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Finding the best deodorant for men that’s natural and actually works can be the pits! I’ve been making natural homemade deodorant for several years now and I love how easy and effective it is. This men’s deodorant recipe is just as good, but has a manly scent to it (along with a few other updates!).
Best Men’s Deodorant (That Really Works)
Confession time… I used to be super sweaty! Natural deodorant (and clean eating) have made a world of difference. Men’s sweat though… that’s a whole other level!
This men’s deodorant can stop man-stink in its tracks with essential oils and other natural ingredients. For those just switching to a natural deodorant, an armpit detox will speed up the detox process for fresh pits.
If you’re not a DIYer, I’ve included a few store-bought natural deodorants for men that really work at the bottom of this post.
Baking soda has a very high pH at around 9, while our skin’s protective acid mantle is around 4.5 pH. This is one reason some people find it causes skin irritation and redness in a deodorant.
My men’s deodorant recipe uses some baking soda (but not too much!) for its odor-preventing properties, but I’ve added other ingredients that serve the same purpose but are gentle on the skin.
Arrowroot powder or cornstarch helps to gently absorb underarm moisture and thicken the product. Diatomaceous earth does the same, with added antimicrobial properties. When sweat hits bacteria on the skin it causes odor. Adding antimicrobial ingredients helps solve that problem.
The science behind aluminum toxicity isn’t clear, but there’s enough evidence of harm that I avoid it. Antiperspirant deodorants with aluminum block pores to reduce sweat. Natural deodorants allow the body’s natural detoxification processes to work, which is good for the body.
Naturally Scented With Essential Oils
I’m not a fan of fake fragrances. There are over 3,100 chemicals used in fragrances and NONE of them are required to be listed on a product label.
So, for those who want to smell good (safely!) what’s the best option? Essential oils smell great and offer important health and mood benefits. For men’s skincare, I like to use musky or woodsy scents. (Most men don’t want to smell like lavender.)
Some essential oils can be safely used in larger amounts than others, and some cause photosensitivity when used above a certain percentage. Read more about the exact safe percentage for each oil here, but .5-2% is a good rule of thumb.
Here are some of the hubby-approved essential oils I’ve used in his DIY products over the years:
- Balsam fir
- Fir needle
- Tea tree (also known as melaleuca)
- Sweet Orange
- Bergamot (phototoxic)
- Lemon (phototoxic)
- Juniper berry
I’ve narrowed down to my favorite combination in the recipe below, but feel free to switch up the essential oils to your preference. Anything from the list above will work. (Or come up with your own unique combo!)
My Favorite Men’s Deodorant Scent
Here’s a breakdown of the essential oils I used in my men’s deodorant recipe and why they work so well:
- Cypress – An astringent to tighten pores and minimize but not prevent sweating (because it’s healthy!). It also helps relieve stress (think stress sweat) and acts as an antiseptic.
- Sweet orange – Anti-fungal, antibacterial, and doesn’t cause photosensitivity.
- Frankincense – Fights stress and anxiety which can help with stress sweat and overall mood.
And they also smell great together!
DIY Recipe: Natural Deodorant for Men
This recipe yields 5 ounces, or enough to fill two deodorant tubes. If your tubes are more than 2.5 ounces each, cut back on the coconut oil.
- ¼ cup arrowroot powder (or non-GMO cornstarch)
- 3 TBSP baking soda
- 2 TBSP diatomaceous earth (or more arrowroot or cornstarch if desired)
- 6 TBSP coconut oil
- 1.5 TBSP beeswax, pellets or chopped (use only 1 TBSP if putting deodorant in a jar instead of tube)
- 8 drops orange essential oil
- 18 drops cypress essential oil
- 8 drops frankincense essential oil OR fir needle essential oil
- (or use your favorite skin-safe essential oil for the above)
- Hot pad or towel
- Small pot
- Deodorant tubes – re-purposed clean ones, or new like these
- In a heat-safe glass jar, like a mason jar, add the beeswax and coconut oil.
- Place the jar in a pot with several inches of water in it, and heat over medium high heat until melted.
- Remove the jar from the heat with a hot pad or towel and allow it to cool for a minute. Whisk in the essential oils, arrowroot, baking soda, and diatomaceous earth.
- This will solidify rather quickly, so immediately pour the natural deodorant into your containers. If you prefer to have the deodorant in a jar, adjust the beeswax and keep the deodorant in the jar you made it in!
Tip: Use an extra deodorant tubes to make lotion bars!
Once you try this recipe, mix it up with other scent combinations. Here are some ideas of essential oils that pair well:
- Clove, cinnamon, orange
- Cypress, juniper berry
- Bergamot, cedarwood
- Sandalwood, patchouli
- Sweet orange, patchouli
- Lemon, fir needle
How to Apply Natural Men’s Deodorant
- Apply to clean armpits
- Less is more! Apply a thin layer and rub it in if necessary. Too much leaves a tacky/gummy feeling.
- Wait a few minutes before putting a shirt on, or the deodorant may leave stains.
Here’s another mens DIY deodorant variation you might want to try.
Other DIY Skincare Recipes for Men
- Here are three of my favorite recipes for shaving, with an extra moisturizing and gentle-on-the-face option for men.
- This spiced soap for men uses warming spices like clove and cinnamon combined with the bright scent of orange.
- Customize this homemade lotion recipe with your favorite manly scent.
- Trying to regrow hair? Try this DIY recipe for men’s hair growth oil.
- Beards need TLC too! I’ve made homemade beard oil for my husband before, and we’ve also used and love this one.
Not a DIYer?
My husband actually uses the same pre-made deodorant I do since it has a clean, fresh scent that works well for both men and women. Give it a try!
Has the man in your life switched to natural deodorant? What has and hasn’t worked? I’d love to hear!
Discussion (33 Comments)
Am all for natural products, I think we need to go back to that its all our ancestors lived on and they live to be and old age .
Are you using DE for the properties of the silica or the aluminum?
When measuring, are the coconut oil and beeswax ingredients in solid or liquid form? I find it difficult when making more quantity to measure butters in solid form
I have found that orange eo leaves stains.
Can Betonite clay be used instead of diatomaceous earth?
Has anyone tried zinc powder? I added some to skin lotion as sunscreen, but found it works well as deodorant also.
My husband uses Schmidt’s charcoal and magnesium.
For my (super stinky) 18 year old, I bought him the Primal Pit (in the tube, Lemongrass scent) to try, and we are both thrilled cause it works SUPER GREAT! He works outdoors all day at Home Depot and not a stinky smell on him… He has used Tropical Traditions- the frankincense one- it’s great for cooler months- but didn’t work as well as the Primal for warmer outdoor stuff. He also tried a Jason one- waste of $$$$$! I may experiment with the recipe here cause the primal paste is $10 and does not last very long!
What I found best only when needed is very simple–using a large chunk of Himalayan salt. Wet it first and apply to skin.
I haven’t been buying arrowroot powder anymore and have been just using tapioca as it’s cheaper. Do you think it will affect this recipe?
I found Primal Pit Paste to be a great option with similar ingredients and aluminum free baking soda.