I started making my own deodorant several years ago because I was a little freaked out about the potential connection between the aluminum in antiperspirants and breast cancer. I tried buying natural deodorants, but they gave me a rash within a week or two. There is no scientific evidence for a link between aluminum and cancer, but at this point I’m just used to making my own, plus that’s a lot fewer plastic applicators in the garbage. And you can add your choice of essential or perfume oils, which can complement your other fragrance or just serve as a subtle scent on their own.
My recipe is based on the one at The Prairie Homestead, but with one important change: try making it with a lot less baking soda, which can cause a rash, as it did on me. I reduced this ingredient to about a teaspoon and a half and have no problems, but you can add more if you feel it’s not working well enough.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (I used refined because unrefined tends to be gritty when you get to the bottom of the jar)
- 1 to 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (available at Whole Foods, Mariano’s–basically anywhere that offers organic or natural foods)
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- essential oil or perfume oil
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Be warned: the arrowroot powder tends to get everywhere.
I find it’s easier to melt the coconut oil in the microwave before measuring it out. Set this in another bowl and mix the dry ingredients into it.
Add a few drops of the perfume oil. For this batch I decided to add some lotus perfume oil I picked up recently, but I’ve used lavender, lemongrass, various mixes of essential oils, and even Aveda’s Shampure composition oil, although the full scent didn’t quite come through.
Put it in some sort of cup or jar–I use a covered ceramic jar I got at West Elm a while ago. Ta-da! That’s it. To use, just scoop some out with your fingers and smear it on your pits.
I find this works quite well, except on very hot days I might have to reapply in the late afternoon. I’ve gotten in the habit of bringing a little jar with me in my bag. Friends have expressed interest in making their own, so I’ve passed along the recipe several times. I’ve thought about making it for holiday gifts, but it might be a little weird to gift people deodorant? I think the right people would appreciate it though.