Homemade Deodorant

I should have known that it would come to this; It was only a matter of time. $18.50 for some chemical-free pitt paste is crazy business, especially when I have this huge 13.5 pound bag of baking soda that I bought on accident a few months ago when making bath bombs. I looked around at the ingredients on a variety of natural deodorants and found that most of them are made with basically the same ingredients, with the main difference being whether or not to add beeswax. Of course, the best part of making your own deodorant is deciding what smells you want to add, so you’ll want to experiment with that on your own. Here is the base recipe that I used:

Makes approximately 10 ounces

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup beeswax
Essential Oils
4 3-ounce jars (I used these Weck jars)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix together arrowroot powder and baking soda.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut oil and beeswax until beeswax has been incorporated.

3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir. Add essential oils. As they cool they will continue to thicken, so you will want to work a bit fast so that the mixture can be put in the jars easily.

Just by looking at it, it seems like the right consistency. I am going to give a jar to the neighbor, so we will see if I have her coming back and begging for more (hah!). For this first lot I used sage, bergamot, black pepper, tea tree, and grapefruit essential oils… since that is the combination that is used in the deodorant I currently buy. The only thing I will say about natural deodorant is that it is not an anti-perspirant; you WILL sweat, but it wont stink. This took me a bit to get used to, but now it is just the way that it is and it doesn’t bother me. Some people have issues with rashes with baking soda, so obviously this wouldn’t be the recipe for you. In the future, I look forward to playing with various combinations, pending on what mood i’m in. If you’re not sure what to use, you cant go wrong by going to Whole Foods and finding a premixed blend like NOW essential oils “Cheer up Buttercup” and using that. I’ll update this post in a month or so after I have tried it for awhile. As for now, I call it a win.

Finding The Best Natural Deodorant

Over the last month, I have put my pits (and possibly my coworkers) through the ringer, and I’m not sorry. I have been wanting to make the switch to a natural deodorant for quite some time, but have been holding on to these preconceived ideas about natural deodorant; namely, that it doesn’t work and I am going to smell like a woman named Harmony Moon, with long hairy pits, on tour with Phish, and no shower. Kinda, sorta, not really – but kinda. In truth, I don’t know really what I expected, but I didn’t expect the outcome to be so positive. Because there are so many brands out there, I based my brands on those that had a lot of good reviews already. I have never wore natural deodorant before and I don’t (or didn’t) know any of my friends that used the stuff. So really, I winged it. In order to be fair, I tried each brand for a whole week, regardless if it worked or not. This is what I found:

1. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant (Bergamot + Lime)

Initial Impression: Packaging looks like any other mass market deodorant; however, the company also sells the little glass pots that are much cuter, as long as you don’t mind rubbing your pits (I don’t). I immediately loved the smell, not Pine-soly, but fresh. Happy. The smell lasted throughout the day, and the application was fairly smooth, though the immediate slippery-wet feeling after it is first applied took a bit of getting use to.

Size: 3.25 ounces
Cost: $10.24

Final thoughts: Overall, this deodorant set the bar really high. I bought this deodorant first and naturally defaulted to the stick option, but I think I will try the jar next time after using some of the other jar brands. I didn’t have any issues with sensitivity, though Matt tried it and had a reaction (inferior genes); Schmidt’s does offer sensitive skin formulas as well.  I put the deodorant on in the morning, and reapplied it after my workout, but never smelled bad. I will say, I think the wetness absorption claim is a lie. False. Completely untrue. While working out, I was very aware of the copious amount of liquid coming from my pits, it just smelled… good. I don’t know that I would recommend wearing this if it is really hot out and you were in a silk shirt or something (you dummy), but I would say that holds true for anything without an antiperspirant, natural or otherwise.  I was actually a bit sad to move on after this one, but I can’t wait to try some of their other fragrances.

Overall grade: 9/10

2. Primal Pit Paste (Thyme + Lemongrass)

Initial Impression: Packaging was nice, not good nor bad, but the smell was definitely memorable. While I love lemongrass and thyme, this was much; the stick smelled like it belonged in an overly fragrant candle and not in my pits. It didn’t smell bad necessarily, I just smelled like it needed to be softened. In addition, it kind of feels like a rough cat tongue as its applied.

Size: 2 ounces
Cost: $12.45

Final thoughts: I didn’t love it, but I do think it might be worth trying a different fragrance. If you like the smell, then I would say that it was mostly effective at masking any unpleasant odor, though at the end of the day the lemongrass might have been more of a lemonish weed. I did feel like it was a bit sticky for the first 5-10 minutes of wearing it, but that seemed to go away. I did not have any issues with rash or irritation, just simply that it was rough going on and I was happy when the week was over. Bleh.

Overall grade: 6/10

3. Fat and the Moon

Initial impression: This was my first experience with using a deodorant cream, and it took some getting use to, but I actually like it. I like that I feel like I can massage it in, instead of just rubbing it on the surface of my skin. I think the packaging is cute and I appreciate that the art feels like someone sat and doodled a logo, instead of a more impersonal one. I guess that just makes me feel connected with the maker somehow,  or I could be waaaay too sentimental about this. Whatever. Anyhow, I am not quite sure what the smell is other than I really like it. The jar says bergamot, black pepper, citrus, and sage, but none of those smells hold the overwhelming majority. While the cost was a bit high for only getting 2 ounces, a little really goes a long way.

Size: 2 ounces
Cost: $18.50

Final thoughts: I really-really liked this one, except for the fact that it only mostly works. I actually bought this small travel size pot with the larger one and it has saved my ass more than a few times. If I didn’t reapply this in the late afternoon, I would offend myself by dinner. There were a few moments over the course of the week that I felt a little chewy, but I kept that little pot in my purse and it was no big deal. I think this one would have been my number one, if it hadn’t been for that fact.

Overall grade: 8.5/10

4. Meow Meow Tweet (Tea Tree)

Initial impression:  Love the packaging, hate the name. HATE THE NAME! How can I talk seriously to anyone about a deodorant called Meow Meow Tweet? I have read others review regarding the smell as being “herbal” and “minty” but I will tell you flat out, it smells exactly like paint thinner. The cream goes on smooth and I didn’t notice being more wet or sticky than the others.

Size: 2.4 ounces
Cost: $18.00

Final thoughts: I could not get passed the paint thinner pits. I don’t see how others haven’t made this connection, but it could not be more blatant. On top of that, I felt like the jar wouldn’t last very long. I would be willing to try some of the other fragrances, but wasn’t impressed by this one for the price.

Overall grade: 6/10

 

Naturally Dyed Eggs


A few weeks back I saw a post about dying Easter eggs naturally, and I knew we had to try it. Friday morning we woke up early and headed on a walk through the park to gather various leaves and flowers that we could use to imprint on the eggs. Since this was our first time doing this, we really didn’t have any idea what would work best, so we just gathered a bit of everything.

Easter_Eggs-24
Easter_Eggs-21

Once we got back to the house, I pressed the various leaves and flowers throughout a few pages of a book, thinking it would be easier to put the leave on the egg if they were flat and not bulky (theoretically, it did seem to help).

For our dyes we used yellow onion skins, red cabbage leaves, turmeric, beets, and dried hibiscus flowers.

DYE PREPARATION:

To prepare the dyes we put each food into it’s own pot with a decent amount of water (about six cups), two tablespoons of white vinegar, and a teaspoon of Alum powder (except we did not put Alum in with the pot of onion skins because I read somewhere that it smells like ass if you do). Each of the pots were brought up to a boil and then the heat was lowered to let it simmer for about a half hour. We did not measure out any specific amounts, but we did use a bag of yellow onion skins, a few beets and a whole small red cabbage. In retrospect we only used 2 tablespoons of Turmeric and should have used more; the results weren’t as pretty as some others I have seen. Obviously, the more you use, it is likely the more vibrant the colors will be. Once each of the pots simmered awhile, we removed them from heat until they were cool-ish, and transferred the liquid into gallon ziplock containers. In truth, using large mouth pickle jars or something of the like would be much prettier, but I wasn’t about to go buy more jars for some smelly onion water (and thus, no pictures… So, so, sorry).

EGG PREPARATION

While the dyes were cooling, I went ahead and hardboiled my eggs. I opted to buy both some brown and some white eggs to see if this would make a difference in the final result and I was really glad I did (I was not really glad that i had to buy them though, but alas, by chickens are still on strike). Jerks! With the eggs cooking and the dye cooling, I cut up the legs on a pair of nude nylons into 3-4 inch sections, and knotted one end.

Once the hardboiled eggs were cooled from their ice bath, I pulled out my book of flattened leaves and flowers and placed a few on each egg, wrapping the pantyhose around the leaf, and sealing it closed with the rubberband. Helpful tip: Having the eggs still a little damp seemed to help make the leaves stick to the egg, and thus, easier to wrap the nylon around it without making the leaves move. Of course, I didn’t figure this out until I had dried them all off and was on my second to last one. DAH!

For the last part, I placed each of the eggs into the Ziploc bags over night, trying to have a few white and a few brown eggs in each bag. I’m sure you wouldn’t have to wait so long if you didn’t want to, but I was happy I did.

OUTCOME

Red Beets

Yellow Onion Skins

Hibiscus

Turmeric

Red Cabbage

CONCLUSION
I really loved the depth of the red cabbage. If you rubbed the egg a bit, you ended up with that speckled, marbled effect. I broke the white one in the process, so it is not pictured here, but it turned out a much more vibrant blue, and not as deep as these brown eggs were. I also really loved the way the hibiscus looked on the brown eggs. The hibiscus left a thick coating on the eggs that, when rubbed off, left a pale periwinkle blue color. The beets I thought looked awesome and are such a great burnt red color. I was super irritated that the white egg had to be sent into my stomach after being hardboiled, but I had to make sure the eggs were done, right? I liked the way the yellow onion skins turned out as well, but wasn’t impressed by the Turmeric. I think I would give it another try again though, but I’d increase the amount in the water and see if that makes a difference. Overall, i was really happy with how it all came together and would gladly do it again next year. In comparison to the Paas egg kits, it’s a no-brainer.