Make this homemade non-toxic deodorant with just a few simple ingredients. No cooking involved – just mix the ingredients together and use right away!
It’s the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.
No one wants to admit they have it. But when you have 3 people in the room, and all of them are wondering where that weird smell is coming from? Something’s gotta give…
I’m talking, of course, about body odor – or as it’s more affectionately called – BO.
We’ve all experienced it at one point in our lives, but it’s not something we like to discuss. And the good news? I’m not going to discuss it either, because beyond an unhealthy diet and not drinking enough water, I have no idea what causes BO.
But finding safer alternatives to the store-bought deodorants? I got you. 🙂
What’s wrong with store-bought deodorants?
It’s simple, really. Most of the deodorants on the market today contain a long list of questionable ingredients that can be very harmful for our health.
What kind of harmful chemicals?
For starters, parabens, which are a preservative, and have actually been found in trace amounts in the tissue of breast cancer tumors. They can mimic female estrogen, which helps drive the growth of human breast tumors. (source)
Another one is aluminum zirconium, which acts as the “anti-persiprant” in the deodorant. Since 1911, several studies have linked aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease, and have shown that aluminum intoxication mimics the characteristic symptoms of Alzheimer’s. (source)
However, these studies have also been heavily disputed based on claims that aluminum can’t enter the brain in high enough levels to actually cause any damage.
I’m erring on the side of caution here.
But let’s look at those anti-perspirants for a second.
The aluminum salts in your deodorant have a very specific function – anti-perspirant, which literally means “to prevent perspiration, or sweating.”
Just think about that for a minute…sweat is a natural bodily function. It regulates your body temperature, cleans your pores, and even helps to release toxins from your body. Sweat is also odorless and only takes on a smell when it mixes with the natural bacterial flora that’s on your skin. (Hint: A health diet with lots of probiotics and fermented foods can help balance that flora.)
When anti-perspirants are applied to the skin, they dissolve in the sweat and form a gel which temporarily “plugs” your pores and blocks your sweat glands, preventing them from sweating.
Personally, I’m not comfortable with the idea of preventing my body from doing something that helps it to naturally regulate itself.
So what about the “natural” deodorants at the store?
Before I started making this non-toxic deodorant, I tried what felt like hundreds of other “natural” alternatives: Tom’s of Maine®, JASON®, Nature’s Gate®. Even that weird the crystal rock thing… Seriously, I’ve tried them all.
And as much as I tried to convince myself they were getting the job done, I knew I was lying to myself. They always left me feeling too sticky, too gooey, and just plain uncomfortable.
So it was time to get my DIY on and try my hand at this non-toxic deodorant bit!
Non-Toxic Deodorant Recipe
Surprisingly, it’s very easy to make yourself a non-toxic deodorant that actually works. So easy, in fact, that you can make it and use it in just about 5 minutes.
This recipe requires no cooking, no waiting, and no cooling. Just mix it up, and you’re done.
You need just four, simple ingredients:
- coconut oil
- baking soda
- corn starch (or arrowroot powder, for sensitive skin)
- essential oils (optional, but highly recommended for best results)
For the essential oils, I like to use lavender and rosemary (for the nice scent), and also tea tree oil (because it’s anti-bacterial), but use whatever scents you like.
PRO TIP: Tea tree oil is a must for me. I’ve made the deodorant without it before when I’d run out, and it just did not control odors very well for me. So regardless of what other oils you use for scent, add a few drops of tea tree oil for odor protection.
Ready for the super simple recipe?
First, mix the baking soda and arrowroot/corn starch.
Then, add the coconut oil and mash it into the mixture until you have a creamy paste.
Finally, add in your essential oils and stir very well to distribute.
That’s it, you’re done!
Now you have 2 options for storage.
The first, which is what I do, is to spoon the mixture into an old, cleaned out deodorant stick. Just keep twisting it down, then spooning the mixture in until it’s all in, then smooth out the top.
If you use this option, you’ll have to put it in the fridge to harden. And that’s also where you’ll store it. Because coconut oil melts at room temperature, your deodorant will start to melt and create a greasy mess if you decide to keep it in your bathroom. Ask me how I know…
Your other option is to just keep it in a small glass jar in your bathroom and apply it with your fingertips.
And that’s how you make non-toxic deodorant!
I know keeping deodorant in the fridge sounds ridiculous, but once you try this non-toxic deodorant, you won’t care what anyone thinks of your weird deodorant in the fridge.
…and you’ll get the last laugh because you’re beating BO in the butt and protecting yourself from harmful chemicals. 🙂
NOTE for shaved underarms: Because shaving causes your hair follicles to temporarily become inflamed, applying deodorant right after shaving is usually not a good idea. Even this homemade version can cause some irritation (I think it might be the baking soda).
So for the first day after shaving, if I’m staying home, I usually don’t put any deodorant. But if I’m going out, I just rub some organic coconut oil under my arms to help soothe the area and provide at least some minimal deodorant protection. 🙂
EDIT: A reader has altered the recipe a bit and shared it here for others to try (thanks, Lynn!):
3/8 cup of corn strach, 1/8 cup baking soda, 2 tablespoons of melted shea butter, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. After the oils set, this made for very firm deodorant which should be safe at room temperature for most summer days. If you or any of your readers wish to try this variation please bear in mind shea butter has a “nutty” scent to it so you may wish to add some essential oil if you’re not a big nut fan.
Where can you buy essential oils?
- In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and arrowroot powder.
- Add the coconut oil and mash with a fork into the baking soda/arrowroot mixture until you have a creamy paste.
- If adding essential oils, do so at this time and stir well to distribute.
- Spoon the mixture into the deodorant stick. After each spoonful or 2, twist the stick down to make room for more deodorant. When it’s full, smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
- Store in fridge to prevent melting, or keep in a glass jar on counter and apply with fingertips.
Ready to ditch the harmful chemicals and make your own non-toxic deodorant?
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