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Homemade Aromatic Body Powder

Homemade Aromatic Body Powder

Hello sweaty weather. Boy is it hot! In New York City the crowds are lethargically mulling around, dripping and smelling like hot, sweaty bodies. I can’t even imagine the amount of deodorant rolled, sprayed and patted on each morning of this knee-bucking heat wave. Personally, I’m old-timey enough to prefer powder to brand-name products. I know that there are good all-natural deodorants, but the bulk of commercial deodorants scare me. So yes, I’ll take powder, thanks.

However, according to Stephanie Tourles, author of Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey Publishing, 2007), talc is often the first ingredient in body powder. She goes on to say that though inexpensive, talc can be irritating to the lungs and frequently contains traces of arsenic. Deodorizing body powders and baby powders often contain a blend of talc, baking soda, and cornstarch or can be pure cornstarch with a fragrance additive.

So, let’s make our own. Here is her formula for a minty-citrus deodorizing powder that is especially recommended for keeping underarms dry in the hot weather, and also works well to deodorize the feet.

1 cup baking soda
1 cup white clay, finely ground
1 1/2 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup dried orange peel, very finely powdered
1/4 cup peppermint, very finely powdered
100 drops peppermint essential oil
100 drops lemon essential oil

1. Combine all ingredients except the essential oils in a large bowl. Stir slowly with a whisk for 15 seconds until well blended.

2. Using a mortar and pestle, combine the essential oils drop by drop with two or three tablespoons of powder until the oil is absorbed. Add this oil mixture to the remaining powder and whisk the mixture slowly (to avoid making too much dust) or shake vigorously in a large container with a tight-fitting lid.

3. Store powder in an airtight storage container in a cool, dark place for 3 days to allow the scent of the essential oils to permeate the mixture. Package the powder in smaller containers if desired.

4. No refrigeration is required, but for maximum fragrance and freshness, please use within one year.

Read more: Beauty, Holistic Beauty, Skin Care, , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
4:58PM PDT on Nov 2, 2013

How do you actually use this body powder?
Simply sprinkle it on your armpits and leave it there?
(does it hold in place, instead of dusting off?)

12:07AM PDT on Apr 8, 2013


9:48AM PDT on Sep 11, 2012


8:13AM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

Interesting and noted

8:10AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012


11:54AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Thanks for sharing

5:45AM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:05PM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

Good to know. Thanks for sharing.

10:19PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Thanks :)

11:35AM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

I have made foot powder before using oils, but this seems like a lot of oil. 200 drops?

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