Out of necessity (and to keep my friends), I had to take a break from soap making yesterday in order to whip up some homemade deodorant. While making it, I took some photos and decided to blog about it. As if the web isn’t cluttered with enough homemade deodorant recipes as it is. Well, here’s one more! :)
About 3 years ago, I stopped using my favorite store bought deodorant (which contained aluminum) and switched to an all-natural brand called Lavanila. I really liked the Lavanila deodorant, but during the past 2 years, I’ve slowly switched from store bought body care products to ones I make myself. Besides saving money (and being SO easy to make), I really like knowing the exact ingredients that go into my skin care products. Deodorant is applied to and remains on the skin for a long time. Any chemicals in it (good or bad) are going to be absorbed into your body, so I use very good, high quality ingredients and try to use only organic whenever possible.
When I started searching for deodorant recipes, I tried several that were applied by hand. However, I really wanted a stick recipe and finally ran across a post about Lexie Naturals homemade deodorant. You can click on that link to see her specific instructions and recipe. I still use her basic recipe, but I modified it slightly. I’m one of those people who have an itchy skin reaction to Lavender Essential oil and a drying skin reaction to Coconut oil when used in high percentages. I also added natural vitamin E in order to extend the shelf life. Because you use so little, it takes a while for me to go through 2 sticks of homemade deodorant.
Note on the use of baking soda in homemade deodorant:
Even though homemade deodorant will not work well without it (or some viable substitute I have yet to find), using baking soda can cause your armpits to get irritated and itchy. About 4 to 6 weeks after starting my new homemade deodorant, mine did. Out of all of my testers though, only my Mom and I had this happen. Turns out that baking soda can mess with the pH of your armpits and make them too alkaline. If you’re one of those people, like me, who get itchy armpits from the baking soda, just check out this post from Crunchy Betty about using apple cider vinegar and water to return your armpits to normal so you can continue to use your awesome homemade deodorant. Also, be sure to check out the tips at the bottom of my post for using homemade deodorant. Both my Mom and I believe we were using too much and using it too soon after shaving. After a year, neither of us has had the issue return.
Here’s my basic deodorant recipe (instructions/pics to follow):
White Beeswax – 2 Heaping Tbsp
Shea Butter – 2.5 Tbsp
Coconut Oil – 3.5 Tbsp
Arrowroot Powder – 1/4 Cup
Baking Soda – 1/4 Cup
T-50 Vitamin E – 1/2 tsp
Tea Tree – 15 drops
Sacred Frankincense – 20 drops
Cedarwood – 15 drops
Things you’ll need: some type of double boiler setup, stirring stick or utensil, measuring spoons/cups, and 2 empty deodorant containers. Amazon is a great resource for all of this stuff.
I make a lot of lip balm, so my double boiler setup is all stainless steel and quite large. You could easily use some kind of heat proof bowl on top of a pot or a mason jar inside a pan of water. Some people even use the microwave. Just make sure whatever you use can take the heat and won’t break on you.
The first thing I do is measure out the beeswax and get it melting in the pot.
After the beeswax has melted, I add the Shea Butter and Coconut Oil. At this point, I will usually cut the heat off and let the oils melt while stirring.
You don’t want your ingredients getting too hot. Use just enough heat to melt everything.
Once the beeswax and oils are all melted, turn off the heat (if you haven’t already) and add the Arrowroot Powder and Baking Soda.
At this point, I will usually switch from a stirring stick to a silicone spatula. After the arrowroot powder and baking soda have been completely incorporated and all the lumps stirred out, the mixture should look something like this.
Next, I will remove the double boiler pan from the heated water and let the mixture cool down a bit.
After a couple of minutes, I add the Vitamin E and essential oils.
After everything has been stirred well, I go ahead and pour the deodorant into the containers. To keep from having a hole form in the middle of the deodorant, I only pour about half way full, wait 5 minutes, then pour the rest of the deodorant into the tubes. While waiting, you may need to place the double boiler back over the heated water to keep the mixture fluid enough to pour. Just don’t heat it too much.
After the containers are filled, I leave them on the counter to completely cool before putting on the tops. Then I wipe all of my pots and utensils down with paper towels and wash everything in the dishwasher.
Here are some tips for using homemade deodorant:
- This deodorant stick will be somewhat soft. Don’t twist up more than you need and definitely don’t leave it in a hot car. It will melt. I’ve tried adding more beeswax, but it made the recipe very hard to pour. You could try adding a bit more beeswax though if you’re worried about melting issues. As a test (and to avoid leaving it in the car), I carried mine in my purse on a trip during 90° days and never had a problem with melting.
- Don’t use right after shaving. Wait at least 30 minutes after shaving or longer, if possible.
- One swipe will do. Don’t overdo it. Applying too much can lead to alkaline armpits due to the baking soda. I apply one swipe to each armpit and that really works. It just doesn’t take much. I only apply it once a day and that’s all I need.
- Might be a detox period. Give yourself a week or two before deciding if you like it. Don’t get discouraged until your body has time to adjust to this new natural deodorant.
- If your armpits get itchy, try using Crunchy Betty’s apple cider vinegar and water solution to get your armpits pH balanced again. During the past year, I got itchy armpits once and her solution worked for me. I was using too much deodorant and using it too soon after I shaved. But the apple cider water solution fixed my pH.
In case you’re interested and just can’t get enough information on homemade deodorant, here are some other recipes along with some information I found helpful.
- A great article by Lexie Naturals on the benefits of using natural or homemade deodorant
- Lexie Naturals Cream Deodorant simple homemade deodorant recipe and instructions
- Lexie Naturals Stick Deodorant recipe with instructions and photos
- The Crunchy Urbanite’s Recipe using a higher percentage of beeswax (my testers with hairy pits liked this recipe better, but it is hard to pour into the containers)
- Crunchy Betty’s recipe
- Mommypotamus‘ recipe using more arrowroot powder and less baking soda
If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to post those below.
Thanks for reading my post and good luck if you make the switch!