If you’ve done much research into some of the questionable yet commonplace chemicals found in everyday hygiene products, there is a good chance you’ve heard or read somewhere about the parabens and aluminum salts in deodorant, both a which have been associated with potential health risks such as breast cancer and neurological damage. While research determining a causal relationship between the use of these chemicals and the increased risk of some serious health conditions has not been published, there is no reason why you should not be able to take control of what you do or do not want on your skin! This recipe takes five simple ingredients–three of which are probably sitting in your kitchen cabinet right now–all of which you could eat if the fancy struck you. Where store-bought deodorants have fragrance to mask body odor, alcohol to kill bacteria, and aluminum, quite literary, to choke your skin, this recipe has baking soda to neutralize odor, antimicrobial essential oil to kill bacteria, and corn starch to keep your skin dry.
- 1 heaping tbsp natural beeswax (be sure that you are using genuine beeswax and not a synthetic)
- 3 tbsp corn starch (organic and GMO-free, naturally.)
- 3 tbsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (also organic)
- 20 drops peppermint, lavender, tea tree, or any essential oil with antimicrobial properties and whose subtle fragrance you won’t mind following you around–here’s a list to choose from
- A container to store your homemade deodorant (if you still have the dispenser left over from the last stick of deodorant you’ll ever buy, this recipe works very well in those!)
- Put the beeswax in a medium glass dish. Set the dish with the wax in the bottom of a pan, and add water to the pan until the glass dish is about one-quarter submerged. Bring the water to a boil to melt the wax.
- While the wax is melting, combine your dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Stir olive oil into the starch/soda mix. Stir until well-combined
- Carefully removed glass dish with fully melted wax from the pan–we recommend an oven mitt for this–and stir oil mix into the wax.
- Add essential oil and mix well.
- At this point, your deodorant will be a sort of batter, easy to stir but not runny. Pour your deodorant mix into your storage container. Let cool completely, at which point it will have about the same texture as stick deodorant from the store.
- Scoop a little out with your fingers or crank the wheel on the bottom of the dispenser and apply!
The best part about homemade deodorant is that it is so easy to customize. Every body has different chemistry, so this recipe is not one-size-fits-all, unlike store-bought deodorant. Try this recipe at first, and if you find you’d like more odor control, warm up your batch and stir in a little more baking soda or essential oil. Add more corn starch if you feel like you need a strong antiperspirant. Mix and match your favorite essential oils for a unique aroma.
Organic Growers School is a non-profit organization providing organic education since 1993. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and support people in our region to farm, garden, and live organically.