In my never-ending quest to find a natural deodorant that really works, I’ve put more than a few types to the test. There were liquidy roll-ons that took too long to dry. There were pop-up sticks that performed just like the conventional kind (until mid-day wetness kicked in and that pleasant herbal scent did nothing to hide my own). Creams were…messy. And those mystical crystal rocks? Don’t even get me started.
Not feeling 100% satisfied with any of the products I tried, I did what any determined-to-keep-scary-chemicals-out-of-her-beauty routine woman would do: I made my own. Now I’m no scientist, but there are some natural ingredients that I knew just had to be included in this recipe:
Baking soda: The same fluffy white powder you use to whip up a batch of chocolate cupcakes has well-known powers to capture odors and sop up moisture, making it a great for both homemade cleaning and beauty solutions.
Coconut oil: What can’t coconut oil do? For body care, it’s super moisturizing and germ-busting—the perfect combo for a DIY deodorant. Plus, that tropical scent…ahhhh.
Essential oils: Potent little plant extracts, essential oils offer all sorts of benefits: clarifying, purifying, skin-supporting. Tea tree oil, in particular, has a reputation for tackling bacteria (you’ll find it in many dental-care products to help fight odor-causing organisms). It makes a strong underarm stink-guard, but if the scent is too overpowering for you, try lavender, lemon or geranium.
Beeswax: Sticky, drippy and time-consuming, liquid- and cream-style natural deodorants can be a hassle. For a more solid-textured homemade stick, a little beeswax does the trick. It’s a popular ingredient in many lip balms and soaps, giving them a glossy and glideable feel while also helping to lock in moisture.
Besides feeling safer knowing that I’m keeping aluminum, parabens and other unpronounceable chemicals away from my pits, I’m also happy to know I’m doing my part to keep plastic deodorant tubes out of landfills. (Did you know the little dials at the base of most tubes are made from non-recyclable plastic? If you must buy instead of DIY, Tom’s of Maine deodorant comes in a 100% recyclable container.)
For this recipe, you can use an empty, recycled deodorant tube, or simply fill a glass jar or metal tin. No need to refrigerate (thanks, beeswax!), but do keep it in a cool, dry cabinet so it stays solid.
DIY Natural Deodorant with Coconut Oil
4 Tbsp. coconut oil, liquid
1 Tbsp. beeswax beads
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup cornstarch
5-10 drops of essential oil(s) (tea tree, lavender, etc.)
Empty recycled deodorant stick (or metal tin, glass jar or container of choice)
- Fill a small saucepan with water and place a heat-safe bowl on top (double-boiler style). Add coconut oil and beeswax.
- Bring water to a gentle boil, stirring coconut oil and beeswax constantly until melted.
- Remove saucepan from heat. (Note: Now is no time to dawdle! Beeswax hardens quickly–and I mean really quickly–so perform the next steps as fast as you can for best results.)
- Stir in baking soda, cornstarch and essential oils; mix well to combine.
- Pour mixture into empty deodorant stick or container of choice. If using a tin or glass jar, keep in mind you’ll have to press your fingers (or a sponge or makeup wedge) into the deodorant to apply.
- Keep deodorant in a cool, dry cabinet away from heat for up to two months.