Back in 2011 I was lucky enough to spend about 10 days in Fiji with a big group of friends while I was on an exchange term to Australia. It was a blast! We befriended a bartender at the rather grungy hostel we were staying at, and on his days off he would take all 9 of us on awesome little tours of local gems that we never would have found otherwise. And while, of course, I have many fantastic memories of that trip, one of the things that sticks out most in my mind is the scent of baby powder. Why? Well…
As I’m sure you can imagine, Fiji is a pretty warm place (yay!). One of the 4 guys in our group had a warm weather trick he swore by—baby powder. For his, err, below the belt bits. I can remember watching them standing in a circle, passing around a bottle of baby powder. Before passing it on, they’d shake large amounts of it down their shorts, and then gently toss everything around to get a full coating. They all swore it was the best thing ever, and they all smelled like sweaty babies for the entire trip. (And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t borrow some for my legs, as I lurve skirts and not skidding thighs).
So, yeah. This powder is for those hot, sweaty days when your legs (or other bits) are so damp and sticky that walking becomes quite irritating. It’s based around clay, which is fantastically absorbent. I’ve chosen a beige variety as my legs are so pale they can blind drivers who hit them with their headlights unaware, but if you are fortunate enough to have darker, less terrifying skin, I’d recommend selecting a darker clay, like rhassoul or Australian beige.
A starch of your choice (corn, wheat, or arrowroot) boosts absorption. It’s basically dry shampoo for your skin, I guess.
And, I am happy to report that this powder works very well. I wore it to the hottest day of the Stampede this year (where denim mini skirts are practically the dress code), and noticed as I walked home a good 5–6 hours after setting out that things were still gliding, rather than skidding and sticking. It isn’t the be-all the end-all—if you are sitting in a hot bar with absolutely no air flow, you will still sweat. But, once you start moving again, things will dry out speedily, and you’ll be back to your comfortable ol’ self.
Anti Summer Stick Powder
2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
2 tbsp zeolite ultrafine clay or white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
1 tsp silk powder (need a substitute?)
½ tsp magnesium stearate
15 drops jojoba oil (USA / Canada)
3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
2 drops peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada) (optional)
Put on your dust mask to avoid inhaling the fine powders as we whiz them around in a coffee grinder.
Blend the cornstarch, clay, silk powder, and magnesium stearate together in a used-forDIY-only coffee grinder. Add the jojoba oil (USA / Canada) and blend well. If using, add the essential oils—I wouldn’t recommend adding them if you plan on applying this powder to more sensitive areas.
To use, decant into a bottle with a shaker top—an old salt shaker is a good option!
I LOVED Fiji! I was there in 2003 for 10 days and would love to go back one day. –sigh–
Why the magnesium stearate – what is it’s purpose in this formula?
IMO you could use this anywhere you choose as the peppermint EO would add a touch of a cooling factor w/o irritation as there is such a minute amount. I guess it would depend on just how sensitive your skin is.
I will second your sigh! There are never enough tropical vacations in my life 😛
Magnesium stearate provides a nice, creamy slip to this powder. You could probably get away without it here since you aren’t applying it to your face (though you could, it’s a great anti shine powder), but it’s a must have in all face make-ups (especially eyeshadow! You want things creamy around your eyes, not dry and abrasive).
Very true—it’s up to people to know how sensitive their skin is and make the right choices for them 🙂 I did get some peppermint shampoo in my eyes this morning, though… that was not fun lol 😛
I live in California where would you suggest i get the silk powder, magnesium stearate, and zeolite ultra fine clay.
Thank you Marie for your response, I appreciate it.
@Susan W – check newdirectionsaromatics.com (make sure you are in the US site vs the Canada site) they should have everything listed.
Also check mountainroseherbs.com to compare prices
No problem, Trish! And thanks for chiming in on your favourite suppliers 🙂 I don’t shop out of the States, so it’s always good to have some feedback from people who do!
It looks like Trisha beat me to it in suggesting the American New Directions Aromatics. I believe Saffire Blue also has an American office.
I would love to make this powder and give it a baby powder scent. Do you have any ideas on what kind of EOs to combine to get something similar to baby powder scent? 🙂
Hi Rin! I must admit I hate the smell of baby powder, so I’m not that familiar with it. It’s sweet, so floral and citrus notes might be a good place to start. NDA also sells a “baby powder” fragrant oil that might be worth looking at for inspiration.
Might you have a formula for a liquid foot powder? Thank you.
I don’t, sorry!
I was wondering if there was a suitable substitution for the zeolite ultra fine clay… I have French Green, Australian Red, Bentonite and Kaolin.
Would any of those be sufficient?
Thanks a bunch! 🙂
Kaolin would be the best bet 🙂 The others are too pigmented or too heavy 😉
I, also, am curious as to possible substitutions! I have a week-long pirate-themed festival coming up next week, and with all those skirts, anti-chafe powder is sought after! What is the silk powder used for? I have oily (Mediterranean Italian) skin – which I am thankful for, because it means my skin ages more gracefully (thank you, genetics!)…
The “powdery” ingredients I have on hand are: cornstarch, rice flour, French green clay, zinc oxide, and food-grade! diatomaceous earth. I also have a bottle of hydrated Sodium Lactate (60%) from Ingredients To Die For, and I wondered if adding a few drops of that to the mixture and allowing it to dry might help improve the “slip” of my powder?
Thank you for the lovely recipes, your blog has been one of my major influences in getting started making my own luxury/natural/effective cosmetics and skincare products!
Hi Nixie! If those are your only powdery ingredients I’d start with a blend of cornstarch and French Green clay—that should be pretty silky on its own.
The silk helps manage moisture—it’s pretty amazing that way. It absorbs moisture if there’s too much and releases it if there’s too little!
Thanks for these DIY instructions! I noticed that NDA has three silk products: silk powder, silk peptides, and silk amino acids. Is there one that you would recommend as being the most effective for this application?
I have the peptides and like them, but it really doesn’t matter that much 🙂
Would you add zinc oxide to this recipe like you did in the baby powder you made? Just a thought….
You definitely could! I’d be interested to hear what you think if you give it a go 🙂
I was just dreaming about something like this .. Thanks can’t wait to try
Happy making and thanks for reading!