Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Deodorant Questions

  • Deodorant Questions

    Posted by natzam44 on October 15, 2020 at 4:45 am

    Goodmorning all!

    So for the past couple of years I’ve been struggling to find a deodorant that doesn’t irritate my armpits. At this point, I’ve tried nearly every deodorant that you might find on a pharmacy shelf. In lieu of these horrible findings, I’ve decided to just try and make my own deodorant and see if I can formulate something that I can comfortably use. However, seeing as though I’ve never formulated a deodorant, I have a couple of questions:

    - what ingredients are used for actually reducing odor?
    - what thickeners are you likely to use when making deodorant sticks?
    - roughly how much fragrance is included in deodorants?

    Now with that being said, I’ve also put together a list of ingredients that I suspect are irritating which I’d like to avoid:
    -Propylene Glycol
    -Various Aluminum Compounds (Im not 100% sure about these yet so I’d be willing to give them a try)
    -Sodium Stearate
    -Dipropylene Glycol
    -Arrowroot Powder
    -Certain fragrances (this one is not all that surprising)

    Im not 100% about all of the above ingredients, but they’re the ones that tend to show up the most in the deodorants that I have tried.

    Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    natiyo123 replied 3 years, 3 months ago 7 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • ketchito

    October 15, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    @natzam44 There are two things related to odor:

    1) you can reduce it (by using fragrances or triethyl citrate which decompose some fragrance molecules), and

    2) you can prevent it (by reducing the environment where odor causing bacteria grow (like blocking sebaceous glands with Aluminium compounds, remove water/oil with powders like starches, and and by killing or prevent the growth of bacteria). 

    As you see, odor is a complex issue, and a good antiperspirant has to cover them all. 

    Fragrances are not included in large amounts since that particular area is very sensitive to allergens…I’ve seen formulas with around 0.2-0.4%

  • natzam44

    October 15, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks @ketchito , that’s kind of what I’ve been figuring.

    I suppose I’ll just have to get a bunch of ingredients together and start trying stuff. There must be some combination of ingredients out there that does not irritate my skin.

  • ngarayeva001

    October 15, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    I read an article in personal care magazine (I think March issue) on zinc ricinoleate. The supplier claims it’s effective at binding sulfuric compounds that are responsible for unpleasant odors when combined with chelators. I tried out of curiosity but didn’t notice much difference so decided to stick to antiperspirants with aluminum salts. Does anyone has anything to say about zinc ricinoleate?

  • natzam44

    October 15, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    I keep seeing that ingredient in online formulas and it has peeked my interest. 

    I would also be curious to know if anyone has had any good experiences with zinc ricinoleate?

  • ozgirl

    October 16, 2020 at 1:51 am
    I like Ethylhexylglycerin as a deodorant active.

  • natzam44

    October 16, 2020 at 2:08 am

    Thanks @ozgirl

    I’ll take a look at the formulas in the personal care mag and then go from there.

  • ketchito

    October 16, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    I tried Zinc ricinoleate in the past for an aluminium free deodorant, but unfortunately I didn’t see any benefit, even t high doses.

  • Agate

    October 16, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    What about triethyl citrate as an aluminium-free active? It’s in my go-to deodorant.

  • ketchito

    October 17, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    @Agate The problem is that mechanisms are different: it´s like trying to remove water from a leak using a mop (Triethyl citrate) instead of fixing/blocking the leak (aluminium chlorhydrate and the like). Ok, maybe the example is not so accurate since Triethyl citrate doesn’t adsorb but destabilize some chemical bonds (supposedly), but the point is that nothing workd better than attacking the source. Also, doses of Triethyl citrate are usually high, and I’ve seen it cause some sensitivity issues. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it, but know your expectations.

  • natzam44

    October 17, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of triethyl citrate before but I’ll look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Thanks for the info on zinc ricinoleate. I might scrounge around for some studies to see if I can find anything more.

  • ngarayeva001

    October 17, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    @natzam44 please share if you find something reasonable. It sounds like an interesting ingredient, maybe we just don’t use it right or our expectations isn’t right.

  • Agate

    October 18, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Here’s the safety report on triethyl citrate: https://online.personalcarecouncil.org/ctfa-static/online/lists/cir-pdfs/PR590.pdf Generally described as non-irritating, though as always individual experiences may vary.

  • Den_Ai_D

    October 20, 2020 at 2:28 am

    I’ve personally made and tried deodorants using zinc ricinolate in the past; one as a sole active in a stick (at 4%) and another in combination with potash alum in a cream (5% potash, 1.5% zinc ricinolate). Both variants were quite adequate at preventing odor and being that I’m a particularly sweaty person, I’d say that it’s pretty good. 

    Although of course, this observation is backed up only by personal use so do take it with a grain of salt. 

  • natiyo123

    October 26, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    can ethylhexylglycerin be used in anhydrous formulas? 

Log in to reply.