Okay, it hasn’t been quite one year, but I’m fast approaching the time when I switched to using homemade deodorant exclusively. After going through all four seasons with this mixture of four simple ingredients, I can safely say that this is the single most effective deodorant I’ve ever used. Though I still sweat when I wear it, it also blocks odors better than any antiperspirant I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a lot.
Let me backtrack. A while ago, I discovered Amy Karol’s deodorant recipe. I finally purchased all of the ingredients and made it last spring. It worked well, but I wasn’t in love. Due to the mixture of the shea butter, cocoa butter, and essential oils, the smell was a bit…odd*, though not strange enough to stop me from using it. The deciding factor that it wasn’t right for me was that it kept leaving white stains in the armpits of my black and charcoal shirts after I’d washed them. Since I wear mostly dark colors, that wasn’t going to fly.
Enter this recipe. It contains four easily purchased ingredients: coconut oil, baking soda, arrowroot starch, and essential oil. One batch lasts me over four months; it doesn’t stain my clothing; and I don’t get any odor during the day. (I do reapply daily after I shower in the morning, as when I wake up, it’s a good idea.)
I have had a few friends try it and say that they’ve found it abrasive and/or irritating, though I’ve not really experienced this. I know that when I had some irritation with Amy Karol’s recipe, it was after I reapplied multiple times in one day, on a day that I’d shaved my armpits. In that instance, I washed my armpits and coated them with baby powder before heading to bed. It may be worth noting that I only shave my armpits about once a week, so my skin may be less sensitive.
In terms of essential oils, I use half grapefruit and half lavender; otherwise, I follow the amounts as written. I tried adding more coconut oil once and it was runny and generally not so great. After I mix the ingredients, I put them in a half-pint mason jar (a quarter-pint jar would probably be sufficient), chill the deodorant in the fridge for a few hours, and then store at room temperature. In the summer, it tends to separate with the heat, so I’ll mix it up again before applying.
If you’ve been curious to try homemade deodorant, there’s no time like the present! If you give it a go, I’d be curious to hear whether it worked for you.
*I used grapefruit and lavender rather than the orange and ylang ylang she recommended, so that may have been a contributing factor.