I get a kick out of making products at home that I would otherwise by at the store. In fact, my first attempts at this started when I was very young. I remember trying to mix up various things I found in the bathroom in the attempt to make some new, grand potion. I’d mix shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, powder, conditioner, and whatever else I could find in a puddle in the bathtub, mixing it carefully with a cotton swab. The fact that it never succeeded didn’t stop me from trying again … well, until I got caught red-handed and they realized that it was not my younger brother who was to blame! That put a stop to it.
My next attempts took place outside where I figured I was less likely to get into trouble. I remember crushing the dark purple berries from poke weeds and mixing them with various substances that I’d smuggle out of the house in an attempt to make paint. I did, in fact, manage to paint a number of rocks with my concoctions, but I never could figure out how to make it waterproof. These early attempts at creating potions were probably part of what led me into making my first career as a chemist.
Over the years since I’ve been an adult, I’ve tried making my own herbal teas, homemade cleaners, soaps, candles, shampoos, toners, and astringents. There’s just something so satisfying about mixing up common household items to make something usable! It always leaves me feeling competent and resourceful. Despite that, I tend to wind up going back to commercial versions of these things because it’s less hassle to buy it pre-made, and frankly the commercial versions usually work better than the ones I make at home. (So much for competence, right?)
I recently tried a new homemade product that has changed that. I made Lemon & Clove Homemade Deodorant using a recipe I found online. I wasn’t expecting much from it because I have always had very poor luck even with commercial deodorant/antiperspirant combinations, but I was intrigued and had the ingredients available, so I gave it try.
I have been shocked to find that it works better than anything else I’ve ever tried in my life. Even with the expensive store-bought leading brands, I often discovered that I smelled at the end of the day. And if I didn’t shave my underarms very regularly, it got worse quickly. I’ve not smelled at all with this new homemade version—even after days when I’ve been hot enough to get sweaty. Hair growth seems to have no impact on this at all. It’s amazing!
Now, in all fairness, I remember reading many years ago that underarm odor was actually a result of the excretions of bacteria that live on our skin and feed on our perspiration, so I chose to address this at the same time that I made the switch by using a very light spray of antibacterial tea tree oil on the clean skin after showering before I used the new deodorant. This may (or may not) have made a difference in the results I noticed.
My creative mind is now busy problem solving to find a more effective application method for my new deodorant (I currently smear it on with my fingers), but I am so pleased with this new product that I can’t imagine ever going back to store-bought!
I’m delighted that my creative streak has led to such a successful solution to a problem that has nagged at me for years, and it has reignited my interest in finding other homemade recipes that just might work as well as, if not better than, other products I buy on a regular basis. There’s something about solving a problem that really gets all of my creative cylinders firing.
Do you have a favorite product that you like to make at home instead of buying at the store?
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