4/20/12

Homemade Antiperspirant



Cheap and effective, you can't beat homemade antiperspirant. Why pay up to $5.00 for a stick of chemicals when you can make a natural alternative for less than a dollar?

Most commercial antiperspirants contain aluminum--a known neurotoxin--and petroleum byproducts. You can buy natural deodorants, but they seldom work well enough to risk using before a hot date.

Instead, I make my own antiperspirant at home with four simple ingredients: coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda, and an essential oil. You can buy each of these in bulk and all of them have multiple uses around the home.


Note: Some people find that corn starch irritates their skin a bit. You may use talcum powder as an alternative, but some studies have linked this mineral to cancer, so I avoid it. You may also try adjusting the recipe to include more baking soda. Personal preference reigns supreme here, so experiment.

Materials

  • one part Aluminum-Free Baking soda
  • one part Coconut Oil
  • one part Corn Starch or Talcum Powder
  • a few drops of a Scent Oil of your choice (optional)
  • one empty, cleaned out Deodorant applicator

Method

1.  In a bowl, add the coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch. Whip until smooth. If clumps remain, throw it in the microwave for twenty seconds to melt the oil. If you find the mixture too thin, add more baking soda. Avoid adding extra corn starch, as it may irritate the skin. The consistency should resemble a thick paste.


2.  Add the scent oils of your choice to the smooth mixture. I split my batch up before adding the scents so that I could make a womanly stick for Kristin and a manly one for myself. 


3.  Take your old applicator and fill it with the paste before it cools too much. You can use the stick within a few hours after it sets, or you can pop it in the freezer if you're desperate.


4.  Store the excess paste to a zip-lock baggy. Do yourself a favor and double-bag it too. Coconut oil melts just above room temperature, so on a hot day, poorly stored deodorant could make a mess. When the time comes to refill your stick, just warm the bag up with your hands, snip a corner off, and squirt the paste in like frosting a cake.


Application

Don't slather homemade antiperspirant on like you do the commercial stuff. Use a little bit at a time and experiment with its effectiveness. Pay attention to how your skin feels too. 

The stick may soften-up on hot days, so you might need to apply it with your finger instead. But overall, this quick, cheap, natural product does the trick. I've been using it for almost two years now, and hey, I still have friends.

Let us know your experiences and recipe variations in the comments.

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50 Comments:

At April 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM , Blogger Allyson said...

OK, I don't know how to ask this without just saying it, but how smelly are you? My husband as an example never smells. He can be extremely sweaty and he doesn't smell at all. It weird and unnatural. ;) I on the other hand feel like I can get pretty smelly post workout. I'm just curious if this could be used and keep away the workout smellies. ;)

 
At April 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Allyson, you ask a valid question. Suffice it to say that when I did use the conventional stuff, I chose the heavy-duty brands, and even those dissatisfied me.

In my experience, this stuff works. It's definitely worth a shot. You can even buy a small jar of coconut oil from the store if you're skeptical and don't have any on hand. If you make a little deodorant and don't like it, you can still use the rest of the coconut oil for cooking.

Let us know how you make out!

 
At April 20, 2012 at 4:42 PM , Anonymous Kelsey said...

Hey Nick! This might require a bit of research, but how do you think this stuff would hold up against hard water? I noticed a huge difference in my water since moving to Indiana. Soap just doesn't work as well as it should out here (according to my standards at least) and water softeners aren't really an option. Any thoughts?

 
At April 20, 2012 at 4:52 PM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Hey Kelsey! Do you mean the antiperspirant or my homemade Castile Soap recipe from last week? As far as the antiperspirant goes, I've never had a problem rinsing it off in the shower, and we have pretty hard water at my house too (you can taste the iron).

As for the soap, I did a little research and a lot of people found that homemade soaps worked better in hard water than detergents. I don't know what you've tried yet, but if you can buy some handmade stuff, give it a shot. If not, you can always try making your own. Check out my feature on Castile soap from last week. It's all I use and it works great at my house!

I'll be posting more complicated recipes in the near future too. Thanks for reading, and I hope you're doing well out there!

 
At April 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

P.S.

If you do try making your own soap, you definitely need soft water for the recipe itself. Try collecting some on a rainy day or even run the tap through a Brita filter if it's all you can do. I've never had a problem with the water at my house when making soap, but everything says to use soft water, so I just figured I'd pass that along!

 
At April 23, 2012 at 9:02 PM , Blogger Allyson said...

Thank you, I will give it a try. :)

 
At May 1, 2012 at 11:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any alternatives to using corn starch, to which someone here is allergic?

 
At May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Friend,

As I said in the article, talc is one option, but it may be dangerous.

Another might be a little flour. Before corn starch, that's what they'd use to thicken things up, so I presume it would also help as a drying agent.

Arrow Root powder might also work, but it's pricey. Let me know how any of these work if you try them out!

 
At May 23, 2012 at 1:40 AM , Blogger Mags said...

Going to try this soon. I hate to admit i have the smelly issue when i sweat alot and im allergic to aluminum so as you can see im out of luck in the antiperspirant department. I really want to try this soon the non-aluminum stuff you can buy just doesnt do the trick

 
At June 8, 2012 at 12:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, great idea. Sounds like its been working for everybody. I'm just wondering, does it go on clear or will I be able to wear a tank top?

 
At June 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Friend, it does have a little bit of white powdery-ness, but so long as you don't cake it on, I've been fine with the results. I'd suggest making a small amount and then experimenting with it. This is by no means an exact science, but it's worth trying for the sake of your wallet and health!

Thanks for reading!

 
At June 13, 2012 at 3:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you could also use a tapioca flower or potato flour both of which have the consistency of corn starch.

 
At June 14, 2012 at 11:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have used baking soda for years as an underarm deodorant because of the zinc and aluminum toxicity of store bought deodorant. Baking soda can be harsh for some people's skin - mine took awhile to get used to it.

 
At June 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey here's a thought,. Years ago, talking 50 plus, my mom used corn starch on us for diaper rash. Would that work in place of the baking soda?

 
At June 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Hi!! I wonder whit what can I replace the coconut oil, because i dont get it where I live... thank you...

 
At June 28, 2012 at 5:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just made one yesterday, during the day it was 78' F in my house and it melted in my cabinet,I used AROWROOT POWDER instead of cornstarch.I have to keep it refrigerated when airconditioner is off. Also I saw a recipe (frugalberry.com) that calls for coconut oil + BEES WAX! So next time I will try to use some wax, maybe this will help it not melt so much!.Other than that, I looooove the idea, smell, and the fact it really works!!!!!!!!!! and saves us money! ( family of 7,yea!)My hubby said he smells like a big NUT,lol!he's Funny

 
At July 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there this could be a food that you eat, as it is well known that people who prefer a lot of spiced food, curry, onion and garlic, this could be easily detected with you perspiration while working out or on a hot summer day. Smelly perspiration could be as well a signal of high toxicity of the organism: bad food, polluted air, smoking, alcohol etc. I would recommend to everyone to try this inexpensive home recipe, it will take time to get used to it though, but the results will not make you wait.

 
At July 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM , Blogger TrixieJo302 said...

OK - I know this post is old so I really hope someone sees my question. I've read all the comments (and many many comments on other similar recipes) saying that they smell great when using this. I think that's fabulous but my question is - how effective is it as an anti-perspirant? Does it stop the wetness? Someone in our house NEVER smells bad but is continually embarassed by wetness on their clothing from perspiration. Does is reduce/minimize the actual sweating?

 
At July 21, 2012 at 2:32 AM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Hi Trixie,

In my experience, this stuff does reduce how much you sweat. I can't promise that it's as effective as a store bought antiperspirant in regards to wetness control, but your best bet would be to give it a shot. You can buy all the ingredients for under $20 and make a small batch. Even if you hate it, there are plenty of other uses for baking soda, corn starch, and coconut oil to justify the cost. Let us know how you make out.

 
At August 12, 2012 at 2:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trixie,
I sweat greatly and have found that after applying the deodorant if I just powder a little Gold Bond powder under my arms (not real heavy, just lightly) it helps me tremendously with the sweating spots. Don't know if it'll help but it might....also I added a little more cornstarch and that helps too when i don't have powder. good luck.

 
At October 21, 2012 at 5:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just made a batch of your antiperspirant, and was wondering how you apply it? Is it applied in the mornings or in the evenings, before going to bed.
I ask this because I sweat a lot, and have read that some antiperspirants are recommended to be applied in the evening so they have more time to absorb.

 
At October 21, 2012 at 5:56 PM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Glad you were able to make some, Friend. I find that it works best when applied in the morning after a shower and before you start your day.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have made some and it definitely seems to do the trick. Although I made a second batch and I either added too much scent oil, bicarb, or flour, because it irritated my skin a bit.

I will experiment until I find the right amount of each ingredient for me :)

 
At December 5, 2012 at 11:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this recipe an antiperspirant or just a deodorant?

 
At December 7, 2012 at 8:17 AM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Great, Friend, thanks for responding!

 
At December 7, 2012 at 8:19 AM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Friend, this is an antiperspirant. I won't completely eliminate sweating, but it definitely does not simply make you smell pretty. It absorbs wetness and odor.

 
At February 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will absolutely try this! Thanks for the recipe! However, I don't know that I would go as far as to call it an actual antiperspirant. Antiperspirants normally use aluminum to actually block your pores so sweat can't come out. The nature of this product would be more absorbe & nutralize. Another thing, I used to have to use the heavy duty stuff, that you had to put on at night a couple of times a week, in addition to heavy duty anti perspirant (yea- it sucked!). A while back I switched to Tom's of Maine. The first week I kept having to wash half way though the day and it sure didn't work like the other stuff, but then my body appeared to normalize. Now it works just fine, but I'm ready to take the next step and make my own totally non-toxic. Thanks again for the recipe!:)

 
At February 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be a stupid question, but...if you are using coconut oil, does it get on your clothing and stain it?

 
At February 23, 2013 at 9:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! I've made and used natural anti-perspirants, and my recipe called for arrow root powder, as Nicholas suggested. We get ours at the health food store, but it's not really that expensive here. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, where most things ARE expensive! LOL! Perhaps there is another source of arrowroot powder that would be cheaper for you. If you find the recipe mixture isn't thick enough to suit your preference, add some beeswax and re-heat the mixture to melt everything together. I hadn't thought of putting mine in an old deodorant container...great tip, Nicholas! I've been keeping mine in a jar...warmed with a hairdryer in winter and refrigerated in the summer! I must try this recipe!

 
At February 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found that the coconut oil stains my clothes, leaving dark spots around the underarm area of my shirt. Do you recommend I use less coconut oil next time (I used about two teaspoons more of coconut oil than of corn starch and baking soda), or is there any way that this can be prevented?

Other than that, this stuff works! Thank you.

 
At March 19, 2013 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My pits took to this stuff really well. no more smelly pits after training. but this really doesn't work as antiperspirant for me.I'm hoping you have a recipe for the sweat. I know its our body's natural way of getting rid of toxins but it's kinda embarrassing when not in training and I need to raise my arms and they're wet.
I don't mind sweating...just maybe if it could be lessened a bit I'd be very happy :D Thanks!

 
At March 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

When I tried this it took a couple of weeks, but I noticed my body equalizing itself and I started sweating less. Maybe it takes time for the body to stop fighting back against all the built-up, chemical anti-perspirants that we've all been slathering on since age 13? That's my theory.

 
At March 19, 2013 at 9:25 AM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

I have a theory that less oil with some melted beeswax put into the mix will make a harder bar with less staining ability. Blog post to come ;-)

 
At May 10, 2013 at 1:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you give an example of such a 'deodorant applicator'? Sounds silly but not sure what you have in mind.

 
At May 13, 2013 at 1:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

An old applicator from store-bought deodorant.

 
At May 27, 2013 at 8:22 PM , Anonymous Katie said...

Does this really prevent perspiration the way regular antiperspirant does? This seems more like deodorant.

 
At May 27, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

The baking soda and corn starch both do a great job keeping sweat AND odor at bay.

 
At May 27, 2013 at 10:05 PM , Anonymous Katie said...

Cool, thanks!

 
At May 30, 2013 at 12:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I experimented a bit with the recipe and so far so good. One part Shea butter, little less than one part coconut oil, about 1-2 TBSP of beeswax beads. Melted together then about 2 TBSP each of baking soda and baking powder.used an old tube I had. So far it hasn't melted in the heat and I'm not sweating as much. It does mark dark clothes with white so trying to figure out how to fix that. But not too bad as I don't use nearly as much as I did with store brands.

 
At May 30, 2013 at 5:17 AM , Blogger Nicholas | Living the Rustic Life said...

Wow! Awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience!

 
At July 1, 2013 at 10:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allyson, if you do not want to smell, spray on apple cider vinegar. You will be a happy person!

 
At July 9, 2013 at 6:43 PM , Blogger Cheryl Sheppard said...

I made some homemade deodorant the other day with basically the same ingredients. I used some Melaleuca oil (I Like DoTerra brand). I started using it yesterday. So far I am happy with it but I have not really put it to the test with strenuous work. Tomorrow I will be doing yard work and find out how it holds up. I do notice a little perspiration (is there a trick?) but no smell until about the end of the night and it was only when I smelled myself to see. Sounds gross but you have to do it to see if works.

 
At July 15, 2013 at 3:55 PM , Anonymous Paul said...

I am a 55 year old guy who is all of a suddent allergic to all commercial deodorants. They cause a horrible rash. My wife and I tried your recipe and we want to thank you. It works as well as or better than the Aluminum-based products that we had used since puberty.
So, my wife wants to know if I apply to my face as well will I also turn as pretty as you :-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This recipe is amazing! I have a lot of Bactria under my arms and when I find a store brand deodorant that works, I need to wash 2-3 times daily and reapply. I am naturally stinky.

When using this recipe, the smell is 100% gone! I was able to exercise in the hot heat without even the slightest smell. I added sea salt to my mixture and I do not have any oils yet, so I omitted them. I applied once and there is no need to rewash and apply the same day!

This is hands down the best! I keep mine stored in a ziplock bag.

 
At July 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM , Blogger mArIsSa said...

mehhh I tried this deodorant and it was much too messy. I recently found this shop on Etsy called NaturesBeautyBox and they have a great natural antiperspirant deodorant, smells great and works just as well as aluminium deodorants from the store.

 
At September 1, 2013 at 10:45 PM , Anonymous Pennylane said...

In only 2 days of trial, I have become OBSESSED with this antiperspirant! Nothing has EVER worked this well, and to think, it's non-toxic, easy, and cheap! Thank you so much for sharing. I'll never go back!

I didn't even bother with an old deodorant dispenser, I just packed it into a small glass jar and smear it on the underarm area just like you would do with lotion elsewhere. I'm glad I decided to go that route because, of course, it is stored in the bathroom and warms up quite a bit during showers. It melted to a creamy consistency but it's really no big deal at all. Just smear it on and you're done!

 
At September 3, 2013 at 10:03 PM , Blogger Alan said...

Amazed!!! This stuff REALLY works. Made a small batch because I was not so sure since I have " smelly pits" per the daughter and wife. That feedback is from Burt's Beeswax experience. Had them do a sniff test after making a batch (Grapefruit+Pepperment oils) and they were very surprised! Only issue is we are in Texas and I have to keep finished product in the fridge or it is cream instead of stick. Not an issue until I have to go on a trip and it melts in the suit case. Guess I will have to use the jar method like Pennywise suggested. Otherwise, perfect!!!!

 
At September 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you use just baking soda dissolved in water when traveling? From my experience, it really works!

 
At October 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Possible alternate to beeswax is soywax, if one is not allergic to soy. I had not seen that suggested yet.

 
At December 11, 2013 at 6:39 AM , Blogger Peter Thomos said...

This the excellent post which I have seen and it helped me a lot , Thanks for sharing it!!
best deodorant for men

 

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Living the Rustic Life: Homemade Antiperspirant

Homemade Antiperspirant



Cheap and effective, you can't beat homemade antiperspirant. Why pay up to $5.00 for a stick of chemicals when you can make a natural alternative for less than a dollar?

Most commercial antiperspirants contain aluminum--a known neurotoxin--and petroleum byproducts. You can buy natural deodorants, but they seldom work well enough to risk using before a hot date.

Instead, I make my own antiperspirant at home with four simple ingredients: coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda, and an essential oil. You can buy each of these in bulk and all of them have multiple uses around the home.


Note: Some people find that corn starch irritates their skin a bit. You may use talcum powder as an alternative, but some studies have linked this mineral to cancer, so I avoid it. You may also try adjusting the recipe to include more baking soda. Personal preference reigns supreme here, so experiment.

Materials


Method

1.  In a bowl, add the coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch. Whip until smooth. If clumps remain, throw it in the microwave for twenty seconds to melt the oil. If you find the mixture too thin, add more baking soda. Avoid adding extra corn starch, as it may irritate the skin. The consistency should resemble a thick paste.


2.  Add the scent oils of your choice to the smooth mixture. I split my batch up before adding the scents so that I could make a womanly stick for Kristin and a manly one for myself. 


3.  Take your old applicator and fill it with the paste before it cools too much. You can use the stick within a few hours after it sets, or you can pop it in the freezer if you're desperate.


4.  Store the excess paste to a zip-lock baggy. Do yourself a favor and double-bag it too. Coconut oil melts just above room temperature, so on a hot day, poorly stored deodorant could make a mess. When the time comes to refill your stick, just warm the bag up with your hands, snip a corner off, and squirt the paste in like frosting a cake.


Application

Don't slather homemade antiperspirant on like you do the commercial stuff. Use a little bit at a time and experiment with its effectiveness. Pay attention to how your skin feels too. 

The stick may soften-up on hot days, so you might need to apply it with your finger instead. But overall, this quick, cheap, natural product does the trick. I've been using it for almost two years now, and hey, I still have friends.

Let us know your experiences and recipe variations in the comments.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,