Beauty hacks: does homemade deodorant actually work?


The hack

A homemade deodorant using ingredients you might have in the house – and which works.

The promise

Statistics say we’re wearing less deodorant – thanks partly to lockdown and partly to more pared-back beauty routines. Is a DIY deodorant the next logical step?

The test

On Monday, I made my base in a jam jar using melted coconut oil, plus half a teaspoon each of arrowroot, to soak up moisture, and bicarbonate of soda, which neutralises sweat, to create a paste that I rubbed into my armpits with a spatula. In hindsight, I decided it needed some kind of scent, so the next day I reheated it and added a few drops of Neal’s Yard Mandarin Essential Oil (10ml, £8). It wasn’t until midday that I became aware of, um, “myself”. On Wednesday I made it to 11am; it was no match for sweaty vintage polyester. By Thursday, it felt like my armpits were on fire – bicarb can cause irritation, so for the final batch I replaced it with shea butter – this made it easier to apply, too. Friday was the ultimate test: it was sunny, I was at a punk festival and by 5pm drunk enough to make a pal “smell my pits”. From her expression, things were bleak.

The verdict

I didn’t expect miracles. But if I can be smelled in a field of punks, something has gone awry.

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