Raise your hand in the air if the first time you heard of homemade deodorant, your thoughts were something along the lines of: That is just GROSS, Those people are crazy, They’ve taken DIY/all-natural way too far, They must be a bunch of dirty hippies, Some people have too much time on their hands. If you could see me, I would have both hands waving in the air. I had heard the hype about aluminum & other nasty stuff in the commercial deodorant, but I was sure that there was aeasier way to get a nice safe deodorant without mixing it in my kitchen. Something along the lines of handing over some money for it at a store. Something that felt a little more hygienic or scientific or something like that. I mean, I make soap, shampoo bars, and lotions, but making deodorant felt like it was only one step away from making my own tampons and hauling my own water. I’m not quite ready to go there.
Then I was browsing a blog that interested me, and saw a link to a homemade deodorant post. And I had to pause, because the author was not a dirty hippy. In fact, she was really put together and organized. So I gave it a look, and it didn’t look too bad. Then, shortly after that I came across another post about making your own deodorant where the author listed all the scientific reasoning behind the ingredients she had used. And it made sense.
I mean, baking soda absorbs odors. And coconut oil has all sorts of great properties, some of which are that is kind to skin and anti-bacterial. The same goes for tea-tree, rosemary and citrus oils.
And then I noticed my deodorant was running low. And I did have all the ingredients on hand for one of the recipes, so I tried it. And I really liked it. I didn’t stink at the end of the day like I did with store-bought anti-perspirant/deodorant. I didn’t feel any more moist. And in fact, when I did get all hot and sweaty (in my exercise classes), I smelled really yummy when the essential oils were released as the oils warmed up. There were only a few problems.
1 – was that I wanted to keep smelling my armpits, which really isn’t proper social etiquette.
2 – the recipe I tried got hard on cold mornings and it had too much powder. The result was that it was crumbly, so if I pressed too hard (which I nearly always did), little bits would break off and fall into my clothes, or I would get a large smear of powder/wax across my armpit, which really isn’t the look I am trying to pull off. Also, nobody else in my family would use it this way. My husband just refused, and I didn’t offer it to my nearly teenage daughter because I could just picture her mashing it onto her armpits, only half paying attention, and running off to school with a trail of white pasty chunks falling out of her clothes as she moved.
So, I looked at other recipes and the ratio of powder to wax/oil ranges. I tried a few of those & felt waxy/sticky, and I was noticeably more moist. Not my favorite feeling in the world unless I am swimming in a pool on a hot day. So, I tweaked the original recipe some more, by softening it up a bit and lowering the amount of powder just a tad. The result is a creamy, non-crumbly concoction that stays soft, rubs on cleanly, and does not leave any white smears behind as evidence.
Citrus Vanilla Mint Deodorant
3 TB cornstarch
2 TB baking soda
2 TB arrowroot powder (or just use more cornstarch)
2 TB coconut oil
1/2 TB olive oil

12 drops essential oil (I used 2-3 each of Tea Tree, Orange, & Vanilla)

optional * 1 TB shea butter (to soften more)

Melt oil in microwave on 70% power. Start with 2 minutes and stir. Microwave for 30 second intervals at 70% power, stirring after each interval. Once fully melted, add olive oil and powders and mix with a fork until well blended. (If mixture firms up, return to the microwave to soften) Add essential oils, and mix again. Place in a clean container and rub a small amount on as you would a lotion.

I tried putting this in a clean roll-up container, and it was possible, but not really great. It is soft enough that unless I dabbed the deodorant on, I ended up using too much, and then I had to wipe off the extra white powder – which defeated the whole purpose of the container! So I just decided to come to grips with touching my armpit. And it really doesn’t bother me now because I know all the ingredients that are in the deodorant & I touch most of them all the time in some way or another. So go get friendly with your armpit & enjoy smelling great!