There are scads of DIY deodorant recipes on the net - almost all of which use an ingredient that – more often than not – will cause irritation, rash, leathery skin, and worse. The culprit ingredient is unfortunately also the active ingredient – baking soda.
No matter what you call it, or which way you look at it, sodium bicarbonate just isn't made for prolonged direct contact with skin. A lot of people have unfortunately had to discover this the hard way.
Many of you have asked me for a DIY deodorant recipe with 'safe ingredients that are pronounceable' and tolerated by sensitive skin. How could I possibly say no to a challenge like that?
It took me a bit longer than expected – almost a year to be exact.
Rewind to 2012
I could count all the batches if I went through my notes (but I'm not). Suffice to say, there have been numerous – and loads of tweaking and testing. And, I have to be honest up front: this deodorant will not provide 24/7 protection, nor is it an antiperspirant. On its best days, it has provided me with up to 9 hours of deodorizing action. On its worst days, it only lasted about 3 hours. However, on average, it has proved good for about 6-7 hours of protection on 'a regular day' (that includes days with intense sweaty zumba classes).
To have something else DIY to compare with, I made and tested as many (baking-soda-free) deodorant recipes as I could find while developing this one. Some didn't even last an hour. Some had such an unpleasant texture that they were nearly impossible to apply. The best one worked for a grand total of 2 hours and 15 minutes. So, even though this recipe isn't 100% perfection, it's as close as I can get it while fulfilling the requirements you have given me.
So, without Further Ado..This recipe will make 2 small or 1 large (75 ml) deodorant stick.
LisaLise's DIY Baking-Soda-Free Deodorant with Pronounceable Ingredients
9 gr (0.3 oz) beeswax
32 gr (1.1 oz) refined shea butter
8 gr (0.28 oz) cocoa butter
20 gr (0.7) white clay (kaolin)
6-8 drops tea tree (or lemon tea tree) essential oil*
6-8 drops lavender essential oil*
*Both of these essential oils are deodorizing and antibacterial. They are also well tolerated. Replacing them with other essential oils may lessen the effectiveness of your deodorant.
Note: in order for this recipe to work (and have the correct texture), you must measure everything by weight. For best results, I recommend weighing with grams.
EXTRA NOTE ABOUT TEXTURE: The above makes a texture that will stay solid through summer months. It will also need to be 'warmed up' on the skin to apply. If you prefer a softer texture (that is easier to apply but risks going very soft in summer months), reduce the beeswax to a total of 4 grams and use 13 grams of cocoa butter.
- Melt the beeswax and cocoa butter SLOWLY over LOW heat (use a heatproof glass container/beaker that can be placed directly on the heat source)
- Add shea, turn off heat, and stir until melted.
- Add clay to melted butters and stir thoroughly
- Mix essential oils in a small bowl and let sit for half a minute
- Add essential oils to mixture and stir
- Pour into containers and let set
Apply to clean armpits. Warm the stick on the skin, then gently apply to each armpit. Be generous with the product and don't rush application. The more you apply, the longer the effect.
BONUS TIP: combining this deodorant with a 'crystal deodorant stone' (potassium alum) will extend the deodorizing action measurably. Even though it does mean having to do a 'double deo application', I've had all day protection every time I've used these 2 together. Start by applying the crystal deodorant stone (wet and rub on clean armpits). Let dry. Finish with this deodorant. Read more about potassium alum here.
If you make and use this deodorant recipe, I'd love to hear your feedback on how it works for you. Drop a comment on this post or email me (contact info on the sidebar).
More info About Baking Soda in DIY Deodorant
No Sweat: About Baking Soda Deodorant
Why Your DIY Baking Soda Deodorant is Causing a Skin Reaction
Even More Deodorant Fun
Find more information on how deodorant works as well as posts on different deodorant ingredients on the sidebar under Topics.
Visit the Deodorant FAQ Page