A Sad Summer Saga

Remember how much I loved my homemade coconut oil based deodorant? Well, I tempered my praise just slightly by acknowledging that Saint Louis in the winter isn’t much of a proving ground for deodorant, and promised an update in July.

I would now like to apologize to everyone in Saint Louis for making that statement, just in case it in some way contributed to Saint Louis deciding to give us a heat wave that produced temperatures over 100 for almost two weeks in a row, with nary a drop of rain to relieve us. Pretty much all we’ve done outside lately is dash out anytime anyone on our block has a sprinkler on.

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So, how has the deodorant fared? Well, I’ll just come out and say it: not as well as I would have liked.

First of all, we keep our upstairs (where the bedrooms and bathrooms are) rather warm during the day to give the air conditioner a break, and coconut oil melts around 76 degrees or so, which means some of my deodorant melted out of its convenient deodorant container. You could avoid this by keeping it in your fridge, but for some reason the idea of deodorant in my fridge just makes me cringe a little. Or simply use a different container where you always spread the deodorant on with your fingers instead of applying it from the stick.

Second, let’s all be honest: no homemade deodorant is going to act as an¬†antiperspirant. Some of the recipes using cosmetic clay claim to absorb moisture, but you have to wonder how much. For the most part it’s doing great if it keeps you from being smelly, and in that regard I do still like this deodorant, but it’s not going to keep you dry. Since I spent the majority of my adult life using commercial antiperspirants, I might be a little spoiled in that regard: I *like* being dry. Unless I’m purposely engaged in some sort of athletic endeavor, I don’t like being sweaty. So while this particular deodorant has succeeded is keeping me smelling fresh in the summer, it does not keep me feeling fresh (or looking fresh), so anytime we’re headed to church or a dinner or party or anywhere I want to wear something other than a t-shirt, I’m very tempted to break out the old stick of antiperspirant I might have accidentally left in my cupboard. It’s a day-by-day decision.

So there you have it: whether or not this deodorant works for you in the summer likely will depend on how sweaty you are naturally, how hot it is where you happen to be, and how partial you are to wearing a dry shirt.

If anyone has any genius homemade/natural deodorant recipes or suggestions that actually do “absorb moisture” I would love to hear them!

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3 thoughts on “A Sad Summer Saga

  1. I followed your link at the original Crunchy Betty post (and by the way, you’re hilarious!), and I just wanted to say, maybe you should try the original recipe to find out whether the clay works or not, rather than just speculating. Or try the versions with baking soda or cornstarch. I’ve tried homemade deodorant with baking soda and it was too abrasive for me, but my brother has used his recipe (with BS) for years (maybe since men don’t shave, they’re less sensitive). The comments at the original site about using “natural” baking soda, which I’d never heard of, were also interesting.

    Yes, I should try some of these myself…just don’t have time at the moment! =) I’m using a Tom’s “Long-Lasting” Lavender aluminum-free solid which works well 90% of the time…what a shock! I’ve wasted so much money on natural deodorants that don’t work. One thing I heard years ago is that “coffee causes BO,” and strangely, it seems to be true for me. When I don’t drink coffee, I don’t ever notice a problem. But also, strangely, I do drink decaf instant all the time, and don’t have a problem–but when I noticed my Tom’s deodorant apparently letting me down, it was when I’d drunk regular–just a cup or less per day–for 2-3 days. I don’t know if you drink coffee, but I’m throwing that out FWIW.

    • Thanks for the input Diane! The coffee connection is very interesting, although it isn’t an issue for me personally… I don’t drink any caffeine when I’m pregnant. Of course, that does mean I’m pregnant, so between the changing hormones and carrying around a large cantaloupe in my midsection, I’m really surprised the homemade deodorant held up until our temperatures climbed into the triple digits! I do want to try the version with clay, but it’s an ingredient I have to order and for some reason I just haven’t gotten around to it. If I do, I’ll definitely report back!

      • Pregnant with a cantaloupe…you really are funny!! =P Well, you must be right, hormones do all sorts of strange things.

        I was curious about how available or cheap the bentonite is, so I did a quick search. Very interesting stuff at the first link I clicked…
        http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Bentonite-Clay-Powder

        If you don’t feel like ordering, I bet your health food store might have it in stock or would order it for you and you wouldn’t pay shipping.

        Your blog looks great and I’ll have to wander around a bit more. See ya. =)

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