First Guest Post by Katie the Wellness Mama!

*Note from Sarah: I am SO excited to introduce Katie the Wellness Mama who will now be a regular contributor for Everyday Paleo!  You can find Katie at her own amazing blog here and learn more about Katie, what she does, and what her roll will be with Everyday Paleo here.  Now please read and enjoy Katie’s first article for Everyday Paleo!

Natural Options for Personal Care Products


One of the many great things about a Paleo diet is the focus on more natural whole food options and more natural movements when working out.

For those of us who have embraced this way of living and eating, it starts to seem counterintuitive to slather our bodies with chemical cocktails every day. Unfortunately, most conventional deodorants, shampoos, lotions, and other personal care products are filled with chemicals and artificial ingredients that can negatively affect our skin and our health. (Check out the health rating of your favorite products at the Cosmetics Database)

The need for many of these products often disappears when you start eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Acne often vanishes, so special facial washes and medications aren’t necessary. Dry skin and eczema go away so lotions are no longer needed.

Even for those of us who no longer need all the scented, chemical products, we still need the basics. If you’ve tried the “natural” options for many conventional products, you likely realized that they are (a) much more expensive and (b) often don’t work as well.

Just as meals made at home are healthier and taste better, most personal care products can easily be made at home and homemade versions are more effective (and cheaper) than natural store bought options.

When I started looking at more natural options for personal care products, the first one I attempted was deodorant. The conventional versions all contain aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. Sure, there are plenty of natural options in stores, but they don’t work! (Believe me, as a woman who has been pregnant 4 times and worked out through each pregnancy… I tried them all!)

After many failed attempts at a good homemade version, I finally found one that works! Even better, it is super easy to make and anyone who eats Paleo probably already has the ingredients on hand.

Homemade Deodorant Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda (without Aluminum)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch (actually optional, but helps absorb wetness)
  • Essential oils (optional)

Note: If you don’t have the ingredients, they are all available here.

 How To Make Homemade Deodorant:

  1. Make sure coconut oil is warm enough to be somewhat soft.
  2. Mix baking soda and arrowroot in a small bowl.
  3. Add coconut oil and mix with a small spoon or spatula until very well incorporated.
  4. Add essential oils if desired.
  5. Store in a small glass jar and apply a small amount with finger tips daily.
how to make your own natural deodorant

Does it Work?

As someone who used to use Secret Clinical Strength, my opinion is that this homemade option works better. It is not an antiperspirant, but it does seem to reduce wetness, and I’ve noticed I’m sweating less, the longer I use it.

If you aren’t in to making your own toiletries, just use plain baking soda or plain coconut oil, as both of those work pretty well by themselves. If you’d prefer a thicker and even more moisturizing option that can even be put in an old deodorant tube, check out that recipe here.

What do you think? Are homemade products a good Paleo alternative or will you stick with your favorite conventional versions?


  1. Christa says

    How is this deodorant with staining on clothes? I used an all natural deodarant last summer that was beeswax based, but left oily pit stains on all of my clothes :-(

    • says

      I’ve never had any trouble with staining, but I usually put on right after showering and then wait a few minutes to put clothes on, so it is absorbed in. I’ve used a natural beeswax one in the past and had trouble with staining too.

      • Christa says

        FInally got around to making this today. I used 2 TBS each of arrowroot & baking soda to 3 TBS coconut oil with 5-6 drops Lavendar essential oil. Since I don’t have A/C in my house, it was warm enough today that all my coconut oil was liquified, so after I put the mixture in a jar, I put the jar in the fridge to harden up the coconut oil a bit. Ended up the perfect consistency! I used for the first time today too- thanks to the thicken texture it rubbed right in without and greasy mess on my clothes and hours later, a smell test of my underarms reveal a light coconut scent. No heavy sweating yet, which will be the real test, but so far I’m really excited about this recipe!!! Thanks Katie, the information on this site and yoursin particular is awesome!!!

    • Joey says

      I’ve found that if I apply too much, the oil will melt all over the pits of my shirts and ruin them. So, I increased the amount of baking soda and cornstarch in the recipe (or decreased the amount of oil). When I apply it, I just use a tiny bit and rub it in with my fingers really well. And, I give it time for the oil to melt and absorb into my skin before dressing. Since then, I haven’t had any problems – with staining or stinking!

  2. Christine M. says

    Since I have kidney problems, I too decided to avoid aluminum-based deodorants. I’ve been using alum “deodorant crystals” for several years now and they work great for me. Initially I sweated more, since I had been using anti-perspirant deodorants, but my body adapted and I now sweat hardly more than with commercial products. Sweat or no, the mineral sticks keep odor down for me just fine.

  3. says

    I’ve made my own deodorant by mixing an equal amount of baking soda (I used Arm & Hammer brand – it’s 100% aluminum free and very affordable for a person with tight budget like me) and coconut oil. Works wonderfully!

  4. thedude says

    Check out Nancy Boy products. They have a great product line and work really hard to balance effectiveness and chemical reduction in their products. They use lots of natural oils. Mostly for men, but many of their products are unisex. They say that 50% of their customers are women.

  5. says

    I’ve been using CO and baking soda. It was supposed to be 50/50, but I put more soda in to make it more solid. Is it gross to say that I also use it on my teeth? I only put a clean finger into it for deodorant, and I love it as an occasional toothpaste, too!

    • says

      I’ve used those together and individually before and they do seem to work great. I’ll also be posting a natural toothpaste recipe soon that uses those ingredients and is helpful for remineralizing teeth.

  6. says

    Oh goodness, I don’t know if I am brave enough to give up my extra-strength deodorant. I sweat like a crazy person when I run! Hmm, however, I might have to try your recipe. There is nothing to lose! Thanks so much! Great post!

    • says

      I’m a runner, too, and I sweat buckets. But don’t you usually shower pretty soon after you run? Fresh sweat doesn’t smell… just don’t wait three hours after working out. Give it a try once, when you won’t be near anyone else, and see what happens. You’ll probably be fine. :)

  7. SusanVH says

    I can vouch for this recipe as it is the one I use! Works amazingly well…you won’t believe it! I like to add orange and peppermint essential oils together for my fave scent. My daughter prefers orange/lime and she loves it (and she tried several natural brands before trying this recipe)

  8. sarah k. says

    I use pretty much this recipe too. My essential oil combination smells so good, and really seems to keep the stink away. I use a mixture of lavender and tea tree oil. And, though I sweat intensely, I just keep reminding myself that it’s an important evolutionary adaptation, and social ideas that sweating is gross are just plain wrong! :)

  9. Megan says

    Yay, I have all these products. Also, love Wellness Mama! Found her blog this past winter and have really loved all her posts. Glad she will be featured here 😀

  10. theresa gianna says

    i’ll definitely vouch for this recipe! it works. personally, i’ve found it’s a little harsh sometimes on my skin, but nothing extra coconut oil (and some sesame oil) doesn’t fix. and i’ve found that it doesn’t matter that much if i forget to wear deodorant one day — i still don’t smell. so inexpensive, so effective. thanks, wellness mama!

  11. says

    I’m definitely curious about this one. I wonder what the stink factor is with this one. I tried to move away from the aluminum deodorants and bought a “natural” one from Whole Foods a month ago. I thought it was a great idea until I realized that the smelly person in the room was me! I’m back to my Secret now but would be up for trying this one…

  12. Elle says

    Since I’m always looking to save money, and since I already use coconut oil as my body “lotion” and hair “shiner-upper”, I look forward to trying this deo recipe utilizing coconut oil. Thanks for passing it on.

    I’ve tried several of the natural deos, fully aware that they wouldn’t do much for perspiration. As expressed by others, many didn’t do much for odor either. Back when I tried them, though, I was eating your typically SAD. Most seem to want to keep odor at bay by using strong scents, even if they are natural essential oils. I prefer unscented body/hair products. I have been using a natural brand of deo called Crystalux. They have a powder form, and a crystal. Since I always use a cornstarch-based “baby” powder after showering I chose the powder version. I have been using it for almost 4 years now, through both a vegan (including grains) diet, and paleo eating. Some people say it’s grains & dairy that cause body odor, others say it comes from meat. Either way Crystalux Body Powder has worked like a charm. I usually apply it twice a day. Once, in the morning before I workout or do chores, and then again after showering. I don’t know if twice is necessarily doing a better job than once a day. Never have I detected odor, and I have reminded friends & family that if I ever stink please tell me. I guess no news is good news.

  13. Brittany says

    Are the 6 tablespoons of coconut oil melted or more solid when measuring?

    I’m excited to try this. I have to use clinical strenght deodorant too. The natural stuff has failed for me.

  14. says

    I love this! I have been using baking soda for several years now and it does the trick but it also leaves my armpits chapped. I switched to just coconut oil recently and it doesn’t seem to do as well by itself. I think this combo will help with the chapping. I gave it a try on this stressful morning and it seems to be working. I hope more of these homemade options are on the way to this blog as I am always looking for inexpensive homemade options for personal care and house cleaning.

  15. Tracy says

    I just found the BEST one if you don’t want to make it. It last over 24 hours. I bought it at Sprouts and the whole family is using it.
    Crystalux, 100% Pure & Natural crystal deodorant all over body spray.

  16. says

    that is a great recipe… i still need to try it. i too use a mineral stick which works most of the time and i use natural toothpaste.
    unfortunately, i’m lazy and haven’t gotten around to a lot of it.
    katie, does this work for guys and preteen guys too?

  17. Marta says

    I tried this in the past and it worked great, but it seems the baking soda irritated my skin a lot. After few days I ended up with painfull red spots. Any idea if this would work without baking soda?

    • says

      Coconut oil alone even works pretty well, but the arrowroot makes it a little more effective. It won’t be quite as effective without baking soda, but should still work at least as well as most natural options.

    • Tammy says

      Hi Marta! I had the same problem when I first tried this DIY deodorant. Just reduce the amount of the baking soda by about half, keep the corn starch and coconut oil the same. Works like a charm now – hope this helps 😉

  18. says

    I’ll definitely try coconut oil on its own:)

    I currently use Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal and that works really well…

    Thanks for this!

  19. Allison says

    Tropical Traditions makes an all natural roll on deoderant that is similar. It does not seem to work too well for me though. Maybe I need to give it more time.

    • suzanne says

      when using a natural baking soda deodorant you can go through a detox period where you are a little stinkier and sweat more. Once you get through it though, it is great!

  20. says

    Great tips! Depending on my plans for the day, I’ll occasionally forgo deodorant completely. As long as I’ve showered (and shaving helps, too), I can usually get through a whole day at work without developing body odor. Sure, if you stick your nose in my pits, you’ll get a slightly sour sweat smell, but there aren’t very many students sticking their noses in my pits.

  21. suzanne says

    I use miessence… it is basically the same thing as the above recipe, baking soda based and no hidden chemicals..I just like the convenience of buying my deodorant in a container and not to have to mix it myself. Most of the miessence line is certified to organic food standards. The deodorant can not be though, because baking soda can’t be grown, and to be certified organic food it has to be grown!

  22. says

    I have been deodorant free for, oh, probably over 18 months. Initially I tried a few concoctions and such, the burts bee’s deodorant spray, the coconut oil recipes, etc. Now, I pretty much wear nothing. I find that unless I ‘lift heavy things’, anytime I do sweat it doesn’t smell at all (trust me, I spent months quizzing the husband and friends petrified that I was a smelly beast). If I do lift heavy things (crossfit workout, climbing, intense hike), I am usually taking a shower shortly there after so it doesn’t matter. Also, one other thing I noticed is that shirts made from unnatural threads are more likely to create an odor…..polyester I think is the culprit, but I am not 100% sure as most of the time I am wearing cotton.

    Side note, I do not live in a very humid climate. So while I don’t have to worry about deodorant nearly as much, skipping lotion is impossible. I have tried it multiple times, hoping my body would balance out if I gave it a few weeks, but our climate is just too dry. So plus side, I can go sans deodorant or anything for that matter, but I still have to slather something on my skin or I dry up like a prune.

  23. says

    Katie – I love your blog. So glad you are promoting health and wellness. What an interesting article. As a breast cancer survivor I appreciate your post. One of the first things I wondered about was deodorant. Its good to focus on wellness and prevention. Thank you.

  24. Brooke says

    I made the recipe you posted and I have used it for 2 days. I love it! It seems to work really well and so far, even though I have very sensitive skin, I have experienced no irritation. I prepared it as you posted (using cornstarch) and added peppermint oil and lavender oil. Perfect! Thank you so much for posting this recipe for natural deodorant!!

  25. says

    I just got done with my crossfit workout today.. I live in FL so it’s super hot, almost year-round. I’m going to make this, shower and slather up. I’m not concerned too much about sweating but I stink like WHOA so hoping this works. Only thing I hate is when my armpits stick.. testing, testing, 1, 2, 3. If it’s a go, I’m totally featuring this post on my blog. I’ll report back with my feelings :)

    PS, I did a whole30 challenge and started using non-chemicals besides toothpaste and deodorant. Last two things to change. Hoping this works!

  26. Cassi K. says

    I’m trying to get my mom onto this kind of deodorant but she is allergic to coconut. Do you have any ideas on what she could use instead of the coconut oil?

  27. Matt says

    Friends, do not, repeat, DO NOT, use just baking soda on your underarms. Baking soda has a base ph that will burn your skin after a few days and cause massive itching and peeling. Combination with the coconut oil, obviously, will balance the ph. But don’t use it by itself regularly.

    I know this from experience.

  28. says

    I tried this and really like it! Normally I am skeptical of “natural hippy” home remedies but I have been using the Secret Clinical Strength for about 3 years and still have more body odor than I am ok with so I gave it a try. It actually works, yay! I have tried Tom’s and whatnot and it never works. To avoid having to use my fingers to apply it I confiscated an Arm & Hammer solid deodorant from my husband (he refuses to wear deodorant), removed and disposed of the product, washed the container, dialed it all the way back, and added my newly-made coconut deodorant. I keep it in the fridge, which my husband thinks is a little odd, and apply it like any other commercially-available solid and reuse the container when I need a refill. Thanks for this recipe!

  29. Ruthie says

    So just as an interested reader (LOVE this recipe and Paleo!) I was wondering if anyone else realized that pure baking soda *not baking powder* does not actually contain aluminum. I’ve found that Bob’s Red Mill is the best for health & beauty products, however. But just so you all are informed, don’t spend your extra money on “aluminum free baking soda”. Because all of it is aluminum free baking soda. :)

    NOTE: It is imperative to purchase aluminum free baking POWDER.

    Just thought you’d all like to know

  30. Rebecca C says

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I have done a lot of deoderant experimenting. I also find that ACV works passably, swipe under the arms with cottonballs or similar. milk of magnesia works better, put it on with fingers and let dry a bit before putting on shirt, it is white in color so watch out. i have made my own deoderant which is very similar to this and many other recipes: 1/4 c minus 1/2 tablespoon talc, 1/2 tablespoon baking soda, 1/4 cup corn starch, 1/4 cup beeswax, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup shea butter (raw). I melt the beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter in a mason jar, set in a shallow pan of water that is simmering. Once melted, pour the dry ingredients into the jar and stir, stir, stir. make sure there are no lumps. I pour some into a empty deoderant stick container and it sets up well and functions just like regular deoderant in a stick. The rest i pour into a small container. CAn remelt later to refill the deoderant tube, or just use fingers to apply instead. so far it’s working! the amount of baking soda is small because it gives my armpits a rash if i use too much. I don’t bother to scent it, but I might in the future. It smells like beeswax but the smell is faint and goes away a few minutes after putting it on. it is also very yellow because the wax and the shea butter are yellow. hope this helps someone out!

  31. Tasha says

    I had a dry version of this that I was using (you apply the soda/cornstarch mixture with a makeup brush to slightly moistened underarms). I threw some coconut oil in it today to see if it makes any difference. (This one I can put on in my bedroom and not have to run to the bathroom). Hoping it won’t stain anything.

  32. Sophie says

    I made this very deodorant recipe and have been using it for 1 week! I was worried about the sweating…. but so far I’m impressed! Tho it is February… The real test will be in July! Lol
    I have added oregano and tea tree oil as anti-microbials. This helps greatly with the odor! Infact, there is no “sweat” odor. But since my husband found that I smell like an Italian chef…. I revived the recipe with additional essential oils to cover up the stronger smells. (Such as Zlang-zlang, orange, cinnamon or peppermint)

    Very Happy so far! :)

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