For years I have searched for the perfect clean alternative to commercial deodorant. Perfect for me, that is. Not one to be overly concerned about sweat or perspiration (it is natural and healthy for the body to perspire, so why suppress it?), I wanted something that was a good counter for body odor that was also effective — meaining, something that would last longer than an hour or two.
Before I explored homemade deodorant, I tried many naturally derived, store-bought deodorants, which have a bit of a bad rap. They aren't as effective as the consumer wants them to be, often requiring reapplication throughout the day. In some cases, the ingredients in these deodorants aren't as clean as we want them to be, which can also prove to be a challenge.
After a little bit of digging, I found a couple of recipes online that were quite simple to make in my own kitchen. I tweaked the recipes to create a formula that incorporated some of the best aromative effects of the chosen essential oils and to give them a stronger odor fighting punch. Once all the ingredients were gathered, it took less than 15 minutes to create a cream deodorant that rivaled a natural version I paid a tidy sum for someone else to make for me. Never again with this recipe. I am happy to report it worked well — sometimes for a couple of days at a time, and didn't leave permanent white streaks on my clothing.
What you need to make your own homemade deodorant:
1. Baking soda
A key ingredient in clean deodorant, baking soda can be used on its own for a simple doedorant as a paste made with water. It is a must-have in any homemade deodorant recipe, as it is free of harsh chemicals and very effective at keeping odor at bay.
2. Powdered clay
Another great component used to fight odor, clay comes in a lot of varieties. I like bentonite clay, but other powdered clays can be used as well. However, color rich clays are generally not recommended as they could cause discoloration to the skin.
3. Coconut oil
Great for fighting odor and for moisture, coconut oil was is the key binding ingredient for the dry powders.
4. Cornstarch or arrowroot powder
Either powder can be used to absorb moisture. This is great for keeping underarms dry.
5. Essential oils
Essential oils contribute a desired aroma to homemade deodorant. Choose gentle oils like bergamot (bergaptene-free), lavender, coriander or geranium because the underarm is a senstive area. Bergamot (bergaptene-free) essential oil in particular is great because it is a terrific odor fighter with a fresh, light scent. Be sure to use a bergaptene-free version because the bergaptene in standard bergamot essential oil makes the skin susceptible to UV radiation should your skin be exposed to sunlight.