Natural homemade stick deodorant – how to and a review on effectiveness
I have been making and uniquely using different natural deodorants for more than a year now. I would like to share my experience with the natural homemade stick deodorant.
It seems that there are basically two types of stick deodorants that can be made at home (as very nicely and in detail described in the blog of Susan):
- a clear stick, with main ingredients being polyols (e.g. propylene glycol or glycerin) and sodium stearate, and
- a non-clear lotion bar type deodorant, based on cocoa butter, cornstarch (or arrowroot) and baking soda.
Here, I an focused on the second type – the lotion bar.
What do we need for a lotion bar type homemade stick deodorant
- cocoa butter – a hard butter, melts on touch, which is exactly what we want from a deodorant stick
- liquid, non-greasy oil – makes the deodorant softer – pure cocoa butter would be too hard. We want a non-greasy oil, like grape seed oil or sweet almond oil, otherwise also the deodorant would be greasy!
- beeswax – used for two reasons – first, it has antibacterial properties, second, keeps together the baking soda, cornstarch and liquid oil
- baking soda – the active ingredient – is an antibacterial and to certain extent reacts with short fatty acids that are responsible for the malodor, and neutralizes them
- cornstarch – gives it a silky touch by making it less greasy, and absorbs sweat
- essential oils – preferably antibacterial and antifungal – often palmrose, tea-tree, lavender…
- fragrance – essential oils of choice or synthetic fragrance – if we want a different fragrance that the one given by essential oils added for their antibacterial properties (I personally do not like the smell of the palmrose EO, but it is according to my experience the one with the best antibacterial/anti-fungal action)
- A preservative is not needed, because there is no water the recipe (water is needed by bacterias and mold to grow)
- The shelf life of this deodorant is therefore determined by the shelf-life of the oils used (this means how fast they go rancid). Soft oils go rancid faster than fats, because of their high content of unsaturated fatty acids. Another factor is the presence of anti-oxidants in the oils, like vitamine E, for example. Oils like cocoa butter or wheat germ oil contain a lot of vitamine E, both having shelf life of at least 2 years.
- If you add an oil that has a short shelf life, consider adding up to 1-2% of vitamin E.
… I was inspired by this source [in french]: http://www.toutfairesoimeme.com/archives/3916):
%, g (oz), ingredient
28.6%, 40g (1.43oz) cocoa butter
14.3%, 20g (0.72oz) beeswax,
28.5%, 40g (1.43oz) baking soda,
14.3%, 20g (0.72oz) cornstarch
14.3%, 20g (0.72oz) grapeseed oil
25 drops of cosmetic fragrance oil Balsam amber
8 drops EO geranium,
3 drops EO palmrose,
3 drops EO true lavender,
1) Melt cocoa butter and beeswax in a double boiler.
(If you melt over direct heat, do not wait the beeswax to melt completely – you risk overheating that will resolve in grainy cocoa butter, which is uncomfortable. Take the mix off the heat when about 70% of the beeswax is melted and let melt the rest by the heat of oils.)
2) Add baking soda and cornstarch, while stirring continuously.
3) Finally, when the solution as less than 50°C (122°F), add the grape-seed oil mixed with essential oils and/or fragrances.
4) Work quickly so that you have time to pour the mass into the deodorant recipient (I recycled one old I had at home).
(If the mass is too stiff already to be poured, you can remelt carefully. Do not heat too much, otherwise the essential oils will evaporate.)
5) Let cool down – you can put in the fridge.
Beware – even after the deodorant cools down, it gains its final consistency/hardness within next 24 hours.
6) After 24 hours – not earlier – check the consistency.
If you feel that
- it is too soft remelt and add more beeswax or cocoa butter
- it is too hard, remelt and add more liquid oils
- if too greasy, you can add a bit more of cornstarch, but be aware that this deodorant will be a bit greasy anyway.
What do I think about it
Well… in the beginning I was very enthusiastic and so of course I omitted some details, like:
- it stained my clothes yellow – of issue when you wear white…
- after few weeks it became very grainy and very hard – not connected to the summer or winter time – I had to rub much more intensively
- the baking soda -main source of graininess – made the intense rubbing very uncomfortable AND provoked red skin rash
- it did not work really well… and I really do not sweat a lot…. at the end of the day I was just
Adding more baking soda won’t help the effectiveness – the rubbing and rash issue – I have made a similar natural deodorant just with shea butter and soft oils as base and i did not like it neither – although the rubbing was very comfortable.
Maybe another combination of essential oils?
I might try the clear stick – polyol based type natural stick deodorant, although it seems that if using glycerine as polyol makes the deodorant sticky.
But I already discovered my preferred natural homemade deodorant… which I simply LOVE, because it is really effective!
What is your experience with a natural homemade stick deodorants?