I’d been playing around with eco deodorant for years, and in 2016 stopped using it altogether. Which was fine. Until a combination of a heat wave and stressful time led to sweating much more than usual and needing a little help. (Who knew the scent of sweat changes when we’re stressed?) Or as my dear friend Nic put it: “Ren, I love you, but you stink.” Good job I love her just as much.
So began playing around with various recipes and learning how to make deodorant. Since then I’ve perfected my winning deo formula, which genuinely works, which I’ll share today. As well as my mouthwash and dry shampoo.
Home made toiletries are super easy to make, cost effective and as close to zero waste as you’re ever going to get
We are going to be using the same ingredients for all three recipes. I’m including affiliated Amazon links below, which means if you order anything with my links, I’ll receive a small commission. These are ingredients I regularly use, but other brands will work just fine.
Coconut oil is widely known for withstanding high cooking temperatures and being an all round baking superstar. This healthy fat is easy to digest, boosts the immune system and helps to reduce inflammation. It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Which makes it perfect for DIY toiletries.
Bicarbonate of Soda has been used for centuries as a deodoriser and is almost always found in DIY toiletries and household cleaners. Another powerful anti-fungal and antibacterial natural resource. Some people take bicarb as a digestive aid, to boost kidney health and even to help clear UTIs.
Sea or rock salt. Salt still gets a bad rap, because highly processed table salt (like highly processed anything) is damaging to the body. Not all salt is created equal, though. Pure sea or rock salt contains trace minerals and electrolytes, which we need for good health. After a tooth extraction last month, the dentist advised to rinse my mouth with a basic salt water solution for the next 24 hours and avoid everything else, which says a lot.
Essential oils. I’m a huge fan of burning oils in a diffuser, to create a calm environment. Each of them have a unique purpose, plus – according to my husband – they make the house smell like a yoga studio. Although I have collected many oils in the last couple of years, my favourites are: lavender, ylang ylang, bergamot, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus. I’m not an essential oils salesperson, but I like Tisserand because they are organic, ethically harvested and decently priced.
Arrowroot. When making my own products, I run with rule that I’d never put anything on my body I wouldn’t eat. Most deodorants, etc, will need a form of starch to thicken them up. I use arrowroot, which is a resistant starch, paleo and allergen free.
How to make deodorant
Ingredients for a small batch (as per video above)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp arrowroot
(optional) 2 drops of lavender for calm and scent
2 drops of tea tree for antibacterial effect
– put the bicarb and arrowroot into your pot
– add the coconut oil, stir until it’s totally combined
– add your essential oils if using. If you are very sensitive under your arms, it’s best to either leave out the oils or only add one drop of each. I’ve gone overboard in the past and it caused irritation, so be aware that too much of a good thing isn’t so good in this instance
– apply under the armpits with your finger tips
How to make mouthwash
Ingredients for a 1L bottle of home made mouthwash
500ml freshly boiled water
500ml cold, filtered water
heaped tbsp salt
15 drops peppermint
10 drops tea tree
5 drops eucalyptus
– put the salt into a jug or bowl and pour over the boiling water, stir to dissolve
– add your essential oils, give it a good stir
– decant into a glass bottle with a funnel and top up with the cold water
How to make dry shampoo
Ingredients for making dry shampoo for light coloured hair: arrowroot and optional essential oils. For dark coloured hair: arrowroot, cocoa powder and optional essential oils. Dry shampoo could not be more simple to knock up! You could make a batch and keep it in a small tub by using these ingredients x5, or you could make it fresh as and when you need it.
– put a tbsp of arrowroot onto the palm of your hand
– mix in a teaspoon of cocoa powder if you have dark coloured hair (leave out if you have light coloured hair)
– rub this into your roots
– add a drop or two of tea tree or other fragrant oils if you would like a scent, but don’t go overboard otherwise you might irritate your scalp