Saturday, February 18, 2012

Natural Gel-Type Deodorant

I'd like to thank Jennifer Taggert, from The Smart Mama for inspiring me to make an all-natural deodorant that works for my family.

This simple video show how easy it can be to make an all natural gel-type deodorant with simple ingredients from your kitchen.

Hi, I'm Melanie from the blog Step into Health and today we're going to make a simple, natural deodorant from products you probably already have at home.  Last month I was reading about natural crystal deodorants and the affects of aluminum in our bodies.  There were some recipes mentioned, but with the amount we travel in the summer nothing had quite peaked my interest enough to make it, as some were dusting baking soda on the armpits and others required the refrigerator.

I liked the idea of a solid deodorant, since it is traditional, but I'm a fan of olive oil over any other and that would mean I probably needed it to be liquid.  That led me to thinking about the gel deodorants, and how I could use that type of container to hold and dispense an all natural deodorant I liked.  I first tried just plain olive oil with baking soda, and while it worked, within an hour of putting it on my underarms had rashes.  Not great.  Baking soda needs to be dissolved in water to have that smooth feel and still be effective, so our first ingredient is... you guessed it!  WATER.  Boiling the water, or using distilled water is a good idea.

I want you to understand: our body makes baking soda naturally as a buffer to acid.  We all know how effective it is at absorbing odors, and it is very cleansing.  In fact, we use baking soda dissolved in water as a quite effective shampoo!  That's why our second ingredient is going to be baking soda!  Just mix some in until the water is cloudy and it is all dissolved.  If you have some extra baking soda fall to the bottom, you used too much!  That could make your deodorant scratchy, and we don't want that.

When experimenting with making salad dressings, I learned a little thickener can go a long way.  My children eat gluten free, so I had some xanathan gum on hand.  There are plenty of other thickeners people use in baking.  If you don't have xanathan gum, try guar gum or other starches like cornstarch or potato starch (see update at bottom before substituting, please!).  We are going to put 1 tablespoon (noting that I rarely measure anything and am using a soup spoon) of xanathan gum into our baking soda water mixture.

Put the lid on your magic bullet cup and blend, or stir with a wire whisk if you like until a thicker product is formed... dare I say, like a gel?  If you would like a little bit of a moisturizing feel to your deodorant, adding a little olive oil to the mixture isn't a bad idea.  Just make sure you add it after the baking soda is dissolved in the water.  You could also add a drop or two of an essential oil you like, either for it's antimicrobial properties, or for the smell.  Lavender does both, so today I'll use a drop of that.

The last step is to pour it into your empty and sanitized gel deodorant container.  Don't forget to un-wind it if you used the container already so there is lots of room.  Put the lid on securely, and you now have an all natural deodorant ready to use that is practical for any time of year.

For the 2 minute version - How to make all 
natural, gel-type deodorant in minutes.

What have you tried that has worked for you?  Does this sound like something easy enough to try for yourself?  What variations are your favorite?  I'd love to hear any comments/suggestions.

UPDATE:  Originally, I suggested that any thickener should work.  If you are trying to use cornstarch (which we don't use, but someone tried) and it is successful, please share the recipe so others can easily benefit.  Otherwise, substituting equal parts cornstarch for xanathan gum has been reported NOT to work.  I also used guar gum in a batch later on (for kicks) and while it was much thicker, it had a scent (stench) I did not appreciate.  I switched back to the xanathan gum, and that is that.

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