A New Deodorant - A New Quest

I've been meaning to make a stick deodorant for the longest time. It was the cutest little container that finally got me started – with emphasis on the word little. This container holds a travel-sized portion (a mere 15 ml = 0,5 oz), but for development and test purposes, it has actually been perfect.

Methinks She Doth Repeat Herself

This is not the first time a container has inspired the contents. As is the usual situation for mega-sized corporations such as mine (insert shaking head with rolling eyes here), finding containers and packaging that can be ordered in amounts of less than 5000 units is a rarity. I am pretty much constantly on a container quest.

As for the Contents

There is only one active in this formula. I've been checking out its capabilities as a solo deodorizing ingredient for weeks, and it has passed all tests with flying colors. Commonly known as 'natural deodorant crystals', the active ingredient is potassium alum. I've mixed it into a base of cocoa butter, mango butter, beeswax, a couple of soothing oils and an optional essential oil combo that smells like fresh green leaves (and will be loved by men and women alike).

How's it Coming Along

A stick deodorant should go on effortlessly – without drag, stickiness or discomfort – delivering just the right amount of product for all day deodorizing action. The main challenge has been getting the texture to do just that. My most critical tester (and painfully honest husband) has been a huge help. Men have a very straightforward approach to personal care products and are actually quite satisfying to work with/for. The comments to each batch have been constructive and have helped me refine the formula to where it's close enough to be tested in a regular-sized container...

...if I could only find one on the European side of the pond.

Maybe You Know?

So far, all of the cool containers I have been able to find are in North America (read: exorbitant shipping costs). Therefore – if you have links/know of anyone in Europe who does a twist-up or push-up container that holds about 60gr (about 2 oz) and can fill less than corporation-sized orders, I would be eternally grateful if you leave a comment.

Pictured top: batch 5 with fresh-picked herbs from the garden (that have absolutely nothing to do with the contents but look very decorative, don't you think?)

Pictured midway: man (who also happens to be a model) happily applying deodorant and smiling (you didn't really think he was my husband, did you?).


Unknown said…
I can't find a container I love either. I actually love yours, for other things. Are those the ones that come from that French company that has the palettes I so badly want? I cannot remember the name. I know, no help.

I am a make it all from scratch person, normally, but in this instance a company in the states made almost exactly what I wanted, without a few things I felt it needed. I got their product and started fiddling. I added ZnO, Natrasorb, and Tinosan. Now made by the original manufacturers and called something else, but from Lotioncrafter. I almost felt really guilty, using something to make something else, but then I thought of the glorious soaps made from melt and pour and would never call that cheating. I use one with no animal products and that makes me happier. It's also not the gooey stuff that gets oil on my clothes. It's deodorant, so it is not an OTC and I'm pretty happy.

I can't keep up on the rules, but mail me if you want the supplier. I have no clue if they ship overseas, or if it's worth it to you, but you could have a gander at their inci and see what you think.

LisaLise said…
Yay Nancy! Sending you an email! :)
ande spenser said…
I've never been fond of antiperspirants, but over the summer I suddenly developed an inability to use spray-on deodorants. I think it's because of the propellant, which is usually butane. It burns and my pits peel.

So I've been looking for less complicated (aka natural) solutions. I don't like the messy coconut oil/baking soda recipes, because they feel a little well, not exactly sticky, just not something I want in my armpits. Also, the baking soda is irritating after a while.

I like the powder deodorants by Lush, but when I'm in a hurry or just not awake enough to manage a powder puff, stick deodorants are pretty handy. But a lot of them have propylene glycol, and I suspect that may be contributing to my peely skin.

I've been attracted to the deodorant stone ever since I found out it was just plain alum, which you can get for so much less than the fancy crystal version. It works really well! But I miss nice smelling deodorants, so I've been working on formulas that incorporate alum and either essential oils or just a nice skin-safe fragrance oil (I make soaps and lotions so I have a lot of these around).

While a spray version was very easy to master, I haven't figured out how to incorporate alum into a stick. It's not oil-soluble (or is it?). How are you managing this?

If you don't want to post the answer publicly, but you don't mind sharing it with me, you can email me privately. Thanks!
LisaLise said…
Hi Ande.- Thanks for your input! I am totally on the same page as you as to the deodorant stone (potassium alum). It is very effective. I also completely understand your wanting to stay away from baking soda as an active.

If you want to incorporate potassium alum into a stick, you will need the alum in pulverized form (think texture like powdered sugar), then you need to stir constantly as the mixture is cooling and even right up until you pour it. Be sure it is not too runny when you pour your mixture into a form or the alum will just collect at the bottom and your stick will feel gritty when you get to the bottom part. The alum will not dissolve in butters and oils, so it's all a question of keeping it evenly distributed. You say you're not big on using cocoa butter under the arms... I'm not quite sure what to suggest as an alternative carrier ingredient that won't feel similar. Mango butter is dryer feeling, so that could be an option.

Alternatively, perhaps you could try and do some sort of gel-stick so you could dissolve the alum and then thicken the mixture. You may need to add some oil to provide a bit of 'slip'. Fractionated coconut oil is a VERY light and neutral oil that might work here...

Hope this is some sort of help. And now of course I'm gosh darn curious to hear how it goes. Will you let me know? :)

PS. You aren't the only person who has written me pointing to propylene glycol as a possible irritant. I believe I have a bit of research to do on this one.. you may just have inspired a new blog post!