When I first started my zero-waste journey, I anticipated that deodorant was going to one of the harder personal care products for me to find an alternative to. I mean , I had finally found what I considered to be the perfect store bought deodorant. It not only lasted all day, but it rolled on smooth while not leaving any marks on my clothing and helped soothe razor burn.
Then, one fateful day I completely and totally ran out of my precious store bought stuff and had to figure out a way to make my own. As it turns out, my homemade deodorant also lasts all day, doesn’t leave any marks on my clothes, and because of the added shea butter it moisturizes my pits which helps with razor burn.
Gotta love when the healthier, zero-waste alternative is just as amazing as the store bought, chemical laden one.
What you will need:
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Shea Butter
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
A double boiler (This can easily be made from a glass/metal bowl and a sauce pan)
Containers to store your deodorant
Step 1: Add Coconut Oil and Shea butter
Add coconut oil and shea butter into the top pan of your double boiler or into a glass/metal bowl.
Full disclosure: I bought my shea butter online and it came wrapped in plastic, even though the outside packaging is brown recyclable paper. I’m not thrilled with the plastic waste, but this shea butter will last me all year. Right now, this is my best option, but I’m hoping in the future I will find a more sustainable, plastic free way to buy shea butter.
Step 2: Melt Coconut Oil and Shea butter Together
Add a couple inches of water to the lower pan of your double boiler and place the upper pan on top. (If you are just using a bowl, add a couple inches of water into a small sauce pan and place your bowl on top.)
Place on low heat until completely melted.
It’s currently pretty hot here so my coconut oil is melted and my shea butter is pliable. It only took me about 5 minutes to melt them together, but if it is cold when you try to do this, the to ingredients may take longer to melt.
Step 3: Take Mixture Off Heat
Once the coconut oil and shea butter are melted together, remove them from heat.
Step 4: Add Baking Soda and Corn Starch
Add your baking soda and cornstarch into your hot oil mixture and mix it together thoroughly.
If you find that you need more odor protection you can add more baking soda and less corn starch. Or, if you find that the baking soda is irritating your skin, you can add more cornstarch and less baking soda. This is the beauty of making your own products; you decide what is in them and how much, so you can always adapt the recipe to work better for your body.
If my mixture is really lumpy, I put it back on the double boiler for a few minutes on low heat. I find that the heat helps break up those lumps, and combines everything quicker.
* If you would like to add any essential oils to your deodorant, now is the time.
Step 5: Pour into Containers
Once your mixture is smooth, carefully pour it into a container of your choice. I saved my old deodorant containers, and I like to refill them. If you are completely plastic free, or you just don’t have any old containers left over , you can use a small muffin tin to mold your deodorant or just keep it in a small mason jar.
Step 6: Cool in the Refrigerator
Once you have poured your mixture into your container, place it into the refrigerator to cool and solidify.
If you want more of a paste that you can apply with your fingers, you can skip this step and put your mixture into a small jar instead and just leave it on your counter.
Step 7: Use Your Deodorant!
Once your deodorant has solidified you can take it out and use it!
The colder your deodorant, the easier it is to get out of the muffin tins, so I usually pop mine into the freezer for a few minutes before I try and take them out. Then, simply wedge a butter knife underneath the deodorant bar and pop it out.
I store my deodorant in the fridge all the time now to keep it solid. It seemed so weird to walk to the kitchen to use deodorant at first, but now I love how refreshing it is. Heat from your body will naturally melt the deodorant as your roll it on, and it makes it easier to control how much you put on.
Good luck making your own deodorant! I would love to hear how it works for everyone!!