How We Take Care of Ourselves: DIY Deodorant

Deodorant and I have not always been friends. As soon as I learned that many deodorants contain aluminum and other ingredients hypothesized to be linked with breast cancer, I eschewed any deodorant that wasn’t all-natural.

The problem was that, for me at least, the natural deodorants stunk.

Then on a muggy trip from Boston to NY via the Chinatown bus, I kept smelling flowers. Somewhere in Connecticut, I asked the friend sitting next to me whether she smelled it too, and she confessed it was her all-natural deodorant. The more she sweat, the more she smelled like flowers. It was Aromacreme from LUSH, and I was hooked.


A few years ago, LUSH stopped making this deodorant, and I was devastated. Determined to continue to use all-natural deodorant that worked, I decided that if LUSH was no longer going to sell Aromacreme, I would have to make it myself. I hunted down and tried out several recipes. This one, adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini, is my favorite. It requires only 4 ingredients (two of which you might already have in your kitchen), and it takes less than 5 minutes to make.

The one major change I made was to remove the cornstarch, as it promotes fungal growth (the opposite of what you want in your armpit). You can use your essential oil of choice to scent the deodorant (ylang ylang is lovely), but I always use tea tree oil for an extra anti-microbial boost (you will already get some anti-microbial action from the coconut oil – the beeswax is in there to prevent the coconut oil from melting in warm weather).


6 grams beeswax

40 grams coconut oil

35 grams baking soda

20 drops tea tree oil


1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler (or a metal bowl) above simmering water, until it is liquid and translucent

2. Add the coconut oil and stir until melted and incorporated into the beeswax

3. Remove mixture from the heat and stir in baking soda and essential oil

4. Pour into a small jar or empty deodorant stick, and let set at room temperature. Or, pour into a cupcake paper and freeze*

Makes about 1/4 cup of deodorant

* You can keep the frozen deodorant in the cupcake paper in your freezer and apply by rubbing under your armpits, if you don’t like the idea of applying with your fingers. I was weirded out by the idea of applying with my fingers initially, but now am quite used to it.

Here’s to “the pits” being “Nothing But Flowers” !


Categories: Beauty, Health & Wellness

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