Guys, I could have sworn I’m not some granola-crunching hippie. Yeah, I like my household cleaners natural (yay vinegar and baking soda!) and I find Birkenstocks to be incredibly comfortable, but I shower regularly, occasionally indulge in McDonald’s and happen to drive a car that’s not so good on gas. So imagine my surprise when I found myself not only making my own deodorant, but loving it so much I was willing to admit it to my even less crunchy friends! Who have I become?!
Ever since I was pregnant with little E, I’ve become more conscious of what I’ve been putting in and on myself and around the house. From worrying about how what I was eating might impact that munchkin’s in utero development to what floor-cleaning chemicals my now-crawling little monkey might be ingesting as she samples the taste of the hardwood, I’ve become uncomfortably aware of just how many chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis. I’m not ready to purge all chemicals from my life, it’s just too difficult and overwhelming. I like my shampoo. But I think making small changes can mitigate the the impact.
Now, to be clear, it would never have crossed my mind to make my own deodorant until I was watching Toronto’s Breakfast Television one morning. One of the guests, Meghan Telpner, was presenting a segment on edible beauty care. With only four ingredients and no cooking required, the recipe was so simple, I thought, hey, I can totally try that. I already had coconut oil and baking soda at home (both of which I rarely use for their intended kitchen purposes. Actually, I’ve only ever put coconut oil ON me, I’ve never actually cooked with it…). All I needed was arrowroot powder and an essential oil for the scent.
After checking a few grocery stores for arrowroot powder and coming up empty, I headed to my local health food store. Bingo! Actually, the most difficult part was choosing an essential oil. I’m fairly turned off by patchouli and as much as I love lavender, I don’t really want to smell it all day. So I went with grapefruit – fresh and delicious!
That night, I mixed my ingredients into a paste and scooped it into a jar (bonus: the health food store also sells these cute little blue jars. Dark glass is recommended to keep the light from messing with your concoction, helping it last longer. And it makes you feel like you’re using some high-end skincare product in a fancy container). I ended up adding extra arrowroot powder as the mixture seemed too runny. That may have just been because the coconut oil was warmed up from my hand mixing but I like the slightly thicker paste that resulted.
And the verdict? AWESOME! I’ve been using this stuff for a few months now and it has stood up as well as any drugstore deodorant (note deodorant, not antiperspirant). I, um, glow quite freely and I have yet to emit any objectionable smells from my armpits. Even in this heat – although I find I have to reapply it if it’s really hot and I’m out a lot. The grapefruit smell doesn’t last long, maybe an hour or so, but the baking soda and arrowroot powder do their job to neutralize any body odour.
A note on application: I’ve just been dipping my finger in the jar and rubbing the deodorant on my armpit like moisturizer. You could probably scoop it into an old deodorant container and apply it that way if you kept it in the fridge. Remember that coconut oil gets pretty liquid-y as the room heats up but in the fridge, it should hold together.
So there you have it. Edible deodorant. Not that I advocate tasting it – for research purposes, I taste-tested it myself and frankly, it is not the most delicious thing to come out of my kitchen.
Recipe (adapted from Meghan Telpner’s “Natural Deodorant Made Easy”)
- 5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
- ¼ cup baking soda
- ⅓ cup arrowroot powder
- 20 drops essential oil for scent
Mix together in a bowl with your hands, making sure to get the lumps out. Scoop into a glass jar and apply as needed.Add to favorites