beeswax, both of which can burn you.
- 3 Tbs almond oil
- 3 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops rosemary oil
- 3 drops lemongrass oil
- 1 Tbs beeswax
Heat the beeswax and the almond oil on low heat. Stir well to mix thoroughly. As soon as the beeswax is melted, remove from heat and add remaining oils. Pour into a pre-heated jar and let cool. To use, simply scoop a small amount onto your fingers and rub onto armpits.
If you want an actual stick of deodorant, try this next recipe. Be sure to have an empty stick container available to pour it into!
- 1 ½ Tbs beeswax
- ½ Tbs cocoa butter
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
- 15 drops white thyme oil
- 15 drops rosemary oil
- 25 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops castor oil
Melt beeswax in a glass jar standing in hot water (the jar needs to be in hot water, not you!); add cocoa butter. When cocoa butter is melted, add the oils. Stir to mix thoroughly and pour into your container. Leave to cool and set.
If you don’t want to keep your old stick deodorant containers, you can purchase new ones from various wholesalers on the internet. You can purchase jars and spray bottles from them as well. Simply search for cosmetic containers – you will have plenty to choose from!
As you can see, there are many alternatives to buying a commercial deodorant, from very simple to more complex. The ingredients are not as harsh as the chemicals found in commercial products, and therefore are not as likely to cause irritation. But, you should always test the product on a small section of skin before applying to your underarms – just in case you might have an allergic reaction. Another benefit in making your own deodorant, if you choose one with more ingredients, is that you can adjust the scent to suit you. You can use different essential oils that have different benefits, and make a custom deodorant using one of these recipes as your starting point. As with any homemade item, you can experiment until you find just the right combination. And remember, with these recipes you can also save a few (s)cents!