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Classic Man: Make Your Own Deodorant

Illustration for article titled Classic Man: Make Your Own Deodorant

Frequently in this space, we will consult a different entry in the 1987 book The Modern Man’s Guide to Life to see how the advice therein has aged. Previously, we talked baths for girls; today, we’re exploring the idea of homemade deodorant.


Terry Crews looks like he smells good, which is probably why Old Spice enlisted him as a spokes-celeb, and not someone who makes you smell fertilizer just by looking at him. Bearing that in mind, it’s perfectly fine to be skeptical of this book’s advice about how great homemade deodorant is.

Seriously, this book really loves homemade deodorant.

Good as store-bought. Smells fresh, costs less, and keeps you nice to be close to all day long, as they say.

But if you’re thinking you’ll just drizzle on a bit of baking soda and go about your day, you’re missing a few steps. There’s a little chemistry involved.

Mix equal parts of cornstarch and baking soda. That’s it. If you want some antiperspirant action, get some powdered aluminum chlorhydrate from your local druggist and add a little to your mix. Aluminum chlorohydrate is a common ingredient in most commercial deodorants. Prolonged use of the stuff can have nasty effects—aluminum chlorohydrate works by simply plugging up your pores. Newest research points to possible cancer risks (what’s new?) and a vague connection to Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.

So make your own deodorant, but not so much that you get cancer. Got it. And if even that isn’t natural enough for you, let me refer you to the nearest swimming pool or fireplace:

Powerful natural deodorants are eucalyptus oil, turpentine, chlorine water, hydrogen peroxide, charcoal, dry earth, sawdust, and potassium permanganate.


Putting turpentine directly on your body seems inadvisable, as it’s often used as paint thinner. Turpentine oil is a different thing, but still. Be wary, and maybe just buy deodorant like the rest of us. You probably smell anyway.