5 Natural Deodorants + 2 Recipes to Make Your Own

A few years ago, an awesome story appeared on Care2 titled “The Great Deodorant Debate.” Referencing an (at that time) recent New York Times article, the story pulled together the most recent facts and figures facing the deodorant industry. Some things were (and still are) more apparent, such as the fact that “antiperspirants and deodorants, while often used interchangeably, are not the same thing. Deodorants neutralize our natural odors, whereas antiperspirants close off the pores with astringent, preventing them from excreting sweat.” While no specific studies have come forward and shown an exact link between cancer or Alzheimer’s, we still know the possible dangers and question the presence of parabens. Whether or not you use deodorant at all and how often you use it is, of course, up to each of us personally but it seems the safest best (as it is in nearly all areas of life) is to try and stick with natural options.

One of our readers, Shannon M., commented that she makes her own deodorant from coconut oil, cornstarch, and baking soda. Another reader, Maria O., says that she loves the products from a company called PrimaJolie. Whichever direction you lean – making your own or buying naturally – most people seem to get there from a trial and error period while they figure out the best thing for their budget and body. Looking for some natural options to check out? Kiwi Magazine did a story a few years back outlining top picks and we still agree with their options:

Dr. Hauschka’s
Try this roll-on in the Fresh scent, which combines witch hazel and sage extract. ($20, peacefulcompany.com)

Terra Naturals
This line of teen-friendly deodorants boasts bright colors and small sizes. Plus, the Green Apple smells just like fresh fruit. ($6, terranaturals.com)

Burt’s Bees
The perfect scent for men, this spritz-on deodorant features sage, a natural antioxidant. Plus, the metal packaging is recyclable. ($8, burtsbees.com)

Nature’s Gate
These stick deodorants are available in eight scents, so you’re sure to find one you like (we love the calming Chamomile and Lemon Verbena). ($6, natures-gate.com)

Tom’s of Maine
This line of deodorants features hops, an antimicrobial, to inhibit bacteria growth. Try the Sensitive Care Bay Lime for baby-soft skin. ($5.50, drugstore.com)

The Crystal
Made of mineral salts, which slow the growth of odor-causing bacteria, these deodorants come in fragrance-free rocks, sprays and roll-ons. ($2.50-$7, thecrystal.com)

A few more?

Erbaviva Jasmine Grapefruit Organic Deodorant
Essential oils of jasmine, grapefruit, ginger, cedarwood, cypress, sage, and lemon give this spray a subtle, sweet scent. (www.erbaviva.com)

Origins Totally Pure Deodorant
Organic white willow bark and lavender-infused alcohol control odor. The spice-scented blend is USDA certified organic. (www.origins.com)
Bubble and Bee Organic Pit Putty
Arrowroot powder absorbs moisture while organic lemon and clove oils work to leave the skin smelling fresh. (www.bubbleandbee.com)

Terressentials Lavender Fresh Deodorant
The lavender formula helps neutralize odors—even the sulfur compounds that can result from eating garlic. (www.terressentials.com)

Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Roll-On Deodorant
This liquefied crystal deodorant rolls on easily and neutralizes body odors without covering them up with other scents. (www.kissmyfacewebstore.com)

6 Alternatives to Toxic Deodorants gives us three safe alternatives when were checking out the ingredients behind deodorants. Natural Solutions magazine reminds us that “when you swap any conventional cosmetic for a more natural one, you need to give your body time to readjust.”

Mineral salts
Ammonium or potassium alum, the ingredients in solid crystal deodorants, work by constricting the protein in sweat so that malodorous bacteria have less to feed on.

Clay and powders
Clay minerals such as kaolin and bentonite and natural powders like cornstarch or arrowroot help absorb moisture.

Witch hazel, sage, alcohol, and other astringents work by evaporating the moisture on the skin and constricting the pores. They are usually used in conjunction with essential oils that have antibacterial properties.

Next page: Get two of our favorite DIY recipes for natural deodorant…
One of our favorite natural deodorant recipes was posted on our site almost 13 years ago (what!?) by Annie Bond. Here’s what she suggests:

“I like the essential oils recommended for this formula by Snow Drift Farms; they are all strongly anti-bacterial:

1 1/2 tbspn beeswax (yellow is best)
1/2 tbspn cocoa butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
15 drops white thyme essential oil
15 drops rosemary essential oil
25 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops castor oil

Melt beeswax in a glass jar standing in hot water, add the cocoa butter, and when it has melted, add the oils. Stir to mix thoroughly, then pour into a clean, discarded deodorant stick case and leave to cool and set.”

We’re also sorta obsessed with Wellness Mama’s deodorant bar recipe. Just look at this amazing photo:

The ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three equal to 1 part)
1/2 cup + 1 tsp beeswax
optional: Vitamin E oil to preserve. I added 1 tsp vitamin E oil for this recipe)
3 tablespoons baking soda (Omit this if you have sensitive skin and just use extra arrowroot)
1/2 cup organic arrowroot powder
2-3 capsules of high quality probiotics that don’t need to be refrigerated (I love Bio Kult brand)
optional: Essential oils of choice – I used about 20 drops of lavender essential oil

“This recipe can be adjusted to make any quantity that you’d like by increasing the amount of ingredients used. This batch made enough deodorant for my husband and I for about 2-3 months. You could also cut the recipe in half if you want to make a smaller amount.”

Head to her blog for the full how-to rundown.

Next page: 5 of our favorite handmade deodorants currently being sold online…

BunnyButt is one of the most popular handmade and vegan bath & beauty companies on Etsy. Based in Santa Barbara, CA, the shop sells this amazing veggie protein deodorant made with propylene glycol, water, sodium stearate, vegetable protein, PEG-200/hydroginated castor oil, isosteareth-2, salicylic acid, steareth-100 chamomilla recutita flower extract (chamomile), aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, EDTA, fragrance, phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol, citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract. Best part? Choose from 17 scents! ($8.75)

Handmade in Canada, this deodorant contains Shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil and almond oil that will soothe your skin while baking soda, corn starch, tea tree oil and grapefruit oil help eliminate odour. Candelilla wax adds a smooth glide to the product so it applies easily and comfortably. Scent? Grapfruit! Yum. (Me, You, Body, $8)

Each batch is made in small doses and contains Wild Orange & Lavender essential oils as well as Melaleuca (tea tree oil) to control odor and leave you smelling sweet. The smell is one of our favorite handmade options we’ve found! (Posh Pits, $8)

How adorable is that label? (Okay, we know that doesn’t effect the product, but who doesn’t love a good label?) “Designed to withstand the heat of Florida,” this deodorant is made to order with baking soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, cocoa butter, candelilla wax, and essential oils (or fragrance oils, depending on what you choose!) Our favorite option? Cedarwood. (iKarly, $8)

Another Canadian option in glorious grapefruit, this deodorant is made using a mixture of kaolin clay, tapioca starch, baking soda and cocoa butter and will keep you dry without drying out your underarms! (Zoe’s Corner, $8)

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Marion Friedl
Marion Friedlabout a year ago

Fortunately I´ve got no problems with deodorants, I only have to use one without aluminium salts, but the ones from dm, a drugstore, are without them!!!

Marie Squire
Marie S.about a year ago

thank-u for this post

Alexandra Bruno
Alexandra Bruno1 years ago


Sandra Penna
Sandra Penna1 years ago

thank you.

Debra G.
Debra G.1 years ago

these are so easy! I've made the one on the bottom, but will make the other one next time. I am sensitive to the Baking Soda, it turns out. These are great. I urge everyone to try it. My husband is afraid more of things being homemade, but I've found him a nice deodorant, and I like to make and use my own. One less thing to be dependent upon anyone else for. Yay! I know, it is still just a little thing, but for me, it is huge!

Oleg Kobetz
Oleg Kobetz1 years ago

thank you

Nichola Mac D
Nichola Mac D1 years ago

thanks for lovely recipes, am gonna give them a go over the weekend!

Olivia D.
Olivia Dawson1 years ago


Carole R.
Carole R.1 years ago

Thanks for the ideas.

Kath P.
Kath P.1 years ago

Dabbing witch hazel directly on your underarms works well.