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
(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 (I like this one or this one)
- 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 (I get high-quality EOs here)*
- clean deodorant containers (like these, 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 actually 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. See:
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. Te 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 or so but 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?