armpitsFor a long time now I’ve had to avoid commercial deodorants ‘cos they just cause a reaction in my armpits – mainly redness and itching.

I’ve long-since converted to solid alum stone for keeping my underarms fresh but when for the second time I managed to drop said alum stone on the floor of the bathroom where it smashed into lots of rough pieces too scratchy to rub underarm, I looked for an online natural recipe.

This is what I found and tried out – a deodorant using the deodorizing power of bicarbonate of soda, from my fave natural beauty website, Hello Natural (I’ll give you the direct link below). Here’s the recipe – and what I think of it.

1/4 cup bicarbonate of soda (=baking soda for Americans)

1/4 cup cornflour (cornstarch)

3 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp shea butter

6 drops essential oils (I used 6 drops of lavender ‘cos I didn’t have the others in the original recipe – a couple of drops of tea tree maybe, it’s up to you, depends on whether you use them for their properties or for their smell!)


First melt the coconut oil and shea butter together (I use a stainless steel bowl in a pan of simmering water).


Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together

Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and cornflour

Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and cornflour


Pour into moulds and leave to set in fridge

Pour into moulds and leave to set in fridge

Take out of mould when solid and rub under arms

Take out of mould when solid and rub under arms

I live on the outskirts of Bordeaux so I used canelé moulds for fun (for non-Bordeaux folks, a canelé is the region’s speciality cake).

So, the big question is, is it effective?

Well, the honest answer is “It depends how hot it is out there”! Which, might I say, is true of any deodorant, at least for me, be it organic, natural or full of chemicals. On a side note, this recipe only claims to be a deodorant and not an antiperspirant i.e. you still perspire but your armpits shoudn’t smell (= de-odorize). Get the difference?

I first tried it in Spring and was very happy with it. No BO, no sweat. Applying it is a bit odd – as it is oil-based, it melts a bit in your hand as you pick it up (by the way you must keep it in the fridge or it’ll melt down into a splodge if it’s hot). It feels a bit scratchy (that’s the bicarb) and leaves a sort of powdery residue but I’m fine with that.

However, this summer we had a real heatwave, temperatures over 37°C and, well, I think everyone melted. NO deodorant is effective (at least not on me) in those temperatures, and this one was no exception.

But now we’re getting back to “normality” temperature-wise in September, I shall be getting it out of the fridge again.

Here’s the original post from Hello Natural (with a toothpaste recipe as a bonus – haven’t tried that).

Let me know if you have your own tried-and-trusted homemade underarm deodorant.