Hot & Sweaty here
It’s summer in Queensland. The temperature is in the high 30’s (100°F) and the humidity is 70%. Urghhh! You know it is summer when the water out of the cold tap comes out hot. It seems that year after year the heat affects me more than the last. Is this because we are constantly bombarded with icy cold airconditioning in our offices and shopping centres? Or am I peri-menopausal? I wonder……
Anyhow, I have a friend who has searched for years in vain to find a good chemical free, additive free deodorant and it dawned on me to try to make one. So began my quest for a good recipe for deodorant. What I learnt is that deodorant and antiperspirant are not one and the same.
Deodorants contain antibacterial ingredients that help reduce the numbers of odour-causing bacteria, and may also contain perfumes that mask the smell. I am actually allergic to synthetic perfumes and steer clear of them anyway.
Antiperspirants will contain aluminium salts, which help reduce sweating by temporarily plugging pores and also by constricting or shrinking the pores due to their astringency. Antiperspirant products don’t completely prevent sweating, and often contain deodorising ingredients as well as antiperspirants to reduce smell.
Aluminium as an additive has had a bad rap and the jury is out as to how bad it is for you. There are several conflicting ideas: see here and here. Commercial deodorants and antiperspirants also contain parabens which are not so good for you either.
Most antiperspirants contain aluminium in the form of aluminium chlorohydrate. Other, less common forms include aluminium zirconium complexes, which are slightly more effective and longer-lasting than aluminium chlorohydrate. However, these are not permitted in aerosol products due to the inhalation risk. Now if it is dangerous to inhale them, why on earth would we want to put them on our skin?!
This easy recipe is not an antiperspirant, it is a deodorant. I believe that the action of suppressing the skin to sweat is a bad thing. Like cholesterol, it is there to do a job! This recipe will deodorise you: that is, reduce odour by working as an anti bacterial as it is the bacteria on your skin that reacts with the sweat that causes the smell in the first place. (Unless you eat ALOT of garlic, then you will sweat garlic!!!) It contains a starch to try and dry you out and an emollient for application. I really enjoyed this experiment and will continue to make my own, it is so easy AND much much less expensive than the commercial ones.
I bought my empty deodorant tubes from Simply Naturals who also have a great supply of ingredients. You can find them here. You could easily pour this mix into some shallow jars and apply it with your fingertips. Otherwise, wait until you have a few empty deodorant tubes and recycle them.70g coconut oil 40g beeswax 45g cacao butter (or shea butter) 30g cornstarch 1 – 2 teas bicarb soda (some find this irritable, but I don’t) 1 Vitamin E capsule (optional) 25 drops of essential oil In your Thermomix, melt the wax and oils for 8 minutes at 60°C on SP 2. Alternatively, heat VERY gently in a small saucepan on the stove, stirring till melted. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Let stand for a few minutes until the thermostat reads 37°C and then pour into your empty tubes or jars. Let set for at least 12 hours.
A few hints:
- Don’t mix on too high a speed in your TM as it will splash up the bowl and harden and consequently, not mix well. You will have to scrape down the sides.
- If you are doing this sans TM, sift your dry ingredients first
- I used a combination of antibacterial essential oils that weren’t too flowery. 9 drops basil, 8 drops cedarwood, 8 drops frankincense (oh well, it IS Christmas!) You could easily use lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, bergamot, vanilla etc. I buy my essential oils here. They have a fantastic range.
- Vitamin E helps work as a preservative. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have it.