I’d like to send a shout out to the blogger who calls herself Scratch Mommy for her recipe, Homemade DIY Deodorant, and a shout out to the unknown forces of the universe that allowed me to come across that blog post at the right moment in time.

I’ve been looking for ways to live a more sustainable life, especially with regards to two areas: Waste and Chemicals.  

I’ve lived with my head in the sand for too long about the chemicals I put in my body. I don’t know if they cause damage and I didn’t want to know! But when I found myself in a sleep-deprived, stressed out state of health emergency after attempting to force my body to wake up earlier for a few months this spring (long story), I started thinking about the delicate ecosystem of my body and paying attention to the potentially toxic effects of everything I put in and on myself.

Same thing with garbage. Most people don’t stop to think where that wrapper goes, or that empty deodorant can. Plastic is usually made from chemicals derived from petroleum, and then it persists for centuries, or longer, in our landfills (or oceans) when we throw it out. So not only are we using up the earth’s nonrenewable fossil fuels to create plastic, we’re polluting the delicate environment with it at an alarming rate.

For several months I have been cooking meals from scratch, which cuts down on both harmful chemicals and plastic packaging. It was time to start making personal products from scratch as well.

The unfortunate thing about starting to make my own personal products is there is a bit of an upfront investment. I had to buy various oils, shea butter, beeswax, etc. I collected a few recipes I’d like to try and looked at which ones shared the most common ingredients. Then I made a shopping list. I tried to keep it to under $100.

Though it’s expensive, it’s more economical in the long run, especially if I make several different kinds of products. Hopefully I like them. It will be a long-running experiment.

Another frustrating note about the products — many of them come in plastic containers as well. Sigh. (We need more stores like this zero-waste market.)

The process of following the recipe and making the deodorant was really easy and fun. I’m not sure my kitchen scale is very accurate, as my deodorant came out quite a bit more goopy than I expected. It was easy to melt it back down and stir in more arrowroot flour, and then it was perfect for the little (plastic, sigh, but reusable) roll-on container I found.

diydeodorantSome things I will do differently next time:

  • I used avocado oil as the carrier oil, since it was what I already had on hand. My avocado oil is very green though, and makes the deodorant pretty green.
  • I later discovered you can find white beeswax pellets, instead of the yellow ones I used. This would probably also help with my greenish hue. I felt concerned the green would come off on lighter colored clothing (luckily I mostly wear darker colors these days.)
  • I’ve been considering adding magnesium oil for added health benefits. Good idea? Bad idea? It didn’t make my shopping list due to price, but maybe next time.

Does it work?

If you read through Scratch Mommy’s post, she gives several warnings about switching to natural deodorant and the required “detox phase” in which you might be super stinky while your body adjusts to the new mix.

I was using an unscented Secret deodorant before switching to this, and had no detox phase whatsoever! I felt like this new deodorant worked just as well as the commercial stuff I used before, and even smelled better because I scented it with vanilla, musk, and chocolate essential oils 🙂

Then I switched soaps.

I was using Yes to Carrots body wash, but I ran out, and all I had left was a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s (which I’m meaning to use to make my own moisturizing body wash.) For whatever reason, as soon as I switched soap, I started noticing my body odor. This was a couple months after switching to the natural deodorant, and I soon ran out. I didn’t have a chance to whip up some more so I switched back to my Secret.

I was just as stinky with the Secret deodorant.

So I think I can say this stuff works just as well as the commercial stuff. Victory! Now to experiment with my soap…