Deodorant or Anti-Perspirants?
Interesting fact: did you know that our sweat does not produce a bad smell? It’s the combination of the bacteria present on our skin and the proteins and fats in the sweat! When it comes to purchasing a product that will stop us from smelling funky, there are 2 options. Deodorants and antiperspirants. Deodorants help mask odours, but do not stop the actual sweating. This means also that deodorants don’t block sweat glands, which is what antiperspirants do. In commercial deodorants you can often find these two in combination. The active ingredients that prevents sweating in antiperspirants is aluminium salt. There have been many claims in the past years about aluminium based antiperspirants linked to cancer or Alzimer disease. However, other medical studies argue that aluminium is actually not absorbed by the skin, and therefore the possibility is remote. However, I still strongly believe that what you put on your body is very important. We have the opportunity to choose from nature and prepare zero waste options that do not harm the environment. To me, it’s a no brainer!
Why choosing Natural and Zero Waste
Natural, homemade deodorants will not prevent you from sweating. They will mask any odours naturally, which is what eventually we want to achieve. We all have different body odours and skin types. How do you choose the scent and the type of deodorant that works for you? Even when you started using commercial deodorant, you had to go through some trial and error before finding the one that really worked for you. The same is with home-made deodorant. That’s why I have tested several types of deodorant options, and I have prepared, tested and selected three recipes you can choose and experiment with.
Why not include Baking Soda?
Although I find the most effective is the Baking Soda Peppermint Deodorant, I know many people experience skin irritation with baking soda, due to its high PH (8). So, I have decided to try and test several baking soda free options. In this post, I will talk about one of my favourite recipes.
What’s in this recipe
This recipe is prepared using only 6 simple ingredients: coconut oil, candelilla wax, arrowroot powder, bentonite clay and kaolin clay & an essential oil of your choice. Another bonus: this deodorant will not stain your clothes, especially if you are wearing black. This eventuality could happen when using a baking soda deodorant, due to its white, smooth powder composition.
Coconut oil: great for keeping your skin moisturized especially if you are applying the deodorant after shaving.
Candelilla wax: a vegan wax made from the Candelilla plant, will make your deodorant solid so it can be easily used as a stick or carried with you during your travels.
Bentonite clay: created from volcanic ash, it’s a natural detoxifying agent, and has very strong moisture absorbing properties. It is good on sensitive skin, and it’s often used on baby’s skin on diaper rashes. Bentonite clay also give the deodorant a nice “slip”, perfect to rub on and stick onto your skin.
Kaolin Clay: has natural absorbency properties, but not as strong as the bentonite clay. This gentle clay absorbs skin toxins and impurities without drying the skin. I use it also to balance out the stronger absorption properties of the bentonite clay.
Arrowroot powder: it has great moisture absosbing properties. It’s a thickening agent and has soothing properties which make it ideal to use for a deodorant.
Lemongrass essential oil: a natural dedorant with antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. I chose it instead of tea tree, which I think does not work well in combination with bentonite clay. If you don’t like lemongrass I suggest trying peppermint or lavender.
Many of the above ingredients don’t come package free but they have a very long shelf life. Trust me, they will last you incredibly long. Also, any glass jars or plastic tubs can be reused to mix or store tools in your DIY projects!
You have 2 options to apply this deodorant.
Pour it in a jar and apply it using your fingers
Pop it into a roll on deodorant tube to make it a stick deodorant. This is not possible with a full baking soda deodorant as the texture is too “crumbly”. Another bonus!
Paper compostable roll tubes can be purchased from Etsy, or you can upcycle an old container. For this project I have reused an old make up pads remover round container I had purchased years ago before going zero waste! It’s perfect because it’s shallow and the deodorant is super easy to scoop out. I have also made another batch of this deodorant and poured into a reused Dove deodorant stick container. Because when you pour the hot deodorant the mixture will still be liquid, if you are using a deodorant stick container make sure you roll it all the way down as the inside roll is hollow and you want it to touch the bottom of the deodorant base. I hope it makes sense!!
Clays and Powders
- 1.5 tbsp bentonite clay
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp kaolin clay
- 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp candelilla wax
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- Mix the kaolin clay, bentonite clay and arrow root powder and set aside
- Melt the candelilla wax on a double boiler at very low heat
- Add the coconut oil to the almost-melted candelilla wax and keep stirring (still keeping the heat on)
- Add the clay and powder mixture a little bit at a time to the wax + coconut oil and stir until there are no clumps left
- Turn the heat off and add the essential oil while keep stirring
- Once you have obtained a smooth, lumps free cream pour it in a shallow container or in a empty upcycled plastic roll or in a compostable paper deodorant roll
- Tap the container gently to eliminate any air bubbles and let cool down for at least 1 full hour
- Once fully cool down, it's ready to use! I would recommend let it sit over night and try it on the following morning. Enjoy!
If you don't have any issues with baking soda and want to incorporate this ingredients in this recipe, you can balance out by reducing the amount of kaolin and arrowroot powder by half.
If you don't like lemongrass I suggest trying peppermint or lavender.
Do not use eucalyptus essential oil because it can give you discomfort used in such a sensitive are as your under-arms