This is recipe makes a deodorant that won't clog your pores, suffocate your skin or prevent you from sweating, plus it doesn't contain chemicals that are associated with cancer or other diseases.
That's right, this deodorant WON'T stop you from sweating. But it also won't leave your armpits feeling dry, rubbery and painful the way antiperspirants containing zinc and aluminium might.
This recipe was inspired by the only "natural" deodorant that I've ever found to be effective at minimising body odour. The main ingredients are simple so why not make it yourself!
I now re-use the roll-on bottle it came in. You can re-use any roll-on bottle, just make sure the roll-on part is actually separate and can be removed and put back on.
See my guide "How to clean & disinfect without harsh detergents" for tips on cleaning your reusable bottle with castile soap and vinegar.
This is witch hazel, a natural astringent. It works great as a toner after cleansing your face. If your supermarket stocks it, you'll find it in the facial care aisle.
We're adding it because it helps to close pores. Also, because it's distilled in alcohol, it will enable the deodorant to dry more quickly when you apply it to your skin.
I don't follow exact measurements... My witch hazel bottle is about 1/3 full, I have peeled off the label and will use this bottle to mix up the deodorant (the bottle holds 240ml).
Here is the guar gum. It's a natural thickener. It usually comes in a packet (I store it in a plastic container for convenience) and you will probably find it in the baking aisle of your supermarket.
You can use Xanthan gum or Guar gum, both do the same job which is to thicken the liquid. Use a funnel to add your ingredients to the bottle. Half a teaspoon of gum is enough.
See how it clumps? It actually turns the liquid into a thick gel, and when you shake it, it thins a little. It will stop the deodorant from trickling all down your sides when you roll it on your skin!
Now we add the sodium bicarbonate. This ingredient will help absorb odour and also help keep you a bit dry. It can sometimes appear white on your underarms so be careful not to use too much.
I added about 10 teaspoons full; that's a lot but it's winter here so my underarms are hidden under layers of clothing ;) Bi-carb soda won't stain your clothes and it's unlikely to irritate your skin.
It will probably get stuck in the funnel though! A long, thin object like this bamboo skewer will help break the clumps.
Now that your first three ingredients are in, let's distribute them.
Put the lid tightly on the bottle and give it a good shake.
Time for the aloe! Pure drinking Aloe Vera from the health foods aisle of the supermarket is ideal. It helps flush impurities and is also great if your skin is a bit sensitive to bi-carb soda.
Fill up your bottle and shake again! (Okay, I'll let you in on a secret: this time I used an aloe vera gel instead of a juice, so my liquid is very clumpy. I don't recommend using a gel!)
The final result is usually much more transparent, but the bi-carb won't dissolve fully and you'll be able to see it suspended in the liquid. Just shake it a lot the distribute everything evenly!
After a few days, the liquid might change colour and turn slightly brownish. This is normal, as is a strange smell (you won't be able to smell it once you put it on).
When the ingredients are well distributed, pour it into your roll-on bottle. You can add a drop of essential oil to the small bottle (not the entire mixture). Don't be tempted to add more than 1 drop!
If the deodorant leaves a white mark on your skin, just use a damp cloth or moisturiser to rub it away. Don't worry, it probably won't be visible on your clothing and it definitely won't stain!
If you have never used a natural deodorant, it may take some time to get used to the fact that it doesn't stop you from sweating. It may also take several days for your odours to neutralise...
...because your skin might be clogged up with heavy chemicals. You can help improve this by exfoliating with bi-carb soda in the shower. (Bi-carb soda is wonderful for exfoliating your face too!)
I'm sure this deodorant won't suit everyone but I hope that some of you will get as much benefit from it as I do. I wouldn't dream of using chemical-laden, store-bought deodorant ever again!