Saturday, October 31, 2015

DIY Natural Deodorant Stick

Homemade deodorant isn't the flashiest thing to blog about, but it was way too good a recipe to keep to myself. Deodorant is something most people use daily, so why not learn how to make it yourself? It's way cheaper than buying fancy natural deodorants at the store and you can tailor it to your liking by using different essential oils.

I've looked at a good number of homemade deodorant recipes but many of them require hard to find ingredients, complicated steps, and make a product that is too soft to hold up in a stick applicator. Some of them even require you to apply an oil base first with your hands and then a powder, which just sounds like too much work when I'm trying to roll out of bed in the morning. So I finally tweaked this recipe to what I wanted and it actually works! I've been using it all week long with great results. Plus, it uses mostly cheap and easy to find ingredients, and is firm enough to apply in a classic deodorant stick applicator.

I suggest reusing an empty deodorant container for this, but you can also buy new ones online. Depending on the size of your container, you might end up with a little extra. I recommend pouring the leftovers into a small jar or tin and keeping it as a travel size deodorant.

Feel free to use more or less essential oil; if I didn't work in a "fragrance free" building I would increase the amount of essential oil because unrefined shea butter has a strong aroma. Some people describe it as nutty but to me it smells like a shoe store. I guess I'd rather have my pits smell a little bit like a Famous Footwear than what would happen if they were left to their own devices... Anyway, aside from the smell, shea butter is really wonderful. It is naturally rich in vitamins A and E and is very moisturizing and healing for you skin. The cornstarch absorbs a little moisture, but this isn't an anti-antiperspirant, so you will still sweat when your body wants you to sweat. And good old fashioned baking soda really keeps BO to a minimum. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Edit 11/12/15: It occurred to me that it is currently Fall and my house is pretty chilly (low 60's). If you live in a warm climate or you're just in the thick of a heat wave, you might want to omit the teaspoon of carrier oil in the recipe to make the final product firmer. Coconut oil melts at a mere 76 degrees F so if your house is warm, you're probably not going to have any luck with this recipe in stick form. Don't let that dissuade you from trying this though, it really works and is so easy to make! Just keep it in a jar and apply it with your hands. It will still work its magic.

Soothing Yet Effective Deodorant

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw shea butter
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon carrier oil (olive, sweet almond, kukui, or macadamia oil)
10 drops lavender essential oil (cedar, lemongrass or rose would be good too)

You'll also need:
1 old plastic deodorant container, cleaned
1 travel size jar or tin

Stir all ingredients except the essential oil together in a bowl. Heat gently over a double boiler or incrementally in a microwave until just melted enough to fully blend into a smooth consistency. Shea butter turns gritty and unpleasant if it's exposed to high temps, so don't let the mixture get too hot. Stir in the essential oil, and pour into a container. Let it sit undisturbed at room temperature overnight to cool and solidify before using.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

3 Ingredient Vegan Body Lotion

This simple recipe makes a creamy yet lightweight all purpose lotion. I'm calling it a body lotion, since it has a lighter consistency than your usual homemade balm or cream but I've been using it as a daily facial moisturizer with excellent results. The floral-infused oil gives it a light scent as well as the soothing benefits of rose. The main ingredient is just water, which makes the lotion wonderfully hydrating and quick to sink into the skin without a lingering greasy film.

The oil and water blends together beautifully (and stays that way) thanks to the power of vegetable based emulsifying wax. I bought a sizable bag that will certainly last me a few years at Mountain Rose Herbs. It comes in a flaked form, which makes it really simple to measure and is quick to melt into your oil blend. You might notice that this recipe is similar to my Kukui Rose Moisturizing Cream, and it is the same general idea. However, I wanted to offer a vegan moisturizer for those of you who abstain from using animal byproducts as well as folks who are sensitive or allergic to beeswax. The emulsifying wax creates a thinner, lighter moisturizer than one with beeswax does so I recommend storing this in a squeezable plastic bottle or a glass bottle with a pump dispenser. I took the classy option and repurposed a plastic squeeze bottle that once contained my favorite Lebanese garlic sauce... well washed of course!
If you don't want to wait around for your rose petal oil to infuse, you can use plain old carrier oils and add a few drops of rose essential oil during the emulsion process. Or you can keep it at truly just 3 ingredients and go fragrance free.

3/4 cup rose petal infused oil*
1 cup distilled water
2 tablespoons vegetable based emulsifying wax

*Use one or more of the following oils to create your own personalized blend: avocado, olive, sweet almond, jojoba, kukui, and/or macadamia nut.

Combine the oil and wax in a double boiler over medium low heat until the wax melts. Meanwhile, pour water in the blender. Put the cap on the blender, but leave the little hole open so that you can pour in the oil with minimal splattering. Turn the blender on high and slowly pour the oil/wax mixture in and continue blending until the lotion turns an opaque white and is uniformly thickened. Using a funnel, pour into a lotion bottle and you're good to go.

Ruby photo bombing my lotion