Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Duped Project 13/50: The Best Deodorant Ever

Unlucky 13! I've been avoiding you. But now, I have the ultimate dupe to write up (plus weeks of trial to back up my claims). Take that! Kapow!

Nothing ruins a good day like smelly pits. Remember the SURE deodorant commercials where the rocker chick at the once-in-a-lifetime concert can't cheer for her favorite band because she has to keep her arms glued to her sides? Her day was ruined by pit stink. And I'm here to make a confession - I have had a day or two ruined by pit stink as well. I think we all have. Whether real or perceived, who among us is immune from feeling less than daisy-scented? Let down by the deo. After all, they're called pits, not floral valleys.

When I began looking into DIY toiletries, some of them were obviously good ideas: hand soap, moisurizers, etc. Spa fodder. But there's a few products you simply don't want to fail. To me, homemade deodorant sounded more crazy than I could handle. It's one thing to look like a tree-hugger. That's hip. But smell like one? No thanks! Yet, for YEARS I've been hearing bad things about aluminum and other nasties in store-bought deodorants, so when I came across this recipe on Homestead Revival (and I already had all the ingredients from some other DIY toiletries) I decided to give it a go.

Yowsers, I am so glad I did. I have always been picky about deodorant - only a couple would work for me at all. But this simple, cheap, super natural DIY deo takes the cake. I've been using it for a couple months now, and it remains the best performer out of anything I've ever used. I'm talking August-in-South-Texas-at-a-midday-football-game kind of good. Literally. That was actually a scenario in which this deodorant was tested. At the end of the day, my team one, and I smelled amazing. Win-win.

One note: This recipe, along with several others that I looked up, all pointed out that this is not an antiperspirant, but a deodorant. You will perspire, but you will not odor. What? Well you get it. At first that was on the con list for me, but in the end, my thought was: aren't I supposed to sweat? Isn't that a pretty healthy function? If it doesn't smell, who cares?

For the recipe, an awesome tip on storage, why you should probably throw away the stuff you've been using, and more pit(hy) banter, click to jump!

DIY Deodorant
  • 1/4 C. baking soda
  • 1/4 C. cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 5 - 6 T. coconut oil (liquid)
  • Tea Tree Oil (optional but HIGHLY recommended)

1. Combine the dry ingredients (baking soda and cornstarch) in a small bowl, then mix in the coconut oil (Hint: if your oil is still solid, you can just leave it near the stove or in the sun - Coconut oil liquifies at 76 degrees F). Many people call for a mixer. I call for the back of a fork and about 20 seconds of grunt work.

2. Add tea tree oil. The recipe I used said to put in 4-20 drops, and I max it out. I love the scent of tea tree, and I think this is why my deo works so well - tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. If there's no bacteria, there's no smell.

3. Poor liquid into a container of choice and store in a cool, dry place.*

Here's the best part - I found this on the 3rd page of some comments on one recipe and tried it out, and since it worked so well, I'm passing it on. Save your old deodorant container, clean it out, and you can use it to store your homemade version! Here's how:

Upcycling your old Deodorant Container
1. Turn the dial all the way to the top, then pop the "platform" piece out (the flat part that was pushing up the stick of deodorant).

2. Clean all pieces well with hot water and a washcloth.

3. If your platform piece has holes in it, wrap it in aluminum foil and trim off any excess.

4. Screw the platform back on, and turn the dial until it's all the way back down inside the container. Foil users, be warned: the rod in the center will poke through, but no worries. Just help the little guy bust out of his foil prison without ripping the whole piece.

5. Pour liquid deodorant mix up to the rim of the container and carefully put the cap on. No sloshing!

6. Refrigerate until cool and solid. Store at room temp - no need to keep it in the fridge!

This turns your DIY mix into a stick of deodorant just like you're used to. You may want to rub the deodorant in after you apply since it's a bit less sticky than the old stuff, but essentially, once it's in the container, it's the same thing (except cheaper, healthier and more effective).

* One down side that I feel I must warn you about: Unfortunately, this is not on-the-go deo. I'm still using store-bought for the gym, because if it gets above 80 degrees or so (like in your car in the summer), it will melt. And leak. All over your super cute pink make up bag that you love and your supply of q-tips that you just refreshed. Sniffle.

So why do it (beside the fact that you'll smell amazing)? It's unreal how cheap this stuff is, but that's nothing compared with the benefits of avoiding the ingredients in commercial deodorants. For a bit of perspective, here's an analysis of the EXACT deodorant I was using before I made the switch. One word: NEUROTOXICITY. Oh geez.

Hope you've enjoyed! Leave a note if you try it out.

If you think your pits smell great now, and you'd like to see more of the Duped Projects DIY Toiletries, check out:

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