A couple months ago, I saw a bunch of people raving about this this natural deodorant recipe so I decided to give it a try. I mainly decided to try homemade deodorant because I was curious, had most of the ingredients already, love using coconut oil for pretty much everything, and thought it would be a budget-friendly alternative to store-bought deodorant (which is pretty pricey and doesn’t last that long). I don’t think natural products are the end-all, be-all, but I’m not a terribly sweaty person and don’t have sensitive skin, so I figured I was in a good position to experiment.
First, the recipe I used…
12 tbsp coconut oil
8 tbsp baking soda
8 tbsp cornstarch
Lemon and eucalyptus essential oils (several drops of each)
You’ll also need some sort of container to put it in. I was looking around my kitchen, wishing I had some kind of tube-like vessel to put the mixture in. My eyes landed on some popsicle molds I had never used. Since these particular molds are sort of short and fat with a wider handle instead of a stick, I knew they’d be perfect. It was quite possibly the most genius “life hack” thing I’ve ever come up with on my own.
1. Melt the coconut oil over low heat.
2. Add the baking soda, cornstarch, and essential oils and let it cool for a bit.
3. Pour it into your container(s) and stick it in the fridge to cool.
The recipe above filled five popsicle molds and filled 95 percent of a sixth…unfortunately, the not-full popsicle mold led to a bit of a crumbly mess when trying to remove it, so that one is going to need to be applied by hand.
I wanted to try out the natural deodorant (and only the natural deodorant, to be sure I got the full effect) for a few weeks before I wrote about it; I’ve now been using it since late July. Overall, it’s working well for me. One downside: after about a week of using it, I noticed that my skin was feeling a bit itchy and I realized I had a bunch of ingrown hairs under one arm, which has never happened to me before. It was quite painful so I started swiping under my arms with witch hazel a few nights a week before bed and after shaving, and that seemed to solve the problem. (Showering would also likely solve the problem but I hate showering so…I guess I’ll just spot clean my body?) Now I just use the witch hazel a few nights a week to keep it from happening again. I actually recently read that some people use straight-up witch hazel as deodorant, so that may have increased the deodorant’s effectiveness too.
One clear difference between the natural deodorant and the Secret deodorant I used before this is that the natural stuff is lot harder/drier, texture-wise. I’ve been keeping it in the fridge because I didn’t want it to melt in my bathroom, but that means it goes on a little rough. I actually just pulled one of the sticks out of the fridge this morning to see how it does being stored at room temperature; I’m curious whether it will soften up a bit. On the other hand, if you made the deodorant in a jar, you could probably warm a little up in your hands before applying so it would be a bit more moist (SORRY) when you put it on.
Unlike regular deodorant, which I’d totally swipe on later in the day if I felt like I needed it, I don’t really like to pile on the natural deodorant. (Thanks to both the texture and the ingrown issue.) If I really feel like I need to reapply, I’ll use a little witch hazel first and then reapply the deodorant to clean(er) skin.
Like I said, it’s working pretty well for me overall. I love the smell of the lemon and eucalyptus and I’m happy with how dry it keeps me but I’m not 100 percent sold on the texture. On the other hand, store-bought deodorant is often kinda slimy, so I’ll continue to play around with softening the DIY deodorant, and I’d even try a different recipe/ingredients going forward.
My biggest takeaway from all of this is that witch hazel is kind of the best thing to keep in your bathroom! It cures all sorts of ailments, is a really good way to freshen up post-workout (especially if you’re shower averse), and the strong/weird smell has sort of grown on me.
Further natural deodorant reading/reviews that I enjoyed:
“Do I Smell Funny?” Natural Deodorant Challenge
The Great No-Deodorant Experiment