Thursday, June 2, 2016

Homemade deodorant that really works!

Let's face it: No one enjoys unpleasant body odor, right? I could go on a diatribe about how we as humans should accept the natural order of things, insisting that we embrace the earthy rawness of armpits unadorned with ahything that makes them smell better.

I could do that...but I won't.

I will say that there are plenty of reasons why someone would want to skip the chemical-laden underarm products and their lingering scent of a rainforest or rose garden. Do we really believe we can make our underarms smell like a rainforest? Would we want them to smell like a rainforest? I'm not sure about that. But I digress.

My article, "The jury deliberates...about our armpits!" addresses the specific concerns related to commercially produced deodorant/antiperspirant products, and I hope you will read it...your own armpits will thank you. Now I would like to share with you my own recipe for homemade deodrant so that you can try it out for yourself!

This recipe makes about 3/4 cup of deodorant, or about six ounces. Total cost to me for the ingredients is about $1, one more bonus as compared to store-bought products that can cost more than $3 for less than half the quantity. So without further delay, let's whip up a batch of deodorant!

You will need a small saucepan and a container for the finished deodorant, so gather those first.


1/2 cup pure coconut oil
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
10 drops Tea Tree essential oil
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
15 drops Lavender essential oil
2 T isopropyl alcohol (ordinary "rubbing alcohol")


  1. Mix the isopropyl alcohol with the arrowroot powder. I know that sounds odd, but trust me. The powder will easily absorb the alcohol, which prevents the alcohol from separating from the oil.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in the saucepan over low heat.
  3. Removethe coconut oil pan from the heat and stir in the essential oils.
  4. Mix the arrowrot powder thoroughly with the warm oil mixture, then pour it into your container.
  5. The deodorant will remain soft and rather runny until it is completely cool. I usually set mine in the refrigerator for a half hour or so to speed it up.
That's it! Rub about a nickel-sized portion under your arms and away you go! 

About the ingredients:
  • Coconut oil is mildly antiseptic all by itself, and is well-absorbed into the skin so it does not clog pores. Make sure you buy pure coconut oil and not one of the coconut oil "products" that contains petrolatum! Petrolatum is not absorbed into the skin and will definitely clog pores.
  • I prefer arrowroot powder because it does not irritate my skin. Cornstarch or baking soda can be substituted if you prefer, but if itching develops those are the likely culprits.
  • Tea tree oil is widely antiseptic and also well absorbed into the deeper tissue layers, reducing odor-causing bacteria and theoretically also benefitting the underlying lymph nodes.
  • Peppermint oil is mildly antiseptic and adds a pleasant cooling effect.
  • Lavender is mildly antiseptic, but the main reason for it in this recipe is to add a nice scent. You could substitute another essential oil that you prefer, or leave it out entirely. This is where you can personalize the deodorant with a specific scent that you enjoy!
  • If you prefer a drier texture in your deodorant, you can add a bit more arrowroot powder. Likewise, if you prefer it softer you can add less.
Bear in mind, this product is not an antiperspirant. Commercial antiperspirants inhibit sweating by using ingredients (aluminum-based, usually) that cause the opening of sweat glands to swell shut so sweat cannot exit to the surface...this deodorant does not interfere with sweating.

Lastly, if you have an empty push-up style deodorant container you can pour this deodorant into it while it is still warm and runny, and let it set up. You will be able to apply it directly from the container just as you would it's store-bought counterpart. 

If you try out my recipe, let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you!

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