Deodorant is a hard topic. Finding a deodorant that works well AND is non-toxic is difficult to say the least. Also, if I am being completely honest, the research on the toxicity/safety of deodorant is mixed. Some people say it is completely harmless (aluminum, parabens and all), while others feel that these ingredients are very concerning. For me, I’d rather be safe than sorry. I feel there is enough evidence against these individual ingredients that I aim to avoid them in all products:
-aluminium (I avoid antiperspirants altogether)
–fragrance (click to read my very first post on why you should ALWAYS avoid fragrance)
We tried A LOT of deodorants, and this is the one that worked the best, was easy to make (b/c remember I try to avoid DIY when possible), and is very cheap!
THE BEST All Natural Homemade Deodorant Recipe:
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup arrowroot (may substitute with cornstarch, but it can be a skin irritant so arrowroot is best if you have sensitive skin)
3-5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted in oven or on stove top
-or buy Kirkland Coconut Oil in bulk to save more $/oz
15 drops desired essential oil (see recommendations below)
1 empty deodorant container
-link is for a 6 pack; have at least 2 for each person so you never run out and decrease how often you make it
- Combine baking soda, arrowroot, and essential oil in bowl.
- Combine coconut oil with other ingredients, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture is at desired consistency.
- If you live in a warm climate, add one oz. of melted shea or cocoa butter to recipe.
- Press firmly into empty deodorant container and let sit until coconut oil solidifies.
You can use any therapeutic grade essential oils in your deodorant that you like in regards to scent. However, I have found that Purify, Melaleuca, thyme and lemongrass significantly contribute to odor control. I also personally like Balance, Serenity, Peace, Ylang Ylang, and Citrus Bliss for their health/emotional benefits and scent! I usually include at least one oil for odor control plus whatever else I have that smells good 🙂
Are there any good men’s spray deodorant options?
My husband has VERY sensitive armpits. He has always required spray deodorants because every stick deodorant he had tried would almost immediately cause large, red, painful welts in his armpits. He would try to suffer through it, but it was miserable. Finally, I stumbled upon this little gem at Yankee Homestead:
- 20 drops Cedarwood
- 20 drops Patchouli
- 25-30 drops Bergamot
- 5 drops Frankincense
- Fractionated Coconut Oil (click here for info on fractionated coco oil)
- 2 oz. glass spray bottle (2-pack or 4-pack)
- Add essential oils to glass spray bottle.
- Fill bottle about 1/3 of the way with FCO.
- Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
- Insert spray top.
- Shake well. (Shake well before each use.)
So, my husband tried it. Shockingly, it worked!! It is the only completely non-toxic deodorant that worked for him to date. My hubby would likely still be using this if I could stand the smell of patchouli. For some weird reason, I hate patchouli. And patchouli lingers. So after a few months, I couldn’t take it anymore. We tried to switch out the patchouli for something else, but it lost it’s efficacy. So, he stopped using it.
What if I react to all baking soda based DOs?
As I continued searching for a safer DO option for my hubby, I stumbled upon Crunchy Betty who was addressing issues people have with homemade deodorants. She mentioned her readers having reactions to the baking soda in homemade deodorants. Apparently, this is because of a pH imbalance. Baking soda is very alkaline. When you apply it to your skin, it changes the pH significantly which can lead to raw, irritated skin (exactly how I would described my husband’s reaction). Luckily, there is a very easy and cheap fix for this: combine 1 cup of distilled or RO water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray a small amount of the mixture on each pit and rub all over. Allow to dry completely and then apply your homemade deodorant! BUT, DOES IT WORK?? YES!! My husband has been doing this for the last 3 weeks along with using a stick, baking soda based deodorant, and he has not had a single welt or irritation!
If you are looking for a safer yet financially savvy replacement for your current deodorant, THE BEST all natural homemade deodorant or the men’s spray deodorant are the best options.
However, if you have an aversion to DIY or are limited on time, keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming post on less toxic deodorant options for purchase! These definitely cost more than traditional deodorants and more than these DIY options, but they are a much more convenient.