Saturday, September 18, 2010

Deodorants: Recipe with dipropylene glycol and witch hazel

If you find alcohol stings and the glycerin recipe is simply too watery for your tastes, take a look at this recipe for a clear stick deodorant I found at Voyageur Soap & Candle (it's not on the site any more, that's why there's no link).

80% dipropylene glycol
8% sodium stearate
6% witch hazel
2% aloe vera extract
2% turkey red oil (sulfonated castor oil - emulsifier)
1% essential or fragrance oil
1% polysorbate 20

Weigh the dipropylene glycol and sodium stearate in a heatproof container and heat until the sodium stearate is melted. Add the witch hazel, aloe vera, and turkey red oil and mix until fully blended. Mix the polysorbate 20 and essential or fragrance oil in a small container, and add it to the mixture after you remove it from the heat. Pour into a deodorant container and let sit until solid. 

This is a very nice recipe, but I found the turkey red oil wasn't necessary as I could incorporate the fragrance oil with the polysorbate 20 (and since I don't use turkey red oil in anything else, it means one ingredient I don't have to buy!). It goes on very smoothly, and the witch hazel adds some cooling without stinging. I originally used 1% tea tree oil, but it was very strong, so in the next batch I added 0.5% tea tree oil and 0.5% green bamboo fragrance oil and it smelled very nice. 

One down side - it's a bit sticky thanks to the polysorbate 20, so we need to add a detackifier and glide enhancer! You could use any of the PEG- or PPG- esters. I chose to use Crodamol PMP at 2% in place of the turkey red oil. Now this feels nice! As well, we don't have Tinosan in here, so we can include that at 0.3% to offer some anti-bacterial and preserving properties. (If you aren't using Tinosan, I recommend using your favourite preservative at your normal levels in the cool down phase!) 

We don't really need to have the polysorbate 20 in the mix as the water soluble ester will help solubilize the fragrance oil, but it doesn't hurt to make sure your oils won't come out of the solution. 

One of the suggestions I've seen is to include lanolin in this recipe. If you don't have a water soluble ester and want some emolliency, I'd include it! It's very moisturizing and can be mixed into a water soluble mixture at a low percent. Try it at 2% in place of the water soluble ester. And if you don't have witch hazel or aloe vera (or can't use it), try another hydrosol, water, or alcohol as substitutions. 

Dipropylene glycol is also known as DPG and it is a fragrance fixative as well as a humectant and polyol. So this ingredient will actually keep your fragrance around all day long! You can use propylene glycol in its place if you don't have DPG.

I have to say that out of the three recipes I've posted so far, this one is my favourite as tweaked below. It's not absorbing a ton of water, it doesn't sting after shaving, and it's glidy enough without feeling oily. It was easy to melt the sodium stearate in the DPG, although there were some interesting - weird smelling but not dangerous - fumes coming off the Pyrex jug. My final modification of this recipe was to include 0.3% Tinosan as the deodorant active and preservative. If you aren't using Tinosan in this recipe as an deodorant active and preservative, you could include something like honeyquat or polyquat-7 (or another cationic polymer) at up to 3% and remove 3% from the witch hazel or aloe vera amounts.

80% dipropylene glycol
8% sodium stearate
5.7% witch hazel
2% aloe vera extract
2% Crodamol PMP or other water soluble ester
1% essential or fragrance oil (0.5% tea tree oil, 0.5% something else)
1% polysorbate 20
0.3% Tinosan

Follow the instructions above, and add the Tinosan during the cooling phase.

Join me tomorrow for a few other ideas on making deodorants! 


Anonymous said...

Hello Swift,

I love all your practical posts. I always use your information if I want to formulate something.
I've made an anti-oxidant serum of some natural oils (74,5 %), c12-15 alkyl benzoate (15%), oil soluble tetradecylhexyl ascorbate (5%), oil soluble q10 (3%) and Dimethicone (2%). Is dimethicone soluble in natural oils? The serum looks fine to me. I wanted to make a all-oil serum, and added the alkyl benzoate to make it feel lighter, and the dimethicone to make it more protectant and suitable as a base for mineral makeup. But now I was a little bit insecure if it was such a good idea to put dimethicone in an all natural (except for the alkyl benzoate) mixture. Do you maybe have some more suggestions of oil soluble good things (for sensitive skin) that I can put in this kind of serum?


Mountain Farms Soap said...

Hi Again,
I am looking for sodium stearate. Where do you buy yours. I went to the personal formulator and couldn't find it there Thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Trynke! Yes, dimethicone is oil soluble (click here for the post on this silicone), and it can be added to an all oil creation. I do it all the time in lotion bars, whipped butters, and body oils to increase the barrier protection and give me a silkier feeling.

As you might know, I'm not that picky about natural vs. synthetic as I just worry about what works and what doesn't, but I wouldn't call what you've made all natural given 17% of it is composed of esters and silicones (and I have no idea if the two additives would be considered natural - I think I'd consider them synthetic). If you like it and it makes your skin feel good, does it matter if it's considered natural? If the answer is yes, then substitute more oils for the ester and silicone.

Dimethicone is good for sensitive skin. It's non-comedogenic and provides barrier protection, and it won't sink into your skin but forms an occlusive layer. Here's an example of a facial moisturizer I made with dimethicone. If you click, you'll see the reasons for including silicones in a facial product.

The C12-15 alkyl benzoate will add great barrier protection as well, and it will increase the spreading abilities and decrease the feeling of greasiness.

I could suggest a hundred things for a serum but since I don't know your skin type and I don't have time to write out a hundred things, may I suggest clicking on the emollients link or checking out my posts on creating a serum for ideas for inclusions?

Serum with esters
Facial serum for dry skin
Facial serum for oily skin

And click here for all the posts on various skin types, including four types of sensitive skin with suggestions for ingredients to include and avoid. You might get some ideas there for ingredients!

Let me know how it turns out!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mountain Farms Soap! I got mine at Voyageur Soap & Candle, but it looks like they don't carry it any longer. I've checked all my usual haunts - The Herbarie, The Personal Formulator, Lotioncrafter, NDA, Aquarius, Suds & Scents - but I can't find it anywhere. What's up with that? Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!

Meaue said...

I just did a search and has it.... they are in Atlanta, Georgia. However, it appear they do not ship to Canada or internationally..... what up with that?!

Christine E. said...

Hi Susan, thanks for another amazing recipe! And all the accompanying info is incredible, as always.

I was wondering if it would be possible to incorporate zinc oxide into this recipe, and if so, how exactly. It may sound odd, but I have found it to be an excellent anti-perspirant.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,I love to try your recipe but just have a question to ask, can I substitute sodium stearate with another emulsifier ? because I live in Australia and I have not been able to find it anywhere.
Regards; Sarah

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

hi Susan!
Just curious - what is the pH of this deodorant? :)

Kristóf Dávid said...

Could magnesium stearate work instead of sodium stearate?

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

I've been wanting to make my own deodorant ever since I read this series of posts!!! I finally bought sodium stearate in powder form so I tweaked a bit your (voyagers) recipe above:

5% aluminum cholohydrate - antiperspirant
5% chamomile hydro sol
10% Na Stearate
1% FO
1% PS-20
2% water soluble Shea (from lotioncrafters, I forgot the INCI)
Up to 100% DPG

I added all but the fragrance and polysorbate in a beaker, melted it, mixed (I solubilized first the Al salt in DPG and chamomile, no heat) - this resulted in a very fluid yet easy to thicken white gel-like emulsion. I added the FO AND PS-20 which were premixed, and I tried to pour that in a container which can be filled through the bottom. It would NOT flow :) so I used a syringe and squeezed the deodorant in there, tapped the container against the counter and let it cool down in the freezer.

I finished it 10 min ago, and I am waiting my turn to take a shower and test it!!!!!

Thanks a lot for the tip on red turkey oil! I only made 50g and I plan to add some phenyl trimethicone next time - I hope that the Na stearate will be able to emulsify 1% or 2 % plus some cyclomethicone and dimethicone !

I will follow up with a review of the product later today.

Btw - at 75% glycols, I think there is no need for a preservative, as the water activity may be low enough. I don't have tinosan and not planning to buy, but...I think triethyl citrate may be a nice addition next time!

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

I am a little disapointed here :-(

My deodorant never hardened!. I have tried 3 versions:
1. with DPG
2. with PG
3. with homemade sodium stearate and PG

all 3 versions: the na stearate melts, which is great. but the deodorant hardens to a cream and the deodorant cannot be used in a clear stick.

I am not sure whether the addition of the Al salt had an impact or not, I will simply scoop down the 150ml antiperspirant (which works great, BTW< when applied with the fingers from an airless container!) and fill in 5 big airless recipients, wash the empty ones and try a simple mixture of 10% sodium stearate and PG. Maybe the resulting gel will harden like the commercial ones, as I am really really anxious to have a solid stick gel!

if you spot anything that turned the awesome stick into a creamy antiperspirant, please let me know, dear Susan! :-)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sanziene! I have no idea what is going on with your deodorants. I have made all the recipes I post, and I haven't had a problem with them. I will do more thinking, but I don't know if I'm going to have an answer for you! I'm so sorry I can't be more helpful!

Intercourse said...

Hi! I have a few questions.

1) That certainly seems like a high ratio of DPG. Isn't it more toxic in high doses? Is it possible to use Propanediol instead for this recipe?

2) I'm also planning on using bentonite clay and was wondering if I should add it during the heating or cooling process.

3) For lanolin, is it best to use the oil if I want my stick to remain clear?


- Mike

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Intercourse! Where did you read that DPG was toxic? (And, if I may ask, what does toxic mean in this context?) I encourage you to try a small batch of this product with the propanediol and let us know what you think!

I have never used clay in this recipe, but I imagine it would be better if you used it in the cooling down process.

As for lanolin, all I can do is suggest that you try it in a small batch and see if it is as clear as you would like it to be.

If you could come back and let us know what you tried and how it turned out, it would be great for the other members of this community!

Erin said...

love your blog! Question, I'm very interesting in trying this recipe (the tweaked version) with zinc rincinoleate. have you found a Canadian supplier for the sodium stearate? is stearic acid the same thing (i found that on NDA's website).
thanks, erin

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Erin! Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoy the blog!

No, I haven't found a Canadian supplier. Heck, I haven't found an American supplier. I've heard you may be able to get sodium stearate at your local pharmacy, but it's not cheap. I've heard something like $70 a pound or 100 grams, I think.

Stearic acid is a fatty acid. Sodium stearate is the salt of stearic acid. It is soluble in water, stearic acid is not.

There is a French blog that has a lesson on how to make sodium stearate. You could try that. I haven't tried it and don't plan to do so, but others have and report it worked well.