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Saturday, October 20, 2012

DIY Deoderant

It's a dark and snowy day here in the mountains, which means it's a perfect time for another DIY personal care recipe!

Deodorant seems to be the first product most people think about when considering going "au naturel" with their personal care routine. Most of these thoughts end up somewhere in the vincinity of an un-shaved armpit, a need to forgo the offending drugstore stick,  and a very "naturel" odour emanating from your person. Needless to say, no one really wants to run that risk.

I have tried several store-bought deodorants with success, my two favourites being Rocky Mountain Soap Company's Liquid Crystal Deodorant, and Weleda's spray-on Sage deodorant. However, it does always make me cringe a little to pay around $10 for a bottle of deoderant (granted, the Rocky Mountain Soap one lasts me for at least a year) so I decided to try making my own.

This recipe is from Gill Deacon's fabulous book "There's Lead in you Lipstick."

Creamy Coconut Deoderant

*1/4 cup baking soda
*1/4 cup cornstarch
*10 - 20 drops lavender oil (can substitute tea tree oil for a less girly scent, but test it on your skin first to make sure you don't get a rash!)
*2 Tbsp coconut oil

Step 1: Mix together to form a stiff paste.
Note: Do this in a microwaveable bowl. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature and doesn't mix well. I found the best way was to measure out the oil as a solid, put it in with your other ingredients, and then nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the oil. When we did this in my eco-care workshop, those who melted the oil first and then measured it out did not get the right consistency in the end - it was all crumbly.
My original attempts with a stainless steel bowl

Step 2: Pack into an old deodorant stick container and apply a thin layer to underarm.
Note: allow the coconut oil to re-solidify before you apply, wait a few hours.

Lacking an old deodorant stick, I re-used a Rocky Mountain Soap body butter container, as well as another empty face cream container I had saved.

Verdict?  AWESOME. This is actually the best natural deodorant I have ever used. It is even more effective than the other two I mentioned above. And it's cheap as chips: $2.52 for the whole batch. The most expensive part of it was the lavender essential oil - $16.49 for a 12ml bottle (for those wondering, 20 drops = 1 ml). Now, this is not the deodorant to wear with your little black dress, it does leave white marks, but this is great for everyday wear and even survived my Friday lunchtime spin-and-muscle-pump class at the gym.

Oh, and a word to the wise: wear an apron when you're doing this. That cornstarch gets EVERYWHERE.

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