A year ago, after a bit of experimentation, I discovered the following natural deodorant formula. Ready-made, natural deodorants abound, but none proved effective for my body chemistry. My eldest daughters and I tested this formula through hot summer days, and it’s passed with flying colors where others failed. A few weeks ago, I taught group of young ladies to make this recipe, and the feedback has been positive from them as well.
(My sweet husband gave me the tulips pictured behind the deodorant containers! Aren’t they pretty?)
3 Tbs Coconut Oil
1 Tbs Shea Butter
1 Tbs Beeswax pellets
4 Tbs Arrowroot powder
2 Tbs Baking Soda
1 Tbs Zinc Oxide powder
*1/4 tsp Antibacterial Essential Oils (see blend suggestions below)
1. Melt beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil (in that order) over medium-low heat; let each ingredient melt almost entirely before adding the next, but don’t scorch the oils. If it smokes, it’s ruined,
2. Turn heat to low. Add baking soda, arrowroot powder, and zinc.
3. Stir over low heat for about 5 minutes to eliminate lumps
*4. Add essential oils
5. Let cool 1-2 minutes to pudding consistency, pour into containers.
6. Refrigerate to harden. It should be ready for use in less than an hour, and can be stored at room temperature (see note below) for a soft, creamy consistency.
This recipe fills a single 2 ounce container–the taller of the containers pictured, or three of the squatty .75 ounce containers. You can refill old deodorant containers as well. Alternately, pouring your deodorant into jam jars is even an option if you’d prefer spread a thin coat on with your fingers to the more traditional “roll on” method. (I buy my tubes here.)
Note: If your home isn’t air-conditioned, this recipe will be very soft in the summer. If it is too soft to “roll on” you may either spread a thin coat on like a cream/lotion or you can alter the recipe by adding 1 Tbs Cornstarch and exchanging 1 Tbs of the Coconut Oil for an extra Tbs Beeswax.
Coconut oil has an especially low melt point–about 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Shea Butter has a melt point of approximately 113 degrees. While the thickeners and beeswax solidify the deodorant past the temperature of the individual oils, it will still liquefy if left in an overnight bag in a hot car in mid-summer. The advantage of these low melt points is that it glides smoothly onto the skin (the texture is amazing!) and it absorbs quickly, so it’s invisible with sleeveless styles, and won’t leave residue on clothing.
What Each Ingredient Does:
- Coconut Oil: Anti microbial, anti fungal, skin emollient, moisturizer.
- Shea Butter: Emollient, anti-inflammatory, moisturizer/ also adds stability to the mixture as shea butter has a higher melt-point than the coconut oil.
- Beeswax: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, and a germicidal antioxidant, gives mixture smooth texture.
- Arrowroot Powder: Moisture absorbent thickener.
- Baking Soda: Absorbs odors and thickens (Some homemade deodorant recipes are half baking soda! Due to it’s PH balance, high baking soda concentrations are an irritant for many people, especially when used long-term, so this mixture keeps the baking soda content low.)
- Zinc Oxide: Antibacterial. Additionally, zinc oxide reacts with short fatty acids that are responsible for unpleasant odors by converting them into odorless zinc salts. Zinc is possibly the most active ingredient in this formula–although each ingredient has an important role.
- Essential Oil: The oils selected in the formulas below have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to destroy odor-causing bacteria.
*Essential Oil Combinations:
This deodorant is most effective when you choose essential oils with antibacterial properties. The goal is not to mask body-odors, but to actually destroy the odor-causing bacteria.
- Bubonic Bandit: I shared my Bubonic Bandid blend in my Essential Oils post here. It is the best combination I’ve used for bacteria fighting, and if you require the strongest fighting deodorant possible, it’s my top recommendation. Click on over to get the Bubonic Bandit recipe. It is a great unisex deodorant, that’s more “Old Spice” than a feminine floral.
- Lady Grey: Reminiscent of a cup of Earl Grey tea, it’s simply 1 part Bergamot Essential Oil and 1 part Lemongrass Essential Oil. Of the deodorant scents I’ve done, it’s second to Bubonic Bandit in odor killing, and should be effective even for those who require considerable odor protection. It’s a lighter scent than the spiced Bubonic Bandit, but could still be used by men or women; just change the name from Lady Grey to Earl Grey for the menfolk.
- PrairieFrog Lotion Potion: For a more feminine scent we’ve used the same essential oil that we use in our homemade lotions and hair products. Mix equal parts Rosemary, Clary Sage, Sweet Orange, and Lavender Essential Oils. This blend is great for skin health, and although not among the most potent anti-bacterials, it should be sufficient for most.
- Lemongrass Lymph Massage: If breast health is of primary concern in your formulation, I’d suggest my Lemongrass Lymph. I designed this especially to encourage lymph flow, and it may have anti-tumoral properties. Additionally, this formula avoids essential oils thought to be estrogenic, which some people avoid due to possible connections between cancer and elevated estrogen levels. This blend is 5 parts Bay Laurel, 4 parts Francincense, 2 parts Lemongrass, and 2 part Rose Otto. Lemongrass is the predominant scent. Lemongrass Lymph isn’t the most antibacterial of my formulations, but is probably best for breast health. Choose the blend that best suits your needs.
- Experiment and make your own. Research properties of essential oils, and make your own anti-bacterial blend!
Disclaimers: Don’t blindly try anything you read on the internet. I’m just a mom with a blog. I’m not a doctor and don’t have any impressive credentials. Reactions are rare, but possible. (On the other hand, don’t assume that you’ll have problems with essential oils because you have fragrance sensitivities. I’m highly sensitive to almost anything “scented”, but most pure, quality essential oils don’t bother my allergies at all-in fact they help!) Body chemistry differs. If irritation occurs or this mixture proves ineffective, discontinue use. No statements on this blog have been evaluated by the FDA.