Deodorant. It’s one of those things that you don’t notice till you don’t notice it (you know what we mean).
No one likes sweaty pits, but the idea of ditching the spritz for a more natural packaging-free alternative can be daunting.
Does it actually work? Will other people know that you’re wearing it? Is it easy to make and apply?
We’ve asked around to find a tried and tested recipe for DIY deodorant that will have you coming up smelling of roses. Or whichever essential oil you choose to use!
How to make homemade deodorant
Prep time: 10 mins
Makes around 125ml, or about three months’ supply
6 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot powder
Around a dozen drops of the essential oil of your choice
Mix the bicarbonate of soda and cornflour or arrowroot powder together in a large bowl
Add the coconut oil and essential oils of your choice and mix well
Transfer the mixture into a jar with a lid
Apply using your fingers to rub in, just a small bit goes a long way
Top tips for your deodorant
Lots of online recipes use arrowroot powder instead of cornflour. It’s just as effective, but not always as easy to buy in large amounts.
If you want to give it a go, arrowroot powder is available from health food shops and some supermarkets, usually in the baking aisle or with herbs and spices.
Room temperature can change the consistency of this deodorant. If it’s solid and difficult to get out of the jar, try storing it next to the shower to warm it up before you want to use it.
In the summer months (or if you’ve just made a batch and need to use it quickly) putting it in the fridge will help it set quicker and save you from a gloopy mess.
This recipe can be made using any essential oils, but tea tree and grapefruit oils are great as they have antibacterial properties. We also love lavender for calming or sandalwood if you’re looking for something a little less floral.
Stick with it
You might find that you go through a bit of a transition period, especially if you’ve been using shop bought antiperspirants that are designed to block the sweat ducts.
But stick with it, normally you’ll just need a few more applications in the first week or two as your body adjusts.
Miriam from Zero Waste Scotland says, “I’ve been making my own deodorant for a few years now. To start with it wasn’t the single-use packaging that motivated my change away from the shop bought stuff. I was reading more about what antiperspirants and what they could be doing to our bodies and secondly I was getting itchy armpits (sorry – too much information!).
“I tried making my own deodorant with a few drops of tea tree oil in as that’s meant to be soothing and haven’t looked back. It takes minutes to make, saves packaging, saves money, lasts for months and I have itch-free pits. What’s not to love!”
Not into DIY?
There are lots of pre-made options out there if you’re looking for a less waste alternative to shop bought deodorant.
Most come in the form of solid bars that you rub on, similar to roll-on deodorants without the packaging - so nothing to chuck out once you’ve come to the end. They last for ages too.