[Republished from 2011]

{image by iyer venki}

As y'all know, I LOVE organic coconut oil.  A lot.  A "buy a dozen jars, eat it, slather it all over me, recommend it to other people, slather it forcibly on those who resist" kind of a lot. It's an addiction, I tell ya -- I may need to seek therapy.
I blame the island girl part of me.  She's weird.  And a little slutty.

Anyway, I've confessed that I also use coconut oil as deodorant.  Yes, I do!  Because I'm all about the natural health and beauty stuff.  Plus, it's inexpensive and can be mixed quickly and easily.

With girlfriends asking for the recipe, I just had to share... of course!  So, without further ado, here's my version of the recipe (the unmodified original recipe is at Passionate Homemaker).  Also, be sure to read the IMPORTANT NOTES after the directions to avoid any of the pitfalls I've encountered.  Seriously, you'll want to do this -- it's called IMPORTANT for a reason.

Okay, let the games begin!...

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch or arrowroot powder
3-4 tablespoons coconut oil
10 drops of tea tree or other desired essential oil (optional)

1: Mix dry ingredients together.
2: In a separate bowl, melt coconut oil.
3: If adding essential oil, add it to the coconut oil now.  Mix.
4: Add and mix oil -- one spoonful at a time -- into the dry ingredients until you reach the consistency you like.
5: Let set for an hour or so.
6: To apply, grab a pea-sized dollop of the mixture and massage into underarm.  Body heat will melt the coconut oil and help with the slathering situation.


- First of all, DO NOT apply this immediately after shaving your underarms!!!  Imagine your armpit was your crotch.  Yeah, it'll feel like rubbing sandpaper on your crotch, then pouring lemon juice all over it, then stabbing it with a fork, and finally having someone kick you.  Repeatedly.  Yes, it's a tad uncomfortable.

- Why these ingredients?  Well, cornstarch absorbs wetness, baking soda takes care of odors, and coconut oil acts as an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal/skin-softener.

- You may not need to use all the oil.  That's OK. 

- You'll likely need less oil in the summer.  When I made yesterday's batch, I used 3 TBSP.  It was humid yesterday.

- Also, in the summer, if it's too warm in your home, the oil will liquify and the mixture will separate.  Solution: Keep it in the fridge.  It'll stay relatively solid, and it'll feel awesomely cool going on.

- I personally like it more lotion-y.  I apply it as I would cream or lotion.  And it leaves less of a white powdery residue, which sadly can't be completely avoidable.

- You can use solid coconut oil, but you'd need the strength of Hercules or have the ability to use The Force to get these bad boys to mix well.

- I've never used arrowroot powder, so I can't say if it's better or worse than corn starch.  If one of you tries it, please let me know here in the comments or via email with your observations.

- If you use less coconut oil, you will smell more corny (due to the corn starch) and less coconutty.  Again, that's OK.

- Some new users have claimed that they encountered a somewhat-stinky adjustment period of, at most, a week when they made the switch from commercial deodorant/anti-perspirant to this recipe.  Others have not.  I was one of the lucky ones, fresh and coconutty from the start. If this is not you, one more time, that's OK.

- Yes, IT WORKS WELL!  One day, I went from a hot yoga class to coffee with my friends to a chiro appointment, and although no one said anything, no one tried to avoid standing close to me either.

If you have any questions about this, or if you've tried it, I'd love to hear from you!

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