A couple years ago I posted a recipe for a homemade deodorant recipe. That recipe has become very popular and I have had many comments from readers saying how much they loved it. But I have also gotten responses from a few people saying that it caused them some irritation. I really did love this recipe because it worked on me, and kept the stink away. The crummy part is that it caused me irritation too. I was pregnant at the time I posted that blog and I figured maybe sensitive pregnancy skin was possibly the reason, but when it still irriated my skin after pregnancy I knew I needed to rework the recipe. In the interim I got insanely busy with a toddler, and becoming a doula, that I never got around to it. I also came across a natural deodorant product that I absolutely loved from Ava Anderson, but at $14 a tube I knew I could come up with something that worked equally as well and cost less! So when I ran out of my last tube of super expensive fancy pants deodorant I knew it was time to go back to the drawing board and finally figure out a recipe that worked but didn’t cause irritation.
So recently when my buddies at SKS Bottle asked if I was working on any new projects I told them I could use some deodorant tubes to try out a new recipe. They sent me samples of every single tube they sell, and there are a lot! They have such an awesome selection. I used three different ones for this project.
So for my new recipe I was looking for a few things…
- A solid deodorant that could be used in a tube.
- Would be able to combat odor but not cause irriation.
- Have some measure of sweat control.
- I wanted it to smell great.
After a few different formulations I finally came up with an amazing recipe that had all of those things! Using some of these super adorable sample size deodorant tubes from SKS I sent out samples to my friends to try. Among the test group was a fightfighter, a marathon runner, a friend who said her stink/sweat was unrivaled, and yours truly (plus some others). Almost everyone was dubious that a natural homemade deodorant would actually work, but we were so pleasantly surprised at how amazing this stuff is!
I am not one of those girls who can accidentally forget deodorant and still smell like flowers. I NEED deodorant. Its not cute if I forget. I’m not the heaviest sweater but I do want to smell good. The scent is a happy and mild blend of spearmint and vanilla that has just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering. It is nice for men or women. The texture is firm enough to hold up in a tube, but soft enough to glide on smoothly. The odor control is fantastic as is the sweat control! I have also noticed I don’t have staining on my clothes when I do sweat. Overall I am SOOO much more happy with this than any other storebought brand I have purchased. Normally by around 7pm my deodorant starts to work reeeeally hard, and I can tell I may need to refresh. But I could wear this stuff for two days without smelling. I honestly couldn’t believe it. And the best part for me… zero irritation. Even when I applied immediately after shaving. I have finally found my miracle deodorant recipe!
Full disclosure: I did have one tester who has very sensitive skin and has struggled with skin irritation in the past with natural deodorant. She did experience irritation with this formulation, and a pesky rash on her underarms. I guess you can’t win em all. If you have this reaction I would recommend leaving out the baking soda completely and adding additional arrow root. (Please let me know if you try this route as I would like to know if it helps!)
A little bit about the ingredients, and how I changed them this time: I have added beeswax to help the mixture set up to a firm consistency. I added arrow root and shea butter to help condition the underarms. I lessened the amount of baking soda considerably, to help reduce irritation.
- ¼ cup beeswax
- 11 tablespoons non-gmo cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons baking soda (any brand will do – all baking soda is aluminum free!)
- 7 tablespoons arrow root powder
- 3 tablespoons non-gmo powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons shea butter
- 10 tablespoons coconut oil
- 8 drops vitamin E oil
- 60-70 drops vanilla essential oil
- 8-10 drops spearmint oil
- 8-10 drops tea tree oil
In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax, shea butter, and all of the oils. You can do this in a large pyrex measuring cup placed in a bowl of boiling hot water. Keep a kettle of hot water on the stove to replace the water as it begins to cool. (You can also microwave it at this point in the process if the wax is taking too long to melt. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. But don’t microwave once you add the dry ingredients, because it can sort of cook it and cause it to get weird.)
In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Once the oils and wax are melted, stir in the powdered ingredients about ¼ cup at a time, using a small wire whisk. Be sure the bowl stays very hot while you’re doing this as the mixture can thicken up and become hard to stir if it cools. You want it to be about the texture of soft toothpaste.
If you’ve used a pyrex cup, then you can now just pour directly from the cup into the tubes. Again, making sure the mixture is very hot so it pours nicely and fluidly. Pour quickly and precisely into the tubes trying not to spill down the sides. (FYI I like to work on a silicon mat for easy cleanup.) Scrape the bowl in between fillings and stir to make sure you don’t have any bits that have hardened. You want the mixture to stay smooth and velvety so it pours nicely. Do not over fill the tubes. After filling each tube, you can gently tap the tube on the counter to work out any air bubbles. Then allow them to set for several hours to cool and harden before using. Do not put them in the fridge as this can cause them to crack.
I made up some nice kraft labels on the computer and printed them out so they would have a polished look. I really love how they turned out! The cardboard tubes are my favorite look, but they do get a little hard to push the deodorant out once you get down to the bottom. I just stick a mascara tube in the bottom to push it up. The white plastic tubes look a little more simple but they work great! Easy to twist up, and easy to apply. They also have some more manly looking tubes if you wanted to make some of these as a gift for a man. I love the assortment of tubes SKS has to choose from! Happy deodorant making friends. Definitely let me know if you try it and how it works for you!