True friends care about the way you smell, which is why I’m writing today– I care about you!
For many years, I was hesitant to stray away from commercial deodorant (think: Dove and Secret). My hesitation was rooted in two main issues: my physical address and a deep commitment to avoid body odor at all costs. When you put the two together–Florida and body odor– the results are far from lovely.
A couple of years ago, as I sat on my living room couch nursing my second child, my new mama alarm sounded. Now, this alarm wasn’t of the panic variety. More like a good alarm that triggers great change.
I had known for many years that most commercial deodorants were loaded with less than ideal ingredients, particularly formulas with aluminum, but due to the two factors we talked about earlier, I was hesitant to try alternative choices. My thinking changed as I sat staring into the blue eyes of my nursing baby. I thought about the number of times Londyn nursed a day (too many to count…she was quite the milk drinker) and the deodorant that was applied close to my breasts, and therefore, my nursing babe. Change had to be made!
Research commenced. I knew a natural, effective deodorant must exist, and making my own was definitely out of the question at the moment. After much research, I discovered a brand called Primal Pit Paste. The ingredients were super clean and the deodorant was produced in Tampa (AKA: a Florida deodorant!). I purchased my first bottle of lavender deodorant and instantly fell in love. For over two years now I’ve been faithfully purchasing Primal Pit Paste from my local health food store or online.
Since my first natural deodorant purchase, I’ve learned how to make many (not all, but many) homemade products. After my latest jar of deodorant ran out, I decided to take a look at the ingredient list before tossing the bottle in the trash: shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, baking soda, arrowroot powder, lavender, vitamin E oil. The “I can do it” spirit burned within my body as I read each ingredient. Because I make lotion, toothpaste, and bake muffins/bread, I already owned every single ingredient needed to make a copycat of my favorite natural deodorant.
The thought of conquering an activity I once deemed impossible was such a huge celebration (once the recipe was perfected) that I couldn’t just stop with one jar. Oh no, I created deodorant for family, friends, and neighbors. Yea, don’t make your neighbors deodorant; they will think you’re crazy!
“True friends care about the way you smell, which is why I’m writing today– I care about you!” Drumroll….
And now for the homemade recipe that says, “I want you to smell amazing, naturally. I love you!”
DIY Homemade Deodorant with Lavender
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 2 TB coconut oil same oil used for cooking
- 3 TB beeswax pellets
- 3 TB baking soda
- 2 TB arrowroot flour starch
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil Substitute additional lavender in place of the tea tree, if desired.
- In a double broiler (or a bowl placed over a pot filled 1/4 way full with water), over medium-high heat, bring the water (underneath the bowl) to a slight boil.
- Add the shea butter and coconut oil to the top bowl. Once the shea butter and coconut oil melt, add the the beeswax and stir frequently until all the ingredients are liquid. Remove the bowl from the heat.
- Quickly add the baking soda and arrowroot powder/flour. Stir the baking soda and arrowroot into the liquid ingredients. Add the essential oils, stirring to combine all the ingredients.
- Pour the deodorant into a 4-ounce Mason jar. The deodorant will solidify as it cools.
Adapted from Primal Pit Paste.
Baking Soda Note: I’ve been using a baking soda deodorant (Primal Pit Paste) for over two years without any issue. My homemade copycat recipe also includes this ingredient. If you’re concerned about irritation, replace the baking soda with additional arrowroot powder/flour. I personally need the extra “protection” baking soda provides thanks to my extra sweaty and stinky genes and the Florida heat.
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I just made this and my arrowroot stayed very clumpy so I strained it out. Is there a way to get it to blend better or would I be better off subbing cornstarch for the arrowroot?
Hey Jennifer, You could try adding the arrowroot to melted coconut oil first and whisking to dissolve. Then add this to the remaining ingredients. If the ingredients are really HOT when the arrowroot is added, that can effect the arrowroot starch and its ability to dissolve.
Can I replace the coconut oil for almond oil? Maybe 1 TB of almond oil would be enough, instead of 2 TB of coconut oil? Or is it better the same amount?
Thank you so much!!!
Hey DC, I would probably keep the oil amount the same, or go with 1 1/2 tablespoons and adjust if needed.
Thanks! I will try that!
Just another question: can I sub the arrowroot for white clay? I have sensitive skin and maybe the clay could be useful:)
Hey DC, I believe so. I haven’t tried this personally, but in theory it should work.
I bought unrefined shea butter and I cannot personally stand that smell..I would like to know if I can replace shea butter with cocoa butter.. Will the outcome be any different if I do that replacement?
You can, it will just make the deodorant much harder.
If I use shea butter, it won’t be so hard..
What will happen if I use both shea butter & cocoa butter?
You can try it!
Love this deodorant recipe. Full silicon ice cube trays and then I use one a month. Enough for a year. I do double the recipe. Thank you for sharing.
That’s awesome, Patrica! Thank you for sharing!
Hi! I recently discovered your website while looking for a natural deodorant alternative. Ive tried Green Beaver, Toms, and other mainstream products but found thise products dont last and I end up smelly in a few hours. Your recipe is amazing and has helped so much! After making 2 batches over the last few months I’m wondering if the deodorant is supposed to be hard/firm. I pour into a small mason jar and leave it and found it very hard to scoop up with my fingers. Would you have a suggestion for this? I am using standard corn starch in lieu of arrowroot. Maybe that’s it? I’d love to know how to make it scoopable like the picture or maybe more balm-y since the ingredients are really great and have helped out a lot. Thanks!
The ingredients naturally get hard if its in a cooler temp environment. If you scoop it out and let it sit on your finger tips or palm it’ll soften and be easier to apply.
Hope this helped!
I started making my own deodorant at home and it works so much better. I’m using refillable roll-on bottles. I also waste less plastic doing this way.
I would like to make this deodorant recipe but I have a little concerned regarding the amount of baking soda, I tried to make one without baking soda using zinc oxide and kaolin clay but it didn’t work with me. So I returned to use my old recipe like yours but without shea butter and with different ingredients amounts. I like to make yours but My question is can I reduced the baking soda and add kaolin caly too.. also I like to add tea tree, peppermint , sweet orange and lemongrass essential oils. Also my deodorant keep leaves yellow stains is it because of the beeswax? Thank you
Hey Nada, You can definitely reduce the baking soda and add clay. And also add essential oils of choice. The yellowing is from the oils in the deodorant typically. The baking soda should help with this, but it won’t prevent it fully from happening. I use a homemade bleach when things get bad: https://livesimply.me/2015/07/19/homemade-bleach-alternative-3-ingredient-whitening-solution/ And you can also let Sal Suds rest on the spots if you find the armpits on the garments are darkening due to oil. Then wash the garment in the washing machine.