Coconut Natural Deodorant.

15 June 2011

{image by iyer venki}

As y'all know, I LOVE organic coconut oil.  A lot.  A "buy a dozen jars, eat it, slather it all over me, recommend it to other people, slather it forcibly on those who resist" kind of a lot. It's an addiction, I tell ya -- I may need to seek therapy.

I blame the island girl part of me.  She's weird.  And a little slutty.

Anyway, I recently confessed that I also use coconut oil as deodorant.  Yes, I do!  Because I'm all about the natural health and beauty stuff.  Plus, it's inexpensive and can be mixed quickly and easily.

With girlfriends asking for the recipe, I just had to share... of course!  So, without further ado, here's my version of the recipe (the unmodified original recipe is at Passionate Homemaker).  Also, be sure to read the IMPORTANT NOTES after the directions to avoid any of the pitfalls I've encountered.  Seriously, you'll want to do this -- it's called IMPORTANT for a reason.

Okay, let the games begin!...

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch or arrowroot powder
3-4 tablespoons coconut oil
10 drops of tea tree or other desired essential oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1: Mix dry ingredients together.
2: In a separate bowl, melt coconut oil.
3: If adding essential oil, add it to the coconut oil now.  Mix.
4: Add and mix oil -- one spoonful at a time -- into the dry ingredients until you reach the consistency you like.
5: Let set for an hour or so.
6: To apply, grab a pea-sized dollop of the mixture and massage into underarm.  Body heat will melt the coconut oil and help with the slathering situation.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTES...

- First of all, DO NOT apply this immediately after shaving your underarms!!!  It'll feel like rubbing sandpaper on your crotch, then pouring lemon juice all over it, then stabbing it with a fork, and finally having someone kick you.  Repeatedly.  Yes, it's a tad uncomfortable.

- Why these ingredients?  Well, cornstarch absorbs wetness, baking soda takes care of odors, and coconut oil acts as an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal/skin-softener.

- You may not need to use all the oil.  That's OK. 

- You'll likely need less oil in the summer.  When I made yesterday's batch, I used 3 TBSP.  It was humid yesterday.

- Also, in the summer, if it's too warm in your home, the oil will liquify and the mixture will separate.  Solution: Keep it in the fridge.  It'll stay relatively solid, and it'll feel awesomely cool going on.

- I personally like it more lotion-y.  I apply it as I would cream or lotion.  And it leaves less of a white powdery residue, which sadly can't be completely avoidable.

- You can use solid coconut oil, but you'd need the strength of Hercules or have the ability to use The Force to get these bad boys to mix well.

- I've never used arrowroot powder, so I can't say if it's better or worse than corn starch.  If one of you tries it, please let me know here in the comments or via email with your observations.

- If you use less coconut oil, you will smell more corny (due to the corn starch) and less coconutty.  Again, that's OK.

- Some new users have claimed that they encountered a somewhat-stinky adjustment period of, at most, a week when they made the switch from commercial deodorant/anti-perspirant to this recipe.  Others have not.  I was one of the lucky ones, fresh and coconutty from the start.

- Yes, IT WORKS WELL!  One day, I went from a hot yoga class to coffee with my friends to a chiro appointment, and although no one said anything, no one tried to avoid standing close to me either.

If you have any questions about this, or if you've tried it, I'd love to hear from you!

17 comments - LEAVE YOURS HERE...:

Jenny @ exconsumer said...

This is awesome Nenette! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe AND your very important pointers.

I hate the pain induced by having lemon juice poured over my freshly sandpapered crotch, so that was a really helpful warning about not applying this deodorant to freshly shaven armpits. ;)

Seriously, though, I've been wanting to make my own deodorant for a few weeks, but I wasn't decided on what recipe to try. This is definitely the one!

BTW - Do you use the tea tree oil, or just stick with the coconut oli?

Nenette AM said...

@Jenny: Hahaha! I'm glad I could help you avoid any unpleasant underarm-as-crotch situations. :)
No, I don't use tea tree oil. I might try it in my next batch.

myrtle said...

Hey, I use the same recipe, but from a different site http://sewgreen.blogspot.com/2010/08/make-yourself-un-stinky.html (originally from Passionate Homemaker). I did a la sew green and used both arrowroot and corn starch. Just because I had both.

Love it, but I was hoping your recipe was different so I could do something about the white powder. I'll try making more lotion-y. Or just wear less black. It's summer anyway.

Nenette AM said...

@myrtle: Making it more lotion-y I found helped. And you know how much black I wear! :) I used it more powdery for my first batch and was not happy. At one yoga class, I had a white sweat rivulet running down my arm during downward dog! ew!

Bees With Honey said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I know a few of my readers were asking if you would divulge your secret recipe:)))

Nenette AM said...

@Bees With Honey: Glad I could share it, Bruna :) It wasn't a secret, but I like to help!

Rock Chef said...

Hey I was just looking in your fridge and found this wonderful coconut spread stuff!

Vinny C said...

My wife's actually into this all natural stuff too. I think she'll be interested in this recipe.

M. Hicks said...

Wow, thanks for sharing, I'm going to give this one a try. I have a sneaky idea...you think if I pour some of this into an old plastic deoderant stick applicator and stick it in the fridge, it might work? We'll see!
I printed you for my fridge!

Su said...

Hmmm.... I'm kinda curious now

Meg said...

I have not used deodorant in two weeks now. The only thing I have used is tea tree oil and lavender oil. It seems to be working pretty good. No wetness, but every once in awhile during yoga I feel like I could smell a little better. I will keep you posted on my no deodorant experience. If after a month I still have a stench I am going to whip up this blend. Thanks for sharing.

Also, have you used coconut oil on the rest of your body at all? I started using it as lotion but I think it made me get little red bumps. I am experimenting to see what it is exactly so I have cut it out for the mean time.

Nenette AM said...

@Meg: I definitely use coconut oil on the rest of my body! But I found that using it just after drying off (as in after a shower) was too overpowering and a little irritating on my skin. I now use it while I'm still in the shower while I'm still damp. Have you tried it that way? I've found it very effective.

Nenette AM said...

@M. Hicks: Very sneaky! :) Actually, I did try that, but I think I did something wrong 'cause I just ended up breaking the old container! Please keep in mind that I tend to be rather spazzy sometimes, so you'll probably fare better than me.
If you try it, please let me know how it went!

Roomie said...

Well, I suppose I should add that my wife has never smelled funky in a bad way in all the time I've known her, so it's probably not a fair test of the natural product. :-)

Anne said...

When I read you love natural sources I was like "wow" for it. Your blog is really amazing because you shared what you learned from your experience and I would really like to try making it on my own. Thanks for this lovely blog. All my support is with you! Keep it up. :)

cham said...

Thanks to your 2011 recap, I came across this helpful post. I'm trying to "wean" myself from the chemical deodorant and go back to "tawas" but somehow, I don't get the desired effect.

Happy New Year! :)

Abigail Gunther said...

This helps a lot to know just what to do and what not to do!! essential oils, baby

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