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 everyday.
- A casual 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 liquid-y 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:
use 5-15 drops of EO per oz of finished deodorant (25-90 drops for the entire recipe). It’s recommended to keep the percentage of EO in a natural deodorant recipe between 1-3 percent. A 1% solution for a 5 oz container is 15 drops while a 3% solution for a 6oz container is 90 drops. UPDATE: 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 use 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 all together. 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.