Making my own deodorant has been a long and winding road. I grew up using a certain well known antiperspirant…baby powder fresh. No matter what any natural guru will tell you, I found moving from antiperspirant to store bought deodorant a hard change. It took some time for my body to re-balance from wearing something that stopped my armpits from sweating to something that allowed me to sweat (side bar: sweat is how the body naturally detoxes, so holding in sweat really wasn’t such a bright idea on my part).
To date I’ve tried several organic, high priced, non-toxic deodorants and all of them have worked, eh, okay… but not fantastic. Not only did I usually have to reapply them mid-day, these products also set me back about 7 dollars each and honestly even the organic varieties have ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I don’t like eating anything I can’t pronounce and I prefer not to put anything ON my body I can’t pronounce either.
So after reading my friend Kara’s easy DIY deodorant, I decided to make one of my own. I made a few versions that worked just as well as the store bought varieties (read: just okay) and then I found my SECRET FABULOUS STINK-KILLING INGREDIENT (seriously).
Two words: Magnesium oil.
There are theories that low magnesium levels in the body lead to more stinky sweat and I’ve read a few homemade deodorant recipes that call for spraying straight magnesium oil on your armpits. Well I tried it and let me tell you it is not comfortable. Magnesium oil stings slightly when it enters the body and on a sensitive area like the armpits, it’s not enjoyable..so straight magnesium oil was not an option for me. Instead I added 1 tablespoon of magnesium oil to my homemade deodorant recipe of witch hazel plus essential oils and guess what? Magnesium oil is a deodorizing MIRACLE and 1 tablespoon does not sting my armpits at all. This recipe works 10X better than anything I have ever bought at the store. EVER. And it’s non-toxic so you will free your armpits from all the cancer-causing, hormone- altering, nervous system-destroying chemicals in conventional antiperspirants. Amazing, right?
About the ingredients…
I use some essential oils in this recipe known to be tough on odors. These same oils may also offer some health supporting benefits too. So instead of worrying about the fragrance in your deodorant, you can spray liberally because these oils are all natural! In my deodorant I use a combination of the following (feel free to come up with a combination you like too!):
Magnesium oil: Low magnesium levels in the body have been associated with body odor. It is estimated that over 80% of us are deficient in this mineral. Magnesium oil in this deodorant recipe absolutely decreases armpit odor no matter how much you sweat.
Witch Hazel: I use this as my deodorant base because it naturally soothes and cleans the skin without upsetting your natural moisture balance. It doesn’t irritate my skin (in fact it feels great) or dry it out. I use this brand.
Sea Salt: Essential oils won’t mix with liquid alone so I add a pinch of sea salt to allow the essential oils to bind and mix well in the recipe. Use a real salt like this to add some trace minerals to your deodorant.
Glass bottle: Essential oils should not be used in plastic bottles, so use glass instead and save yourself from all the nasty chemicals in plastic. Whatever you spray ON your body ends up IN your body so let’s keep it clean and green!
- 2 oz glass spray bottle
- Witch hazel
- 1 tablespoon magnesium oil
- Pinch sea salt
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops frankincense essential oil
In a small spoon combine the pinch of salt and the essential oils. Place salt/oil mixture in your glass spray bottle, add the magnesium oil and fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel. Shake and spray. This deodorant has a shelf life of about 6 months.