Non-toxic DIY Deodorant with Naturally Antibacterial Essential Oils

Non-toxic DIY Deodorant thesoftlanding.comI’ve spent the last several years trying innumerable natural deodorants and have only found a couple that even come close to getting the job done.  Colorado PitStik and Soapwalla Deodorant Cream were my favorites, but as time went on, I really wanted to be able to adjust the ingredients and scents to fit my own body chemistry a little better.

I gave in to my mad scientist tendencies and went to work in the kitchen.  And now, two months later, I’m the happiest – and best smelling girl – in the neighborhood!

Is it Really Necessary to Use Natural Deodorant?

Yes, it really is important to switch in order to avoid aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, triclosan, and heavy doses of the ever-present chemical hiding place we lovingly call “fragrance.”  Aluminum toxicity It has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer.

The Coolest Homemade Deodorant Recipe EVER

I started out making a wonderfully basic recipe from Smarty McSmart, Lindsay, of Passionate Homemaking, then tweaked things until I found my own perfect homemade deodorant combination:

  • Mix together equal parts arrowroot powder or cornstarch and baking soda (I usually begin with 1/4 cup of each)
  • Stir in enough coconut oil to moisten the mixture, but not so much that it’s wet (I usually start with 6-8 Tbsp)
  • Add 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil (find it here)
  • Add 5-10 drops of patchouli (find it here)
  • Add 5-10 drops of cedarwood essential oil (find it here)

Why Peppermint, Cedarwood and Patchouli?

Peppermint is the perfect compliment to coconut oil because its antibacterial/antimicrobial properties fight the bacteria that cause odor, while cooling your skin by constricting the capillaries.  It even soothes freshly shaved under arms with its surprising analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.  Wow, what a super star!

Patchouli and cedarwood essential oils create a nice, earthy fragrance that will work for guys and girls.   And believe it or not, they both offer antibacterial properties (in fact, patchouli inhibited 20 bacteria in a recent study).

Since you’ll be using this deodorant one to two times per day, it’s important to spot test your skin with a diluted version of the essential oils you use to make sure you don’t have any reaction to them.

Trust me, this deodorant works to combat odor and soothe sweaty pits like no other!

A Note for Heavy Sweaters

Don’t forget that this is not an antiperspirant, so you’re going to sweat, but that’s not a bad thing like we’ve been to believe.  Sweating is the body’s way of  removing toxins from your body, so just allow yourself to get used it and be prepared to mop up and change into a fresh shirt after physical activity.   You may also need to reapply the deodorant for it to be effective.  We’re all different, so experiment and don’t give up too quickly!

What’s your favorite homemade deodorant?

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  • Rebecca

    I may give this a try once again, this sounds more gentle than the previous recipe I used. I had a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda. This worked wonderfully in the beginning, then the baking soda became too much and actually made my underarms raw and inflamed. I stopped using this because my left armpit got really raw and I ha to bandage it for about a week until it healed. I now use a mineral spray, which is very gentle and works just as well. I use baking soda for many of my DIY recipes, but I think it may be too harsh for the underarms. Sensitive people that want to try this recipe may want to cut the baking soda in half.

    • I had the same trouble with baking soda too Rebecca, but this recipe has worked well for me. I do find that it’s better not to pile layer upon layer throughout the day, but rather to wash and then reapply.

      And I agree with you that ultra sensitive folks may want to cut the baking soda in this recipe in half. ~Alicia

  • connie

    do we need deodorant? Its all the personal products. It was created by corporations to sell it. I only use a few things and I find I dont need it. I change my shirt because I do know we need to sweat and if we dont. Are not letting our bodies do what they need to keep us healthy?

    • I definitely need it Connie, but you make a valid point about making sure our bodies are healthy to begin with so they can detox as the need to. ~Alicia

  • I am going to have to give this a try (and I love the title btw). I admit this is one area I have been more reluctant to make a permanent green switch. I like to smell fresh and not sweat. Need to get over it!

  • Li

    Is there anything I could use to replace the Patchouli? Patchouli gives me headaches.

    • Absolutely, Li! You can really use any essential oil you like. I just happen to love patchouli and thought it was cool that it also happened to be anti-bacterial. ~Alicia

  • Jennifer

    I am curious about how you apply it. Do you have it in a jar and just apply with your hand? Thanks for the recipe! I always love to read about your new creations!

    • Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the encouragement! Yes, I just mix mine up and toss in a repurposed jar and then apply a dime-size dollop with a fingertip. ~Alicia

  • Mallory

    When you use this, does it again your clothing?

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