Saturday, May 25, 2013

How To: DIY Deodorant Without Baking Soda



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.




Method
  1. 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)
  2. Add shea, turn off heat, and stir until melted.
  3. Add clay to melted butters and stir thoroughly
  4. Mix essential oils in a small bowl and let sit for half a minute
  5. Add essential oils to mixture and stir
  6. Pour into containers and let set
Tip: this mixture sets quickly. Have your containers and all of your ingredients at the ready so you can work uninterrupted in the final steps. If the mixture does set too quickly, remelt the remainder very GENTLY over low heat.

To Use
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.

Do Tell
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


More How-tos

Visit the How To page if you want to learn how to make more of your own products.

154 comments:

SheenaB said...

wow this is a great recipe!

Jana said...

I might try this, i'm always on a hunt for a good deodorant, nothing suits me :( Could i use unrefined shea butter?

Lise M Andersen said...

@SheenaB: Thanks so much! I'd love to hear your feedback if you give this recipe a try.

@Jana: You can use both refined or unrefined shea butter - whichever you prefer. DO let me know how it works for you! :)

Jana said...

Great! Thank you :D xx

Tina Rasmussen, CPH said...

Sounds amazing! Think I'll have to take my coffee with me to the kitchen and try to make it right now - TV can wait :-)

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Tina! Oh exciting! Do drop a comment and let me know how it goes ok? 😊

Tina Rasmussen, CPH said...

Oh I will Lise - its cooling now and will be ready for testing tomorrow morning!
You are so right about moving fast once its mixed, it does set really fast and started getting stuck in my pipette as I was pouring the last spoonful into the container.

Thanks again for the recipe :-)
Tina

Anonymous said...

Beeswax cannot be used in a deodorant. It is difficult to remove when cleaning the armpits. I use this recipe with the variation of bentonite clay instead of kaolin clay. Average results. I am afraid I will have to return to industrial products regarding deodorants. DIY offers no valid solution in this particular field.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Anon, Thanks for your input. You could actually replace all the beeswax in this recipe with cocoa butter, but then I would suggest pouring the mixture into a jar as it may not set hard enough for a stick container. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind answers Lise. This is what I have done. I replaced the beeswax with cocoa butter and I put it into a push up container that I keep in the fridge. The problem is that it does not last for long especially in the summer months that are coming. The reason I tried this recipε is that baking soda gave me serious rush in the armpits. I have to admit although, that the recipe with baking soda lasted for more than 24 hours! So I am thinking to make something in between. Add baking soda to the recipe that you provide but in very low percentage. Not the 4 spoons that the previous recipe was giving, but only half a spoon and 3.5 spoons of kaolin clay. Hope in this way to prolong the deodorant’s effect and in the same way avoid the rush. What do you think about it?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon, If you want to add baking soda to the recipe, keep the entire percentage at max 1% of the product.

For this recipe amount, that would mean 0.7 grams of baking soda or 7/10 of a gram.

You may still see a reaction from the deodorant though - even at this low percentage. Do let me know how it works for you, ok? I'm thinking about giving a beeswax-free version a whirl and seeing how that goes.

Thanks again for your input :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lise!

I've made deodorant and I've used my DIY deodorant for more than a year now. My recipe is more or less like the one posted above, but I do add up to 1% of baking soda in the mix with kaolin clay and arrowroot powder for dryness and nice skin feel. I must say that the recipe works great on me and my friends.

It washes off easily in the shower at the end of the day without the sticky feeling of beeswax. It last for 8 hours or more on regular day (I'm working in an air-conditioned office from 8am-5pm, some exercise after work, and I hit my evening shower at about 8pm without stinking smell) and about 6 hours on sweaty day (doing some house cleaning, laundry and some gardening on weekends). And the fact that my country is hot and humid all the time (the temp. can hit up to 38 degree celcius sometime!) I must say that the deodorant has done a great job :)

I haven't experienced any burn or stinging from using baking soda in the recipe though, so does my friends. We've been using it for more than a year now. In fact, our armpit skin appears smoother and softer (thanks to cocoa butter).

Sorry for the lengthy comment. I just love to voice out my take on DIY deodorant :)

Have a nice day!

Zan, Malaysia.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Zan,

Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like you have found something that really works for you. Please do be aware though, that some people can use baking soda deodorant for over 10 years before getting a reaction to it. The fact that you are keeping the baking soda at a low amount is wise. :)

Tina Rasmussen, CPH said...

Feedback time :-)

This deodorant offers protection enough on a not too warm or busy day. On a warm, busy day I need something more and switch to a comercial product.
But I like the softness of the product which is good on my skin and the scent that isnt overpowering. I dont think it will last me very long though, or am I using too much at a time?
Am thinking of adding more essential oils to the mix for more scent, grapefruit or my favourite at the moment, black pepper. How much essentil oil would be too much and are there some oils I should avoid all togehter?

Thanks again for the recipe :-) Tina

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Tina - Thanks so much for your feedback! I absolutely agree with you about how the deodorant works. I think you could easily add grapefruit to the mix, but be aware this would only be for the scent. If you want to use oils with deodorizing power, choose from lavender, tea tree, lemon tea tree, lemon (but do not use more than 3 drops in one batch of this recipe size), sage (but do not use over 6 drops per batch), and there are actually others as well. Check out the properties of your favorite essential oils before adding them to a deodorant. I'm not sure I could recommend using black pepper unless it is at a very low amount (max 2 drops to a batch). Overall, for a deodorant batch this size, I recommend keeping the max amount of drops of to 18.

As for use: I think one will tend to use more of this deodorant than a commercial one because it takes a bit more to get the same effect as with a commercial deodorant, so you are right about it seeming to disappear faster than a normal deodorant.

Kimmy M said...

Where is the best place to buy the ingredients such as the shea butter, cocoa butter and clay?

Thank you

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Kimmy - If you are in the USA, I have seen several people recommend Lotioncrafter amd Mountain Rose Herbs. (I don't know these companies personally, as I am in Europe). If you are in Europe, please check the links at the bottom right of this blog for a few European suppliers.

Hope this was some help!

Lorraine Dallmeier said...

Hi Lisa,
Just to let you know that I think you've provided a great recipe here and that I think your crusade against baking soda deodorants is a good one. I've certainly shared this link with lots of people who've approached me about making a DIY deodorant!
Best wishes,
Lorraine

Lorraine said...

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for a great blog post. I've sent quite a few people to this link when they've asked me about DIY deodorants! Your crusade against baking soda deodorants is a good one, I'm sure you generate quite a lot of traffic to your blog on this topic. :)
Best wishes,
Lorraine
http://www.herbhedgerow.co.uk

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Lorraine,

Thanks for your input. I'm a little concerned that you think I am on a crusade against baking soda deodorant though. My 'crusade' is to educate about ingredients more than anything else. The baking soda gets a lot of mention due to the amount of people who keep contacting me after getting reactions from using DIY deodorant with baking soda. I keep writing about it because people keep asking me questions about it. I guess that could kind of make it look a bit like a crusade though.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for your supportive words :)

Danuta Kildan said...

Hi Lise, I made the deodorant a months ago, having extra sensitive skin, all with the baking soda, no mater the amount failed miserably. I made the one with kaolin, shea, and cocoa butter according to your directions, Fantastic, no rush, works like a charm. Thank you from a bottom of my heart. :)

Danuta Kildan said...

I made it a month ago and it is total success, no skin irritation, no rush, nothing. It is enough protection and very mild to my sensitive skin. Thank you very much:)

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Danuta - I am so pleased this has worked for you! Thank you so much for taking the time to post such kind words about your experience with this recipe. :)

Danuta Kildan said...

I am still using it and I am going to make new ones, it works great on my sensitive and prone to irritation skin. Keeps fresh for about 5 hours. I am going to use different essential oils, I am thinking about lemon or listea, and lavender. I am researching countless posts, and I had not find anything better than your recipe. :))

Lise M Andersen said...

Danuta - thank you so much for your feedback! I am so pleased this is working for you. If you have had luck using potassium alum (the deodorant crystal), you can actually dole up by starting with potassium alum and finishing with the clay deodorant. I have found this gives me all day protection every time I use both.

Danuta Kildan said...

Thank you Lisa will try your way of dealing with it. I usually leave the house for 5, or 6 hours, so this one is enough, but the summer will come eventually. Thank your for answering:))) have a wonderful weekend:)

Ana Eisenkoelbl said...

I too learned the hard way about using baking soda in deodorant. I would like to know if I can replace the shea butter with coconut oil which has it's own deodorant properties? I would also like to add some arrowroot powder for absorbancy, can I just half the clay and make up the difference in arrowroot?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Ana - Yes, you can replace shea butter with coconut oil, but be aware that the texture will be compromised. You might consider putting the mixture into a jar and using it as a cream deodorant because it is going to be noticeably softer. Adding arrowroot for absorbency is fine, but I'd lower the amount so you replace only 1/5th of the clay with arrowroot. Best of luck with it!

Jé Rebel said...

Could I use arrowroot powder, beeswax, lavender oil, tea tree oil, shea butter ?

Jé Rebel said...

O ya I forgot coconut oil. So coconut oil, arrowroot powder, lavender oil, tea tree oil, shea butter, and beeswax

Jé Rebel said...

:)

Lise M Andersen said...

HI Jé Rebel - You are free to change the recipe as much as you like and use what works for you. If you want to use coconut oil and shea you might find the texture somewhat softer, but I'm sure the mixture will still work just fine. Do post a comment and let us know how it came out, ok?

Abby said...

I've tried a few DIY deodorant recipes that didn't work very well for me, so I'm excited to give this one a try and see! I was wondering. I read somewhere that one of the ways "normal" deodorant works is to increase the acidity of the armpit to make it less bacteria-friendly... So what about adding a bit of acid to this recipe? I was thinking about maybe a powdered citric acid or something that would combine with oils and clay nicely... thoughts?

Lise M Andersen said...

HI Abby - Thanks for your very interesting input! If you check the MSDS for powdered citric acid you will see it is a skin irritant and that it is recommended to wear gloves and to take protective measures when handling it.
Here's a link to one MSDS
http://www.nanotech.wisc.edu/CNT_LABS/MSDS/Acids/MSDS%20Citric%20acid%20crystal.htm


Be aware that you are now adding 2 skin irritants to your deodorant mixture - regardless of pH…

Please do drop a comment if you decide to try this.

Jé Be said...

I’d been using DIY toothpaste and deodorant for a couple months just fine. Shaved and just broke out really bad it was terrible for a couple days. SO I thought my skin finally got irritated by it thus I ran across your site trying to find an alternative route because I like DIY. So LONG story short I realized I accidently ordered and used BAKING POWDER instead of baking soda…. !!!! Those little red fire bumps were sore to the touch, itched like hell and burned, but tea tree oil and coconut oil got rid of them in 2 days, completely in 4. Anyways I used the regular arm and hammer baking soda along with Shea butter coconut oil arrowroot power, my essential oils, vitamin e oil, and a small piece of beeswax. Mix enough to make it powdery like deodorant and haven’t so far so good I love it, I can sweat and I smell like my deodorant and my essential oil no musk no funk and I can use it after shaving just don’t apply as much and my arms smell fresh as ever. I do use Bob Red Mills for my toothpaste though and I’ll stick to the arm and hammer for my deodorant needs. Thanks for your blog

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Jé Be

That is quite an interesting take on DIY deodorant and sounds like you are getting the best of both worlds by combining DIY ingredients with a store bought deodorant. Best of luck with it and thanks for sharing this!

AM said...

Hi, can I use cocunut oil instead of cocunut butter? If so, how much? Thank you. I did too had a reaction to a 'natural' deodorant that has baking soda, got red patches on my skin then they started going dark. I didn't make it, I bought it, but doesn't state how much of each ingreadient it has... it eas great for a cuople of weeks :(

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there AM - yes, you can use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter. Be prepared for a soft consistency though. You might even want to package your deodorant in a jar and apply as if it were a cream. Best of luck with it!

Bee Haven said...

I've just made my 2nd batch of these. First time I doubled up the recipe, this time I did enough to make twelve. Making a bigger amount gave more time to pour before it started setting which was a bonus!

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, it's simple, and it works so very well too!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi there Bee Haven! Thanks so much for your input! I am pleased this is working for you and really appreciate your coming back to leave a comment. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lise,
I found your site because I got a rash in my armpits after using baking soda for the last few weeks. I just recently switched from commercial products and hope i can find the items to nake your recipe soon. so here is my question. I also have been using baking soda to wash my hair and brush my teeth (mixed with water). I haven't had any negative effects but thought up would ask your open union. Is it okay to use on teeth and hair, or not? Thanks!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon - I'm sorry to hear you have had 'baking soda burn' after using it as a deodorant. Actually, baking soda is efficient for many things - among these, cleaning teeth. As for use on the scalp and hair, do remember that the pH is not very skin friendly. Have you tried using rhassoul (also called ghassoul and Moroccan Soap Clay)? It is an all natural cleanser that is ideal for hair. Another natural hair washing solution is making a soap nut deconcoction. Check the How To page on this blog for more info on using rhassoul as a hair cleanser (or mask). Best of luck with it!

Harumi said...

Hi Lise,
Thanks for all your information. I find it very educational. I will definitely try your deodorant. However, I keep finding some comments regarding "tea tree oil" safety concerns on the web ("lack of knowledge about the oil's safety and effectiveness" according to wiki..; very toxic when swallowed; one study even shows that tea tree oil may alter hormone levels...etc). I have a thyroid disease and take hormones everyday, so I'd like to avoid any kind of reaction.I wonder if you could recommend me an alternative to this ingredient, or should I just leave it out of my list of ingredients? Thanks!

Harumi said...

Hi Lise,
Thanks for all your information. I find it very educational. I will definitely try your deodorant. However, I keep finding some comments regarding "tea tree oil" safety concerns on the web ("lack of knowledge about the oil's safety and effectiveness" according to wiki..; very toxic when swallowed; one study even shows that tea tree oil may alter hormone levels...etc). I have a thyroid disease and take hormones everyday, so I'd like to avoid any kind of reaction.I wonder if you could recommend me an alternative to this ingredient, or should I just leave it out of my list of ingredients? Thanks!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Harumi - If you want to cut the tea tree oil from this recipe, then simply replace the tea tree oil with lavender essential oil. So, you will be using a total 12-16 drops of lavender oil. Best of luck with it! :)

crystie said...

Hi Lise,

I made your recipe, and followed your advice to use the crystal deodorant first. Generally, it worked well. I think I used all cocoa butter, and patchouli with lavender and geranium. I don't have tea tree, and lemon stinks on me. My question is, what about putting powdered alum in for some of the clay?

Thanks,
Crystie

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Crystie,

If you want to add powdered alum into the recipe, be absolutely sure it is ground fine enough to where it won't feel abrasive. For the same reason, you will probably have toplay around with amounts until you have a texture that works for you. Best of luck with it! :)

Anonymous said...

Please be aware powdered alum full name is potassium aluminum sulfate, a form of aluminium which has been shown to be a contributor to Alzheimer's disease.

I'm going to try your recipe. Thank you for developing it and sharing it. It is nearly impossible to find a commercial deodorant without aluminium.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for your input. It has not been established that potassium alum is any kind of health hazard. Please check the MSDS for potassium alum here.

http://chemistry.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=chemistry&cdn=education&tm=88&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=65&bt=2&bts=41&zu=http%3A//mubychem.com/MSDS/Potassium_Alum%2520MSDS.htm

There are many who prefer to stay away from anything that might have the slightest chance of being health hazardous, and that is understandable, but pretty darn near impossible to do.

Best of luck with the recipe. I hope it works well for you. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lise,

I used a natural baking soda deodorant for a couple of months and quite when I started getting LARGE boils on my armpits and up my arms as well. It was awful. I quite using it and the boils went away. I would really like to try this recipe but I am living in Europe (Spain) and can't find them. In a comment above you mentioned there is a link to find these products in Europe but I can't find the link...maybe I'm just blind here but I've been looking!

I have used a regular (store bought) deodorant for years but I am getting into more natural things these days. My store bought deodorant works great but it is hard to wash off and is starting to make my skin feel clogged.

Thanks for your help!

Ang

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Ang - Oh my goodness large bold sounds incredibly painful! You asked about where to buy these ingredients. Living in Spain, you could shop with New Directions UK, or Danish Urtegaarden. Also, the French company Aroma Zone has everything you need as well. If you check the right side of the page (web version - it's not visible in the mobile version), then you will find a section near the bottom of the pages titled LINKS - there are links to all the companies I mentioned there. best of luck with it!

Kammy said...

Hi Lise,

I have been using the typical baking soda, coconut oil, starch deodorant religiously for the past two years now, and in the past half a year the irritation has gotten quite bad. Big red spots, flaky skin, terribly itchy. One other source I read mentioned that one needs to re-balance the pH by putting Apple Cider Vinegar on before the deodorant. I haven't gotten into the habit yet, so I can't say if there is an improvement.

I have one question about the recipe though, I happen to have green clay on hand and I was wondering if it would work in place of the white clay.

Thank you for this post and your other posts on deodorant.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Kammy,
Adding vinegar to try and balance the skin is not going to help I'm afraid. If you are reacting to the baking soda, it is probably time to retire it from your deodorant. You can use green clay instead of white clay, but you may want to try a small portion first to see if you get any discoloration from the clay.
Best of luck with it. :)

Anonymous said...

I am going to be starting some DIY parties with essential oils, but I am trying hard to do my research on things that truly work, and what ingredients could be potentially harmful. I know not everything can work for everyone, but I am going to be doing a deodorant demonstration, and would love to use this recipe. Actually, I would love to use ZAN's recipe that worked really well with the bit of baking soda, but I would also like to try a bit of beeswax as well. The problem is that it is going to be tough to measure out grams, and more tough to measure that small of ounces. Any suggestions? Any way to find Zans recipe? Thanks!

Jesse

Anonymous said...

Try Ozone layer deodorant, I got it at a farmers market in North carolina. Its only shea butter and beeswax but the shea is infused with oxygen which apparently kills the bacteria.

Lise M Andersen said...

hey there Anon - thanks for the tip - looks like something to check out!

Robin Turner said...

Can arrow root powder or bentonite clay be substituted for the white clay? I would like to try this out but have to work with what I have on hand.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Robin - you can easily replace the clay with bentonite. As for adding arrowroot powder, use smaller amounts (around 3-4% ). Best of luck with it!

Robin Turner said...

Also a note about the comment that tea tree oil is well tolerated, I have had to remove it from products because it's the least tolerated of the common oils.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Robin - Thanks for this. It's true, not everyone tolerates every essential oil, and it's important to always remember dosage as well.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Jesse - I do apologize for this tardy reply-- somehow your comment was stuck in the 'awaiting moderation area and escaped my eye. As for grams vs ounces - I cannot recommend working in ounces at all. How about getting a small scale that can measure in grams and use that for your cosmetics things? That way you are always 100% sure of the amounts. best of luck with it!

Anonymous said...

I will give your recipe a try. I just discovered coconut and baking soda deorderant which I absolutely loved for odor control but now have dark pits after two weeks. Hopefully

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon - If you have gotten dark pits after using baking soda deodorant, you will probably do best to switch to a baking-soda-free version. I hope my recipe above can be of help to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lise,
My first doe was the typical baking soda, coconut oil, ect. Worked great until we both had red, rashy pits! Hubs used his Degree while I played in my kitchen laboratory to come up with something else. I used plain coconut oil which healed and worked fine. So recipe 2 was similar to this recipe of yours. After 2-3 days, hubs said he had stinky pits. So I added only about 1/2 tsp of baking soda, still stinky. Upped baking soda to 1 1/2 tsp and it wasn't any better so I started over completely. The one I need up with is coconut oil, Shea butter, beeswax, neem oil, tamanu oil, almond oil, kaolin clay, arrowroot powder, Diatomaceous Earth (bought at local feed store but is food grade organic... Never use the garden variety) and a little Vit E oil. Texture was wonderful! I decreased the beeswax bc I prefer it as a cream. The only issue is that both neem and tamanu oils are very strong smelling!! So before adding EO, the smell was VERY earthy. So I tried patchouli, bergamot and cedarwood. It worked very well but that neem oils was WOW! Anyway one of my fur babies likes my ponytail elastics so I took it out of hair and wrapped around lid of my deo! He tried so hard to get it off that he knocked the glass jar on the floor and broke it. Now I needed to remake deo! Well, this time, I only had about 1/4 of the neem and tamanu oils so I used that and increased the almond oil.....much much better! Still earthy smelling which is fine but not overpowering like the first batch. I got this recipe from Scratchmommy! I think deo #3 is going to be the one!! Now I need a good toothpaste recipe. Only made one and it called for tea tree oil which I use for cold sores and am used to the smell but blech....it was nasty in the toothpaste. I dumped it out and am looking for a good recipe for that now!! I love reading your posts! I live in New Orleans, La and I get most of the ingredients at Whole food mkt and local health food stores. :-))

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon - thanks so much for sharing this. You've really put in a lot of effort to develop your own perfect deodorant. I'm glad you've found a combo of ingredients that works well for you and your husband! I totally agree with you about the neem oil, It can be a bit 'hefty' in the scent department,

As for toothpaste, you might want to try peppermint or spearmint essential oil instead of tea tree - the taste will probably improve greatly. Best of luck with it!

lifmd13 said...

Hi Lise. I tried a baking soda deodorant then I throw it. Fortunately, I find your website afterwards.Is it possible to make your deodorant recipe without kaolin? It's kind of difficult to find a kaolin seller here. Thanks a lot!

Crystal said...

I have been using a similar recipe for 2yrs now. Absolutely love it.I never get shave bumps any more and I now sweat less than I did using antiperspirant. The only time I have to re-apply is durring high stress days.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Crystal,

Thanks so much for sharing! I'm curious as to how your recipe came about. Did you develop it yourself?

Tonya said...

I love the information and the recipe. I have been doing a lot of research to get rid of the commercial deodorant and wanted to know what you think of adding magnesium oil to the recipe? Beneficial or not?
Thanks in advance for your response!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Tonya - thanks for your kind words! As for magnesium oil, it's not really oil, but is a water-based mixture. This deodorant is a fat-based formula, so adding anything water based to it means you'll need both an emulisfier to keep the mixture from separating, but most importantly - you'll need to add a broad spectrum preservative. All in all, I think I'd save the magnesium 'oil' for another product. Best of luck with it! :)

Izabela P. said...

Hi, I have a doubts regarding kaolin: its one of the form of aluminium. Is that absorbed by body too?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Izabela - Kaolin is white clay. It is not aluminum, and it does not get absorbed by the body. Quite the contrary, kaolin absorbs and draws moisture. kaolin is used in medicines, face masks, foods - it is harmless.

Shalom Smith said...

Can you use calcium bentonite clay instead of the white clay?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Shalom - Yes, you can use calcium bentonite. It is more absorbent than kaolin, and may make a slight difference in the texture and feel, but you would probably have to do 2 different versions simultaneously and A/B test them to see and feel the difference. Best of luck with it!

Mathew said...

Hi Lise,
What are your thoughts on using Diatomaceous Earth in the recipe? I've seen a few recipes around the internet containing it and was wondering whether it would be safe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, thank you for this recipe! I am having trouble with this deodorant staining my clothing though. Any recommendations or ideas of substitutions I can use to solve this? Thank you.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Mathew,

You might find you get a grainier feel to the deodorant using Diatomaceous Earth, but other than that, it is not unsafe. Diatomaceous Earth is used in things such as toothpaste.


Hi Anon,

I'm curious about the staining of your clothes. Are you using the exact ingredients listed above? I admit I've never heard from anyone - nor have I personally - experienced any staining from this deodorant.

Anonymous said...

following up about the staining--

Yes, I've follow the measurements exactly. The deodorant I've made has a slight yellow/tan tint (like the picture you have shown) and have noticed that when I sweat the deodorant that i have applied under my arms 'melts' on to my clothing (around the pit area) and is not removed with washing. It is a shame because I feel like that besides that this deodorant works very well for me, but I don't want to continue to make it at the expense of ruining my clothing.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi there Anon- thanks for following up. It might be a possibility that the type of material of your clothes could be reacting with the wax and butter in the deodorant if, say, you also happen to perspire a lot.

Synthetic fibers react differently than natural fibers, and natural fibers react differently as well, so there are several things to be considered...
even the washing method and washing products could also have a say in the matter.

I wish I could give you a more clear answer, but with so many possible factors, it's hard for me to narrow in on the reason. Maybe my comment can be of some help anyway?

There are a couple of things you could try:
1. replace the cocoa butter with mango butter (but expect a softer structure
2. replace the beeswax with bleached beeswax

Best of luck with it!

Jo said...

Hi Lise,

I am new with DIY deodorant.
Which ingredients from your recipe have the deodorizing function similar to baking soda? And are there other choices for that components ?

Thanks,
Jo








Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Jo - It is the combination of clay and the essential oils that is functioning as the deodoriser. If you want to replace any of the ingredients to tailor to your needs, you can try different clays and different essential oils. Sage essential oil has a titch of antiperspirant qualities to it, but you mustn't exceed the recommended dose! You could also add lemon essential oil (again - do NOT exceed the recommended dose!). As for clays, I've had folks report back that they have had great results with bentonite clay, some use arrowroot. Best of luck with it!

Anon said...

Finally.... Some answers to why I had big chunks of skin peeling from my armpits in the shower this morning! (Gross) Thanks for the info and the variations of recipes. I'm disappointed that I spent $18 on a nice smelling natural deodorant with baking soda as the culprit. I'll be making my own from now on trying your suggestions!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon - I'm sorry you had to experience this. I am shocked at how many people have had to discover the hard way that baking soda just isn't made for prolonged skin contact. I hope your pits heal quickly!

Jack said...

As the active ingredients in this recipe appear to be the essential oils (tea tree and lavender), would it be possible to make a spray-on deodorant by diluting the aforementioned oils in water? If so, how effective would this be compared to your recipe?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Jack, you are correct about tea tree and lavender being the main actives, but the shea and clay actually do also play a part. As for doing a spray with the essential oils, this is possible if you also add a solubilizer such as polysorbate 20, or you might use alcohol (although this could risk drying out and irritating the skin). As for how effective this would be: it might work just fine for some folks. Remember: with essential oils to not exceed 1% of the entire product. If you make 100 milliliters of product, the amount of essential oil should not exceed 24 drops. (1 milliliter). Best of luck with it!

Marie said...

Hi Lise,

Could fir essential oil be used instead of the lavender and tea tree essential oils? What about peppermint essential oil?

Lise M Andersen said...

HI Marie - Fir needle (abeas balsamea) essential oil is a possible skin irritant, so I would probably not go that route. As for peppermint, you could use it VERY SPARINGLY to mask the tea tree scent if that is what you are looking for. Whichever essential oils you use should have deodorising capabilities.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lise! I can't wait to try this recipe! I was wondering if I could use Mango butter instead of Shea butter? I have nothing against Shea butter, I just have a lot of mango better I'd like to put to use. Thanks!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon - you can easily replace the shea with mango butter, but as mango butter is harder than shea, you might want to use mango butter to replace both the cocoa butter and shea butter. That should give you a good solidity without being too difficult to apply. Best of luck with it!

The PhrunteDeske said...

Hi. I'm glad to have found your post, although quite late from what I can see.

Maybe you can help. I've tried what seems like a thousand recipes for diy deodorant on my quest to find something that works. I have quite sensitive pits, it seems, and get a rash from baking soda with nearly every amount I put in the recipe. I've tried other recipes without baking soda, and I just stink like a big dog at the end of the day.

I'm a man, so maybe that makes a difference, since nearly every forum like this or deodorant recipe site I've seen is from women, essentially for women. I dunno, but I know that I can use baking soda for anywhere from two days to two weeks before I develop a rash. But I always develop a rash nonetheless.

Baking soda in the deodorant recipe, even if slight, works like crazy, however. I can go 24 hours without odor. It's lovely. Without it, no rash, but no one wants to be near me by midday.

Do you have any suggestions? Anything would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there PhrunteDeske- my best suggestion - if you want to try something without baking soda and steer clear of commercial deodorant - is to try the crystal deodorant (potassium alum), and use an aloe gel to 'wet' the stone with before applying. The stone has a natural deodorizer and the aloe will help lower the pH (as well as being kind to sensitive pits). Don'r rush application, but take your time. Count to 10 slowly while applying. That combination of ingredients will do double duty to battle odor. I hope this was some help and wish you the best of luck.

hot_cocoa0909 said...

Hi Lise! I am amazed by your blog. I have no where near your amount of knowledge, but I've always been interested in making my own products. As a child, i made a mess mixing lotions and soaps with flowers! I got sucked into a different career, but natural health and beauty is really my passion. I just ordered my first bag of unrefined Shea butter! Essential depot has a GREAT sale right now! 5lb for $20! I also have coconut, argan, olive, and vit e oil, and plan to order olive derived squalane oil. Those are my favorite oils!! So, I plan to make a Shea butter blend, as I have eczema. I'll let you know how it goes! Have any tips?

Onto the deodorant, I've had a bad relationship with it since puberty. My underarm gradually got darker and darker. I'm African American, so it looked very dark in places. I started getting little pimples under my arms, and patches of eczema. I now haven't used deodorant in at least 5 years. I sometimes use lemon juice, coconut oil, and tea tree... they are good but I'm looking for a product that combines all of them. I still have eczema, I'm in the midst of what I'd call a flare up.. It came out of nowhere. I'm going to make a deo, but baking soda is a no no for me. It usually makes my skin inflamed. I could try the clay, I'd have to order it. Have you ever infused an oil with oatmeal? I'm asking because oats added to my deodorant might really soothe my skin, especially in combo with the coconut oil and squalane. Do you have any ideas for adding oats to the deo? I don't want it to be gritty, but maybe I could infuse the oil with oats? Please let me know your opinion! Sorry this comment is SO long. Thank you so much for reading it.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there HotCocoa - I totally understand your wanting to find a gentle and tolerable solution for your sensitive pits. This is what got me started developing deodorant in the first place. Your combo of shea and other skin-loving oils sounds like a great start to some nourishing skin butters.

For your deodorant idea: try mixing shea and coconut oil with a bit of kaolin clay (this is also called white clay), then adding your tea tree oil (you might also want to add a bit of lavender as this offers many of the same properties as tea tree). Be sure to get cosmetics grade clay (particle sizes vary - you want the finest, smoothest feel possible for pits!). I like your idea of adding oats to the mix as this is indeed a skin-friendly ingredient. However, the 'goodies' you want to extract from the oats are mostly water-soluble, so infusing oil with oats may not get you the result you are looking for. I wonder if it would be possible to grind them finely enough to add to the mix as an 'oat flour'. Do let me know how it works for you if you decide to give this a try. best of luck with it!

hot_cocoa0909 said...

Thank you so much for your reply! I'm going to follow your recipe. I'll look for the cosmetic grade kaolin clay. I can't wait to try it! I'm also going to try mixing in oat flour into a small batch. I'll definitely get back to you and let you know how it goes!

hot_cocoa0909 said...

I'd like your thoughts on something Lisa.. I haven't received my Shea butter or clay yet, so I haven't made the deodorant. But, I had the supplies to make a sugar scrub. I love the way it made my skin feel! My eczema is smooth and calm. It was my first time using essential oil, and I was very nervous about it. I was afraid to use but a few drops. After I used the scrub, I experienced some slight swelling between 2 of my knuckles about the size of a dime. And on my palm, I had two little red bumps that faded within a couple hours. It wasn't inflamed or itching or burning or painful, but it made me wonder... did I use too much essential oil? Was I having a reaction? I'm going to list my recipe below:

1 cup + 1 tbs brown sugar
About 1 tbs Cracked sea salt
4tbs organic coconut oil
4tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs pure apricot oil
2tbs organic argan oil
1 1/2 tbs vit e oil + safflower oil (derma e brand)
6 drops lavender essential oil

I've used all of these products before and my skin loves all of them. The only thing I hadn't tried was the lavender essential oil. Maybe it was the combination... Idk. But I used this scrub yesterday and have washed my hands several times since, and my skin still feels great so I don't want to toss it in the garbage. But, idk what caused the swelling and red bumps and I'm worried that I might have used too much essential oil. I know this might be a weird case, but I'd much appreciate any words of advice you may have! I've never experienced any problem with any lavender scented products before and I happen to love the scent. Yesterday was also a friend of mines anniversary and my mom had no time to get a gift, so we put together some of the scrub in a nice decorated jar. Now I'm even more worried! Do you think I overused the lavender?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Hot Cocoa - your scrub sounds lovely and you did not overdo it with the lavender essential oil. My thoughts as to the reaction: perhaps you managed to rub a bit too hard a couple of places or there were som edges on the salt that may have irritated a bit. There doesn't appear to be anything in your recipe that should cause this reaction.

Unknown said...

Why do you add white clay to the deodorant since you use beeswax?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Anon - Beeswax and clay have 2 different functions. The beeswax helps the deodorant keep its shape and the clay helps absorb moisture.

Samantha Leeman said...

Thank you

Lise M Andersen said...

You're welcome Samantha

philogaia said...

I was going to be rather upset with you about slamming DIY deodorant and championing factory made chemical products which I no longer use any example of including shampoos. I have used a homemade baking soda based deodorant for several years without any trouble. But of course peoples' bodies are different. I'm glad I found this article as well to provide some balance. So you aren't just sold only on corporate factory made products. Really glad to see that. And I've bookmarked this recipe to try when my current deodorant runs out.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Philogaia - It's not often I actually hear from people who can use baking soda deodorant without problems. Thanks for sharing.

Natalia said...

Hi Lise,

I was just starting to make my own deodorant.
Can i use mango butter and cocoa butter to make a solid deodorant?
Can i subtitute kaolin to arrowroot? I thought even though kaolin is natural, but it still contains aluminum in it, right?
Have you tried making deodorant with probiotic?

Thanks!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Natalia - Yes, you can use both mango and coconut butters. You might find kaolin a bit draggy, but give it a go--
Kaolin is indeed natural, as is aluminum. What you have to be mindful of aluminum is overdosing in aluminum - but the problem is: science has not yet established what constitutes an overdose or indeed what is a safe dose of aluminum - so I hardly know how to answer you on this. Aluminum is in our water, food, and everything around us.

I haven't worked with probiotic as a deodorant ingredient but would be interested to hear more about this. Best of luck with your deodorant!

Elise Desloover said...

Hi Lise!
Would there be much of a difference in using grey kaolin clay instead of white, or does it have similar properties?
Thanks,
Elise

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Elise - I'm not familiar with grey kaolin unless this is a different grade of some kind. Ask your supplier If it is cosmetic grade. If it is, it should be an ok substitute. :)

A Fajardo said...

Hi Lise, I had tried making deos with baking soda and had horrible reaction to it. After so long of trying to still reformulating it hoping it will work, I finally give up! Now, I made my deo so simple, my pits never stunk! Lol! I simply made a combination of fractionated coconut oil, lavender EO, Tea Tree EO & Lemon EO in a small dark bottle with dropper. So far, I'm happy with it!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there A Fajardo - thanks for sharing! Yours is an excellent solution for a very simple deodorant. I can't help wondering if it could be put into a roll-on bottle for ease of use.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I want to share a solution for deodorant marks on the cloth. I use a female every day pads under my armpits. The sticky part over the clot, not over your skin. it absorb all the sweet and the cloth stay dry. Of course this works only if you use non see-through cloth.
and if your deodorant don't work all the time you want, carry it with you and also a wed paper towel supplies, so you can go to the bathroom and clean with the wed paper towel and re-apply your deodorant.

Lise M Andersen said...

Thanks Anon! Great tip!

Anna said...

HI Lise,
do you think I could use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter? I've seen this as an ingredient in various recipes with baking soda.
And why do we need white clay in the deodorant, what is the effect?

Lise M Andersen said...

HI Anna - You might want to do a mix of coconut oil and cocoa butter or the mixture is simply going to be too soft. Of course, you could just opt for making it a cream and package it in a jar. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lise,

Thank you for publishing your insight on baking soda and for this recipe. My wife and I are using a home made deodorant with made with Baking soda, arrowroot powder, and shea and cocoa butter. It's by far the most effective deodorant we've ever used, however, less than a year later, we are experiencing some discoloration and irritation. We'd love to solve the problem.

I was wondering, what do you think of adjusting the pH of our formula down? Currently it is about a 6.5 to 7 pH and I understand we probably want to aim for 4.5 to 5.5. Is it worth trying, or is there something inherently wrong with baking soda, even after adjusting pH?

Thanks.
-G

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi G - You touch on a subject that has had my interest for a while. There is nothing inherently wrong with baking soda as an ingredient, but it is not ideal for prolonged skin contact 'as is'. Lowering the pH of formula would be the first step. One would introduce liquid to the mix along with an acidic element to accomplish this. This introduces the need of adding a broad spectrum preservative, and then an emulsifier to get the oil and water phases to mix. All in all, you are looking at a complete overhaul of your formula. Is it worth trying? Only you can be the judge of that. I wish you the best. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Lise,

I wanted to make this deodorant into a deodorant cream and tried experimenting. I replaced the beeswax and cocoa butter with 17 grams of mango butter, but it solidified. It works, but I have to dig it out of the jar before I apply it. What ingredients should I use (and how much) to give it a soft and creamy consistency?

Also, are there other scents besides lavender and tea tree oil that you would recommend in this recipe?

Thank you!
Lena

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Lena - try subbing some of your mango butter with coconut oil - that should give you a softer consistency :)

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Lena - sorry, I forgot the scent question: lemon tea tree can be used, and any other EO that offers deodorizing action. It is the EO''s that are the actives, so the choices are rather limited.

Summer said...

Can I just say first off how impressed I am that you respond to each of these comments years after writing this post? I started DIYing my own deodorant after trying a natural one I was given. Darkened armpits and a slight rash, but for some reason I didn't think of baking soda. I am really excited to try yours. I do have a question about the Kaolin Clay. What is the purpose of that here? I use Bentonite in other recipes, but wouldn't want this to be too harsh. I also hear a lot about arrowroot powder in deodorant to aid in absorption (I'd imagine). So I guess my question is: why the clay, and would arrowroot be beneficial or overkill, and how much should I add if I chose to?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Summer - thanks for your kind words! You can sub kaolin with another clay like bentonite but you might have to play around with proportions a bit to get the texture you like. You can also add arrowroot if you like but don't go above 10% of the formula -- you could do a combo of clay and arrowroot and if you do that I'd suggest starting with 5 gr arrowroot and 15 gr clay. I'd love to hear your feedback if you give this a try. :)

Summer said...

Thanks! Can you tell me the purpose of clay in the recipe and what benefit arrowroot would bring? Are they redundant? Will they accomplish different things? Also- a bulk herbal supplier I go through sells Kaolin at a killer price, but it advises it is not good grade. I won't physically be eating my deodorant, but should I still seek a clay that is the highest quality, or should that suffice?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Summer - The clay functions both as a texturiser and absorbent. I would never use anything other than cosmetic grade clay in any product, and cannot recommend sourcing and using any ingredient that is not cosmetic grade. The arrowroot contributes to a drier feel. I would try different combos to see if you find the function better with both or just the clay. We are all different and something that works great for me might be less ideal for another, so make small batches and do comparison tests to see what is best for you. best of luck with it :)

myriam said...

Hi Lise,

thank you for your posts, I wish I had read your recipe before using baking soda :(

As advised, I started to use aloe + talc to help with the burn. Sadly, I cannot stop using deodorant because of BO.

So I have checked your article for a deodorant without backing soda (I figured I could use it while healing) I was wondering if I could use the following deodorant. It is based on your recipe and what I have at home:

4 spoonful unrefined shea butter
1 spoonful coconut oil
1 spoonful aloe vera
2 spoonful Multani Mitti powder (organic clay)

8 drops lavender or orange or rosewood essential oil
8 drops hazelnut oil

Could you please give your opinion on this formula?

It could make a paste or a cooling gel (with glycrine or carrageenan)and once my skin is healed could I remove the aloe to add half a spoon of backing soda?

Thank you!
Myriam

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Myriam- Thanks for your comment. I am a little in doubt as to whether or not you are using powdered aloe vera here, but if you are, this combo of ingredients looks ok. Be MINDFUL of the amount of essential oils. It is not recommended to use more than 1% of the entire formula. It is really hard for me to judge amounts when you write 'spoonful'. I am guessing you mean tablespoons, but still don't know whether they are leveled or heaping. I encourage you to start weighing your ingredients so you have a more accurate formula to work from. If you have had a reaction to baking soda once, you might very well have one again - even if you use only a small amount, so I'm afraid the decision to add baking soda again will have to be yours and yours alone. Best of luck with it!

Anonymous said...

Hello Lise :)
Thank you for a wonderful blog, and all the insights and recipes you are sharing with the world. It's a treasure chest :)
After 4 months of using homemade deodorant with baking soda, a few days ago I noticed reddish bumps in my armpits, first time ever-so I assume it's a reaction to baking soda. I remembered Lise's recipe right away, so here's my experience.
I made this deodorant, but with a few changes/substitutions. I didn't have any cocoa butter handy, so I recalculated everything to Shea. And also, I used the formula with less wax, because I was wanted it to glide on "faster". It turned out a bit too oily, so I have to wait a couple of minutes if I want to put on anything with tighter sleeves ;) But it's great later on-the skin soaks up Shea. I used green clay instead of white, as a substitute. I'm thinking of substituting half of the clay with arrowroot next time. Also, since I don't like the smell of Tea Tree, I made a mix of Lavender, Lemon and Rosemary...around 18 drops altogether. It's winter here right now, and I didn’t really do anything physically demanding today...but after several hours of sitting around, the natural smell begins to overpower the essential oils. I might go with a stronger essential oil, or use Lemongrass or Cajeput instead of Rosemary and Lemon...looking at my notes now, Rosemary and lemon don't have much of a antibacterial scope.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon - You've done quite a few substitutions which makes it a bit hard for me to comment. You can use arrowroot in the formula, but I would suggest making one substitution at a time and then trying the product. It might seem like a slow process, but it's the only way to know exactly what's working and what isn't. Best of luck with it.

Bojana said...


Thank you Lise! Yes, I will definitely repeat the process, one substitution at the time, until the result is totally satisfactory. If I were to ask you one question: why are cocoa and Shea combined in the recipe? Do you think it's necessary to use cocoa as a part of the formula?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Bojana -The cocoa butter is there for texture stability. If the product is made purely with shea, you are going to run into melting and instability. However, if you want to drop the cocoa butter and use purely shea, try packaging in a jar so it can be applied as a cream. That might work :)

Bojana said...

Aah, that explains it :) Thank you soo much! Best of luck!

rice eyes said...

Hi Lise! I'm excited to try this recipe. I've tweaked someone's recipe that now has very little baking soda and I can still feel a little burning. So I'm looking forward to trying yours. Question: can I use potato starch instead of kaolin (I don't have kaolin on hand)? Thanks :o)

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi riceyes! Do you have bentonite clay? Or another clay type? You can use any clay type but be sure it is cosmetic grade.

rice eyes said...

Hi Lise...I have tried bentonite clay but it leaves a greenish stain on my clothing :o( may I ask why not potato starch? thanks for all your help.

Lise M Andersen said...

The potatoe starch is not going to give you the same function/texture as the clay. You could try 50/50 clay and starch and see how it works for you :)

rice eyes said...

Hi Lise! So i've tried using mineral salt powder in place of baking soda. The powder is homemade (I found a mineral salt deodorant and I mortar-and-pestled it until powdered). So far, the "deodorant" works for almost all day and I have not experienced any skin sensitivity issues, but I have yet to try applying it right after shaving. Questions: 1. I used a crystal (in the form of a rock) deodorant when I lived in the Philippines. I noticed that it is marketed here in the States in the form of a crystal stick (different brands but most of them containing aluminum alum and mineral salts) or roll-on (containing potassium alum and mineral salts). Then I found another brand of crystal stick but only containing mineral salts. Because it's cheaper, I bought that, powdered it and used it in my homemade deodorant as I mentioned above. So what is the difference between crystals containing alums and mineral salts vs. just mineral salts? 2. I am still using potato starch but will switching to kaolin clay have any effect on the efficacy of the deodorant? I just wondered if maybe if I switched to kaolin the deodorizing will last all day long. I will be glad to share the recipe with you if that will help. Thanks for all that you do!

Lise M Andersen said...

HI Rice eyes - Mineral salts, aluminum salts, potassium alum and crystal salts are all different words for the same thing. There is a post on this blog called 'Potassium alum, aluminium or not' that you might find informative! I have worked with this ingredient for many years - both solo as a crystal deodorant and powdered as part of a formula. It is effective, gentle and very well tolerated. Kaolin is not going to give you much deodorizing action as it is one of the least absorbant clays. Try an illite or bentonite clay for better results. :)

rice eyes said...

Hi Lise! THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time to respond to all my questions. Your wisdom is a treasure and your willingness to help people like me is a HUGE blessing! God bless you back beyond measure!

Lise M Andersen said...

And thank you for your very kind words :)

Inger Marie Berning said...

Hi I have been snoking around your site for years, as I like to make my own cosmetics too, and when I'm ggogling I often end up on your site - thank you for sharing so much of your know-how so generously!
I have a question for you regarding this deodorant - i wonder why you have chosen kaolin when for instance bentonite is more absorbing - and as you say - therefore should give more deodorizing action?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hello Inger Marie (what a lovely name you have)! Thanks you for your very kind words! To answer your question: yes, you can easily substitute bentonite for the kaolin. You can also mix half and half kaolin with another more absorbant clay. Personally. I like the silky feel and neutral (non-staining) color of kaolin, but you are right about absorbency. There is more bang for your buck with a bentonite. Fullers Earth and diatomaceous earth are also possibilities (be sure they are cosmetic grade!). Best of luck with your deodorant. :)

Inger Marie Berning said...

Thank you for your compliment and your advice :-) I did use kaolin ones too, and in the next batch I used sodium bentonite - and i belive i remember that the kaolin batch actually felt dryer, but i have continued with the bentonite because it has reputation for being more absorbent. I wonder if the drawing properties of bentonite maybe sucks moisture out of the skin? i guess i have to make more thorough experiments to be sure. i'm almost happy with my deo now, except for the wetness control and wonder if arrowroot or rice powder feels dryer than clay - what is your experience?

Lise M Andersen said...

HI Inger Marie - The bentonite kaolin combo might work for you, but I am liking the rice powder idea very much! It is indeed added for a drier feel, and it just might be the magic ingredient you are looking for. :)

Inger Marie Berning said...

I believe so too because now I have did my homework :-) I tested the different powders by adding water - bentonite is indeed more absorbent than kaolin - 4-5 times more absorbent, but they both get this slimy / soapy consistence when wet (of course, they ARE clays..) starch is much less absorbent than bentonite (but about as absorbent as kaolin) but has a dry feeling even when wet. diatomaceous earth feels almost like starch when wet - but absorbs much more! so I do believe the perfect combination is bentonite and diatomaceous earth, evt with starch if it improves the feel. Why didn't i do this before?! I Thank you for inspiring me - THIS time my deos will be perfect :-)

Lise M Andersen said...

let me know how it turns out for you! Very exciting :)

Almira said...

Hello, this recipe looks amazing - I was wondering if anyone has experienced the clay sinking to the bottom of the tube?
I haven't tried it yet but thought I would blend this mix while cooling and then put into tin container and use with fingers to ensure none of the clay settles to the bottom. Thoughts?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Almira- this mixture sets very quickly so you shouldn't have a problem :)

Inger Marie Berning said...

.. so I have continued my experiments, and ended up with swapping the the clay for diatomaceous earth altogether - encouraged by another DIY that states it gives even better odor control than the clay - I cannot conform this, as I also add other things to keep bacteria in check - but it certainly feels much dryer, and I haven't found a good reason to keep the clay - maybe for glide? *experiments are ongoing*

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Inger Marie - that sounds good! Any irritation from using diatomaceous earth solo?

Inger Marie Berning said...

No none at all and I have even combined it with a little amount of baking soda (ca2%)

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Inger - Great! I see you are keeping the baking soda at a fairly low level. I hope it continues to work for you. :)

Linda said...

Hello Lise and thank you for such an informative site. Just found you today. I have been on a wierd trip the past two to three years, and wonder if you might have any insight. About two - three years ago a friend turned me onto Coconut oil in a low carb cookie recipe. So I started making those. And about the same time, I became frustrated looking for a new deodorant as all seemed to have alum or aluminum in the ingredients. So I made a couple recipes...one with CO Shea Butter and Baking Sode and one without the Shea. Over time I developed a rash, not in my arm pits, but on the inside of both my elbows...the soft skin ...not the outside of the elbows. It was an itchy rash, with a definite outline and the skin felt leathery inside the rash outline. One doctor diagnosed it as ring worm, but when I got to a dermotologist he called it excema, and a prescriptioin steroid cream he prescribed certainly knocked it out, but it would return after a couple weeks. I had never had this before. (Though I am sensitive and learned 30 years ago I cannot use eye makeup without a rash on the corner of my eyes developing). So I stopped the coconut oil in the cookies (and in anything that I ate), but kept using the deodorant (not every day, but a couple times a week). I thought that because it was on both sides of my elbows, that it was something I was eating, not applying. Finally this past January I began an elimination diet/application of anything new I had done over the past three years, including the deodorant. I was suspicious of almond meal (gluten-free) and coconut flour (gluten free and low carb), and the deodorant, so I stopped all in January. And the rash did not come back. About a month later (March) I could not resist eating some of the almond meal cookies (made with butter, not CO), and even after eating them for a month or more, no reaction, no rash. Just over a week or so ago I started testing eating coconut oil...putting a spoonful of it in my tea in the morning. After five days of doing that, no reaction (but maybe not long enough to be sure). I have not tested the coconut flour, but I am pretty suspicious/certain now that my deodorant was the culprit all along. Have you heard of such a reaction? I was never suspicious of the baking soda until your info here, and since there was no rash in my armpits again, I was not suspicious of the topical application. Am thinking of trying over the next couple months applying just coconut oil to my armpits daily for a week, then wait a week or two to see any reaction and before adding something new. Any thoughts? I just signed up for your newsletter, and look forward to exploring your site more. Thanks again! Linda B

Unknown said...

Then, I guess mine will always be less effective. I am allergic to the artificial smell of lavender (that includes the essential oils). So I cannot use it.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there - you can use tea tree oil and or replace with lemon tea tree or clary sage if you don't do well with lavender. Best of luck!:)

Lise M Andersen said...

Hello Linda! My apologies for this tardy reply - I don't know how I almost missed your comment. What an annoying situation to not know what you are reacting to. It does indeed sound unusual and I am pretty sure you might just be doing yourself the best favor of all by doing what you are doing already – but maybe to get even more systematic. If you can keep meticulous notes about your diet, activities and every product you use and apply, then over time you may indeed find a pattern that could help you zero in on the culprit (or culprits). I always advise people to visit their doctor about unexpected and unusual reactions to anything. I hope you can get to the bottom of it! I am not sure I have ever heard of baking soda deodorant causing a reaction on another part of the body to where it was applied, so my initial guess would be it was something else. I wish you the best of luck in solving this mystery!

Linda said...

Thanks so much for your reply, Lise! Your observation of not seeing a deodorant causing a rash in another part of the body is very helpful. That was what I was not sure about. So I have another direction to look...over this same time period I have had some issues with my liver, and eliminated a supplement that I think affected me (Amla)--I have a lovely chiropractor/Eastern medicine guy who does that body testing of products, and he said it was not good for me. After I stopped using it my liver enzymes went back to normal, but I think I am still having some liver issues. If I drink any alcohol (beer or wine) or even just have a meal late at night (9ish), between about midnight and 2 or 3 in the morning my feet are hot and I cannot go back to sleep. He told me that this (hot feet) was the liver's second line of defense. The only thing I am doing to help that is to drink lemon water in the morning. Anyway, last time I saw him, and consulted him about the rash and other things, he casually mentioned something like when the liver is having problems, things like rashes can be caused by that. I had taken in all the foodstuffs I was suspicious about, and he tested me with them, and none were a problem except the Amla. But I did not talk to him about the deodorant and I imagine he would have said the same as you. I go back to see him the end of June, so will try to pick his brain about what is going on and any more things I could do to help my liver. And yes, I am keeping track of what I am eating, only adding back one thing at a time over a couple months to see if my rash redevelops and what I am putting on my skin. We started using CeraVe lotion just the past couple years, and I think I will take that to my appointment too, just to see if there is anything in it that is problematic. Thanks again so much, and will let you know if I learn antything interesting!! Linda B

Lise M Andersen said...

Thanks for updating Linda! I would be very interested in hearing more on your situation as it unfolds. Please feel free to come back and post again as you learn more.