DIY Talc-free Deodorant Powder to Keep You Out of the Pit of Shame
When I was a wee girl, my mother had a mysterious container with a soft pink powder puff. In the burgundy container was a pressed cake of powdered cream-colored deodorant. I remember sneaking into her bedroom and playing with it, rubbing it on my arms and face. It wasn’t a face powder though. And it was probably carcinogenic.
When we moved to British Columbia from Toronto, the powdered deodorant was replaced with a roll-on bottle of sticky liquid that had a commercial. When you used it, it got on your clothes. That’s what those armpit dress shields shielded you from. Sometimes the sticky liquid was sprayed on and hit you with a cold gasp. Even the aerosol had powder in it to make it feel dry, after the initial shocking burst of cold.
I make my own homemade deodorant using a beeswax base, in a roll-up stick applicator. I’ve also made liquid deodorants, with a witch hazel-hydrosol base. The liquid deodorants make you walk around with your elbows above your shoulders for a few minutes, while the pits dry before you can get dressed. The waxy homemade deodorant, while it works great for odor control, and doesn’t stain your clothes, can be a little cold and hard to apply on winter mornings, when the bedroom temperature hovers around 50°F.
I saw a body powder recipe by Angi Schneider of Schneiderpeeps, and the image of my mother’s deodorant powder cake with its pink powder puff flashed into my mind. That’s the homemade deodorant solution I’ve been looking for. A dry powder for odor control, made from organic ingredients and herbs, is easy to apply, won’t stain your clothes, and can be adapted to individual needs.
Body odor isn’t a problem with sweat. It’s a bacterial problem. Sweat is odor-free when it comes out through your pores but as it combines with the bacteria on your skin, it stinks. One way to combat harsh body odor is by transforming the bacteria on the surface of your skin by increasing the beneficial microbes inside your body. A little more kefir, kombucha, yogurt, and sauerkraut is eaten daily can help you smell better in the long term. It can help with digestive problems too, but that’s for another post.
Using antimicrobial herbs can help keep the stink-promoting bacteria off your skin, where it becomes offensive to other people. Because face it, if you are so stinky that you offend your own nose, you’ve already entered the pit of shame. When we only stink a little bit, our own nose doesn’t notice.
Why use homemade deodorant?
Your armpits absorb everything that you put on them. Your lymph nodes reside near your armpits and are one of the main detoxifiers in your body. If they are challenged with toxins from your deodorant they can’t protect you from other toxins in your environment that you are exposed to.
Most commercial deodorants contain toxic chemicals like aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, or talc, plus other questionable ingredients used to increase shelf life, or for aesthetics. You don’t need these ingredients to stay sweet smelling all day.
While there are many “green” deodorants available, that avoid these questionable ingredients, they still come with the plastic packaging that will increase your exposure to endocrine disruptors common in all plastic.
Deodorant is expensive. The average package of “green” deodorant will set you back $13 to $15 and last about a month of daily use. That’s more than $150 a year, just to stay out of the pit of shame.
You can buy all the ingredients you need to make your own “green” homemade deodorant for way less than that.
When you make your own you can change the recipe and the scent according to your mood.
The Detox Reaction
If you are new to the do-it-yourself, clean lifestyle, you might have a buildup of toxins in your body from years of using chemical products in your sensitive parts. Your underarms are especially vulnerable to toxins being so close to your heart and your breasts (or chest.) When you use toxins daily, your liver and skin don’t get a chance to clean them out of your body.
When you make a switch to a clean, toxin-free self-care regime you may find that your body responds with a rash, as it moves the toxins out. If this happens to you, whether you are using a green deodorant for the first time or you are switching to homemade deodorant, simply stop using the deodorant, or switch to plain coconut oil. Usually, after 3 or 4 days, you can resume using the new deodorant without issue.
If the rash persists, you may have a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in the recipe.
Frankincense Deodorant Powder
This will keep you out of the pit of shame.
Yield: 4 ounces or ½ cup
3 tbsp. Tapioca starch
1 tbsp. Zinc oxide
1 tbsp. Sodium Bicarbonate
2 tsp. Kaolin clay or Australian beige clay
1 tsp. Silk powder
1 tsp. Frankincense powder
1 tsp. Myrrh powder
½ tsp. rosehip seed oil
15 drops Frankincense EO
15 drops Cedar Atlas EO
Combine the ingredients in the jar of your blender. A process on medium speed for 1 minute or until the powder has uniform, fine consistency, and is well blended. The rosehip seed oil is a drier, more quickly absorbed oil that won’t leave you feeling greasy or waxy. It helps the powder not become airborne during mixing and blending.
Place in a glass low-profile jar. Use a cloth powder puff to apply to your dry armpits, after showering. Alternatively place in a container with a shaker top, like a spice bottle. Here’s a tutorial to sew your own powder puff from Angi at Schneiderpeeps.
Sprinkle a small amount on your palms and wipe onto your underarms. Or use a powder puff.
You can use it on your feet, too.
This powdered deodorant can also be used as a foot powder. Sprinkle it inside your shoes to control odor.
Safe for older children.
Powdered Deodorant, not your thing?
Try these other two DIY Deodorant recipes:
Making your own personal care products:
This is one of the easiest ways to save money, remove the toxins from your home, and live healthier using herbs and essential oils. I stock an ingredient cupboard with herbal infused oils, and a few staple items for making homemade cleaning products, homemade cosmetics, and homemade personal care products.
Once you have the ingredients at hand, it only takes a few minutes to mix up a fresh batch of what you need. You’ll find that the same ingredients are used over and over again, for different products.
I began my interest in herbs in 1982 when I made my first batch of lavender tallow bar soap. From there I learned to make shampoo bars, toothpaste, and yes, even homemade deodorant. Books have been a major part in helping me learn about herbs and essential oils, allowing me to learn at my pace, in the midst of changing diapers, homeschooling, and coaching my kids through high school and university.
I’d love it if you would join me in the journey of learning about herbs and essential oils so that you can confidently replace the toxic products in your home with healthful, life-giving alternatives, from your own garden and from the earth.
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