How to Make Your Own Deodorant (I’ve Become a Hippie :-p)

December 3, 2010 in Environment, How-To, Personal Care, Remedy

Yes, it’s true. I actually “cook” up batches of  homemade deodorant. Go ahead, laugh… :) Now here are some sobering facts (burrowed from this CNN article and this article from Education.com) that might make you want to start adopting some of my hippyish tendencies:

1. Antiperspirants are classified as drugs by the FDA. Technically, they affect and/or alter your body’s natural functions. (CNN)

2. Parabens are used in a variety of products (including food) and are generally included as a preservative – an antifungal, and antibacterial agent. Some have speculated that there is an association between deodorants containing parabens and breast cancer. The parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen,  which has been shown to play a role in breast cancer. (Education)

3. Aluminum contained in antiperspirants has also been linked with neurological damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The direct association between aluminum absorbed via antiperspirants and these health conditions has not been confirmed, but a 2001 study showed that aluminum absorbed after just one application of antiperspirant remained in blood system 15 days. (Education)

4. Of course, modern antiperspirants can also ruin your clothing. Aluminum chloride, the ingredient that blocks glandular openings and prevents sweating, is notorious for turning T-shirts yellow. So, blame your antiperspirant for your pit stains, not your body. (CNN)

I’m not trying to scare you too much – I just want to alert you to the fact that antiperspirants currently on the market are often untested by the FDA and contain many questionable chemicals that frankly you don’t need! Yes, I know you don’t want to stink – I strongly believe that everyone should smell good at all times (and women always smell like flowers – just for the record!). But it’s important to note that our bodies were meant to produce sweat to get rid of toxins. Also keep in mind that moisture in sweat is not what causes a bad scent; it is the bacteria that thrive in that environment. Deodorants eliminate these bacteria without clogging your pores, but it’s best to use a natural anti-bacterial than a chemical agent.

After learning all these facts about the chemicals in deodorants, I tried to find more natural kinds at Whole Foods, and tried a few that either didn’t work very well, smelled uninteresting, or weren’t really as natural as they claimed! As a last resort, I looked up different “recipes” for making my own at home, and was surprised to find out that the process is actually very easy. I used this recipe for inspiration.

Here’s what you’ll need to make  a batch of deodorant for yourself:

  • 1/3 cup aluminum-free baking soda
  • 1/3 cup non-GMO organic corn starch
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 4-5 drops Vitamin E oil
  • 10-12 drops of essential oils (I used Tea Tree Oil and Clove Bud Oil for their anti-bacterial properties, and Jasmine Oil for the beautiful flowery scent. Sherif used all the same oils, except he substituted the girly-smelling Jasmine for Musk Amber).
  • An old cleaned-out deodorant bottle, or a small glass jar.

  1. Measure 1/3 cup of coconut oil and add to a microwavable bowl. Melt in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Pour the coconut oil into a container for mixing. Add 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of corn starch. Mix well.
  3. When the mixture is fully blended with no lumps, add the Vitamin E oil and the essential oils in the quantities you prefer (until the scent is as strong as you like it). I found that 10-12 drops of all the oils combined is a good amount.
  4. Mix well and pour into a glass jar. If you have an old deodorant container, wash it well and dry it thoroughly. Then, pour the mixture into it.
  5. If you use a deodorant container, seal the container and leave in the fridge for a few hours till it hardens. If your house is under 77°F, you can keep the homemade deodorant outside. Otherwise, it’s safer to keep in the fridge so it doesn’t melt. On the other hand, if you store it in a jar (my husband found this easier), you can leave it at room temperature so it’s easier to scoop out and use your fingers to apply it.

This entire process took me only about 10 minutes and I’m still using the same batch of deodorant till today (I made this in July). I remember instinctively sniffing my arm every now and then, not to check if there was a bad smell, but because the smell of the jasmine in the mixture was so good! My husband loved the deodorant at first until he became allergic to one of the oils in it – he stopped using it and is now using the lemon-and-clove scented deodorant (100% USDA-certified organic) from Bubble & Bee. But, I am enjoying the homemade deodorant to this day and Sherif can attest to the fact that I never stink (unless it’s after a heavy workout)! :) As a matter of fact, the effect of the deodorant lasts longer than conventional synthetic deodorants.

Go ahead – you know you want to try making some homemade deodorant. This season is a perfect time to test drive it, since it’s winter and you don’t sweat as easily. Let me know how you like it!

*This post was sponsored by Garden.*