About a year ago I decided to finally stop using commercial deodorant. I just couldn’t ignore all of the negative health implications anymore (I’ve also started making my own lip balm, hair detangler, and hair rinse!).
Why I Don’t Use Commercial Antiperspirants
- Antiperspirants contain aluminum, which physically blocks the sweat glands. Aluminum has been deemed a neurotoxin (as in toxic to the brain!) and is possibly linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Research has shown a link between parabens and breast cancer & reproductive health problems.
- I’ve realized that I really don’t need antiperspirants. Sweating is the body’s way of staying cool and eliminating toxins. Why would I want to interfere? Besides, I think I sweat less (using natural deodorant) than I did when I was using commercial antiperspirants. Perhaps it’s because my body has learned to regulate itself better without all of the toxins I was applying every day.
- A causal connection between a chemical and a disease is enough reason for me to make a change. I would rather avoid as much exposure to toxins as possible and it’s not going to hurt to use natural deodorant so there’s nothing to lose.
I started using the 3-ingredient recipe that has been floating around the web but it becomes liquidy in the summer and needs to be applied with your fingers.
I’m fine with that but Matt isn’t, and since I’m trying to get him on board with homemade deodorant, I need to make a deodorant that he is willing to use.
I thought that the ingredients in a homemade lip balm that I make would work to make a more solid deodorant so after a little research I came up with the following recipe.
Natural Deodorant Recipe Ingredients
I love this deodorant recipe and hope you will too!
(yields 5-6 oz)
- 3 Tablespoons expeller pressed coconut oil
- 1-3 Tablespoon cocoa butter (depending on how moisturizing you want it to be)
- 2 Tablespoon Beeswax
- 3 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 1-3Tablespoon baking soda (optional: see note)
- ½ teaspoon vitamin E oil (optional but helps the deodorant stay fresh for longer)
- 15-45 drops essential oils of choice, I prefer lavender
- clean deodorant containers (or you can reuse an old one)
Natural Deodorant Recipe Instructions
- Heat the first 3 ingredients on medium/low until melted.
- Using a whisk, mix in arrowroot and baking soda until smooth.
- Take off the heat and add oils.
- Pour mixture into deodorant containers and cool.
Essential oil notes: As a kind reader pointed out, the dilution should be based on the oils in the deodorant, not the entire product. That means a total of 15-45 drops is plenty. Also, plastic is not the best container for products with essential oils in them. However, I add the essential oils for the scent more than the therapeutic factor so I don’t worry too much.
I waited until the deodorant was in the containers before adding the essential oils because I wanted to use 2 different scents. I used a wooden skewer to stir it in.
Notes on Sensitivity:
Some people are sensitive to natural deodorant because of the baking soda. If you are one of those people (or think you might be) I would suggest starting with a smaller amount of baking soda and then increasing the amount as your body gets used to it.
I discovered that I was sensitive to baking soda in my natural deodorant when I made my first batch. Because I only had a stick of Tom’s as a backup (which never worked very well for me) I just went back and forth between the two until my Tom’s was gone.
By then I was able to use the homemade deodorant without any problem. I don’t really know why except that maybe I got used to the baking soda. You can also just leave the baking soda out altogether. The tree oil and witch hazel may be a better anti-stink formula.
Does Homemade Deodorant Work?
Yes! Very well in fact.
There may be an adjustment period for your body to get used to it. You may be a little bit stinky or damp for a week. I’ve found that since using this homemade natural deodorant recipe I am actually less stinky and sweaty (you are so glad I shared that, right?) and can even skip a day once in a while.
Do you use homemade deodorant? What’s your favorite natural deodorant recipe?
Jennifer Shelby says
I use natural deodorant as well, something I switched to when pregnant and never looked back. My favourite recipe doesn’t work in a stick, but it works so well for me I’ve gotten over it. Good for you for making the switch and thank you for sharing your recipe!
Carol J. Alexander says
I was just going to try a recipe that they said would liquify in summer so now you give me a new idea. What did you put it in? Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre hop and please join us again this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/self-sufficient-homeacre-hop-and-herbal-tea-giveaway/
I bought these containers thinking they were the typical crank up deodorant containers. They work fine but I think I will try to get the other kind in the future. You could also just reuse a container you have from another deodorant.
when you say 2T of beeswax, does that mean 2T grated, or maybe grated and squished into a tablespoon? :) I want to try it, but I don’t want to mess it up! Thanks so much for helping!
Good question! I used beeswax pastilles (tiny little balls of wax the size of half a tic-tac). I’d say if you’re using grated then just lightly pack it into the tablespoon :)
Thanks so much! When I am done with this block of beeswax I’m buying the little pieces!
Quick question: 5-15 drops EO “per ounce”….. Per ounce of the recipe? So, the recipe makes 5-6 ounces so the recipe calls for 25-90 drops? I want to make sure I understand before making a mistake (and wasting ingredients). THANKS!!!
I’ll update the recipe because the way I wrote it is a bit confusing. You are correct 25-90 drops for the entire recipe. If you are scenting the deodorant in smaller batches like I did then it’s 5-15 per ounce. Hope that helps!
I use Lavilin and love love looooove it! It’s the best. http://www.lavilin.com
In my experience so far, I have found that Essential oils and plastic don’t work very well together. In fact the essential oils seem to disappear very quickly. Have you found this to be an issue with the deodorant tubes? I just don’t want to waste my precious essential oils!
interesting! I haven’t noticed that but I’ll keep it in mind for the future.
A couple of thoughts on this recipe. I think you are calling for too much EOs to be used. The % for EOs should be calculated based on the weight of the oils (since EOs are soluble in oils) and not the weight of the bar. Going off that it would seem like 35-45 drops as a maximum is more accurate. This would especially be true if the mixer was using an EO high in phenols such as Oregano and Thyme. At 90 drops they could very easily be exposed to levels above safe for phenols, carvacrols, and some esters/terpenes.
Secondly I would not recommend using photo sensitizing oils in a leave on product such as deodorant. Orange oil is almost all d-limonene which is photo sensitizing. I don’t personally think orange is a very good fit for deodorants anyways. For a feminine deodorant bar floral and herbaceous oils like lavender, rosemary, and tea tree fit better. For a male deodorant bar you want more camphorous and earthy/woody scents like cedar, frankincense, and fir.
Thank you. I agree the ratio is too high and will change it.
Nancy Swartz says
I have a question. Does the wax or the oils stain clothing, particularly wools, or natural fiber sweaters? I am all for natural, and will try this.
I haven’t had any trouble :)
Glynis Becker says
I tried a natural deodorant recipe with beeswax in it but I kept getting bright yellow stains in my clothing. So I’ve been using one with mostly cornstarch and arrowroot, shea butter, and coconut oil. It works in the tube, but isn’t completely solid. Love it though. And I agree that I sweat a lot less with natural deodorant than I ever did before.
Does it have to be expeller presses coconut oil? I have organic coconut oil from LouAna but it doesn’t say it’s expeller pressed. Also, does it leave yellow marks on your clothes from the beeswax? Thank you for the recipe!!!!
YOu don’t have to use expeller pressed, that’s just what I use. I’ve never noticed yellow staining myself though I know some folks do. It you notice staining you could try reducing the amount of beeswax (maybe replace with cocoa butter?).
I found that baking Soda won’t melt in the oil wax mixture. It just always sits at the bottom. How do I solve this?
I’ve never had that problem. Perhaps let it cool a bit until it’s slightly more solid and then mix (and let cool the rest of the way).
I’m interested in this recipe but I want to know if shea butter will do the works like cocoa butter?
Yes, that would work fine.