I have been making my own deodorant for a few years now. When I started developing eczema, hives and angry rashes in my second year of Graves, I stopped being able to wear any deodorant on the market…even plain old Dr Mist gave me a rash and rock crystals simply failed to work.I found a few recipes on the inter-webs and combined them to make my own. What did I have to lose? Amazingly, it worked so, so beautifully! Within just a couple weeks, not only did I have no more pit rashes, I was sweating less, and smelling less than I had in over a decade (I was an extraordinarily sweaty teenager… ew, I know!). Obviously, I wanted to share with everyone! But it was also not always easy to take the time to make it, and wished I could have a more portable version. I then discovered Primal Pit Paste, which used a very similar recipe to mine, and came in a convenient tube. I got some for myself and even managed to convince Hubby to try it (not easy, I can tell you). Much to my delight, it’s a great product and we both lived happily and un-stinky for over a year.
This past fall, we both started getting rashes on our underarms that went away as soon as we stopped using the Pit Paste. I figured we’d just reached saturation level on our baking soda tolerance. After a few leaks in our apartment, opposing weight issues for us both, nosebleeds and some distressing lung issues, I now wonder if we were/are reacting to mould in our environment… But that aside, I made a new deodorant formula with no baking soda – did not work in the slightest!
So I made another formula with less baking soda than the original as well as the addition of some herb-infused oils to aid in skin healing and soothing – to work as either a preventative measure or to help combat the rashes – much better result! I have heard that some types of clay can replace the soda, so I am still exploring options and tweaking, but I thought I’d share the recipe for others to try and see what works for them. Let me know if you try it!
Pit smell isn’t caused so much by sweating, but by the bacteria that like making sweaty places their home. I definitely advise using an antifungal/antibacterial essential oil if you can, like tea tree, rosemary, lavender, cedar, etc., as this will greatly diminish the smell from your pits! Baking soda is used to alkalize the pits, making a less hospitable environment for those same bacteria. The addition of honey acts as a preservative while also adding moisture, healing, and good/happy/healthy bacteria (vitamin E is also a great preservative!). Calendula is skin soothing and repairs skin very well by actually helping the skin cells reattach together when torn or cut (think razor burn!).
Sensitive Pit-Healing Herbal Formula (makes just shy 1 c. or 7 oz)
3 Tbsp Calendula-infused coconut oil
3 Tbsp Shea butter (or cocoa butter for a firmer/smoother texture)
2 Tbsp Beeswax
2 Tbsp Arrowroot starch
1-2 Tbsp Baking soda
1 tsp raw honey (optional)
30-40 drops Essential oil ( I used Tea Tree, Lavender and Rosemary)
Melt the oils and wax slowly and gently in a double boiler (or mason jar set in a pot of water on the stove). As they liquefy, stir in the starch and soda until fully combined. Take off the heat and let cool a couple minutes (not too long or it will start to set). Stir in honey if using. Your formula should be cool enough now to add the essential oils (never add to hot mixtures as they will be damaged or will simply diffuse out of your product! In the case of salve-making, experts recommend adding E.O.’s to the container you are using and then pouring the mixture in on top, but this is up to your discretion!). Finally, pour into your jar or deodorant tube and leave to set (or place in fridge to speed this up). When firm and cool, it is ready to use!
Original Formula for Less Sensitive Pits (makes approx 2/3 c. or 5 oz)
3 Tbsp Shea butter
2 Tbsp Cocoa butter
3 Tbsp Arrowroot starch
3 Tbsp Baking soda
20-30 drops Essential oil (I used Tea Tree and Lavender)
This mixture doesn’t always need heating, as the butters are often soft enough to just mix at room temperature. If needed, soften in a double boiler first, but it does not need to be liquid like the beeswax version. Mix everything together, including E.O.’s and scoop into jar or tube (I found this soft enough to work well in a small jar). Voila! Never be stinky!
*Note: deodorants will not stop you from sweating! This takes some getting used to, but I personally found that after switching to natural, homemade deodorant, I went from being the absolute sweatiest person I knew to actually sweating a LOT less. I feel this was probably due in part to having stopped blocking the pores in my pits and allowing my lymphatic system a break from having to detox the aluminum constantly… but that is purely conjecture!