Gross or Good? DIY Deodorant

(My new deodorant)

The first time I saw Lush’s Aromaco, I thought “There’s a way to smell like a hippie.  Pass.” As a neophile, my curiosity beat down my skepticism and I bought a bar last August.

I’m not impressed with using chemicals to stop my body’s natural temperature-regulating process (that is, sweating) and the aluminum in many antiperspirants may or may not have long-term health effects.   In a small way, using a bar with no wrapper reduces the amount of plastic I send out into the environment.

Besides, I like Aromaco.   At the end of the day I almost always smell like a clean version of my sweat; a little like water if anything.  I don’t like the yicky end of the day smell from regular antiperspirants and the buildup it leaves on my clothes.   I never found Aromaco to have any particular scent of its own or to stain my clothing.  I do sweat but it doesn’t stink.  (Though I noticed my antiperspirant stained tops stink when I wear them and sweat.  The rest of the time, nothing.) My husband uses it, too.

 (Shea in the photo, I used the same size of Cocoa Butter)

Six months later, with my bar of Aromaco nearly depleted, I thought to try making my own.  I’m not sure this is especially “green” or even all that “thrifty,” but it’s fun.  I’m pleased with the idea of blending different oils to find my own scent.  I used Miss Smith’s basic recipe and tweaked it:

1.5 T corn starch
4T baking soda
50ml cocoa butter
jasmine and citronella

Melt the butter.  Dump in the dry stuff and mix until smooth.  After it cools a little, drop in some essential oil if desired.

I left out the glycerin because I didn’t have it and used Palmer’s cocoa butter- should I use pure?  Where do I find that?  My reasoning is that the cornstarch and bicarbonate deodorize, the butter acts as a carrier and the glycerin makes it harder.  This deodorant has the consistency of thickened lotion, I just put a little on my fingers and apply.

The scent of jasmine reminds me of my wedding day.  Citronella is naturally anti-bacterial and promoted on the bottle as a deodorant.  I used more citronella than intended, the bottle slipped but I think it smells fine.  In fact, I rather enjoy the combination of chocolate, citrus and jasmine scents and may play with the balance of those elements in the future.  I wore it today with no problems.

If you know me in real life and notice I smell like a porch candle, please let me know.

Update on Oatmeal: A few months ago I brought up daily oatmeal masks as a way to combat the pustules which appear on my face in hot weather.  It works like magic!  I found the best way to use oats is to grind them rather fine and mix with water or lemon juice.  I use yogurt sometimes, it has a revitalizing effect on my skin but is too heavy for daily use.  I can’t believe how well this works for preventing acne, clearing blackheads, and generally refining the texture of my skin.  And cheap.  Missing a day or two doesn’t upset my skin, any longer causes a breakout and I remember why I use the oats in the first place.


  1. I am going to have to try the oatmeal. My skin is temperamental and the only thing keeping it in check is a nightly rub of stinky retinA.This may be too personal, but I sweat A LOT and feel like I HAVE to use anti-perspirant, even though it is chemically. I hate pit sweat so much. Interested to see how your homemade stuff works. -J

  2. I already use a chemical-free deodorant, but I might have to try this some day.I put raw coconut oil on my face at night when it's acting up. It does something against the bad germs and softens the skin, too!

  3. I am going to give the oatmeal mask a whirl. I'm impressed with your deodorant making. Here in hippy country, I doubt the 'porch candle' smell would be detectable over the patchouli oil slick that hangs over the whole town! As a scrub, I use raw sugar mixed in olive oil. It's messy, but nice on the skin.

  4. Like Jacki I, um, perspire heavily and I think I could never rely on a 'natural' alternative to keep me fit to leave the house. Glad you can though and I applaud all efforts at less consumption.For around a year now I have done the 'no shampoo' thing of baking soda and apple cider vinegar for hair washing, which I can recommend as thrifty and effective.

  5. I sweat plenty, too. It's not really an issue when it doesn't smell, at least I don't think so. I live in the tropics with no air-conditioning. I had to get used to sweating at first but it really, really doesn't seem to matter.

  6. I need to try your recipe. I can't go anywhere near Lush stores – the smell is instant headache :-(Of course, due to vegetarian diet, general personal non-sweatyness, and cold climate, deodorant isn't usually an issue for me!

  7. Thanks for the post. I happen to be allergic to almost all deodorants, and had never thought about making my own. I live in Canada, and sometimes if I know I won't be working hard at all I go without deodorant. People compliment me on my perfume when there isn't any. (awkward pause ensues… :-) However, in the summer that isn't an option, so thanks again for posting this. Also thanks especially for mentioning which ingredient is anti-bacterial.

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s