What do chickens that cross the road and stinky armpits have in common? They’re both illegal, of course! Not, everywhere, but in Quitman and San Luis Obispo Counties, respectively. (source) And it’s not just armpits – offensive body odor of any kind is outlawed in San Luis Obispo County libraries. Yes, libraries.
Some things though are perfectly legal, though, like putting questionable chemicals in personal care products without always disclosing them. (source) In a previous post I shared five ingredients to look out for in deodorant – including one that has already been banned in one state – along with alternatives like this man-stink killer deodorant recipe, sensitive skin recipe and my fave pre-made deodorant.
However, several of you have asked about how to make deodorant that doesn’t need to be applied with your fingertips, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes! Instead of baking soda, this solid deodorant recipe relies on kaolin clay and magnesium to keep you smelling fresh. If you have sensitive skin – or even if you don’t – I hope you love it as much as I do!
About The Ingredients
Rich in skin soothing vitamin E, raw shea butter is a non-oily moisturizer that absorbs quickly when applied – super important if you are getting dressed in a hurry!
Known formally as Theobroma cacao (Food of the Gods), cocoa butter is rich in Vitamin E and minerals such as manganese, calcium, iron and zinc. It improves the “glide” of your solid deodorant while nourishing skin.
Kaolin Clay, Bentonite Clay or Diatomaceous Earth
Each of these compounds help neutralize odor. They’re much more gentle than baking soda, which some people find irritating.
In addition to blocking odor, magnesium is an essential co-factor for over 300 enzyme driven reactions in the human body. When applied alone it can sting a little, which is why I prefer to incorporate it in this formula.
Provides a barrier of protection while still allowing skin to breathe. Also, it’s what keeps the deodorant bar solid.
Essential Oils (Optional)
A couple of my favorite blends are:
- 20 drops tea tree essential oil and 16 drops orange essential oil
- 20 drops tea tree essential oil and 16 drops lavender essential oil
However if your skin is very sensitive, you might want to skip essential oils or stick to ones that are considered very soothing, like lavender.
A Note On Transitioning To Natural Deodorant
If you’re transitioning to natural deodorant for the first time, you may find that it doesn’t work for you right away. As I wrote in this article,
“Though our primary detox pathways are through the liver, kidneys, colon and lymph system, our skin and lungs also assist with detoxification. It makes sense that if we’ve been applying a deodorant containing parabens, aluminum, propylene glycol, and/or triclosan, our body may begin working to eliminate it once we switch. If you think this might be your issue, my friend Katie of Wellness Mama has a great article on how to detox your armpits.”
Homemade Solid Deodorant For Sensitive Skin (Without Baking Soda)
- 2 tablespoons grated, packed beeswax (.5 ounces by weight) – where to buy beeswax
- 2 level tablespoons shea butter (1 ounces by weight) – where to buy shea butter
- 2 rounded tablespoons grated cocoa butter (.4 ounces by weight) – where to buy cocoa butter
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon magnesium chloride powder (I ground magnesium flakes in my coffee grinder)
- 1 tablespoon kaolin clay (food grade diatomaceous earth or bentonite clay will also work) – where to buy kaolin clay
- 24 – 36 drops essential oil (optional)
- Deodorant tube, either recycled or new – where to find deodorant tubes online
- Double boiler (or a stainless steel bowl set in side a pot of boiling water)
- Coffee grinder (optional)
1. Melt all ingredients (except essential oils) in a double boiler over low heat.
2. Allow the mixture to cool for one to two minutes – it will separate if it is added to the deodorant tube while still very hot. While it is still liquid, add essential oils and pour into deodorant tube. Store out of direct sunlight.
Apply a thin layer – not much is needed!
After you’ve poured your deodorant in your container, place your pot back in the double boiler so that the thin layer of remaining deodorant heats up. When it’s hot, wipe it out with old newspaper or paper towels.