I figured it was time to post an update about this. Turns out that shortly after the last post, I found that my armpits were getting really irritated. I did some more research, and found that this is actually a really common problem with baking soda-based deodorants. Some people are just really sensitive, and I'm one of them.
I became a bit discouraged as I was pretty sure that it was the baking soda that make the stuff so effective. It really did work great. I REALLY didn't want to go back to aluminum-based, chemically deodorants. I decided to try a few "natural" brands, but honestly, not one of them worked. I ended up going back to the chemically stuff, mostly because I didn't want to be stinky. But it bothered me to be putting all that junk under my arms. Last week I made a vow to let my current stick of conventional deodorant be my last.
I thought about the problems I had with my first few attempts, and tried to come up with a recipe that would keep the good stuff, while getting rid of the parts that weren't working. I wanted it to keep me smelling fresh, be less "gloppy" and be non-irritating. Here's the list of ingredients I came up with and why:
- Coconut oil: Not only moisturizing, but also has antibacterial properties.
- Tea tree oil: for fragrance, and for it's antibacterial properties. (you could use any essential oil)
- Corn starch: absorbs moisture. (some people who are sensitive to baking soda may also be sensitive to corn starch. I'm not sure yet if I'm one of those people, but I guess I'll find out!)
- Beeswax: to firm up the mixture, and make it less "gloppy"
|shredded beeswax and coconut|
oil, ready to be melted.
Here's what I did: First, I shredded up about 1-1/2 Tbsp of beeswax, which I put into my beeswax-melting pyrex bowl (yes, I have a designated bowl for melting beeswax, because it doesn't wash out easily) I then added 5 Tbsp of coconut oil. I put this in the microwave on 50% power, stirring often, until it was all melted together. Watch it carefully! Next I whisked in the tea tree oil and the cornstarch, then poured it immediately into a small jar. Let it sit undisturbed for a while, until it firms up.
I've used this for two days now. So far... it's OK. Just OK, not great. After a workout I did feel a little stinky, so it's definitely not nearly as effective as the baking soda stuff. My skin feels great, and I haven't had any irritation, but I didn't with the other stuff in the beginning, either, so I'd say the jury is still out on that. In the end, I'd say that if you want to give this a try, definitely go with the baking soda recipe first. Perhaps you'll be one of the lucky ones who doesn't get irritated pits. I desperately wish I was one of those people, because that stuff works great.
So, for me this is definitely still a project-in-progress. I'm going to try another formulation soon and will post a follow-up to this adventure... meanwhile, if anyone has any hints/tips/stories about natural and/or homemade deodorants, I'd love to hear!