Since we’ve been on the topic of homemade lotion bars the past couple of weeks, I figured I’d share the recipe for homemade deodorant bars (or homemade deodorant sticks!).
This is similar to homemade sunscreen bars but without the zinc oxide for sun protection and with baking soda and arrowroot added in. These are slightly thicker than my original homemade deodorant recipe, which allows them to be used as a bar, or put into an old deodorant container.
Since the homemade lotion bars, sunscreen bars, and deodorant bars all use many of the same ingredients, you can order these in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs or find them locally and save a lot of money on your family’s personal care products.
I also love Frugally Sustainable’s idea of adding probiotics to the recipe to help balance good bacteria and prevent odor, and I tried it with this recipe. If you have very sensitive skin or really struggle with odor, this might be a great option for you also!
Try making your own deodorant if you haven’t already… you’ll not only save money and avoid chemicals, but I’ve found the homemade versions work better too!
Start with a detox:
If you are new to natural deodorant, I’ve found that an armpit detox, done once a week or so, greatly speeds up the adjustment period and makes it more effective more quickly. Here’s how to detox your pits.
Before you start, you’ll need:
- Coconut oil
- shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three)
- beeswax (pastilles)
- Optional: Vitamin E oil
- baking soda (Omit this if you have sensitive skin and just use extra arrowroot)
- organic arrowroot powder or non-gmo cornstarch
- 2-3 capsules of high quality probiotics that don’t need to be refrigerated (I love Bio Kult brand)- optional
- Optional: Essential oils of choice – I used about 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three equal to 1 part)
- ½ cup + 1 tsp beeswax
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil – optional
- 3 tablespoons baking soda (Omit this if you have sensitive skin and just use extra arrowroot)
- ½ cup organic arrowroot powder
- 2-3 capsules of high quality probiotics that don’t need to be refrigerated (optional)
- Optional: Essential oils of choice – I used about 20 drops of lavender essential oil and also like citrus and frankincense
What to do:
- Combine coconut oil, shea (or other) butter, and beeswax in a double boiler, or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it. UPDATE: Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out…
- Turn the burner on and bring water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth:
- Remove from heat and add the vitamin E oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder, probiotics, and essential oils. Make sure the mixture is not hot to the touch (warm is ok) so that the heat doesn’t kill the probiotics.
- Gently stir by hand until all ingredients are incorporated.
- If you will be making these into bars, pour into muffin tins or other molds while still liquid. If you will be putting into an old deodorant container to use like stick deodorant, let the mixture harden for about 15-20 minutes at room temperature to harden and when it is about the consistency of peanut butter, use a spoon to scoop into the deodorant tube and pack down to fill. Then, leave the cap off overnight to completely harden before using.
Note: 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.
Why is mine taking so long to harden?
This is common when using the baking soda. Try putting it in the fridge for a few hours to harden. I actually like keeping mine in the fridge all the time and applying while I’m making breakfast since it keeps it really cool and refreshing.
It seems to be leaving stains on my shirt- what do I do?
This is likely just due to the oil residue that is there for a few minutes right after it is applied. Try keeping it in the fridge so a smaller amount is transferred to skin or waiting approximately 5 minutes after applying before putting a shirt on.
Help! I have a horrible rash after a few days/weeks/months of using this.
This is also common in some skin types and if you have used conventional deodorant for a long time and have a build up of the chemicals from that deodorant in your skin. I’ve found that doing an armpit detox once a week makes a huge difference. You can also try omitting the baking soda from the recipe, which resolves the issue for most people.
Is this an antiperspirant?
No. Stopping the body’s ability to sweat is not a natural process and there is no way that I know of to accomplish this naturally. The good news is that you will sweat less and less as your body adjusts to a natural deodorant and it won’t be needed anymore. Again, the armpit detox can help speed that up. I went from using clinical strength deodorant to not needing an antiperspirant at all and just using a very light natural deodorant.
Have you ever made your own personal care products? How did it go? Let me know below!