Subscribe to our mailing list

Email Format
Close

I think we can probably all agree by now that the list of ingredients on a standard commercial antiperspirant can be a bit scary.  The list often contains mineral oils, fragrances, alcohol, (not too bad so far), polyethylene glycol distearates, triclosan (getting worse), and aluminium salts, particularly aluminium chlorohydrate (the worst).

Aluminium chlorohydrate is included because it”s an effective suppressant of perspiration (although is stopping sweat even a good thing?), but it has also been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer”s disease in several studies.  Studies haven”t confirmed that the exposure specifically from use of antiperspirants is at a harmful level, but for anyone trying to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, avoiding antiperspirant seems pretty sensible.

When I first started actively reducing my exposure to environmental toxins, and changing my beauty routines accordingly, I lived in New Zealand.  So I just threw out my antiperspirant, and never looked back.  Even in a fairly warm (for New Zealand) summer, I didn”t sweat enough to really be bothered by body odour.  But then we moved to Brunei, where the average day is 86 degrees fahrenheit (30 degrees celsius) and 70% humidity, and something had to change.

Not Wearing Deodorant Was No Longer Going To Cut It

So I turned to the internet, and found several different recipes.  Most included just a few simple ingredients:

  • an oil of some sort as a carrier
  • a starch of some sort to reduce moisture
  • essential oils for fragrance, and for antibacterial properties

These give a solid deodorant.  It”s not antiperspirant, but it reduces moisture, and can kill some of the bacteria that cause underarm odors.  The recipe below is based off this formula, with a few adjustments and suggestions as to how you can make it work with what you have available.

The ingredients

First, you need to gather your ingredients.

  • 1/3 cup oil
    You want an oil that is solid at room temperature for a solid deodorant.   Coconut oil is a great choice for many climates, and has the added bonus of being antibacterial.  I can”t buy coconut oil, and it is melted at room temperature, so I chose palm oil.  You can also use a liquid oil and add beeswax to create a solid deodorant.
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
    Apparently this can be an irritant for some.  Skip it, and use extra starch if you have sensitive skin.
  • 1/4 cup starch
    Common choices are cornstarch and arrowroot.  I used tapioca starch because it was the cheapest at the supermarket here.
  • a few drops of essential oil
    I used mandarin for fragrance and tea casino jameshallison tree for its antibacterial properties, because they were what I had on hand.  You can use whatever you like, but anything antibacterial ( lavender, cinnamon, lemon) is great to include.  

The Ingredients

 

The method

Once you have the ingredients together, making the deodorant is ridiculously simple.  Combine your powdered ingredients in a bow.  Add the oils, and mix it all together, either by hand or with a hand mixer.

Making natural homemade deodorant

 

You may need to add more oil, or more starch, depending on the texture you”re after.  You can make the deodorant as hard or as soft as you like.  A harder one can be applied like a stick deodorant, something softer may need to be applied with your fingertips.

The end result

Once all the ingredients are combined, transfer it to a container.  If you have an old stick deodorant container around, that”s perfect.  Otherwise, any container will do.  Mine is a bit soft, so I put it in a simple plastic container, and apply it with my fingertips.  Then just leave it to set for a while, and there you have it.  An all natural, completely customisable, homemade deodorant.

Natural homemade deodorant

The verdict

This all natural deodorant is a fairly new addition to my life, but so far, it”s perfect.  It spreads on easily, and keeps me dry and sweet smelling.  It leaves slight white marks on dark tops (as do most deodorants, I find!).  But even my husband is happy to use it.  And we hope it keeps working, because this recipe makes a fairly large supply!

Have you tried making your own deodorant?

This is the writings of:

Jenn O'Connell

Like what you just read? Stay in touch with our newsletter!

Email Format

10 Comments

  1. I have not tried making my own, but am going to today! I’ve been using a crystal stick from Deodorant Stones of America and it’s worked great. It doesn’t prevent you from sweating but definitely keeps odor down. The problem is I have Tinea Versicolor, an inflammation of a fungus that naturally occurs on your skin. The uninhibited sweating now in my pits my tinea versicolor has taken up residence there; which is acutely uncomfortable.

    So instead of resorting back to the old way. I’m going to try a new, new way!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Good luck. I hope it helps your discomfort. It’s so easy and cheap, so even if the new new way isn’t successful (although I think it will be), you haven’t wasted too much!

      Reply

  2. I use a little different proportions but still the same kinds of ingredients. I’ve shared my recipes on my blog, Holistic Homemaking, if you would like to check it out http://www.holistichomemaking.org/2013/06/deodorant-primer-how-to-make-your-own.html

    Reply

    • Your proportions look like they’d make a more sensible size actually. I might try a smaller batch next time, but with the amount we’ve got already, next time won’t be for a while!

      Reply

  3. I’ve made deodorant using this method and I love it! I used coconut oil and lavender EO. Smells great and no weird ingredients. I like it so much better than my old Tom’s deodorant!

    Reply

  4. [...] first post as a contributor to Modern Alternative Health is up.  You can find out about my natural homemade deodorant, and how to make some for yourself.  I’m very excited to be involved with the team over [...]

    Reply

  5. Gosh that looks good enough to eat! I’ve had a recipe similar to this for about 3 years. works wonderful! And you can find a starch that is okay for your body, too.

    Reply

  6. I used to make my own out of coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot. It worked very well. Now, I just put some apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and swab it under my arms. It works even better and I don’t have to make anything. Plus it doesn’t leave any marks on my clothes.

    Reply

  7. Hey Jenn,

    Thanks for the article, I’ve sent the link to some of my friends since I know they’ll be interested :)

    I used to make my own deodorant as well, but decided to try buying a few all-natural deodorants to compare. Lavilin was a big-time winner in my books and it’s all I use now! Lasts a while – up to 7 days. And smells really great. Have you ever heard of the brand?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top