Is Your Deodorant Safe?

by Carrie Raab on May 31, 2012

Is Your Deodorant Safe?

According to Wikipedia, deodorants are substances applied to the body to affect body odor caused by bacterial growth and the smell associated with bacterial breakdown of perspiration in armpits, feet and other areas of the body. A subgroup of deodorants, antiperspirants, affect odor as well as prevent sweating by affecting sweat glands.

Why do we sweat?

Sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling us down. We sweat in order to keep the body at its normal temperature (98.6° F.) There are approximately 2 million sweat glands in our body. When we sweat, why does it stink?  Bad smell is due to the growth of microorganisms that are in our body that are being expelled. So, basically, what you put IN your body comes OUT. Your diet plays a big role as well as daily topical applications, like lotion, shampoo, sunscreen, make up, and so forth. As funny as it may sound, armpits are supposed to perspire. This is how our bodies were designed, yet we go to great lengths to prevent this from happening. Kinda ironic, huh?!

I never thought much of deodorant or its safety factors until about 10 years ago. A girlfriend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and immediately she changed her deodorant, stopped drinking diet soda, and began a whole foods diet. I remember her telling me and anyone who would listen to her to “change your deodorant.” She told us to do other health related things, but she was adamant about the deodorant and products we put ON our body.

What ingredients are in your deodorant?

Have you taken a look? It might be a good idea. We are using deodorants containing toxic chemicals and derivatives of heavy metals like aluminum. Just because you buy your deodorant from a health food store, does NOT mean it is safe and free of sulfates, paraben and propylene glycol. I bought  “natural” and “organic” products for years and was shocked when I read the labels.  To me, natural and organic mean products without these chemicals… apparently not for those making them.  Read your labels!

Is your deodorant safe?

Top Chemicals that are used in deodorants that are toxic are:

1. Aluminum

2. Propylene Glycol (click the word to see what this chemical is all about)

3. Parabens

4. Phthalates

5. Triclosan

Documented research shows a correlation between deodorants containing aluminum and breast cancer, birth defects, allergies, and hormonal imbalances. We wonder why we have so many health issues and often don’t think to read our labels. These potentially hazardous chemicals should not be used in the products we consume.  We, as consumers, have the option of what we purchase.  The next time you go to purchase a product that goes ON your body, read the label. 

Are there alternatives? Yes! Make your own or buy from a company that does not put any of these chemicals in their deodorant.

Make your own deodorant – Recipes:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 + Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 10-20 drops essential oil of your choice (Options:  Lavender, Thieves, Melaleuca Alternifolia, Purification, Geranium)

In glass bowl, mix the baking soda, corn starch, and essential oil together. Stir until well blended. Next add the coconut oil. Mix thoroughly. Place into glass jar or scoop the mixture into an old deodorant container. Let chill overnight or in refrigerator. Keep in a cool place as coconut oil changes according to temperature. It might be best to keep it in the refrigerator in the summer months. ( If anyone were to accidentally eat it, it would be ok, lol! :)

Safe options – Some deodorant brands that do not contain these toxins:

Young Living

The Crystal

Burt’s Bees 

Aubrey Organics

Have you ever made your own deodorant? Do you have a recipe you would like to share with us? Please spread this post to your friends so they can learn to be label readers and use safe, all natural products on their skin.

Some of this information has come from  Natural News – click to learn more. Click here to learn more about the toxins used in deodorants -another article by Natural News. I am not sure who to give credit to in regards to the homemade recipe, otherwise I would.

Possibly shared with these blogs (click to see blogs I love/links).

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorraine March 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm

In the recipe for the deodorant it said coconut oil. Will that stain your clothes under the arms? Also is this recipe good for both staying dry and smelling good? I have had problems for years with finding the right deodorant and having to throw away clothes because of the smell. If I was to use this recipe would I need to detox from all the other stuff first? I’m new at essential oils etc. but totally excited!!! Thanks.


Carrie Raab April 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Hello, I personally did not have it stain my clothes. I can’t for anyone, but myself. Detoxing is always needed and highly recommended. Happy oiling! Blessings- Carrie:)


Dana July 9, 2013 at 4:06 am

Sounds simple and lame but lemon… Yes, LEMON! Rub a slice on your underarms and bing bang…. no smell. Yes, you will sweat but there will be NO ODOR! :)


Tamara May 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Lavilin is 100% safe and aluminum-free! I have been using it for as long as I can remember, and even my doctor is using it!! Love the product.


Liza July 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

Yay Lavilin!!!

I always vouch for this deodorant – it is gooooood like you wouldn’t believe!!

If you don’t believe me, see their review here:

Then go ahead and try it yourself, you won’t regret it!!


Kami Stewart October 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Like this idea. However, I’ve heard before that lavender and tea tree oils can contribute to breast cancer (because they makes our bodies produce more estrogen?) What do you know about that?


Carrie Raab October 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I would continue to do your research Kami. I switch up my oils, so I don’t think there is a problem and YL oils are different than store bought oils, or other oils that you can buy. Great question. :)


Genny October 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Any substitute for corn starch? I break out horribly from it.


Carrie Raab October 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Great question, Genny.. I’d google it, as you know there has to be! Thx! :)


Debra @ Sweet Kisses and Dirty Dishes July 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I have made a very similar deodorant, and loved it. Another thing to consider is if you are breastfeeding that babies nose is right there breathing in whatever scents, ect. your deodorant has for hours a day every day from a few minutes old.


Carrie Raab July 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Hey Debra! Excellent point!! Yes! Thank you for sharing. Crucial tip.


Julie July 9, 2012 at 2:10 am

I’ve used apple cider vinegar and baking soda. I wash my underarms with ACV and try to let it soak on there for a few minutes. For me, I usually do it just before I hop in the shower. I put it on, brush my teeth, get the water ready and then jump in the shower. After my shower, I dry off and pat some baking soda on my underarms. I don’t use it all the time, but I’ve had great success with it so far. I like your idea though because the vinegar & baking soda can be somewhat tedious. It will be nice to have two options to go between! Thanks!!


Carrie Raab July 10, 2012 at 2:05 am

Hey Julie! Awesome tips! Thanks for stopping by!


France @ Beyond The Peel June 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Its scary to think what they put in the products we consume. Thank you for taking the time to write about this and a fab substitution! Thanks for sharing it with us at Whole Food Wednesdays.


kristen June 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm

my mom always bought us natural deodorant because aluminum is linked to alzheimers but i hadn’t thought about breast cancer. i have actually made the recipe you listed a few years ago and i should probably make another batch. it does work pretty great… i just reapply throughout the day. i use tea tree oil in it because it has antiseptic properties (as does lavender). the only bad thing about that recipe is that it’s not good for traveling.


Carrie Raab June 14, 2012 at 2:45 am

Hey Kristen! Oh, wow, that is wonderful. Glad you enjoy the deodorant and great job mom for training you at a young age to go natural. Tea tree is a great essential oil to choose! Blessings to you and thanks for stopping by!


Mindy Bowman June 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Awesome recipe…I’m going to have to try that out! Hopping from The Better Mom.


Carrie Raab June 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Hey Minday! Thanks for stopping by! Glad you like it! Blessings:)


Dory June 7, 2012 at 1:23 am

I love this post!!!!! So glad you shared it!

I use baking soda mixed with equal measure of corn starch….BUT I think I like the recipe in this post and can’t wait to try it.

I use coconut oil for everything from cooking to my only lotion and sunscreen…isn’t coconut oil amazing!

Good Post!


Carrie Raab June 7, 2012 at 1:55 am

Hey Dory! Wow!Thank you so much! I appreciate your feedback and kind words. Let me know if I can help you in any way with essential oils- or any health care needs. Blessings!


Alexandra June 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I’ve always wanted to find a recipe for deodorant, so I thank you very much for posting one. Do you know if coconut oil can be substituted with other oil, like olive or sunflower? I can’t find coconut anywhere where I live. :-/


Carrie Raab June 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Hey Alexandra! You are welcome! Glad it was helpful. You can buy coconut oil online and they will ship it to you. I would think jojoba, avocado, and other oils would work. Coconut oil is a natural sun protectant too, so it is a great combination: coconut oil and essential oils. Let me know how I can help you further. Blessings!


Victoria @ Green Idea Reviews June 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thanks for sharing all of this great information! I’ve tried out both the homemade deodorant and the crystal. I found the homemade deoderant left me pretty stinky by the end of the day, even with added essential oils like lavendar and tea tree oil. The Crystal, however, has been great! It’s much less messy to apply, and lasts even until the next morning. I’ve even found you can reapply the crystal without showering the next morning, and it continues to keep odor at bay.
Here’s a link to my Crystal Deodorant Review…


Carrie Raab June 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Hey Victoria! Thank you for your comment and feedback! I use the crystal and have let my sons use it from time to time but it doesn’t work so great for me. Bummer, I don’t get the results you get. I definitely have major BO and so I rarely use mine. I have found coconut oil and essential oils work great for me, in regards to homemade and I do love YL deodorant!! I guess all body types are different. Thankful we both have found “natural” products that work. I really appreciate your feedback and am thankful to have found your site. I love it! Bless you and I look forward to your reviews on what else you post about. :)


Deborah June 1, 2012 at 12:42 am

So nice to know there are healthy alternatives!! Hi Carrie … just stopped in here to say, hi, and this is something I did have a question about … we’ve used the ‘salt’ spray for years now, and it works great, only problem, no nice scent! Would there be a possibility that I could add some essential oil to that, or would it need something else to add with it? The brand we use is ‘Crystal’, {no aluminum chlorohydrate, hypoallergenic, fragrance & paraben free}. I have purchased the scented brand, but we didn’t really like the choices. Thanks for following me, too!! :) You have a blessed weekend! – Deborah


Carrie Raab June 1, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hey Deborah! Nice to hear from you! Yes, absolutely you can add an essential oil with it- lavender or tea tree work well. Or any of the oils mentioned in the recipes. I am not sure which oils you have, but yes, you can most definitely use them to give you a ‘scent’. Sometimes I will just add a bit of lavender under my arms, if I am not home and I need some deodorant, lol, and it works great! (I apply NEAT). Hope that helps! Blessings!!!


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