DIY: Making A Natural Deodorant That Isn’t Terrible

A few months ago Stella and I were at a yoga class with a friend. In the locker room after class we were getting ready and somehow the conversation got to how uncomfortable we all were thinking about a lot of the chemicals we must be passively ingesting and using on our bodies because of makeup, skincare, and other toiletries. One product that we all kept coming back to was our deodorant. We’d all heard speculation that certain ingredients in deodorant (women’s deodorant, in particular) could cause or contribute to cancer and that some chemicals included in most antiperspirants are downright toxic.

After doing barely any research, I was convinced. I wanted to stop using non-natural deodorant… but how? There are myriad options of homemade natural deodorants on Etsy, but if they can make it why couldn’t I? (Also, Stella tried that route recently and was not super pleased with the results… or scent.)

I stumbled upon this blog post by a mother making more and more holistic and all-natural changes to her life. I’m borrowing the recipe below, so here, to share my findings, is a natural deodorant that does not suck!

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Step 1: Acquire the ingredients.

The one-two punch of this concoction is the magnesium oil and the witch hazel.

  • Magnesium oil is a known mixture to fight odor. Low levels of magnesium oil in the body are associated with smellier body odor. In theory you could use just magnesium oil as an all natural deodorant, but… it really stings! The other ingredients help to combat that. Magnesium oil is also known to relieve muscle pains and aches (especially headaches), and to enhance relaxation.
  • Witch hazel will be the majority of the liquid added, and is definitely thought to be a cure-all in some cultures (and families… I once dated a guy whose mother recommended witch hazel when I had a sort throat, an upset stomach, AND when I couldn’t concentrate?). Witch hazel naturally soothes and cleans skin without wicking moisture away.
  • Essential oils add a nice touch of fragrance. They are not at all necessary, so if you’re scent-averse feel free to skip this ingredient. I like a mixture of eucalyptus with either lemon, lavender, or peppermint (not pictured because I just ran out!).
  • Sea salt allows the essential oils to mix with the other liquids. On their own, the oils would separate, but with the salt, they bind! Magic!
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Step 2: Mix some stuff up…

I chose some 2 oz bottles to be the containers for the deodorant spray, but you could use any size, just adjust the following measurements accordingly. I like the smaller size for this, because the shelf life is around 6 months. It will last longer than that, but its potency will start to wane. Measure and mix these quantities:

  • 1 tablespoon magnesium oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 5-20 drops essential oils (some scents are stronger than others, so do this one drop at a time until you’re satisfied with the smell!)
  • fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel

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Step 3: Shake and spray and enjoy!

Now all that’s left to do is shake and spray! I recommend shaking before each use to make sure the oils are sufficiently mixed.


Have you made your own natural or organic deodorant? Natural lotion? Organic shampoo or conditioner? We’d love to hear about it!