Natural Deodorant & Antiperspirant {That Works}

This has been a 6 month quest to find an all natural deodorant recipe that works for both me and my husband.  We dealt with the itchy armpit issue  (too much baking soda), one that turned out dark grey (I wear way too many delicates to stain my nice work clothing), and one that literally turned my armpits light brown. It took about 3 armpit detoxes to get the staining out.  I’m too girly for all of this fuss.

I was relieved to finally find a combo that works!


4 Ingredient Deodorant & Antiperspirant

  • 1/2 cup melted organic coconut oil (solid state)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil and 10 drops Clary Sage essential oil

To me, the Tea Tree is key. It keeps smell at bay all day long.  Make sure you use therapeutic grade Tea Tree oil.  I prefer  Young Living. Do NOT use a cheap store bought fragrance oil! It may cause irritation and it won’t be effective for banishing the bacteria that leads to smells.

The Clary Sage pairs well with the Tea Tree and creates almost a baby powder like scent.  The Tea Tree would also pair well with Lavender.

Spruce, Vetiver, or Cedarwood would all work for a manlier scent.


The arrowroot powder makes this glide on smoothly and absorbs wetness. (In a pinch it makes a great dry shampoo too). The baking soda eliminates odor, but I use it sparingly to avoid irritation.

Coconut oil also contains healing and antimicrobial/anti-fungal properties.

Simple to make: Heat coconut oil (I start with solid coconut oil) in microwave in a glass container for 20 second intervals until melted. Quickly stir in arrowroot and baking soda. You can add more arrowroot a tsp. at a time as desired to get the consistency you want.  Add 10 drops each of both essential oils.

Pour or scoop into a plastic deodorant tube, a tin, or a glass jar. I refrigerate mine for a half hour until it solidifies again and then remove and store in the bathroom. I personally don’t mind applying this with my fingers and I carry a tin with me for a touch up halfway through work.  My husband prefers the stick application.


Why make your own deodorant?

First of all, non-toxic deodorants are expensive. There are some great ones out there, but the cost is significantly higher  for nontoxic deodorant/antiperspirant combos, especially if you have to pay for shipping. I found Schmidt’s deodorant to be effective but the consistency (to me) was not smooth enough. I have heard Ava Anderson Non toxic has this amazing chocolate mint scented nontoxic deodorant that works well.

I personally like to save money and this only takes me about 5 minutes to make and we have enough to last 2 weeks.

I have a friend that refers to some natural deodorant (only deodorants) as “slimey” and I agree. I also don’t like those version either. In a pinch, yes, but for everyday use not so much.

Why natural deodorants? What is wrong with the mainstream brands?

You are playing Russian Roulette with fragrance. The FDA does not require companies to disclose how the ‘fragrance’ is derived, namely the fragrance could actually be a cocktail of chemicals to mimic a natural smell.  I like to source for scholarly resources and found a relatively easy to understand one here about chemicals in our products.

“Many of these products may be sources of chemicals that have a diverse spectrum of health effects, including endocrine disruption and associations with asthma. Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are chemicals that can alter hormonal signaling and have potential effects on developing reproductive and nervous systems, metabolism, and cancer (Colborn et al. 1993). ” [1]

From someone that has battled a grapefruit sized ovarian tumor and removal, the inflammatory disease of endometriosis, and precancerous cell removal I will go to persistent means to avoid hormonal disruption in my products.

“Recent research from EWG and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products, none of them listed on the label. Fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world. Our advice? Buy fragrance free wherever possible.”    … “Everyone should avoid products with “fragrance” indicating a chemical mixture that may contain phthalates.” [2]

Also, after using natural deodorants I found a stick of old deodorant in my desk at work one day. I literally had respiratory side effects when I opened it to sniff it on a whim. What ingredients did this mainstream  deodorant list?

  • BHT 
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results
One or more animal studies show tumor formation at high doses [2]
  • Cyclopentasiloxane  HIGH concerns: Persistence and bioaccumulation; Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife,  One or more animal studies show tumor formation at moderate doses, One or more animal studies show endocrine disruption at moderate doses

There were more scary chemicals listed but I’m not wasting my time talking about this product anymore!

I’ve heard many debates about aluminum- so many that I don’t wish to address it at this time, but if car parts can be made from it, I’m out. I don’t want that on my skin; hence, in my bloodstream and in my body organs.

What if I buy Fragrance Free?

That’s great! However, your formulation probably also contains parabens, phlalates, aluminum, dimethicone, and the list goes on. These are chemical agents added to our consumer products for a “smooth” finish and so they “glide” on well or create a barrier on our skin to block odor.  They also block sweat which is trapping in the harmful chemicals.

Go to this site from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database and look up your product ingredients.  Please, especially if your teenagers are using these products, look up these ingredients. Their bodies are still developing-hormone and endocrine disruption is harmful to their reproductive future as well as their metabolism.


Recommended Product Links:

5 Empty Deodorant Containers White 2.5oz- with “I Made It At Home for You” By Oils4Health  (5 count)

6 ct. Deodorant Twist-up Empty Containers (Natural) – for lotion bar, heel balm etc. (2 oz.)” 6 ct. Deodorant Twist-up Empty Containers (Natural) (2 oz.)a>

Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch Flour, 16 oz>Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch Flour, 16 oz

You can also find arrowroot powder at most major grocery stores. I found mine at Meijer. I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand featured above.

I order metal tins via Bulk Apothecary.


  1. Robin E. Dodson,1 Marcia Nishioka,2 Laurel J. Standley,1,3 Laura J. Perovich,1 Julia Green Brody,1 and Ruthann A. Rudel1,  Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma Associated Chemicals in our Consumer Products.  July 2012.  Environmental Health Perspectives
  2. Top Tips for Safer Products.

7 thoughts on “Natural Deodorant & Antiperspirant {That Works}

  1. Karla says:

    Will this leave marks on clothes. I wear a lot of tanks even at work and hate it when store bought leave white residue on the underarm area of the tanks


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