Monday, April 14, 2014

Finally Took the Plunge--Coconut Oil Deodorant

Homemade coconut oil deodorant is ALL over the internet, and most blogs have covered the topic quite sufficiently already. This is new to me, however, and perhaps new to one of you. So here you go!

I vowed that the tube of deodorant I bought a few months ago was going to be my last. The more things I can avoid with unknown health affects, the better (like the supposed but not proven link between the aluminum in many deodorant/antiperspirants and breast cancer). I've only recently begun using coconut oil at all, and when I learned that it makes a good deodorant, it didn't take long for me to decide I had to try it.

As you can see, I held on to that last tube of deodorant until the very, very end. I was only using it every few days, peeling out more crumbs and rolling the crumbs around on my armpits. On the off days, I either wore nothing, or put some plain coconut oil on.

On the days I went au-natural, I got bold, thinking "Maybe I just won't wear deodorant anymore! What freedom!" However, as much as I hated to admit it, by the ends of those days, I avoided raising my arms. I'd catch a wiff of myself and become a little sheepish. Perhaps some people can go without any kind of body-odor cover-ups, but I'm definitely not there yet. I want people to be able to hug me without giving a subtle sniff and thinking 'well, that's odd. I wonder if Andrea ran out of deodorant?'

On the days I used plain coconut oil, I definitely smelled better. From what I've read, the natural anti-bacterial properties of the coconut oil actually attacks the bacteria that causes the body odor. I still sweated a good amount, but there was no sharp B.O. The only problem was, I like to cook with coconut oil now, and the smell of the oil in my pits was reminding me of some of the things I cook. In particular, popcorn. On one of my plain-coconut-oil-in-the-pits-days, I was eating a bag of brown bag popcorn and the subtle scent of the coconut oil I used to pop it made me think of my armpits. Maybe it's just me, and maybe I'm weird. But I don't want to think of my armpits when I eat popcorn.

Because I decided I couldn't go au-natural, and because I also didn't want to just use plain coconut oil, I finally took the plunge and made some deodorant. I'm not sure why I hesitated for so long, because it was incredibly easy. I used a recipe from Prairie Homestead, only I cut down on the cornstarch just a bit. Adding essential oil changed the smell of the coconut oil, therefore fixing my weird issue with my armpits smelling like my food (I used sweet orange, but I love that once I run out of this batch, I can try something new). I was going to leave the cornstarch out entirely, but purportedly it will help even more with the sweat, and I do tend to sweat. I know that sweating helps remove the body of toxins, but still, I'd like to cut down the amount of it going on in those pits. :)

Let me just say, I am in LOVE with this deodorant, and I hope to use it from now on! Summer will be quite the test for it, so I will have to come back and update its performance once I've tested it to the hilt. :) I will have to make sure to keep the deodorant in a sealed, spill-proof container when I go on my camping trips, because coconut oil becomes liquid at only 76 degrees.

My middle son went to the health food store with me on my quest for essential oil, and he got a real kick out of smelling all the testers. I told him and my oldest son that we will make a trip back over there so they can pick their own fragrance, and they will get their own homemade deodorant. I haven't got the hubby convinced that he needs to give up his precious Old Spice deodorant yet...but time will tell! He's given in to bigger crazy ideas than this one! ;)

Coconut Oil Deodorant
modified from The Prairie Homestead

1/3 c. coconut oil (I used unrefined)
1/4 c. baking soda
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
2 T. cornstarch
a few drops of essential oil, as much as you like, any scent you love (I used sweet orange)

Mix everything together in a bowl, using a fork to mush it together. At first it seems like it will be too dry, but it comes together nicely.

Scoop into a container. When you are ready to use, scoop a small amount out with your fingertips, and rub between your hands, then rub into your pits!

Whatever residue is on your hands will rub nicely into your arms, or you can even just keep rubbing your hands together. if you must, you can wash your hands afterwards, but I don't find it necessary.


  1. I'm so glad you did this post! I ditched aluminum deodorant about 6 months ago. First, I tried Tom's Natural deodorant and got a horrific rash. Now I'm using another aluminum-free deodorant but it has other additives that I can't even pronounce. I've been hesitant to try the coconut oil deodorant, but I like the sound of the ingredient combination you used! I'm going to take the plunge and make some this weekend... thanks :)

    1. I really hope it works out for you, Caitlin! I feel silly that I waited this long to try it. :)

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