This DIY Creosote Deodorant is skin friendly, easy to put together and smells like the desert Southwest after a fresh rain!
Over the last few years I’ve tried (what seems like) an overwhelming amount of homemade deodorant recipes. Some of them I’ve loved, others… not so much at all..
I started with this deodorant for sensitive skin.
Then, I moved onto deodorant paste.
And then tried even more varieties off of the basic recipe – experimenting with different essential oils, and in some cases, foregoing baking soda. Making your own deodorant isn’t entirely difficult – but it’s finding the right recipe to use tht’s a challenge.
For a while, we picked up Schmidt’s deodorant for the family and rather enjoyed that. Initially though the baking soda in the deodorant bothered a few of us, so we went back to creating something new. While I love the conncept of deodorant paste and found it incredibly effective in our hot Arizona weather, I didn’t like dipping my hands in something.
Not to mention warm weather tends to soften coconut oil more than I’d like, so eventually I wanted to find something that didn’t require coconut oil. Instead, I wanted to substitute an infusion – perhaps creosote (also known as desert chaparral).
What is creosote?
One of my favorite things about the Arizona desert is chaparral. I know, it’s a weird thing to love, but if you have ever lived in the desert or in a desert climate you probably know this plant very well.
Chaparral is a plant that is popular in the hot, desert climate – here in Arizona and even in northern Mexico. It can survive in the harshest of conditions – dry, hot, extreme heat. In fact, the plant is actually known to kill its offspring to reduce growing competition. In other words, it wants space.
And if something (another chaparral plant) is in its “space”, it’ll kill that offspring plant just to keep an even spacing between each other. Yikes, right? But it is also the same plant that gives off his fresh, desert rain smell that we all know so well.
The chaparral plant is commonly known as the Creosote Bush – or, greasewood plant. For centuries, it has been a traditional healing herb used for a variety of topical applications. It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory and perfect for supporting minor skin issues, scrapes and cuts.
Creosote has, for centuries, been used for topical applications to support skin issues. The best part about creosote though is the scent – it smells like the desert after a fresh rain. Best smell ever.
Step #1: Infusing the Creosote
Making deodorant with creosote requires a few extra steps (that are totally worth the time!) You’ll want to infuse the herb in your oil/butter, then gently heat the oils before adding beeswax and pouring in the container.
I went a step further – when I infused the creosote in carrier oil, I also infused it in my tallow. Infusions can be done several ways:
- Put the herbs in a jar, top off with oil and set the covered jar in a pot filled partway with water. Warm gently over the lowest heat for several hours.
- Instead of using a saucepan/pot, place the herbs in a tightly capped jar with oil, and set in your crockpot on low heat for 6-8 hours. Add enough water to the pot as needed.
- Cover the jars with a paper bag and allow the rays of the sun to infuse over the course of 6-8 weeks.
I much prefer the last route, but in a pinch like this, I chose the stovetop. Then I strained the oil out of each jar in a separate bowl, lining the bowl with a piece of cotton fabric in lieu of cheesecloth.
DIY Creosote Deodorant
This recipe makes (2) deodorant containers:
- 28 grams beeswax pellets
- 28 grams 100% pastured tallow* (infused with creosote)
- 58 grams unrefined grapeseed oil* (infused with creosote)
- 2 Tbsp Bentonite clay
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- 3 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 tsp activated charcoal
- Empty Deodorant Container
- Avery Labels 22806 (Optional)
You can do this on the stove or in the microwave.
If you use the stove, add the first 3 ingredients in a jar. Set the jar in a skillet that is filled with an inch or two of water. Heat on low until melted. If you are using the microwave, combine those three items in a glass jar or measuring cup and zap for 20 second spurts until melted.
Once ingredients are completely melted, stir in your clay, arrowroot powder, baking soda and activated charcoal until well mixed.
Pour the creosote deodorant into your containers, making sure to stop right at the top ridge. Repeat for the second container. Push to the rear of the counter, and allow to set – at least 2 hours (if not overnight). I like to mix and pour mine at night, so that the kids aren’t tempted to mess with them.
Once set, place the caps on each and label as needed.
I remember my early DIY journey to remake my personal care items. I’ll admit, there were times that I was indecisive simply because of all the ingredients required (that I may not have had).
These ingredients above are common in many DIY’s. One of my favorite reasons to DIY is to create something with the oils/butters (tallow) and scent (in this case, Creosote) that you desire, that might not be easily purchased elsewhere.
So while the idea of a particular DIY may not seem cost advantageous up front, over time, you’ll use these basic ingredients in many DIYs making them very affordable. I promise.
Not interested in making your own…
But want to experience the smell of the desert Southwest?
Find Creosote body butter, herbal oil, lip balm, salve and more in our shop. We’ve even got gift sets with creosote soap, cactus soap, prickly pear soap and yucca root soap along with lip balm that make a wonderful gift!