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How to make your own deodorant with Essential Oils

how to: homemade deodorant
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Some people are inspired to ditch commercial underarm deodorants because they start to have skin reactions but others look for alternatives because of worry and concern over the toxic ingredients they contain.

Branded proprietary underarm deodorants often include aluminum compounds and parabens.  Aluminum actually blocks your pores and stops you from sweating which is a natural bodily function.  Parabens are a chemical preservative used widely in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products and there are suggestions that these have links to hormone disruption by mimicking estrogen so naturally, there are concerns that they are responsible for breast cancers.  There are also dyes and artificial fragrances plus a host of other chemical compounds you won’t even be able to pronounce.

This knowledge combined with the sensitive destination of these deodorants has led many people to ditch commercial products and produce their own at home.  At the end of the day, if you have made it in your kitchen then you know just what goes in it.

How to make you own homemade deodorant with essential oils

It might seem daunting to create an alternative to what you find on the chemist’s shelves but in fact, it couldn’t be easier.  Here is a simple recipe to follow in which you can experiment and use your favorite oils.


  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil as your base or carrier oil
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons of shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
  • Your favourite essential oils
  • A container to put it in


  • Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler or just put a glass bowl snugly over the top of a saucepan with simmering water
  • Remove from the heat and add the baking soda and arrowroot powder
  • Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils
  • Decant into a glass jar with an airtight lid

To apply, just rub into the skin using your fingertips.  Leave the container in the bathroom whilst you shower and this will encourage the contents to be malleable and easier to apply when you are ready.

If you are in a hurry or have run out, then you can use a simple blend of oils in a base oil and apply directly to your underarm area. If you want a more astringent effect under your arms and a less creamy/oily substance then dilute your favorite oils in witch hazel or organic apple cider vinegar.  Just shake to blend and always shake again before use as the oil and vinegar will separate during storage.  You can even use an alcohol base – a white spirit like vodka is a perfect choice.  Some people like to alternate a shea butter-based deodorant with a vinegar or spirit-based mix, this helps to stop the skin pores under the arms becoming blocked and clogged.

Essential oil combinations to try

Any essential oil that you like is a good choice but there are certain oils that are popular for this task like the Citrus oils due to their clarifying and gentle properties.  Here are some combos:-

  • 4 drops of geranium, 3 drops of lavender and 2 drops of grapefruit
  • 4 drops of lime, 3 drops of bergamot and 2 drops of lemon
  • 4 drops of lavender, 3 drops of clary sage and 2 drops of melaleuca

These are good fusions for women, for men try rosemary, bergamot and sandalwood for richer, more masculine tones.

Essential oils help combat unpleasant underarm odors which are caused by the bacteria on your skin ingesting the sweat and releasing chemicals as a byproduct of this process.  So, you can manage the smell surrounding perspiration whilst allowing your body to sweat naturally.  Essential oils open up the pores allowing you to release toxins and properly cool down – commercial deodorants do the reverse.  Any residual smell is managed by the natural fragrances of the oils, far better than the artificial scents of some branded products which are often overpowering and cling to the skin.

Remember, most of the unpleasant odor under your arms comes from skin which is not clean so wash your underarms frequently in hot weather or if you exercise a lot.  Before you apply your homemade deodorant, clean the pores under your arms by using witch hazel which is a really effective astringent.

Some people go through a period of underarm detox as they transfer to more natural products.  Use a pure clay mask whilst bathing to cleanse the area and draw out any impurities.  Rinse away and tighten the skin pores by applying a rosewater lotion.  Next, apply an oil and vinegar combination and leave to dry before going to bed.  Just shower off in the morning.  This will encourage the body to function as nature intended and help the transfer to more natural, homemade products.

Try and avoid tight-fitting clothes and if possible, wear only natural fabrics which allow your body to breathe.  Don’t be deterred if you seem to sweat more in the early stages of using your own product; it’s just your body’s way of adjusting to the new regime.  You might be shocked at how much you do sweat and how commercial products have prevented your body from performing this natural function.  Processed foods will encourage a higher output of sweat and odor so the more natural your diet is, the better.  Always patch test your skin before using any essential oil product especially those that are intended for the skin in the sensitive underarm area.