Recently I admitted to my sister that I had concocted my own deodorant. After avoiding that little confession for several weeks, I finally caved because I was a dying to talk about my amazingly fresh pits. As expected, she totally freaked out.
What is it about venturing into the land of DIY deodorant that instantly puts you in the 'has she gone totally crazy?!' territory? Call me crazy then because this is one of the best homemade secrets I've tried.
Lavender Coconut Deodorant
I've been using the natural stuff for several weeks, and here's what I've noticed:
The first few days your pits will itch like crazy. Apparently this is them getting used to not having the usual chemicals.
The smell is awesome. As a big coconut fan already I love the tropical-y smell combined with my favorite essential oils. I do the sniff test every so often because I'm still paranoid about BO and have yet to smell anything really appalling. By nighttime the smell has usually worn off but nothing is stinky.
Yes, I still sweat on occasion. But it's far less than I expected. I was worried about lots of sweating since natural deodorants don't have antiperspirant, but it has not been an issue at all. And when I do sweat, it's not accompanied by terrible BO.
Coconut Oil Deodorant Recipe
To make your own you'll need:
—¼ cup baking soda
—¼ cup cornstarch (you can also use arrowroot powder)
—3 tablespoons coconut oil
—2 tablespoons shea butter
—Essential oils (I used 2 drops lavender, 2 drops jasmine and 2 drops eucalyptus)
Melt the coconut oil and shea butter together over low heat. Stir in the baking soda, corn starch/arrowroot and essential oils and pour into a small jar with a lid. You'll be amazed at how well this solidifies. I apply it with my fingers but it would be super easy to use as a bar as well.
Apparently after a few months of use the baking soda can mess up your underarm pH - you'll know this has happened if you get the crazy itchiness again. You can speed up the detox process with an arm pit mask or try swabbing with apple cider vinegar before applying the deodorant to correct the pH.
Minty Coconut Toothpaste
Now on to toothpaste! Detoxing my dental routine was an easier switch for me - at least mentally. In practice, though, I've found it much harder to adjust to.
One of the reasons is that I love brushing my teeth (weird, but true). So I brush 3-4 times a day. Usually for a looong time. My OCD brushing habits were the major reason I wanted to switch to something natural. How much of that stuff am I ingesting with all that crazy brushing?
Here's what I've noticed:
It's much harder to brush for long periods of time. The toothpaste gets very liquid-y and doesn't foam like regular toothpastes so you can't keep working it around for more than about 45 seconds. So if you want to brush longer, you'll need to apply the toothpaste again.
It tastes good! Again, I'm a coconut fan so if you can cover up the baking soda, you won't mind the taste at all. And the mint will make your breath nice and fresh.
A nice side benefit is that you'll inevitably get coconut oil on your lips. I used to always have to apply lip balm after brushing my teeth but now my lips are nice and soft at the end of brushing.
Minty Coconut Oil Toothpaste Recipe
—3 tablespoons coconut oil
—3 tablespoons baking soda
—10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
Warm the coconut oil if solid as I think it's easier to mix everything together with the liquid. Stir in the baking soda and essential oil and store in a sealed container. If you still don't like the taste or you're trying to get your kids on board, then adding a bit of stevia really helps.
Have you tried making your own toothpaste or deodorant? How has it gone? A natural shampoo is next on my list - so far I've tried and failed with two recipes. I have a feeling that one will be the hardest change yet!
Coconut Oil and Baking Soda DIY Deodorant Recipe
- Double boiler
- 4-ounce jar with lid
- Combine shea butter and coconut oil in a heat-safe bowl. Heat a couple of inches of water over low heat in a small saucepan. Place the bowl on top to melt the oils.
- Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda, corn starch/arrowroot. Add in essential oils and combine.
- Pour into a small jar and let it sit until completely hardened. Replace lid and keep in a cool, dry spot.
- Apply a small amount to your underarms with your fingers.