I have had the worst relationship with deodorant. I've tried just about everything: lady brands, Mitchum, Degree, Old Spice; all of them were either too weak or put nasty stains on my clothes. I figured aluminum was the problem, as the active ingredient in antiperspirant is proven to leave gross marks, but even aluminum-free deodorants ruined my shirts. So I kept coming back to my old standard, Axe (it's fantastic deodorant, don't look at me like that), but my go-to deo didn't seem to do the trick either. After one too many stains, I decided to put internet recipes to the test.
This Mother Nature Network article provides a bunch of natural alternatives to deodorant and I figured their recommendation of a baking soda paste was the cheapest, easiest idea. I mixed baking soda with a tiny bit of water (and I mean tiny), rubbed a liberal amount on my pits (use more than you think you need and don't be afraid if it gets on your clothes-- it'll come right out), and dusted it with a little corn starch for good measure. Like a masochist, I did this all before I put on a nice white shirt and headed out to do heavy lifting. And do you want to know what I discovered after lugging several pounds of salami, celery soda, and sake all around the East Village (don't ask)? Nothing. No stains, no offensive smells, and only a little wetness (the corn starch helps with this part, so don't skip that step). I was sweating just about everywhere but my pits and now I feel required to spread the gospel.
I've been doing this routine for about a week now and it has yet to fail me. I swear to god, you guys, I am a new woman after trying this out. I could not recommend it enough. The formula is obviously scentless, so you won't smell like a field of daisies or a human chocolate bar or whatever the deodorant companies think you want to smell like, but there's always perfume for that. It's also pretty versatile: if mixing a baking soda paste every morning doesn't appeal to you, the MNN article has some great recipes you only have to make once. This baking soda/corn starch/coconut oil blend is really just a solid version of the paste I'm now obsessed with, so god knows I'll be trying it soon.
As someone who has wasted a ton of money on her pits, I cannot stress this enough: try these recipes before you buy another stick of deodorant. Maybe you'll find that you prefer the drugstore stuff, but these homemade options are so cheap (about $2), easy (five seconds to make and apply), and effective (lasts all damn day) that you have no reason not to give them a try.
The best part is that if you like them, you don't have give those weird deodorant companies any more of your money! They're also better for your health and the environment, as the recipes are chemical-free and don't come from a factory (or the destruction of the rainforest-- *cough*, Dove, *cough*). So if homemade deodorant makes me a hippie, then fuck everything I've ever said about hippies. I am a convert, and with the help of stuff in my kitchen, I may never have to buy deodorant again.
Image via Mother Nature Network