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Deodorant Recipe

I’ve been working on a simple deodorant recipe for a while. There’s lots of them on the web, but it’s difficult to tell which ingredients are the ones that actually stop the smell (versus ingredients that make the bar harder or smoother, etc). I’m pretty settled on the ingredients now, although I may tweak some of them. This recipe makes enough to fill two typical deodorant sticks.

Melt over low heat:

1 ounce coconut oil 92 degree melting point or 1 ounce cocoa butter, by weight You want the hardest butter you can find. Some of the softer butters have lower melting points and in Austin, that can mean your bar is pretty soft in the summertime. The cocoa butter creates a nice bar, but it can stick to your clothes so if you can find the harder coconut oil, give it a try. You can split the types of coconut oil (see next ingredient) more evenly than in this recipe.

3 tablespoons coconut oil 72 degree melting point – this has a low melting point so it will help make the bar easy to apply.

1 tsp kaolin clay – helps everything stick together, absorbs moisture

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder – helps everything stick together, absorbs moisture

.3 ounce beeswax (POINT three ounces NOT 3 ounces) – this helps harden the bar and is antibacterial so can help keep bacteria from growing. It’s very soothing for skin and is protective.

2 tablespoons baking soda – I’ve made these bars with and without, but this is a KEY ingredient in stopping smells.***

2 tablespoons epsom salts – Another key ingredient in making the deodorant effective. Made with and without, in wins.***

1 ounce cetyl alcohol, by weight – this hardens the bar and helps with glide. It’s not a drying alcohol–it’s actually a fatty alcohol/waxy substance that makes the bar harder and helps it glide across skin. It is often used in lotions as as an oil-free moisturizer. It can be derived from palm oil or petroleum products. I found using just beeswax made the bar harder to a point, but it was also “sticky” and tended to clump off the sides of the container. You can leave this out, but if you do, you might want to add additional beeswax to try for a harder bar. I did try more beeswax, but didn’t like the texture much better. In cooler climates the bar might not be as sticky as it is here in Austin. I like the cetyl alcohol in these bars and won’t be leaving it out, but feel free to experiment!

During the cooling stage (below about 90 degrees) add and stir well:
1 or 2 capsules of probiotics – the theory here is that the probiotics will eat up the smelly bacteria that normally grows as you sweat.
Scent of choice. I use a few drops of lemongrass. (Also available at Walmart). The scents may or may not help with the deodorant properties. If you use baking soda and epsom salts you shouldn’t need to worry about covering up any odors!

Some of the powders do not melt so the bar retains a bit of “grit” that you can feel with your fingers. This is perfectly normal and pretty much expected in home made bars.

This deodorant works better than any store brands we’ve ever tried.

Posted: July 19, 2016
Filed in Lotions, Lotions and Potions

Grapeseed Oil

grapeseed-largeI finally bought some grapeseed oil from my local grocery store (the brand was Napa Valley Naturals — I highly recommend it, but it may not be easy to find. Here’s another brand: Mantova Grapeseed Oil 34 Oz).

If your grocery carries it, Grapeseed oil will be in the section with the olive oil along with some other high-end oils such as walnut and sesame. I used the oil in cooking and in some lotion-potions. I loved it in both! For the cooking, it made a very nice replacement for olive oil–it handles the heat better, no scorching. I liked the taste as well.

For the cream, I first tried it just on my skin–wow. It really absorbed well! With a few oils, especially ones that are good for your skin, they can sit on top–either for a long time or soak in so slowly that they can leave too much of a greasy feeling. Olive oil is like that–it’s supposed to be good for your skin, but I never found that it absorbed quickly or cleanly enough. I do like olive oil in soap, but not in lotion. Sesame oil, also good for your skin, has too much fragrance for me. I found the grapeseed oil quick to absorb–perhaps one of the fastest of the oils I’ve tried. It doesn’t seem to have a smell, although after I added it to my favorite base (Suave’s Oatmeal) it did seem to add a subtle clean smell, almost like a fresh soap smell. It made the lotion creamier and I’m really enjoying the way it keeps my skin hydrated!

All in all I think I have three favorite additives: Grapeseed topping the list, wheat germ and rose hip. I also like aloe, but I don’t find that it has quite the miraculous healing properties that I would like. Every person has different skin–and will therefore like different oils. I’m currently using a mix of grapeseed, wheat germ and rose hip for my face. For the eye area, I replace the rose hip and use walnut oil or another nut oil such as macadamia nut oil.

As for food, I’m really looking forward to trying the grapeseed oil in a salad dressing recipe. While it has a mostly neutral taste, it has a lot of subtleties (not to mention it’s good for me!) This one is going to be a keeper.

Here’s a description of the oil from Camden-Grey’s website:

Grapeseed Oil ( Vitis vinifera ) is an ecologically sound product that is made from the seeds of grapes after the wine is pressed. Grapeseed oil is high in vitamin E and is 76% essential fatty acid, linoleic acid (also known as Omega 6). It is low in saturated fat, contains natural chlorophyll and valuable antioxidants (known as proanthocyninidins), and has a good shelf life. Very rich in vitamins, minerals and linoleic acid. It’s a light and penetrating oil for massage. It’s also used in lotions, balms, creams, and soap. The skin absorbs it easily; it has no perceptible odor. Since it is slightly astringent, it tightens and tones the skin. Will not aggravate acne. This is one oil that is nearly impossible to extract through cold pressure due to its very low oil yield.

Posted: May 15, 2009
Filed in Lotions

Green Tea Extracts

Am I the only person in the world who wants to create my own green tea cream??? Probably not. Sure, lots of places sell green tea. Lots of places sell green tea cream. BUT, how many of those places tell you the percentage of green tea extract in the cream? I haven’t found any yet.

Green tea cream is supposed to be very good for the skin. It helps with dryness, redness and inflammation. I already have several creams that help with these symptoms and have had moderate success with most of them. But for a few years I’ve wanted to try a green tea lotion–one that didn’t cost 40 dollars an ounce with no label to tell me just how much green tea I’d be getting.

I’ve finally decided to do a white tea/green tea infusion. This is a method of soaking tea leaves in an oil to impart the properties of the leaves into the oil. I thought about using the crockpot (heat on low for a couple of hours, stirring often, strain with cheesecloth) but decided on the “sun tea” method. It takes longer, but I don’t have a lot of time to monitor the crockpot temperature today. I’m, well, supposed to be editing my manuscript, not concocting tea leaves!!!

So tea leaves and oil are sitting in the sunny window. I used wheat germ oil, even though olive oil is the standard oil of choice. We’ll see how it goes. At the rate I try different creams, I should look 2, not 60. 🙂

Posted: March 3, 2010
Filed in Lotions

Make Your Own Deodorant

As you know, I make my own lotions, soaps and shampoos. I haven’t found a good deodorant recipe yet. The key for the recipe that works for us is: Epsom Salts and baking soda and you’ll be good to go (other ingredients in my bar: beeswax (helps harden the bar), arrowroot, kaolin clay (thickener), coconut oil, and cetyl alcohol–to harden the bar.) Melt everything in a pan. You can use any essential oil, but don’t put it in until the mix is cooling. I prefer grapefruit or lavender/geranium.

Here is a recipe book today that has several recipes!

33 Easy DIY Deodorant Recipes

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon.

Posted: October 25, 2015
Filed in Lotions, Melt and Pour Soap, Mineral Make-up, Shampoo
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Making Lotion from Scratch

I’ve been making my own lotion for a while now. I started by taking store lotion and adding ingredients. That’s not the best way because they tend to separate. You can change the smell of an unscented lotion easily by adding essential oils (the citrus oils will smell great when you put them on, but they do not have any staying power throughout the day and they can thin lotions and shampoos. Nevertheless, I love citrus scents).

At any rate, I moved from adding various oils that would enhance a store oil to making my own. The following recipe is one of my favorites. It’s more of a cream than a day lotion because of the addition of petroleum jelly (Vaseline). You can probably substitute mineral oil if you want a slightly smoother glide.

A lot of people make their own lotion to avoid the addition of mineral oil and petroleum jelly, but I’ve found that adding at least one of those ingredients helps the moisturizing properties last long on the skin. They are basically a nice “moisture sealant.” If you don’t want to use either of them, you can leave it out. The lotion will be a bit thinner, which isn’t a bad thing, because this recipe is very thick. You can also use less vaseline. In the summer, I suspect I will want less of it, but with winter weather, my skin has been very dry.

If you have a favorite oil, such as avocado oil or almond oil, you can replace the hemp with that oil. The shea butter is the base and provides the thickness–I have heard mango oil is a good substitute for it. I have made this basic lotion recipe with walnut oil in place of the hemp, and a mixture of the two. Just keep the percentages/proportions the same. You can use emulsifying wax in place of the BTMS emulsifying conditioner. The BTMS has a slightly higher melting temperature, but other than that, it substituted in fine. The original recipe called for quite a bit more water because it was a lotion versus a cream.

198.45 grams of water (most people recommend using distilled water)
60 grams shea butter
14 grams hemp oil (or other light oil)
7 grams petroleum jelly
17 grams BTMS emulsifying conditioner (you can use emulsifying wax)
2.2 grams optiphen plus or other preservative (about 1 scant tsp if you don’t have a scale that measures that low) You want about 1 percent of the totals used.

Melt the shea butter and petroleum jelly in the microwave in small bursts, stirring between. You can also use a small toaster oven. When the wax and butter is completely melted (just melt it–do not boil) add the hemp or other light oil and heat so that everything stirs smoothly. Adding the second oil will often cause some of the wax to start to harden and what you’re after here it to make sure it’s completely melted/warm. Heat the water in the microwave so that it is just warm–not boiling.

Mix the oil into the water, stirring. Blend with a stick blender or hand mixer as it cools. I usually blend for three to five minutes. It will thicken as it cools. When the temperature is below 140 degrees add the preservative. Most preservatives must be added below 140. So if the emulsification doesn’t work (you’ll see pieces of the wax reforming) you can reheat/melt and stir, but if you add the preservative and reheat, you must add the preservative again. I usually add the preservative around 110 or so because by then I’m certain everything is holding properly.

When everything is nicely mixed, you can add a few drops of essential oil to scent the lotion. I recommend clary sage, lemongrass or lavender. These scents tend to hold in the lotion and are generally non-irritating. Mint will hold, but can irritate sensitive skin. Clary sage can help anchor weaker scents such a grapefruit.

The lotion will continue to thicken as it cools. For the next recipe, I’m going to replace some of the shea butter with the vaseline and add water. It’s getting warmer and I will want a more diluted product that is easier to rub in.

Posted: March 10, 2015
Filed in Lotions

Updated Dry Eye News

I haven’t done a post on dry eye in a while. I posted about how eating walnut oil, walnuts, avocados, fish and other foods high in Omega 3 can help alleviate the itching, burning and dryness. Well, for the past year or so I’ve found that Cod Liver Oil (with the vitamin A) and foods high in vitamin A help even more than Omega 3! I also happen to grow sweet potatoes which are very high in Vitamin A so it’s been easy to add that vitamin to my diet. Give them a try. If you already take fish oil for dry eye, try switching to a cod liver oil pill that doesn’t have reduced vitamin A (I’m not sure why, but some brands are marketed as low Vitamin A). I get mine at Swanson’s Vitamins and I buy the double-strength cod liver oil. You can, of course, also order that brand at Amazon.

If none of those sources sound appealing, you can also buy Red Palm Oil. I use it in cooking and one tablespoon provides more than double what you need. It’s also already in oil form, which is the form you need to absorb the Vitamin A properly.

Posted: September 30, 2015
Filed in Dry Eye Recipes, Gardening, Lotions, Lotions and Potions, Recipes