July 4, 2014
Natural Deodorant - Photo by Jan Berry (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

Making my own deodorant was one of those things I thought about doing for a long time but never got around to. Once I finally made my first batch and tested it out, I was smitten by just how simple and straightforward it is to make.

I was also happily surprised by its level of effectiveness. My homemade deodorant works hard while I shovel animal poo, tote bales of hay, chase rascally farm critters and pull the endless supply of weeds from my garden. While it won’t stop you from completely sweating—which isn’t such a healthy thing anyway—it will keep you from smelling like an old gym sock.

This easy to make recipe requires only four ingredients:

  • Coconut oil: a natural antimicrobial that helps fight odor-causing bacteria; find jars in most grocery stores

  • Arrowroot powder: thickens the mixture and absorbs moisture; find it (also called arrowroot starch) in the gluten-free baking section of the grocery or health food store. You can try using cornstarch instead, though some find that it irritates their sensitive underarm skin.
  • Kaolin clay: absorbs sweat and helps soothe skin inflammation; I keep a container on hand at all times to dab on bug bites and bee stings, too. If you can’t get kaolin clay, try bentonite clay instead. (Both are available from online vendors, such as BrambleBerry.com.)
  • Essential oils: added for antibacterial properties or scent. I like to add about three drops of tea tree oil (it’s antibacterial and antifungal) along with peppermint essential oil. Other ideas include: lavender, rose, lemon, lime, orange, patchouli, jasmine, geranium, spearmint, rosemary or pine. You can mix and match these to please your personal preferences. Research each oil before use, as some are contraindicated for those who are pregnant, nursing or have chronic health issues.

Be sure to read the tips section at the bottom, for extra information to help you get the most success from this recipe.

Recipe: Natural Deodorant

Natural Deodorant - Photo by Jan Berry (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 3 T. kaolin (or bentonite) clay
  • 10 to 12 drops essential oil

Preparation
Combine all ingredients and stir until a smooth paste forms. Spoon into a small, glass container. This recipe fits nicely in a small, 4-ounce canning jar. Cover with a lid and store in a cool location.

Dab a tiny amount on your finger and rub under each arm, once or twice a day, as needed.

Tips for Deodorant use

  1. To prevent stinging, don’t apply homemade deodorant to freshly shaved skin. It works well to shower and shave at night, then apply the deodorant in the morning.

  2. In order to prevent oil stains on your clothing, allow the cream to sink into your skin for a minute or two before dressing.
  3. Coconut oil melts easily in warm weather. If your house is like mine and lacks central air conditioning, you might have to store your deodorant in the refrigerator on the hottest days. You can still use it in a liquid form, it’s just a little messier to apply that way.
  4. As a bonus, you can dab your homemade deodorant on bug bites and bee stings for almost instant relief thanks to the kaolin clay in the recipe.
  5. If you don’t find this homemade deodorant strong enough for your needs, consider adding 1 to 2 tablespoons baking soda to the recipe to boost its odor-fighting properties. Be aware that some people, myself included, experience burning and redness when they use baking soda under their arms. If this happens, discontinue use.

For a firmer product that uses skin nourishing shea butter, try this recipe by Scratch Mommy.  

Jan Berry - The Craft Hub

About Jan Berry
Jan is a goat-chasing, soap-making, homeschooling farm wife who loves vintage tea cups, word games and turning weeds into beautiful things. She joins the Craft Hub each month with DIY body care recipes and projects. She can also be found at her blog, The Nerdy Farm Wife.

 

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