When I was a young girl I loved the idea of making my own potions and lotions. Now, not so much. I don't have the patience for having little bottles or mixing and blending, and although I adore people who do have such an inclination, and adore well made products and potions, I accept that, as long as I have the choice, I would rather purchase than make.
With one exception.
I now make my own deodorant and it is the best deodorant I have ever used. It started with a tiny container in a winter CSA package from my favorite local farm. I fell in love, asked for more, and eventually decided I simply needed to make my own. It is inexpensive and easy to make. It works, and it can have as little or as much scent as you wish, or none at all.
There are three main ingredients, all of which are staples in my kitchen. I'll admit I often buy organic cornstarch in anonymous little bags, but this time I didn't. I'm not sure it matters.
I simply melt 3 Tablespoons of the coconut oil. Then stir in 3 level Tablespoons each of the Baking Soda and Cornstarch, and add 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil and apricot kernel oil. The original recipe called for Vitamin E oil, and if you can use that it may be recommended, but I can't use Vitamin E oil, unless I got to great pains to be certain it is not derived from wheat germ oil, which makes my skin very dry and uncomfortable. Believe me dry uncomfortable rashes under the arms are not a joy. I am lazy, and it is easier to avoid vitamin E oil than it is do the work to find a safe source.
The recipe I was given calls for 3 Tablespoons of desired scent. I have never used that much. But I have gotten very sensitive to scents as I have aged, so I use less. You might need to adjust the above proportions if you use more. Anyway, I used a tiny bit of bergamot and sandalwood for my scent, and the scent is very subtle, more noticeable in the melted oil mix, than it is once it firms up. The scent issue had caused a lot of trouble for me with commercial deodorant in recent years, and I tried pretty much every major brand and all the natural ones you can find in places like Whole Foods as well. Either they didn't work, they stained my clothes, or, worst of all, I could smell some combination of deodorant and/or chemical scent combined with my own scent that drove me batty.
After you've mixed everything up, you have to let it sit. Depending on the time of year, and the temperature of your house, you may have to let it sit a long time. The first time I made it, I went out and ran errands and it was still runny when I came home despite feeling cool to the touch (yes I stuck my finger in it to test). So I added a bunch more cornstarch and baking soda until the texture seemed right. But the next morning I had something that was more like concrete. I had to melt it and start over. So patience is good. It takes longer to set up than you would think.
I was told that it melts in hot temperatures, and that some people have to refrigerate it in the summer. I must keep my house cool enough that it has not been a problem. I have traveled with my jar of deodorant with few problems, although certain seasons and destinations may be more problematic than others. My mom's guest bathroom is very hot. My deodorant melted and separated and I had to stir it and put in the refrigerator. Refrigerated deodorant was too cold and I had to hack at it with a knife, and then remember to take it out of the refrigerator a little while before taking my shower. So this might not work for everyone.
(yeah, my jar is no longer neat after my trip to Texas)
But even if scent is not your issue, I recommend this stuff. I still love it because it works, because I am not trying to get either underarm or deodorant stains out of my clothes, and because it simply makes me happy. Perhaps I even love it because I made it myself.