photo of home-made coconut oil deodornat

Photo by KerryAnn Foster

by KerryAnn Foster
Cooking Traditional Foods

Of all of the body products I have made at home, coconut oil deodorant has made me the happiest. I was thrilled to be able to get away from the paraben and aluminum-filled commercial deodorants but still find something that works well. I’ve used this deodorant and it has worked wonderfully well for everything except the heaviest of manual labor days spent mucking out the coops or clearing brush.

I like to use citrus essential oils to scent my deodorant, but lavender or rose are also popular choices among women. Lemongrass, tea tree, sage, velvetier, sandalwood, bergamot and eucalyptus are also popular choices.

If you like your deodorant to be thicker, or you need extra absorbing power, you can add extra baking soda or cornstarch. Cornstarch absorbs moisture and baking soda controls odor. The shea butter is to moisturize and soothe, as the powders can be drying to your skin. If the mixture irritates your skin or makes you itchy, use less baking soda.

If you like a lighter deodorant, you can transfer the mixture to a bowl and use a stand mixer or hand mixer to whip air in as the coconut oil cools and hardens. Transfer to a container and place in the fridge while the mixture is still soft.

If you like a soft deodorant you can apply with your hands, leave this mixture at room temperature and warm it slightly in your hand before applying it when temperatures are cool. Use about a pea-sized amount to start with, then adjust amount up or down. I like to put it into a stick deodorant container and apply it like a commercial product.

Most people report that this recipe keeps them odor-free all day, regardless of their activity level. However, you can expect an adjustment period as your body gets used to not having the commercial products. Some people report a temporary worsening of their body odor for a few days during the adjustment period while the commercial product works its way out of their system.

Finally, be aware that some people will experience stinging if they apply this or any other deodorant immediately after shaving. Waiting an hour or two after your shower will usually prevent that problem.

Homemade Deodorant

¼ cup expeller-pressed coconut oil
¼ cup shea butter
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
10 drops essential oil of your choice, optional

Over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil and shea butter together and whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth and uniform. Cool slightly and whisk in the essential oil of your choice, if desired.

Pour into a wide-mouthed container or a clean and empty deodorant container and smooth the top. Allow to cool in the fridge until solid before use. In the summer, store it in the fridge if your house stays so warm that the coconut oil won’t stay solid.

About the Author

KerryAnn Foster photoKerryAnn Foster blogs at Cooking Traditional Foods and has authored multiple books and eBooks. She writes the longest running traditional foods Menu Mailer available, now in its fifth year. KerryAnn founded Nourished Living Network, a network for traditional food bloggers, in 2011. KerryAnn has ten years of traditional foods experience. Read about KerryAnn’s journey to health through celiac disease, food allergies, obesity, adrenal fatigue and heavy metals. 

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