Easy homemade deodorant recipe that really works

Feb 25, 2015 at 7:00 a.m. ET
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

In today's busy world, every minute is valuable. So naturally, busy ladies need to have reliable underarm protection and most will assume that homemade deodorant won't ward off odor. But if smelling fabulous isn't already enough of a worry, many of the convenient roll-on stick options available at your local pharmacy are filled with questionable chemicals.

Over the past decade or so, there has been lots of information published about the dangers of name brand deodorants/antiperspirants, claiming they can cause or lead to breast cancer or Alzheimer's. However, don't panic yet. Most of the claims just aren't true.

Why you still shouldn't use store-bought deodorant

According to the American Cancer Society, "there are no strong epidemiologic studies in the medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence to support this claim." Phew. But — and this is a big but — parabens, the chemicals used as preservatives and food additives in many types of personal care products, are absorbed through the skin and "studies have shown that parabens have weak estrogen-like properties... and have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer."

It's confusing, right? Does it cause cancer or doesn't it?

I don't know about you, but upon learning about this quagmire, I wanted to say goodbye to conventional deodorants, and go all hippy-dippy and embrace my natural B.O. But that wasn't going to happen. So I decided to go the natural brand route.

Homemade DIY deodorant

Ingredients to make homemade deodorant

  • A glass jar with a lid
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil (roughly 4 tablespoons melted)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flower (the original recipe called for cornstarch, but I have sensitive skin under there, so I went for the more natural alternative, which you can find at most health food stores)
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (I used tea tree peppermint oils, which can cause a slight tingly feeling. Lavender is another excellent, and lovely smelling choice.)

How to make it

Combine all the ingredients into a bowl, and immediately mix together, before the coconut oil solidifies. A yummy smelling mix will congeal. From there pour the paste into your glass jar. Let air dry, with the lid on or off, and then either store in your bathroom or in the fridge. I prefer mine to be room temperature because it's easier to dip my fingers in and apply under my arms this way.

The results

I've been using this recipe for a few months now and so far, I've experienced dramatic results. I do hot yoga frequently, which results in maximum perspiration but lately, I don't smell as pungent as I did with regular deodorants. My underarm skin, which would sometimes have slight razor burn or irritation, is noticeably smoother, most likely due to the great benefits from the coconut oil.

I also feel better knowing that I'm in control of what I'm putting on my body, and not worrying about whether toxic chemicals are sneaking into my pores. And the natural ingredients all have a purpose: The coconut oil provides moisture and is a natural antioxidant, the baking soda tames your B.O., the essential oils are aromatic scents and each has its own function (i.e., tea tree and peppermint oils have antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties), and the arrowroot flour holds it all together and absorbs moisture.

So as it might be more convenient to pick up the go-to deodorants, try this for a healthy change and let me know how the recipe works for you.

Image:Karen Cox/SheKnows

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