I never thought I'd be writing a hybrid travel and natural deodorant post, but then I never thought I'd be finally travelling to India either, so anything can happen! A few months ago I found the best homemade deodorant recipe, and made a trial tin to see how my husband and I survived using it. The verdict? We love it. After an initial few days of itchiness due to the bi-carb soda, my skin adapted and I found this deodorant lasts far longer than any store bought deodorant I have ever used. I was super happy with the scent, and have been raving about it to everyone I know, so much so that I have given a few tins away to friends who have loved it too.
With six weeks to go until we travel for 8 months, I wanted to use up the butters and oils I have in my fridge, as I can't imagine the housesitter being too happy with a whole shelf of weird jars and various natural cosmetic ingredients. I also didn't want to bring the big tin that we had, as it will be awkward with carry on luggage, and what if it leaks? I had ordered some screw top tins rather than the push on tin that I did have, and was pleased with the size. Still, these things have a tendency to be left behind in hotel rooms or run out half way through a trip.
The solution? A vaccum sealer! I very rarely use it and baulk a little at the use of plastic, but as usual, you gotta weigh up the evils, and I already had half a roll of vaccum bag sitting there ready to go. I made the jars and vaccuum sealed them, and for a trial, placed on outside in the heat (the day was over 30 degrees celsius) and shook it about a bit to see if there was any leakage. Nope. What a win!
I then got over excited. What if I made enough so I could give it away as gifts to my friends in England, who I'll know will love it? Or to people I meet who might be interested, just as little acts of generosity? This way I could use up all the ingredients I had, experiment with some different smells, and also experiment with a no bicarb deodorant for sensitive skin, replacing the bicarb with bentonite clay. Using arrow root, bicarb or bentonite (or even diachotomeous earth) helps absorb moisture, so substituting in various amounts was something I wanted to experiment with. Thus, off to the kitchen I went, making two different versions of the base deodorant. I'll let you know in a month or so which one I like the best. There's nothing like an Australian summer to experiment with deodorant!
Makes 4 - 6 small tins
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup beeswax
1/4 cup shea butter
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup bicarb soda
30 drops essential oil (optional)
The interesting thing about this is that the coconut and shea butter adds a real sweetness to the blend, so the essential oil blend I was using softened somewhat, almost as if I'd added vanilla. I really like the 1/4 cup measurements as it's easy to measure out and easy to remember. Some recipes call for tablespoon measures which I find a little clumsier. If you wanted to experiment with a small amount, I'd recommend simply halving all your ingredients here.
You can also add the oils in the tin whilst the mixture is still liquid, and experiment with different smells in that way.
For this, you simply heat the oils in container in some simmering water on the stove top, then add your dry ingredients so there are no lumps. Allow to cool a little, then add the oils. Allow to cool and walk away so you can get a true gauge of the scent without being overwhelmed.
1/8 (scant) cup coconut oil
1/8 cup mango butter
1/8 cup arrowroot + 1 tsp
1/8 cup bentonite clay + 1 tsp
1/8 cup beeswax
With this one, I upped the dry ingredients a little more and lowered the coconut oil, as mango butter is meant to be softer than shea butter. I also halved the ingredients, as I didn't want to be left with 6 tins of deodorant that didn't work so well!
As far as scents go, this was a bit of an experiment too. I used double infused rose petal coconut oil, because I had some in the fridge that I'd made, and figured patchouli and ylang ylang would go nicely in with that along with a very small amount of rose essential oil (it's a very strong scent). The trick is to mix the oils in a glass dropper bottle first and let sit for a bit, then add to the cooling oils. I quite liked the way this one turned out.