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Make Your Own Deodorant with Essential Oils

When you use your deodorant, do you know exactly what you’re rubbing into your skin?

Conventional deodorants rely on ingredients like parabens, aluminum, triclosan, phthalates, and artificial fragrance. And while the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute report no conclusive evidence linking the chemicals in your deodorant to the development of breast cancer (since antiperspirants are applied near the breast area), why take a risk?

  •   Parabens: Some research indicates parabens may be to blame for hormone disruptions.
  •   Aluminum: The metal can cause “gene instability” in breast tissue, according to a UK study.
  •   Triclosan: The antibacterial, which is found in many soaps, has been shown to disrupt hormone function in animals.
  •   Phthalates: You know how your deodorant smell sticks to your skin? That’s the phthalates. In addition to potential skin irritation, some research points to such health issues as higher rates of asthma.

Don’t Sweat It

It’s OK to sweat. That’s your body’s way of cooling off and releasing toxins. But to cut the odor after your run or for an evening out, why not rely on a natural deodorant with ingredients you can actually pronounce?

Where drugstore brands rely on aluminum to block sweat, natural deodorants combat the stink— which is actually caused by bacteria on your skin that eats the sweat and releases certain chemicals.

Did you know you can “DIY” your own deodorant? It’s super simple. Essential oils are a natural fit for deodorant because their properties help control odor. While your antiperspirant stops you from sweating completely by blocking your pores, essential oils open up your pores, allowing you to release those toxins and cool off. When blending the oils with baking soda and a few other safe ingredients, you can banish any smell, too.

Get the Most Out of Your Homemade Deodorant

  •   To minimize odors, keep your armpits clean. Use an astringent like witch hazel to help clean your pores before applying deodorant.
  •   Avoid wearing synthetic fibers. Fabrics such as polyester and Lycra don’t usually breathe well so it’s harder for moisture to evaporate. Choose natural-fiber-based clothing, such as cotton, wool, bamboo, or hemp.
  •   Keep in mind it might take a bit of time for your body to adjust to non-chemical deodorant. You may notice a temporary increase in sweating, odor, and underarm sensitivity during that time.

Essential Oils to Use In Your Deodorant

You can simply use just five to 10 drops of the essential oil diluted with a carrier oil directly under your arms, or you can make one of the recipes below. Here are a few of our favorite deodorizing oils:

Deodorant “Recipes”

Always test on a small part of your skin first before using on your body.

Deodorant Body Splash

  •                4 ounces Vinegar
  •                2 teaspoons Vodka or Witch Hazel
  •                5 drops Lavender
  •                5 drops Sage
  •                5 drops Lemon
  •                5 drops Rosemary
  •                3 drops Peppermint
  •                5 drops Grapefruit
  •                2 cups Spring Water

First blend essential oils together. Add them to the vodka or witch hazel and shake well for as long as you can. Leave them all to settle, then add the vinegar. Allow it to sit for an hour. Pour the whole mixture into the water and shake well again. Pass liquid through a paper coffee filter. Store in a glass bottle and shake well before every use. For a stronger scent, allow the oil and vinegar mix to sit longer before adding to the water.

Invigorating Splash

  •                10 drops Lime
  •                10 drops Lavender
  •                5 drops Peppermint
  •                3 drops Lemon
  •                1 oz carrier oil of choice

Fruity Splash

  •                10 drops Orange
  •                5 drops Lemon
  •                10 drops Red Mandarin
  •                5 drops Grapefruit
  •                1 oz carrier oil of choice

Delightfully Cooling Deodorant

  •                1 teaspoon Vegetable Glycerin
  •                1/2 cup Witch Hazel
  •                1/2 cup Aloe Vera Juice
  •                3 teaspoons Deodorant Zinc Oxide
  •                20 drops Bergamot FCF
  •                10 drops Grapefruit

In a measuring cup, combine the glycerin and witch hazel. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a 4 ounce, dark-colored glass spray bottle. Use in the morning and before you go out in the evening. Discard after 1 month.

Underarm Deodorant

  •                15 drops Sandalwood
  •                5 drops Cypress
  •                5 drops Sage
  •                5 drops Lavender
  •                2 ounces Aloe Vera Juice or Witch Hazel
  •                1 tablespoon Alcohol

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle or roller ball container. Shake well before every use.

Antiperspirant Spray

  •                1 cup Water
  •                1 1/2 teaspoons Alum powder
  •                1/4 cup Vodka or Witch Hazel
  •                15 drops essential oil of choice

Mix together all ingredients and stir well until the alum is dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle or clean container with a tight-fitting lid. To apply, spray on the body or use clean cotton pads. Makes 10 ounces.

Botanical Deodorant

  •                1 tablespoon Glycerin
  •                2 tablespoons Vodka or Witch Hazel
  •                1/2 cup Witch Hazel
  •                1/2 teaspoon Liquid Chlorophyll
  •                10 drops essential oil of choice

Mix together all ingredients and stir well. Pour into a spray bottle or clean container with a tight-fitting lid. To apply, spray underarms or use clean cotton pads. Makes 6 ounces.

Citrus Deodorant

  •                1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
  •                1/4 cup Water
  •                1/4 cup Vodka or Witch Hazel
  •                1 teaspoon Liquid Chlorophyll
  •                3 drops Bergamot FCF oil

Mix together all ingredients in a ceramic bowl or glass jar. Let mixture sit for one day, then strain off the liquid and discard the lemon zest. Pour into a clean container or spray bottle. To apply, spray underarms or use clean cotton pads. Makes 4 ounces.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe with Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Coconut Oil

  •                2 tablespoons Beeswax granules
  •                1 1/4 tablespoons Shea Butter
  •                1 1/4 tablespoons Virgin Coconut oil
  •                1/2 tablespoon Bentonite clay
  •                1/2 tablespoon Baking Soda
  •                10 drops Lemongrass
  •                6 drops Rosemary

In a double boiler or a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter until melted completely and mixed well. Whisk in the baking soda and bentonite clay until well combined. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes and then stir in your essential oils. Take an old (clean) deodorant stick and make sure the plunger thing is twisted all the way down. Carefully pour your warm mixture into the container. Let sit until completely cool then use as normal.

Stick Deodorant

  •                4 ounces Cornstarch
  •                2 ounces Baking Soda
  •                1 ounce Liquid Chlorophyll
  •                2 ounces Organic Vodka
  •                2 ounces Distilled water
  •                8 ounces Beeswax
  •                10 – 15 drops Coriander

Mix all ingredients except the wax, chlorophyll, and essential oils in a bowl, stirring thoroughly. Melt wax in a double boiler over very low heat then remove from heat. Add to the mixed ingredients and blend well. If the wax thickens too much to be workable, heat again. As the mixture begins to cool, but before it hardens, add the chlorophyll and essential oil. Pour into molds and allow to harden. Store in tightly closed container. You can also use  10 – 15 drops of any other essential oils of choice.