Last summer, I decided to make my own deodorant out of a desire to create things for myself that were effective and healthy.
I realized that my skin is my largest organ, so what I put on it matters, for it will be absorbed directly into my body and contribute toward my overall health. Although the link between deodorant and breast cancer is debated, common sense suggested that the chemicals contained in mine, which I couldn't even pronounce, probably weren't contributing to my health. So, I decided to look for a simple solution which used ingredients I trusted.
I tried several recipes. It took most of the summer to find a combination that worked for me. Recipes with baking soda may work wonders for others, but they only gave me a rash. Determined, I eventually found that a combination of shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and various essential oils worked best.
I add the carrier oils to my double boiler and allow them to melt. I never measure the oils. I eyeball equal parts of coconut oil and shea butter, and add probably a tablespoon of olive oil. The olive oil keeps the deodorant from hardening under cold conditions, so I tend to use more when I know I'm going camping.
Once the carrier oils are melted, I add around 30-50 drops of various essential oils. The ones I include vary. If I know I'll be camping, sometimes I'll add in oils to repel bugs. Tea Tree oil and Peppermint oil are among my favorites. Sometimes I'll add a citrus oil, like lemon or orange.
Once my essential oils are added I stir them in and freeze the whole thing for a few minutes until the oils solidify. Wearing an apron, I whip the hardened oils with a hand-held mixer until a creamy consistency is achieved.
Every batch is slightly different. Sometimes, I have to make a first attempt stronger by adding more essential oils or adjust the consistency by adding more carrier oils. However, I rarely need to adjust a batch more than once. Now that I've been making my deodorant for a year now, I rarely need adjust my batch at all.
Each batch I make lasts me 1-2 months, applying once a day. Overall, making my own deodorant has helped me to save plastic from going to the landfill, and made me more aware of the ingredients I'm putting on my skin, which affects my health.