I’ve used countless store-bought natural deodorants, and they always leave me stinky and sweaty. I first made this homemade deodorant recipe back in 2011 and still use it daily, along with thousands of rawkstars who swear by it too.
Why I use natural deodorant
Making your own deodorant saves money, is healthier for your body, and actually stops the sweating AND body odor. Seriously, jump on this bandwagon asap!
In 2011, I went down the hippie road and started making granola bars, natural cold & flu remedies, elderberry syrup, homemade lip scrubs, and even went 10 days without shampoo (def don’t recommend that last one). It was during this time that I began questioning all the things I was putting in and on my body.
Deodorant was one of them.
Most store-bought deodorants contain parabens, aluminum, dye, and a bunch of chemicals I can’t even spell (or type correctly). Different studies have theorized that the aluminum in antiperspirants may increase the risk of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. While other chemicals may lead to hormonal imbalances.
Sure, all of this is debatable, but why take the chance?
And why put these things on your body IF there are safe, natural alternatives that work even better?
To me, that’s reason enough to ditch commercial deodorants and make my own. I’ve been using the exact same recipe for over 9 years now and I absolutely love it and use it every day. The only thing I change up is the essential oils I use, depending on what scent I feel like that season.
The best natural deodorant
No joke— you can put this deodorant on at 5AM, run a few miles, blend a tasty green smoothie, throw on some work clothes, work an 8-hour shift and come home smelling good. Seriously!
At first, my husband and I were baffled by how well it worked. We would smell each other’s armpits just to brag. Then we decided to push the boundaries and slathered it on before a long day of helping friends move… We sweat all day and came home smelling good!
Ingredients to make homemade deodorant
You only need four ingredients to make your own all-natural deodorant. Chances are you prob have at least half of them already. You can buy arrowroot powder in the baking section of most natural food stores or online.
- baking soda (feel free to use less if you’ve got sensitive skin)
- non-gmo arrowroot powder (a better choice than traditional cornstarch)
- organic unrefined coconut oil
- essential oils: grapefruit, tea tree, spruce, and sweet orange are my favs
How to use homemade deodorant
Using natural deodorant can seem a little intimidating at first. Since it’s stored in a jar, you have to scoop it out with your finger, a popsicle stick or a tongue depressor. If you’d prefer to have it in “stick form,” you can add a little bit of beeswax and shea butter to the recipe to thicken it. Yet I found that didn’t work as well for me and went back to the jar recipe.
Homemade deodorant: a recipe for succes
Some people can encounter issues with an itchy rash, red bumps, or more sweat and/or odor than usual as they transition to homemade deodorant. Yet don’t let this prevent you from making the switch! Drinking plenty of water and dry brushing are two awesome ways to assist your body as it adjusts away from the chemical-laden deodorants you used to use. My #1 recommendation (drumroll, please!) is to detox your armpits. Sounds weird, I know! But it’ll help speed up your body’s adjustment period to this homemade deodorant. Katie at Wellness Mama has a great recipe for a detoxifying armpit clay mask that I swear by.
In addition to detoxing your armpits, you may also want to consider detoxing your whole body. All the processed foods we eat contain chemicals that end up affecting the way we smell when we sweat. Try out our Thrive 7-Day Reset or Fresh Start 21-Day Cleanse to get started on a whole-body detox. These cleanses are super easy to follow and just use whole, plant-based foods (no expensive supplements!) to gently clear your body of unwanted toxins.
Best Natural Deodorant to Buy
While making my own deodorant works for me, I’m also a realist and know that not everyone wants to go this crunchy. That’s where Pretty Frank (formerly known as Primal Pit Paste) and Native come in. Both brands have natural deodorant lines that have a variety of strengths and scents that work AND are better for your body. I’ve used them both when on vacation or if I run out of my own homemade deodorant and haven’t had time to make another batch.
Simple Homemade Deodorant
- mixing bowl
- air tight container
- 1/2 cup baking soda - you can use less when starting out if it irritates you
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder - you can also use cornstarch... but I prefer arrowroot powder
- 5 tbs coconut oil
- 20 drops grapefruit essential oil - or another essential oil with antibacterial properties
- Mix baking soda and arrowroot together. (I used my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.)
- Add the coconut oil and essential oils. Mix well.
- Pour into clean air-tight jar (Homemade deodorant will last up to 2 years in an airtight container.)
- Use a popsicle stick to get the deodorant out of the container and transfer to your finger. Make sure you use enough under your arms to keep you “sure” all day long. A pea-size amount is usually good.
- Consistency: This deodorant changes consistency depending on the temperature. In cold climates, it can be pretty hard to get out. If that's the case for you, I recommend storing it by the shower and allowing the steam to warm it before applying. If you live in a warm climate and the deodorant is too liquid-y, you can store it in a cool cupboard to thicken it up.
- Technique: For the past couple years, I stopped using the popsicle stick and actually just use my fingers and dip them in the jar.