DIY Homemade Green & Easy Deodorant

I’ve got another homemade product to add to my green beauty routine, and this time it’s the pits that are happy with my all-natural, organic, chemical-free and most of all, effective, deodorant! I’m so excited to add this product – just ask my husband. He must be sick by now of hearing me rattle on and on about all my research and projects! It’ll join my baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar conditioner, my baking soda body scrub, and my organic hair creme and body lotion.

Homemade Organic Natural Deodorant Recipe

Now it’s time to get personal and gross. I haven’t been happy with store-bought deodorant for years now, but didn’t realize there is an alternative until I jumped on the green bandwagon. The store-bought ones just don’t work well for me, and when the weather warms up and the pits are exposed, I get nauseating whiffs of BO and the artificial fragrance of the deodorant. Blech! It’s way worse now that I have the nose of a bloodhound after having been pregnant a few times. But this one is a deodorant I’ll keep in the bathroom a long time because it actually really works, contains no scary chemicals and I’m crazy about the fragrance that the lavender and tea tree essential oils, and coconut oils leave behind (where to buy high quality essential oils)

Stinky Pits Research

If you are a little nerdy like me and enjoy some cold, hard facts, then keep reading. Otherwise, skip down to the recipe! I decided about a month ago it was time to make a change, especially after reading of the aluminum in commercial deodorants that has been linked to endocrine disruption in the body, as the chemicals mimic estrogen. What the heck does that mean? Here’s what wikipedia.org states:

“Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with endocrine (or hormone system) in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Specifically, they are known to cause learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems, deformations of the body (including limbs); sexual development problems, feminizing of males or masculine effects on females, etc. Any system in the body controlled by hormones, can be derailed by hormone disruptors. The critical period of development for most organisms is between the transition from a fertilized egg, into a fully formed infant.

Wow, now I understand why pregnant women are shying away from deodorant and buying all natural options. But I still had to check for myself, to see if the levels of aluminum are actually hazardous, and because I can be nerdy and enjoy research.  I checked the handy dandy EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (my new best friend!) and the National Cancer Institute to find out. According to the database, my go-to deodorant, Secret Powder Fresh, gets a score of 3 for hazardous on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most hazardous. At first, this appears not so bad, right? But a closer look reveals that out of 8 ingredients, only one ingredient has good data to back it up. The rest have limited to no data at all to test the hazard level of each ingredient. A look at Lady Speed Stick, my other go-to stink reducer, shows the same results. The National Cancer Institute reports in this article that:

“Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved.”

A scientist I am not, so my conclusion is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, I found the easiest recipes I could find online and whipped up my own. My recipe is a combination of one from How About Orange and Passionate Homemaking.

The Recipe!

  • 1/4 cup baking soda (where to buy)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (where to buy) or arrowroot powder (where to buy) (I’ve used both and they both work about the same)
  • 4 tablespoons organic coconut oil (I buy mine from Tropical Traditions – (hand made!))
  • 5 drops of of tea tree oil and 5 drops of lavender (where to buy high quality essential oils) (I’ve used other combinations of essential oils and none work as well as these two!)

Or, for a man’s version, you could include these essential oils: 5 drops of organic Tea Tree Oil and add one of the following: add Cedarwood Oil, Eucalyptus Oil or Sage Oil. All of these smell woodsy and manly, in my opinion. There’s really no right or wrong, it’s whatever scent you (or the man in your life) will agree to wear! (where to buy high quality essential oils) Combine the baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe - Combine Baking Soda and Cornstarch

Stir in the coconut oil. It is difficult at first, but will start to soften after you put in some elbow grease.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe - Stir In Coconut Oil

Add your essential oils of choice. I added Lavender and Tea Tree Oil specifically because they have antibacterial properties and I use them a lot in my homemade cleaning products.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe - Add essential oils

Stir it all together and you’re done! It took me less than five minutes to make this, and it is so cheap, too! You only need a smidgen on the tip of your finger to spread over the pits.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe - Stir It All Together

The mixture does harden after a few hours and becomes a deodorant-like texture, but it’s still possible to smooth it on with da finga because it softens with body heat. I store mine in a tiny rubbermaid container that holds like 1 strawberry (honestly, what is supposed to go in it?). I never use it otherwise, so it made a perfect pit stink preventer.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe - Apply with your finger

Does the Baking Soda Bother Your Skin? Still smelling and sweating?

Then an armpit detox might be in order! A WHAT? Sounds weird, right? It might, but it works Many readers have shared with me that they have problems with skin irritation with natural deodorants and I did as well.  My underarms hated the baking soda after I used it for a few months UNTIL my pits had completely detoxed off the conventional deodorant! Your pores get clogged up with the aluminum that blocks your sweat glands, and bacteria can linger. Here’s how that’s done. You’ll need:

Make a paste out of the clay and ACV and apply to your underarms. Leave for 20 minutes, then either wipe or wash off in the shower. Do this once or twice a day for several days and try the natural deodorant again. Continue to do this until you feel like your skin is handling the baking soda well, and is no longer smelling or sweating too much. You will sweat some, but it shouldn’t be an embarrassing amount.

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

Beautycounter - My Favorite Natural Cosmetics Company

Comments

  1. I absolutely love this recipe. Hubby and I switched to it a few months ago to avoid the chemicals (and cost) of store bought and have been slowly but surely switching our friends to it as well. I just melt & pour into an old deodorant container and store in the fridge for easy application. We’ve noticed we’re LESS stinky than we were with the store bought stuff. Question though – any reason why you have the recipe written for 4 TB coconut oil instead of 1/4 cup? I believe they’re the same amount, it would be easier to just use 1/4 cup container instead of dirtying up a TB too. Just wondering :)

  2. Hi, I have had success with the recipe for odor control, however have not yet tried it using essential oils. I find by the end of a day, my clothes have a strong, musky coconut smell on them. Will an essential oil mask the coconut smell?

  3. Anne Evans says:

    Hi Sara,

    Have added your website to my faves now, thanks :-)
    Regarding the irritation you still get with your homemade deodorant – I personally can’t use Coconut Oil as I used it straight on my face once and it really irritated my skin (I still use it for cooking though). I have read of others that have a problem with Coconut Oil. I just thought perhaps you could replace the Coconut Oil and see if that helps. It’s just a thought of course, I know many people love Coconut Oil and have no problems with it.

    Anne

    • That’s a good idea, too. I do know it’s the baking soda that bothers me after shaving, though, because when I take it out I have no problems. So, I just use it the morning after shaving and I’m fine!

      • Mary West says:

        I’ve made a very similar recipe before and it burned my underarms after shaving. Literally! Have you tried making the deo without the baking soda? Used straight arrowroot and coconut oil?

        • Yes and it doesn’t work! Here’s what I’ve learned recently – if natural deodorant isn’t working for you, you need to detox your armpits. Sounds funny, but it works! The reason is, your armpits are used to being clogged with aluminum to stop the sweating, and they need to be cleansed. I’ll be writing up a post about this soon – but you use bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to make a masque – apply to your underarms and leave for 20 mins, then wash off. Do this for a few days in a row, and you’ll probably be fine! If you continue to have stinkiness or a lot of sweat, repeat the process.

  4. I noticed in your pictures you use the ‘Now’ brand vs YL. Is there certain times you use a less costly version vs the YL? I am a wholesale member already with YL but was just wondering. Thanks!

    • No, I need to remove those pictures. I don’t use them at all anymore as it’s cheaper for me to use my Essential Rewards account to get everything. And their oils just never worked for me, so I figured they probably weren’t actually killing germs in my cleaning products, either!

  5. Does this recipe leave white stuff on your dark colored shirts? I tried baking soda and coconut oil only before and it left a white ring on my shirt when I started sweating. Any tips?

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