While having a pleasant personal scent is a priority for most people, many would rather not slather on a conventional deodorant or antiperspirant to achieve this, preferring to address body odor with the application of more natural alternatives that contain fewer harmful ingredients and are less likely to result in negative side effects. Traditional antiperspirant products often contain ingredients like artificial fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and anti-bacterial preservatives, which can have a negative impact on the body in the long-term. They also generally contain aluminum, which is reputed to form a block in the pores, thereby restricting the emergence of sweat and resulting in decreased moisture secretion. Conversely, because natural deodorants do not prevent perspiration, they benefit the body by not inhibiting its normal purification functions. Although natural deodorants could also potentially clog the pores, the positive difference is that the pores will be introduced to only pure, “green” ingredients rather than the synthetics present in conventional options.

Read on to discover simple recipes for safe, skin health-enhancing deodorants with all-natural components that are known to eliminate bacteria and neutralize odors while imparting refreshing scents.


 The body is not malodorous inevitably or by nature – it emits an odor only when the bacteria that live on it respond to that from which they receive “nourishment”: the diet. A body that is fed mainly unnatural, processed, and refined foods or a diet that is rich in meats and sugars will expel more foul odors than a body that is fed wholesome foods. The underarms will not be foul-smelling if they secrete only healthy waste products of digestion and surplus minerals that are found in natural deodorants.

Underarm detoxification is often recommended for those making the switch from traditional deodorants and antiperspirants to natural deodorants, as it is believed that this helps to expel pre-existing bacteria as well as residue from previously-used chemical-laden products, to optimize the performance of a natural deodorant, and to assist the body in returning to its original, organic perspiration that is conducive to good health.

To easily detoxify the underarms, try the following recipe:

Dilute 8-10 drops of one or more preferred Essential Oils in 1 tablespoon of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and add this to a 60 ml (2 oz.) spray bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water (Note: This blend is also suitable for hair care and foot soaks). Simply shake the bottle well, spray the blend onto freshly-cleansed underarms, and allow the skin to dry. Although it is recommended to use this blend during a time when the body is at rest, such as before bed, nonetheless travel-size spray bottles will also make it possible for users to continue with this detox while on the move.

Repeat these steps on the following day. While individual users’ bodily responses to this detox will vary, generally, results can take approximately one week to manifest; however, as with any detox, persistence is encouraged. Underarms might require several washes throughout each of these detox days.


 For a quick and simple DIY natural deodorant recipe that is reputed to last a minimum of 12 hours, try the following steps:

In a bowl, thoroughly combine ½ cup of Baking Soda (for those with sensitive skin, a lesser amount may be used to avoid irritation) and ½ cup of either Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder. In a separate bowl, combine 5 Tbsp of Virgin Coconut Oil and 15-20 drops of preferred anti-bacterial Essential Oils. *Organic ingredients are recommended whenever available. Next, stir the oil blend into the powder blend until the mixture reaches a smooth uniformity. This amount should last approximately 3 months. Transfer the final product into a clean container, such as a round jar or a deodorant tube. To apply, use the fingertips or a cream deodorant applicator, such as a scoop stick, to rub a pea-sized amount into the underarms.

In cold temperatures, this deodorant can harden. To keep it soft, simply hold the pea-sized amount against the area of application and allow body heat to melt it. Alternatively, it can be kept nearby during a warm shower in order to allow any steam to melt it for application to the underarms afterward. In warm temperatures, this deodorant can liquify. To achieve a thicker consistency for application, simply place it in a cooler area, such as the refrigerator, for a few minutes.


Organic Cold-Pressed Virgin Carrier Oils
  • Moisturize skin
  • Soften skin
  • Support skin health
  • Reduce the appearance of aged skin
  • Protect the skin’s moisture barrier
  • Smoothe skin
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Argan Organic Carrier Oil – Virgin
  • Chia Seed Organic Carrier Oil – Extra Virgin
  • Coconut Organic Carrier Oil – Extra Virgin – Fair Trade
  • Olive Organic Carrier Oil (Extra Virgin)
  • Sacha Inchi Organic Carrier Oil – Extra Virgin
  • Sesame Seed – Extra Virgin Organic Carrier Oil
GMO-Free Vitamin E
  • Nourishes
  • Help reveal a new layer of skin
  • Moisturizes dry, itching, flaking, and burning skin
  • Increases the hydrating efficacy of moisturizing ingredients
  • Gently addresses itchiness, inflammation, blisters, and scaly patches of skin
  • Vitamin E (USP Cosmetic Grade) Raw Material
Pure Clays
  • Draw out moisture
  • Cleanse skin of dirt and oils
  • Comfort irritated sensitive skin
  • Reveal a new layer of skin
  • Tighten the skin
  • Refresh the skin
  • French Clay Green
  • French Clay Pink
  • French Clay Red
  • French Clay Yellow
  • Multani Mitti (Fullers Earth) Clay
  • Rhassoul Clay
Unrefined Beeswax (Beads/Pastilles)
  • Stabilizes recipes for appropriate product thickness
  • Creates a hydrating, long-lasting protective barrier on the skin without clogging pores
  • Helps seal in moisture from other hydrating ingredients
  • Exfoliates
  • Nourishes skin with natural vitamins
  • Supports the skin’s regeneration and rejuvenation
  • Imparts a natural scent that is warm, sensual, floral, and woody
  • Refreshes skin and helps to restore skin health
  • Gentle enough for use on even the most sensitive skin
  • Hydrates itchy and irritated skin
  • Softens and smoothes dry, cracked, and broken areas
  • Beeswax Premium
Organic Crude Shea Butter
  • Nourishes skin with vitamins A and E
  • Moisturizes dry, chapped skin
  • Promotes skin health and clarity
  • Reduces the appearance of dark spots, discoloration, and blemishes
  • Shea Organic Butter – Crude (Ghana)


 Any Essential Oils that are reputed to exhibit antibacterial properties are ideal for adding to formulations for natural deodorants. The following antibacterial oils are believed to:

  • Help eliminate and prevent the growth of bacteria under the arms
  • Neutralize body odor
  • Impart pleasant scents
  • Reduce excess oil on the skin’s surface
  • Cleanse the skin
  • Tighten the skin
  • Cool and invigorate the skin
  1. Bergamot Oil
  2. Clove Oil
  3. Cedarwood Oil
  4. Cypress Oil
  5. Geranium Oil
  6. Grapefruit Oil
  7. Lavender Oil
  8. Lemongrass Oil
  9. Orange Oil
  10. Patchouli Oil
  11. Peppermint Oil
  12. Roman Chamomile Oil
  13. Rosemary Oil
  14. Sage Oil
  15. Tea Tree Oil
  16. Vetiver Oil
  17. Ylang Ylang


 Natural deodorants, much like underarm detoxes, require persistence in order for the body to adjust to the change in the skincare product and to achieve the desired results. Natural deodorants should be used continuously for more than one week. The lack of functionality is not necessarily related to the ingredients in the product but is instead usually due to one or more of the following reasons:

    • An unhealthy diet consisting largely of processed foods
    • Wearing synthetic and/or tight-fitting fabrics, which trap moisture and do not allow the skin to breathe
  • Bacteria trapped under the arms; ensuring that the underarms are clean before applying a natural deodorant will help it work more effectively



For other natural deodorizing options that do not require the formulating of a deodorant cream or stick product, try the following natural antibacterial ingredients:

    • Aloe Vera Gel
    • Grapefruit Seed Extract
    • Essential Oil Blends (Immunity Synergy Blend / Pillager’s Potion Synergy Blend) – dilute with a Carrier Oil prior to direct application
    • Witch Hazel Distillate Organic Raw Material
  • Rose Floral Water


Products, listed in this article are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using them for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use any of the aforementioned skincare products without the medical advice of a physician/dermatologist, as they may have effects on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These products should always be stored in areas that are inaccessible to children.

Prior to using any product, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by properly diluting (when applicable) each chosen product and applying a dime-size amount of each to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Individuals who are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action.

Is Your Deodorant Really Safe?

If you would recall, a number of years ago some people had circulated e-mails asserting a connection between the use of deodorants and breast cancer. However, soon the assertion was confirmed to be a practical joke or hoax. Nevertheless, many still wonder if it was really a prank, or if there was some substance in what was being stated.

According to Dr. James W. Coleman, an investigator on the epidemiology (study of disease caused by virus) of breast cancer in Louisville in Kentucky, soon after such e-mails were circulated, representatives of different foremost breast cancer institutions having economic ties with the cosmetic industry manufacturing deodorants issued proclamations discrediting the communication spread through the e-mails. Dr. Coleman, however, pointed out that none of the statements issued by these breast cancer organizations made any reference to any published testimony to authenticate their claims. On the contrary, the findings of a research on the subject publish on January 12, 2004, the issue of the Journal of Applied Toxicology hinted that there could be some truth in the information circulated through the e-mails.

It would be worthwhile to note that Dr. Philippa Darbre, the head of the team that conducted the above-mentioned study and a cancer researcher at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, has been engaged in scientific research for 20 years to study the methods of controlling the growth of cells of breast cancer. During her course of research, Dr. Darbre examined as many as 20 cases of human breast cancer and incidentally found the presence of parabens (artificial anti-microbial means used as cosmetic stabilizers) in 18 cases. According to Dr. Darbre, the presence of these harmful chemicals in the human breast tumor or lump is of great significance as earlier researchers have established that parabens are capable of imitating the functioning of estrogens and augment the development of breast cancer.

Dr. Darbre and her team found out that the parabens present in the breast tumors comprised esters (an organic fragrant compound) and this pointed toward the fact that they may have entered the body through the skin. In other words, the parabens are likely to have been soaked up by the skin from body creams, body sprays, and under-arm deodorants. It was also found that when the same parabens are consumed through foods, they undergo metabolism and drop the ester group. As a result of this, the parabens are less likely to imitate the growth inducing functions of estrogen.

On the other hand, so far the cosmetic industry has been firm on its stand that the chemicals present in the deodorants cannot enter the body through the skin. They further maintain that even if some of these chemicals are soaked up by the skin and enter the body, they would soon undergo metabolism and be send out through excretion. The cosmetic industry has also asserted that keeping in view the manner in which the human body functions it is extremely difficult for these chemicals to infiltrate to the breast because physiologically the lymph (body fluid enclosing white cells) glands would normally remove all contaminants and straighten up. However, substantiating her findings, Dr. Darbre says that it would appear to be normal if the tumors happened in a uniform manner with 20 per cent surfacing in each of the five different areas of the breast. But during her research, it was found that 60 per cent of all breast growths appears in just 1/5 of the breast – the upper-outer quarter area of the breast that is nearest to the under-arm. Hence, Dr. Darbre claims that her findings substantiate her theory that the parabens are soaked up by the skin and infiltrate to the breasts leading to cancerous growths.

It may be mentioned here that in addition to deodorants, the parabens are also present in other cosmetics like in body mists, body lotions, foaming cleansers, lipstick, body cream, facial cream, skin cream, hand lotion and moisturizers as well as body and shower gel. Apart from cosmetics, parabens also have industrial use and are present in oils, fats, glues and even shoe polish.

Meanwhile, Philip Harvey, an editor of the Journal of Applied Toxicology that published the findings of Dr. Darbre’s research, is of the opinion that it cannot be said for sure that the parabens are really liable for breast tumors, but keeping in view the alarming rise in breast cancer globally, it may be certainly said that these chemicals are somehow or the other related to the disorder. Philip Harvey further suggests that the findings of Dr. Darbre’s research need to be construed carefully. At the same time, he admits that the findings of the research are of utmost significance as they demonstrate that the estrogenic elements have been discovered in the breast, it is also true that they can be absorbed by the body, through the skin or otherwise.

What You Need to Search:

Apart from the parabens, there are several other artificial elements that are present in the cosmetics like deodorants that are basically used under-arm. These synthetic chemicals include aluminum salts that include potassium alum, which is known to putting off sweating by blocking up the sweat pores.

The other artificial chemicals usually found in the underarm cosmetics are: a synthetic preservative called BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), an emulsifier, carrier and petroleum product known as propylene glycol and ethyl hexyl glycerine obtained from a petrochemical product and used as a synthetic chemical addition as well as an anti-bacterial. Borax or boric acid found in the underarm cosmetics is essentially a toxic product while polysorbate 20 is a fatty acid ester where the number 20 denotes that the substance has been exposed to ethylene oxide also identified as the human carcinogen.

In addition to the above-mentioned synthetic chemicals, underarm cosmetics also contain streareth 100, which can be obtained from vegetables and is made to undergo a chemical reaction with ethylene oxide or ethoxylated, synthetic fragrance that comprises 95 percent synthetic compound obtained from petroleum and triclosan, which is an artificial anti-bacterial mediator, antibiotic or a biocide.

The Brighter Side:

While we have briefly discussed the harm the synthetic chemicals present in cosmetics can do, remember that there is a brighter side of the whole episode too. Look around and you will be amazed to know and find that there are so many natural substitutes to the artificial chemicals present around us. If you cannot find them yourself, look for them in the health food store in your vicinity, cooperatives, pharmacies as well as the online stores available on the Internet. While looking for natural cosmetics, you need to search for deodorants that are ‘paraben free’, ‘propylene free’ and ‘aluminum free’. It is advisable to keep away from products or items that are tricky to enunciate or pronounce.

Now the crucial question is how we minimize our coming close to the artificial as well as ecological toxins. Will the problem be resolved by avoiding using the constituents present in the cosmetics, particularly in the armpits, or should we need to read the labels on the different cosmetic products more carefully and ask questions and seek answers to them before using them? Whatever may be the case, it is essential that each one of us need to answer these questions to keep ourselves and others free from toxins.