I’ve always found that deodorant and/or antiperspirant didn’t work for me. No matter what kind, what brand, or how often I put it on, after about an hour of sweating, I smell (Too much information?). The only solution I could think of was, “A stronger scent!” So when all the fancy smelling deodorants came out on the market I thought I was saved. Nope. I just smelled like raspberry and green apple scented B.O. Gross.
I lived with the bouquets dipped in stink that were my underarms for years until one day my sister told me about the homemade natural variety she was using and how wonderful it was. I was skeptical. If a barrage of chemicals couldn’t do the trick, how in the name of cheeses could something homemade even make a dent? But what did I have to lose, right? So I tried it. Well I tried a few recipes. After a bit of tinkering, I finally found one that worked really well for me. Without further ado, here it is!
Homemade All-Natural Moisturizing Deodorant (That Works!)
*Makes 125 ml (1/2 cup)
3 TBLS Coconut Oil (Cold-pressed organic is best)
2 TBLS Shea Butter (I use 100 percent natural and organic)
2 TBLS Arrowroot Flour
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
15 Drops of Essential Oils (I like peppermint, tea tree and/or lavender)
Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with filtered water (1:16) (optional)
Note: In colder temperatures you may want to add a tiny bit of liquid oil, like avocado or olive, to keep the deodorant softer as coconut oil can be pretty firm when cold. This recipe should be fine as-is in warmer temperatures, though.
Method: Warm coconut oil and shea butter in a glass submerged in hot water, mashing with a fork as you do, until just melted. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until incorporated. Pour into a shallow jar and let cool at room temperature, shaking every so often to keep the baking soda suspended. Store at room temperature (Coconut oil melts at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius, so store in a place cooler than that).
To use: Mix the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and water in a small spray bottle. Spray diluted ACV on clean underarms then apply deodorant with fingertips on top of it, daily or as needed.
Warning: If you’ve just shaved your underarms, the ACV may sting! You may want to wait a little while, but I find as soon as I rub on the deodorant the stinging stops.
You can also use this deodorant without the ACV, but I find it gives you extra odor protection. This is probably because baking soda is a very alkaline substance and throws the pH level of your pits off balance if you use it on its own, and odor-causing bacteria has no trouble with that kind of environment. The vinegar, being acidic, neutralizes your pH level, which then helps kill off the smelly guys. This balancing effect also helps with the irritation issues some folks find are caused by the baking soda in homemade deodorants. ACV apparently can be used as a deodorant all on its own as well, which I can’t personally attest to, but I would assume the effectiveness here is due to the vinegar’s acidity acting as an antibacterial agent. And you can’t go wrong with that!
I think it’s also worth noting that based on the other recipes I tried (some didn’t work) the magic ingredient seems to be the shea butter. The recipes I tried that just used coconut oil as a base were nice but they didn’t stop the stink—not for me anyway. This stuff works so well I usually only need to apply it once a day. I’ve even gone longer than a day and was fine.
A Few Recipe Notes:
- Tea tree and lavender oil have antibacterial properties so they’re a good choice. You can choose any kind of essential oils you like for their scent, though.
- You can use cornstarch in place of arrowroot but it’s not as smooth. Arrowroot is preferable.
- Shea butter is a wonderful moisturizer. It is great on razor bumps and minor cuts as well and therefore the perfect ingredient to add to your deodorant. I find it also adds a bit of a moisture barrier.
- Try to use organic, unprocessed ingredients where possible to avoid unknown additives and to ensure you’re getting all their natural benefits.
- This is a deodorant, NOT an antiperspirant. You will still sweat (which is a normal and healthy bodily function) but you won’t smell yucky. Hooray!
Now go forth and unsmellify yourselves!
Tracy and Joc are sisters, wives, and mothers, and they love to make things with their own two hands. Read more of their great homemaking tips on their blog Little Boozy Homemakers. Read the original natural deodorant recipe on their website.