Homemade Deodorant

Please consider this a TMI alert. Okay, I have sensitive underarms. So sensitive in fact, that every few months I have an allergic reaction to deodorants/antiperspirants. This results in itching, bumpy skin and hyper-pigmentation. Not a good look. Especially if it happens during the summer months when going sleeveless and shaving are requisite in the hot south.

When I had my last allergic reaction I went to my favorite source for information. I bet you are thinking Google, good guess. Actually, I asked my friends on twitter for recommendations. I received all sorts of suggestions - crystals deodorant, Tom's of Maine, Dove sensitive skin. Nothing new there so I was going to go back to my old standby crystal deodorant until @PVATL suggested homemade deodorant and linked to the Angry Chicken blog and recipe.

I was immediately intrigued. I have used plain baking soda for deodorant in a pinch, but this recipe called for the addition of shea and cocoa butter which both sooth and help the deodorant adhere to the underarms. Add some essential oils and everything is set! I needed to take things up a notch because deodorant is good but I also need an antiperspirant. I know that mainstream antiperspirants are not good for us but I sweat like a pig. There is no denying it, so I need something to cut down on the sweat.

At this point I did a Google search and found discovered that Sage is a natural antiperspirant. I ordered three essential oils - mandarin orange, vanilla and sage. I also placed an order for canning jars, shea butter and cocoa butter. I had corn starch and baking soda in my pantry and decided to leave out the vitamin E.

Once I had all of the ingredients I just melted the shea and cocoa butter, added the other ingredients, and the essential oils. I placed it all in the canning jar and let it cool in my refrigerator.

The outcome? Spectacular. My deodorant smells very similar to an orangesicle, remember that ice cream? And the scent is overpowering but it is nice to catch a whiff of it when I initially put it on. The deodorant is a cream that is reminiscent of Tussy - not sure if you are familiar with it but as a child Tussy was my first cream deodorant. The shea and cocoa butter harden at room tempurature so it is necessary to scoop a nickle size amount into your hand and rub until it melts. Once melted it spreads really nicely.

In use the deodorant lasts as long as most natural deodorants. I can generally go eight hours without reapplying. And I haven't had the deodorant completely fail on me so that is great. The only thing I need to figure out is a different container for the deodorant. It is too big for me to carry-on when I am traveling and since it is glass I don't want to pack it in my checked bags.

Overall, I am very happy with my deodorant and in the future will experiment with other scent combinations. Some people have even asked if I'd make a batch or two for gifts. I highly recommend natural deodorant, if you decide to make it let me know how you like it!

3 Tablespoons shea butter
3 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons cocoa butter
2 vitamin E oil gel caps ( I didn't use this)
Essential Oil

Melt all the ingredients (except the oils) and gave it a good stir (about 30 seconds in the microwave). Then add the oils, stir again, and pour in jar.

Place in refrigerator to set.

This recipe filled a 1/4 pint jar.

ETA: One of my readers informed me that Vitamin E is a natural preservative and will help keep the Cocoa and Shea Butter from going rancid in the summer months. Good to know and I will add it to my next batch! Thanks FaithWithHeels!

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mommiebelle said…
oh this sounds great! thanks for sharing!
Reiza said…
You're brilliant!

I never even considered making my own deodorant, but this doesn't sound difficult at all.

I'm definitely going to try this myself. Thanks so much.
Marinka said…
I would have never thought of that in a million years. Sounds interesting. And, doubles as a snack in a pinch!
K. Rock said…
I use the deodarant crystal roll on because I like to keep it natural but I would have never though about making my own. Thanks for the tip.
Anonymous said…
Ditto on all those comments! It's a deodorant that actually sounds luxurious. A yummy underarm?
You are just the cats meoooww.
I will try, thanks Renee.
Boston Mamas said…
DUDE, that is AWESOME!

I know this sounds weird, but I have never needed or used deodorant, but if I ever do I will try this! xox Christine
That is great! And so healthy for you without all the chemicals. I just may have to give this a try.
Sheliza said…
I was reading this post through my email on my smartphone and was in shock. How amazing is this?? I never would have thought to make deodorant...not ever. This is just the coolest thing ever!
Execumama said…
I am ON IT, Renee! Thank you for this. I too have sensitive underarms and they have darkened a bit (TMI Alert here too!) from the burning of deodorants I've used in the past. Recently, I've switched to an all-natural deodorant (at least that's what the label says) called "Crystal" and I like it, but whenever I can go home made—so I know exactly what's in it, I'm all over it.

--My underarms and I thank you!
Nap Warden said…
I will totally try this. In the TMI arena, I have really sensitive underarms as well.
strokeofliving said…
Oooh are we turning into Martha Stewart? I'm impressed. Love the concoction and the jars. Now all you need are labels and you're in business.
Lynn said…
I love this post! I just did a crystal stick deodorant review last week but this also sounds lovely. I'm going to try it and see how it goes. Thanks for the recipe lady!

My best, Lynn
Kathleen W. said…
Thank you so much for posting this. I too break out after using conventional deodorants and have been searching for a natural remedy. I have a lot of these ingredients already, so I'm going to try this out.
SageMom said…
I use organic/natural deodorants too and only when I know I'm going to be doing something where I'd be sweating a lot, or if it's a hot and humid day, I use "regular" anti-persperant.
Wow! This may be a good idea for my oldest daughter. After a few months she needs to change deoderants. Thanks!
Anonymous said…

about the container, why don't you use an empty deodorant stick container? Just push your deodorant inside when it is at room temperature and you can roll it up and down when you want.
About the shea butter: do you have an other suggestion? It is a very overpowering and not so pleasant smell...
Pchanner said…
Love it. I have to try it. I have been on this kick to start making my own ... everything. This is a great idea. Thank you.
fly tie said…
awwww, tussy! reminds me of my grandmother. :-D

seeing as how i adore all things natural, this is now on my "to make" list.

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