Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coconut oil deodorant

I recently read a line in a book about how cancerous breast tissue often contains large quantities of aluminum. Yikes! After reading that I was extra glad I had switched to this natural deodorant several months ago. Of course, aluminum has been linked not only to cancer, but to Alzheimer's as well, so it's definitely something to avoid. Aside from aluminum, most commercial deodorants also contain parabens (which serve as stabilizers). Parabens mimic estrogen and can negatively affect the body over time.

It's easy to forget that everything we put on our skin ends up being absorbed right into our bodies. In fact, I have heard that topical application is often a better way of absorbing medications and other treatments than by taking them orally! This means you should be extra careful about what you are putting on your skin, especially if you're going to be wearing it a long time (like deodorant, lipstick, and body lotion). I recommend unrefined shea butter for a moisturizer, and since coconut oil is edible this deodorant recipe is very wholesome and fine to put on your underarms, even after shaving.

So how can this be effective? It's all about the magical antibacterial properties of coconut oil -- which after working their magic on Hugo's normal guy smelliness really have me impressed! The downside is that in this summer heat the deodorant melts in the medicine cabinet and requires a little finger-stir before applying. This doesn't bother me -- it still works great and is quickly absorbed by the skin. At our house we were a little skeptical that this would actually work (we've tried EVERYTHING "natural" on the market, to no avail!), but even Hugo is now an enthusiastic convert.

Here is also a little testimonial from my sister:
"By the way, the deoderant is phenomenal! It doesn't hurt at all, and it's extremely effective without having any foreign smell! Thanks!" (I should mention here that I used the semi-refined oil which is odorless; the extra-virgin stuff smells great, though, and is very mild if you want to use that.)

You will need just 3 ingredients:

--6-8 tablespoons coconut oil (semi-refined expeller-pressed which has no smell; or extra-virgin which has a coconut scent/flavor) Order from
--1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or organic talc-free corn starch -- you would NOT want genetically-modified corn starch on your underarms!)
--1/4 cup baking soda

This makes a double batch; to fill my little glass jar (which originally came filled with shea butter) I use half this amount.

The trick in hot weather will be to refrigerate the oil until it is solid, then let it sit at room temperature just until it softens enough to mix with the other ingredients. Mix in a bowl with a spoon, and add more oil or arrowroot as needed to make a good consistency. Do not go overboard on the arrowroot trying to make a really thick paste -- it will end up having a powdery quality that might leave a residue on your armpits.

One last thing: you will still sweat while wearing this deodorant (which is natural and healthy, and important for detoxifying), but it will be reduced. If you plan to be outside doing the proverbial strenuous activity then please apply a few times, and re-apply as needed. For regular activities, working, etc. just one application in the morning is sufficient. Be sure to rub it in!

For storage you can use any small glass containers you may have lying around. Let me know how you like it!

P.S. Almost forgot to thank my friend and Bay Ridge neighbor, Esther, with passing along this recipe. Thank you, Esther!


  1. i just stumbled across your blog today and i love the deodorant recipe. wondering if you have a shampoo recipe? particularly one for kids? thanks for an amazing blog!

  2. I love this recipe. I used cornstarch and added tea tree oil for extra anti-microbe fighting and a wonderful scent (I've heard lavender works as well) and I used an old cleaned out conventional deodorant tube/applicator and just keep it in the fridge. compared to my commercial all natural deodorant this one works 10 times better!