Confession time: I stopped wearing antiperspirant/deodorant several years ago, much to my husband’s dismay. I had read about the possible negative health effects that antiperspirant could have on my body and just felt like it wasn’t worth the risk to wear it anymore.
Not using antiperspirant — the chemicals that prevent the body from sweating — would be fine and dandy except for one issue: I stink.
When I quit wearing antiperspirant, I sought out and tried numerous brands of organic deodorant. None have worked; in fact, they barely mask the smell.
There are some good days when the odor isn’t so bad. But then there are those days that I repulse myself (even within a few hours of showering). It’s been so bad at times that I’ve shortened workouts because I don’t want to offend my fellow gym-goers!
For special occasions (weddings, reunions, etc.), I will wear a popular brand of antiperspirant/deodorant so as not to embarrass myself or my dismayed husband. But even that product doesn’t work well: I still end up smelling myself by the end of the evening.
All these things considered, I had pretty much resigned myself to simply keeping my arms down and praying that nobody stood downwind from me. Then I remembered that baking soda is a known odor absorber, and I decided to try making my own deodorant using that as a base.
I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner. Perhaps I just figured if the name brand deodorants didn’t work well, how could a homemade version possibly work?
The following is a recipe that I found at PassionateHomemaking.com. Amazingly, I happened to have all the ingredients at home so was able to whip it up:
- 6-8 tbs. coconut oil (solid state)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred, but I used cornstarch)
- A few drops of your favorite essential oil (I added a few drops of lavender)
- Combine equal portions of baking soda and arrowroot powder/cornstarch.
- Slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a fork or hand blender until it maintains a firm but pliable texture. It should be about the same texture as commercial deodorant: solid but able to be applied easily. If it is too wet, add more arrowroot powder/cornstarch to thicken.
- Scoop the mixture into your old deodorant dispensers or place in a small container with lid (I used a small mason jar).
- Apply with fingers with each use.
Makes about 1 cup (enough for two people’s regular daily use) and lasts about three months.
I’ll admit: I didn’t think this would work well (my husband was even more skeptical). I mean, come on! There are scientists, chemical engineers, people with PhDs, etc., developing this stuff, and even more folks who make a fortune marketing and selling hygiene products to ward off unwanted smells. How could a homemade recipe with three ingredients work more effectively?
I applied a bit and set off for my own personal test.
The results? This simple, homemade recipe works better than any other product I’ve ever used! I don’t need to worry about offending anyone while doing lat pull downs, walking by someone at the gym, or standing in a group of people!
Plus, it’s passed the ultimate test: A 1.5-hour endurance studio cycle class. I gave myself a quick sniff after completing the ride and there wasn’t a hint of odor. I took a whiff of the T-shirt I had been wearing about an hour after class (we’re talking nose right to arm pit), and even then there was no odor!
I’m truly shocked, and thrilled, to have found such an effective recipe for deodorant. I hope you’ll give it a try. And I hope you’ll be just as happy with it as I’ve been!
Christy Rice is Experience Life‘s circulation coordinator.