Natural deodorant that works great and is suitable for sensitive skin as well
A little bit of history
The attempts to reduce the body odor are documented since the ancient times. The Egyptians used aromas like cinnamon or citruses and the ancient Romans put their faith in alum. At the end of the 19th century the pioneers of the use of deodorant were actors wearing heavy costumes and standing in the burning lights of the stage. And nowadays, the deodorants are a part of the everyday life of a great part of the human population. (SCHLOSSMAN, Mitchell L. The chemistry and manufacture of cosmetics a BAKI, Gabriella a Kenneth S. ALEXANDER. Introduction to cosmetic formulation and technology).
When it comes to ingredients…
Before I even started making deodorants, I thought a lot about the ingredients to use. I went through a variety of recipes and little by little decided what ingredients I want in my ideal deodorant. There’s plenty of interesting recipes on the internet, however, two things are a setback even in most of the good recipes: first, the ingredients are hard to get where I live and second, one of the ingredients is baking soda. This soda is actually not bad, it absorbs the humidity and the odor and if your skin is ok with it, go ahead and use it (and it’s cheap!). Nevertheless, I wanted to create a recipe that would suite as many people as possible without having to try the skin response to soda.
My biggest motivation to use natural deodorants, it the fact that the usual ones often contain endocrine disruptors which cause breast cancer. If you want to do some reading on this topic, you can start with this article of the WHO.
The next step was to make clear what I wanted from a deodorant. It has to:
- Absorb humidity (not prevent sweating though!)
- Neutralize odors
- Prevent growth of bacteria
All this still taking in account that I wanted to work with natural ingredients and, obviously, not thinking that a deodorant should be a substitute for regular shower;-)
And so I started cooking…
Supplies for the natural deodorant
- 15 g of coconut oil
- 20 g of almond oil
- 25 g of shea butter
- 20 g of beeswax
- 10 g of bentonite clay
- 10 g of zinc oxide
- 0,5 g of vitamine E
- 0,5 g of essential oil tea tree
- 0,5 g of essential oil lavender
- 6 deodorant containers – 15 ml or a corresponding amount of bigger-volume containers
- small whisk
The coconut oil hydrates the skin while the almond oil has a high content of vitamine A and E. The shea butter protects and soothes the skin and the bentonite or Aztec clay prevents yeast from developing and absorbs humidity. Both essential oils are great fighters of bacteria and lavender gives the deodorant a nice scent. If you’re sensitive to these oils, you can use other essential oils or don’t use any at all. Vitamine E helps the skin stay strong and maintain its ability to heal and the zinc oxide is used also in pharmacy for its antibacterial qualities and absorbs the odors. It’s been used as antibacterial component in Europe since 1888 (BUTLER, Hilda. Poucher’s perfumes, cosmetic and soaps)
By the way, did you know that the name shea butter comes from the Central African Bambara word se and another well-known name karité from the Wolof language? (W. G. Goreja: Shea Butter: The Nourishing Properties of Africa’s Best-Kept Natural Beauty Secret)
How to make the soda-free natural deodorant
Place the almond and coconut oil, the shea butter and the beeswax into a bowl. Place this bowl into a saucepan with a few centimeters of water and melt the ingredients in water bath. After its all melted switch off the stove and gradually mix in tje bentonite, zinc oxide, vitamine E and the essential oils. Fill the containers rightaway, the mixture will solidify fast.
I am very happy with how this deodorant works. It has all I wanted in a deodorant and it feels nice on the skin. It’s solid enough and if you prefer it a bit more creamy, add 5 grams of coconut oil and put 5 grams of beeswax less.
I hope you liked the recipe and found it helpful. Be sure to also check my other cosmetics recipes!