Like many men who are married to ‘crunchy’ wives, our spouses consistently present us with different modern dilemmas that we were not aware existed prior to the viewing of the latest viral video. (Insert eye roll here). When my wife started making her own deodorant, I simply filed it as another ‘crunchyism’ and didn’t pay too much attention…
Fast forward six months. It seems she can be quite persuasive. The last personal care product surviving from my previous routine was my deodorant. Every day I was a little more hesitant to use it. (Don’t worry, I did). What started as a whisper, grew into at least an audible, nagging thought; “If I really am slowly poisoning myself with Aluminum (more to come on that), that’s probably not good, and I probably need to resolve it.” So I decided to make my own deodorant.
A quick internet search of ‘homemade stick deodorants’ revealed that most of the recipes out there are fairly universal, and that personal preference and available materials are often the deciding factors. Once I had reviewed some ingredient lists, I realized that we already had a lot of the stuff to make deodorant (did I mention the crunchiness of my wife).
If this is a switch you are really interested in making long-term, I do suggest making a certain upfront investment and purchasing some beeswax pellets, shea butter and arrowroot powder. For about $30 online, I have the base materials to make myself deodorant for years to come.
I had been warned that homemade deodorants can be quite ‘waxy’ and may feel like rubbing a candle across your hair. At the other end of the spectrum is the crumbly chalky stick that falls apart in your pit. I chose to make sure I had plenty of beeswax pellets to help maintain a solid homogeneous product. (see the actual recipe and instructions below)
After I made deodorant, I thought; “Oh no! now I actually have to use it.” I was definitely nervous that this would be a failed experiment. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised. The stick is not slippery smooth like my previous gel based deodorant, but it does apply smoothly. I put in some of my favorite ‘Masculine Essential Oils’ so the scent is very pleasant. The really exciting thing is I find myself needing less and less of it. This deodorant doesn’t work in the sense that a typical anti-perspirant works (blocking sweat ducts with Aluminum Salts).
My Deodorant Recipe
This should make enough for two average-sized deodorant twist-up containers. This isn’t rocket science or a soufflé. I could get really specific with these measurements, but there really isn’t a need to.
¼ cup arrowroot powder
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup. coconut oil
¼ cup. beeswax pellets
¼ cup Shea Butter
About 20-25 drops Essential Oils (Choose some oils that you like the scent of. A lot of guys like woodsy scents. Avoid ‘hot’ oils like cinnamon, peppermint, oregano and others).
I suggest using some type of double boiler setup to avoid the mess of cleaning beeswax out your pots. I used an old jelly jar. Just be careful when using glass in hot environments.
- Melt the coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter over medium heat.
- Add the arrowroot powder and the baking soda and stir to combine. Mixture will be thick, but needs to be a pourable liquid.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in Essential Oils. Make sure your deodorant containers are run all of the way down.
- Pour into containers up to the lip.
- Let them set up for several hours.
Reasons you may be concerned about using commercial anti-perspirants.
- Many contain Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex, which is widely considered carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and generally toxic. When I researched these claims, I was fairly certain that they would be categorically debunked. What I discovered, to my amazement, was that although no agencies we’re willing to correlate Aluminum in anti-perspirants to cancer (imagine those lawsuits), none were willing to say it was safe either.
- Your skin is your largest organ. It absorbs what you put on it, and the chemical contents of that deodorant (or soap or body wash, etc.) ultimately make it through out your body. Not including aluminum, look at the other ingredients in your current deodorant (even if it’s not an “anti-perspirant’) and ask yourself if you want them inside of you. If you’re not convinced, try going to the Skin Deep database, entering the name of the conventional deodorant or anti-perspirant that you use and see what results you get.
- Blocking sweat pores is not a good idea. We were given pores and the ability to sweat for a reason. Our body needs a way to release toxins, as well as to cool itself down when overheated. Using an anti-perspirant to prevent yourself from sweating is messing around with a bodily function that probably shouldn’t be messed with.