I feel like the final product of a homemade product is zero waste because it’s in a container that’s reusable and the product doesn’t harm us or the environment. I think the build up to creating the product should also be as zero waste as possible but it’s learning and a work in progress with how products are sourced and the quantities of them.
The ingredients and steps for homemade deodorant are very simple:
- 30ml bicarbonate of soda (purchased in box with paper bag – this varies depending on where you can get your bicarb from – I have seen 1.5kg at Irene Organic Market)
- 30ml cornstarch/ Maizena (purchased in box with plastic bag inside [I EcoBrick it] – not great but cornstarch usually lasts a long while in my home)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (this tub in the pic has since been recycled and I now use the 1.5kg stuff from Irene Organic Market)
- Optional: 10 drops of lemon essential oil (I have added a dash of Tea Tree too) (I haven’t needed to buy new oils yet but will see if the Health Emporium in Edenvale where I buy the oils will fill them up)
Once all ingredients have been combined to your desired consistency – whala you’re done!
I’m honest with you guys – store bought deo’s (not the crystal ones or the organic or health ones that I haven’t tried and probably won’t due to their packagin) haven’t worked well for me – and if they work it’s usually for a few months and then I need to buy something else.
For my wedding and at other stages of my life I went as far as purchasing Perspirex which stops sweat altogether for like a week at a time (goodness knows how bad that was for me).
I’m a sweater and at least I’m now in my 30’s and can confidently own the fact.
There is also a lot of hype about the stuff in the products we buy from the store and how they could cause cancers; they’re just bad for our bodies and complicated to dispose of once you’re done with it.
Hence my desire to make my own and find something that works.
During the first month of using my own deo I had to ask my friends to please tell me honestly when I stank.
I would apply my deo in the morning and need to reapply about midday. Honestly, I assume that my body was detoxing from the store bought stuff, I wasn’t smelling pleasant at all – quite pungent in fact.
I made an order of natural soaps from Nourish Soaps based in Knysna in November; her products are plastic free, packaging free and have a very limited number of ingredients all of which you can pronounce.
So I’ve been using all natural soaps for hair, body and face coupled with my homemade deo.
December rolls around and it’s really heating up over here! AND I want to give up on my deo mixture – I start looking around for other recipes (even found a spray recipe). But all of a sudden things changed.
My pungent smells changed to more earthy (I have no other way to describe it) and then got subtler and subtler.
Until one day I forgot to put any deo on and I didn’t even smell that day!
I have since made a second batch of my deo, it’s a little creamier because I used a bit more coconut oil (and keeps melting in the heat), I want to add a few more drops of lemon oil but I really love it and I won’t use anything else now.
So I’d encourage anyone who decides to give this a try to push through and give it 2 or 3 months and see how your body adapts to it. Note also your diet and the soaps you’re using and your bath/ shower routines as this could all affect your smell.