Posted by on February 14, 2011 in cook, knit | 8 comments

Ages and ages ago I bookmarked a post from Angry Chicken about making your own deodorant. Honestly, I had my doubts. I've tried all sorts of natural deodorants before, and when they ultimately didn't work, I went back to my aluminium-laden Dove or Secret. There's nothing worse than sitting at a desk all day and catching a whiff of yourself smelling like you just finished a strenuous hike. Then, a few months ago I found this post, and realized that I had all the ingredients and finally got around to mixing up a batch (the silver tins contain the deodorant and my coconut oil moisterizer). 

image from www.flickr.com
There's good news and bad news, but I'm hopeful that it will all work out in the end. I started using it, and it was amazing! It smelled really nice, lightly scented, but not perfume-y, and I didn't smell at all. Even when I did my usual skip-a-shower Saturday, no B.O.! It worked even better than any storebought deodorant I've used. After about ten days, however, I noticed a little bit of a rash under one arm. I just thought maybe something was chafing, and continued using my new favorite deodorant. Well, the rash started resembling a bad sunburn and then appeared on the other side (sorry if this is TMI! I think we should all be able to discuss our armpit rashes without judgement!). Eventually it even peeled like a sunburn. I stopped using the deodorant and went back to my old tube of Dove [sad face]. 

I really think and hope that it is the grapefruit essential oil that I'm allergic to. I'm going to try again, and just leave that out, and I'll report back on the presence or absence of a rash. I've used coconut oil as my facial moisterizer for several months now, and haven't had any bad reactions at all. A quick Google search didn't reveal any widespread arrowroot or baking soda allergies. So I'm crossing my fingers that it will work without the essential oil. 

Fresh from the (almost) successful deodorant experiment, I started looking around for some other natural products to make. I read all about oil cleansing and whipped up a quick batch (in the blue bottle, above). My skin tends to be a little drier in the winter, so I did a 10% Castor Oil/90% Sunflower Oil combination, and added a couple drops of lavendar oil for scent. I've only used it a couple times, but it does make my skin feel lovely and soft, and I haven't had any breaking out at all. I'd like to find something I can make and keep in the shower for every day use, but so far, most of the ideas I've seen involve ingredients that are better stored in the refrigerator. I don't want to have to remember to get it out every time I take a shower. 

image from www.flickr.com
Then of course, I got super ambitious, and decided to make some lotion, which is all kinds of awesome. For the water I used a combination of rose water and chamomile tea. For the oils I used a combination of beeswax, sunflower oil, and a little coconut oil. It was magical to make it in my blender, and watch it emulsifying, going from frothy water to creamy and thick lotion.  It smells so good, mostly like honey, but you can smell a little hint of roses and chamomile too. It takes a minute to soak in all the way, but leaves my hands feeling nice and soft and not at all greasy. I'd like to try it with some different combinations of ingredients and might try adding some vitamin E oil next time. Overall, though, I'd call it a success. Has anyone else had good luck making beauty products in the kitchen? 

And just a tiny bit of knitting for today, I finished my Pyroclastic socks:

image from www.flickr.com

I didn't capture the color very well, they're a very deep purple, it's such a pretty shade. It's the same yarn as my Abrazo shawl, but I guess my camera just sees it as lighter and brighter out in the daylight. They were a fun, quick knit, and I'll probably be making them again.

A very long time ago I favorited this photo on flickr and set a goal to have a sock drawer like it someday. I'm keeping these to add to it, since I keep giving socks away. I can't help it, though, I want everyone to have handknit socks to keep their feet nice and warm!

I'm also just about done with my Juneberry shawl, and after that I will only have one work-in-progress on the needles (although there are a few things hibernating in various bags and drawers), so I better decide what to cast on next! Or maybe pull something out of hibernation. But that doesn't sound as fun. 



  1. You are so ambitious! and inspiring! I want to try out my own potions now. I don’t like a lot of heavily perfumed products that are so popular right now and this seems like a good idea. LOVE the socks!!

  2. I’m so going to try that deodorant. I have the same issue with buying the natural ones and having them not work. I have kept one and use it only on days when I’m less likely to sweat or be around a lot of people. Weird I know. But now I may have the solution. Hope it works out for you without the essential oil.
    Maybe Savanna and Emmy might be interested in making lotion or something when you go to visit them!

  3. I had exactly the same success and then unfortunate reaction to that particular recipe and I was such a sad panda! I too wondered about the essential oils (mine were lavender, orange and ylang ylang) but I also read somewhere, or someone told me, that the cornstarch can cause fungal reactions or infections and that arrowroot powder is better. I need to make up another plain batch, but I’m half reluctant because a large part of its appeal was the lovely smell!

  4. Seriously, give them a try. They only take minutes to make, and are so nice to use! Except for the armpit rash :o) But I'm optimistic that I can make a deodorant that works.

  5. I'll send you what I made since I can't use it any more, I really hope it will work for me without the essential oil, because it was even better than drugstore deodorant. I really couldn't believe how well it worked. 

  6. Oh! I'm so sorry it didn't work for you either, but so glad to know I'm not alone. I know, I'll miss the scent too, but I do like the smell of the coconut oil, so I hope that will be enough. 

  7. I’ve heard that grapefruit oil is a common allergen.
    I use hand sanitizer for deoderant. Honestly, it works really well and I’ve never had an adverse reaction. Sometimes I only have to apply it once a day, but other times every couple hours (in our humid MidAtlantic summers). I’ll never buy deoderant again. I’ve started using Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap under my arms, also–just for a little extra help.

  8. I've been meaning to get some Dr. Bronners soap, I'll have to try that. I'm going to re-make the deodorant this weekend without the grapefruit oil. I really hope that was the problem, because other than the rash, it worked so well. 

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