This post is about the first step I took towards a zero waste lifestyle. I didn’t come up with this idea myself. No, it was my mom. She does not thrive to live a zero waste lifestyle and when she handed me the recipe (and made it for me), back then I didn’t either. In the meantime, it’s been a succes for over three years.
Personally, I’ve never liked ‘regular’ deodorant in a spray can. It’s a cold feeling in the morning, you need to spray multiple times throughout the day because the smell fades away, the odor mixes with the sweat which is gross, after shaving the deodorant burns, my skin got irritated all the time and spray can deodorant has a lot of harmful substances like aluminium. I’ve even tried rollers and creams but they were messy and have the same side-effects. No, the deodorant everybody was using wasn’t good for me.
My mom knew this and came with the following recipe for a DIY deodorant. You just mix these 4 ingredients with a fork and there you have it:
- 2 spoons of baking soda
- 2 spoons of cornflour
- 2 spoons of odorless coconut oil
- 2 drops of essential oil (any smell of your choice, I use vanilla and mint)
I like the recipe a lot! Of course I still sweat, but there is no smell. I put the deodorant on once in the morning and I’m done. I would recommend to wash the deodorant off in the evening, to avoid skin irritation and to give your skin some rest at night. I’ve never really documented how long a batch lasts me, I would guess 3 months. A few friends of mine have tried the deodorant too (when borrowing clothes on a holiday and I didn’t want the clothes to smell) and they loved it too!
When I dived more and more into a zero waste lifestyle I found out that a lot of people who thrive to live a zero waste lifestyle use this recipe (or a similar one). I suggest you try it and adjust when there’s something you don’t like (maybe less baking soda or something). With this recipe you don’t just create less waste, but it’s also a very simple and lovely product for your body.
The old situation:
– Hundreds (just a guess for a lifetime) of spray cans deodorant end up at landfill.
The new situation:
– I bought the Baking Soda at a local Indonesian shop for €1,75 (454 grams). This is packed in cardboard and I think that is acceptable because it is recyclable and comes from a renewable resource. This also lasts very long since I use 2 spoons for one batch (When I run out of baking soda I will switch to an organic brand because as you can read here, organic is more important than zero waste).
– I bought the cornflour at Albert Heijn (a Dutch supermarket) for €0,61 (250 grams) and this is also packed in cardboard (next time I will go for organic as well) .
– I bought the coconut oil organic already at Albert Heijn for €2,99 (320 ml). This is packed in glass and the lid is made out of aluminium, both 100% recyclable.
– I bought the essential oil at Holland and Barret for €3,09 (10 ml). The jar is made out of glass but unfortunately the lid is made out of black plastic (once I run out of this I will buy organic essential oil with hopefully no plastic lid).
I store the deodorant in a plastic box I still have from a body butter from The Body Shop. Zero waste is not just about buying no plastic, it is also about using what you have and that’s why I use the plastic box to store the deodorant. At first, the investment might seem a lot more than a spray can deodorant, but all the ingredients I mentioned last very long since you only use 2 spoons per batch. This will save you money on the long term. I would never want anything else!