When I started using coconut oil as an occasional deep conditioner for my hair, I also found quite a few sources saying it could be used as a natural deodorant. I gave it a try, and it worked... kind of. It had to be reapplied later in the day, and didn't work well in the heat of summer or through a heavy workout. It also could leave oil spots on clothes if not careful.
I've also tried Tom's, and while it smelled delicious, I had similar issues with it as I did with coconut oil--just not effective enough.
I pinned Jen's recipe for homemade D.O., but was still pretty hesitant to try anymore natural solutions. So, my sister-in-law tried it instead. She even convinced my brother to use it, and they both rave about it.
I know all the reasons to avoid antiperspirants and kept using 'em anyway. I desperately wanted another solution, so when I ran out of deodorant over a month ago, I finally made my own.
Phewy, what took me so long?! This stuff is amazing.
Seriously, so easy with only 4 ingredients--2 wet and 2 dry. It smells yummy--you get to pick the essential oils used. And it's healthier than antiperspirant or even the average store-bought deodorant.
I call that a win-win-win. ;)
Little changes like making d.o. or cloth-diapering or no 'poo or the lena used to seem so unapproachable and epic hippie--now, I realize they can be just common sense.
Note: I am not a healthcare professional or scientist or chemist or anything worthy of giving guarantee on the information shared here. Just a gal sharing my personal experience, take it or leave it for what it is...
*Affiliate links used below. See full note at bottom of post.
Homemade Tea Tree Deodorant Recipe
1/3 c. baking soda
1/2 c. cornstarch
5 TBSP coconut oil
16 drops tea tree essential oil (or lavender, or other preferred oil)
1 | Mix baking soda and cornstarch in a small bowl.
2 | Heat coconut oil 15-30 seconds until liquefied, add tea tree oil and mix.
3 | Combine oils with powders, and store in an airtight container. Full recipe fits in a 1 cup container.
How to Store Homemade Deodorant
Deodorant Stick or Glass JarWhile the mixture is still soft, it can be poured in your preferred container. You can buy deodorant stick containers or reuse your empty deodorant stick container (doesn't work well when mixture is melted), or an 8-ounce mason jar, or 1-cup pyrex container like the one in the pictures in this post. Start with whatever you have on hand, then see what you think and what works for you. For travel, it would need to be stored in a leak-proof container (i.e., one with a screw top lid like the mason jars).
Refrigerator or BathroomThe mixture can be refrigerated if you would prefer to apply it as a solid. That is probably the best solution if you're hoping to use it in a deodorant stick container. However that makes it more difficult for travel. I prefer to keep it on the container in the bathroom where I get ready in the morning. Sometimes it's solid and sometimes it melts, but it can be applied either way.
How to Apply and Use Homemade Deodorant
If the mixture is solidified in a deodorant stick, then you can apply as you might store-bought deodorant. You could also use a q-tip or some other "scoop."
I use my finger to scoop a little out (just enough to cover the tip of my pointer finger), then spread it between my finger tips on both hands and apply it to my underarms. This is enough to last all day. I reapply if I'm about to go work out, or have been outside sweating in the heat a lot. I did this with my antiperspirant too, so no change there.
Does Homemade Deodorant Work?
Yes, it works! This recipe is great.
The small amount shown above is all I use at the start of each day. I reapply if I'm about to go work out, or have been outside sweating in the heat a lot. Although, I did this with my antiperspirant too, so no change there.
One important thing to remember is there will be some adjustment if you're switching from an antiperspirant to this homemade recipe--because this isn't an antiperspirant! You will sweat with this deodorant, and that's a bit of a transition if you're used to not sweating when using a store-bought antiperspirant.
If you've been using a store-bought regular deodorant, then this should work similar to that.
Like a normal stick deodorant, it can be prone to get white marks on dark clothing. To avoid this, don't use too much and thoroughly work mixture into the skin (like shown in photo above) before putting on clothes. If white does show up on clothing, just a little water will get it off.
Why Tea Tree Essential Oil?
You are not limited to tea tree essential oil. That happened to be what I had on hand. (I found this one on clearance at The Body Shop. You can also find essential oil options on Amazon if you can't find them locally.) I love the fresh smell of tea tree, and it blends nice with the tea tree soap we get from Trader Joe's.
Its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities also add medical benefits and help this mixture's effectiveness as a deodorant.
There are lots of other essential oils that could be used (lavender or grapefruit to name a couple). Just do your research and make sure the one you choose is safe to use on skin (i.e, bergamot has a delicious citrus smell but shouldn't be used on skin that will be exposed to sunlight) and that you don't use too much.
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