Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quest for Natural Deodorant

I've been on a quest that may seem a bit strange to most. For over a year I have been on a quest to find deodorant. My journey began with the simple desire to use a product that was not filled with chemicals, chemicals that have been linked to Alzheimers and breast cancer. I've tried many avenues and suffered from many failed attempts. My first homemade product worked great for a week and then my pits began to itch as a rash developed. I know now that I am sensitive to baking soda - it makes my head "tingly" and makes my arm pits burn.

My next attempts took me to the Au natural aisle at the local food co-op. Kiss My Face ~ patchouli scented worked well, however it was so painful to apply to freshly shaven pits that I had to skip deodorant on shaving day. Tom's Crystal Confidence didn't leave me too confident as it only worked on lazy days, meaning that any sign of perspiration meant a bit of a stink (or in all honesty, VERY stinky). I may be low maintenance but I still don't want to smell bad. I've read numerous accounts of success with apple cider vinegar (mixed with water and applied with a spray bottle), but this didn't work for me either.


Finally! I got the combination right!

I was sure that Lafe's Natural and Organic Spray would work...but it didn't. A month ago I was thrilled when I found a spray deodorant made in the kitchen of a woman who lived under 30 miles from me. Her woman's line is a powder but her men's deodorant  is a spray and smells GREAT....until I wore it for longer than 2 hours. I really, really, really wanted this one to work because the combination of essential oils makes it smell soooo good. I think I'll keep it around for a body spray.

One afternoon last week, on a day that I'd spent the morning canning in a hot kitchen, my daughter walked past me and exclaimed, "EW, MOM! Are you wearing deodorant???" I knew it was time to try something new. That afternoon during nap time, I experimented with my original recipe. I knew I needed to back off on the baking soda. I mixed 3 T. of cornstarch, 1 T. of baking soda and 3 T. of coconut oil. Because of the lack of baking soda, it doesn't harden but is the consistency of a lotion. I've been using this for one successful week. No smell! No rash! My quest has ended. :)

UPDATE: Unfortunately my body REALLY doesn't like baking soda so even my "reduced b.s." deodorant even cause me to rash. During my no poo challenge I had found that baking soda left my head itchy. Most people have great success with baking soda "shampoo" and deodorant. Unfortunately I don't. I have resorted to using Lafes Natural and Organic. Although it doesn't work great, it works good enough. My next experiment is using magnesium to reduce body odor. I'll let you know how that works. Any other suggestions for me to try? 

Also, remember that everyone's body chemistry is a little bit different and will react differently for the deodorants the I listed above. Read labels, avoid parabens and other toxic chemicals........and find what works for you!

Shared on Delicious Obsession's Traditional Tuesdays


  1. Loved this blog, and appreciated the infomation, are a great author !!

  2. Good for you! I broke out from my deodorant/anti-antiperspirant once and tried Tom's of Maine. Smelled great ... for one hour. And then all I smelled was ME. :(

  3. Hi sister also reacted to baking soda in her homemade deodorant. She subbed the non-GMO corn starch for it, and it works great for her now.
    Baking soda neutralizes ph, which messes up the slightly acidic ph of your skin. Most people will react to it if they use it over long stretches of time.

  4. Thanks for the tip Gwen! I will be trying that out. I really want to make my own.

  5. You could also use arrowroot powder (Bob's brand makes some or loose in your local organic food store) and then the cornstarch and coconut oil. And I use a couple drops of tea tree oil- not much because it is strong. That would eliminate the baking soda altogether.