My mom died of breast cancer, so I know that I have an increased risk for developing cancer myself. I know the jury is still out on the effect of aluminum in antiperspirant, but I started to think why chance it? If I could come up with something that could keep me marginally dry and non-stinky, I would consider using it. After my last stick of Sure ran out, I tried just using nothing for a week or so. Bad idea! I could smell myself by midday, and this was during the winter! I started looking up recipes for making your own deodorant. It seemed like the common denominators were coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. Easy enough.
Here's how I did it:
Melt 6 T coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
Once it's melted, add 4 T baking soda
Mix it up well.
At this point, I was sort of unsure what to do with it. I decided just to dump it in a little cup and put it in the fridge until it set. After it cooled, I dipped the cup in hot water and popped the cake of deodorant out. I've been keeping it in the fridge wrapped in a washcloth. I opted against keeping it in the bathroom because coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, and when we shower the bathroom regularly exceeds that temperature. I just grab it while I'm making breakfast in the morning, hold the bar of deodorant in the washcloth against my skin for a moment to soften it, and then rub it around like regular antiperspirant.
The verdict? Love it! Ask me again in the heat of summer, because I might change my tune then. But for now, it works great! Keeps me smelling fresh, and even has reduced the amount of overall sweating. Best part: no white marks on dark clothes, and no yellow stains on white clothes!
And that, my friends, is how I went from this:
**Update 4/6/12** After nearly four months of using this homemade deodorant, I started to get a small red rash in the center of each armpit. Not sure if it was one of the ingredients, or just the physical scratching of the baking soda and cornstarch. It got a little uncomfortable, plus it started getting really hot, so I caved and bought some Tom's of Maine deodorant. I think the homemade will be my go-to during the cooler months.