Pit Paste – DIY Deodorant

Of course I ran out of deodorant on a 41 degree day, in the middle of a heat wave. But I have been waiting for my current commercial brand of roll-on to run out so I could try a homemade pit paste. There’s a bit of hype around the toxicity of deodorants and according to Time magazine it’s within good reason.

The article states:

Research shows that some compounds used in deodorant are absorbed and stored in fat cells, which are prevalent in the underarm area, says Philip Harvey, Ph.D., editor in chief of the Journal of Applied Toxicology. Your underarm tissue also contains hormone receptors, which could react to some of those same deodorant ingredients, Harvey says.

Of those ingredients there are 5 in particular to be weary of and in her book Fresh Faced Beauty, Alex Brennan explains why:

  • Parabens – Acts as a preservative and also a hormone disruptor.
  • Triclosan – Used as a preservative and anti-bacterial, is irritative to the skin and eyes and another suspected hormone disruptor.
  • Phthalates – Used as a plasticisers and yet another hormone disruptor.
  • Fragrance – Is a cover-all for many ingredients, including synthetic chemicals, they are often associated with allergic reactions, asthma and respiratory problems.
  • Aluminium – Some studies suggest aluminium is a neurotoxin that may lead to neurological disorders.

Now, not to say your deodorant contains any or all of these ingredients (the EU has banned phthalates in cosmetics), but to be on the safe side (and once again to reduce packaging) why not make your own!

Unfortunately I do not know who to credit this recipe to, I have it jotted down in my magical book of recipes, which I have picked up from many Tom, Dick and Harry’s. I think it’s a fairly standard recipe that has probably been around the block.


  • 1/4 cup bi-card soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot (I substituted it for tapioca, but you could also use corn flour)
  • 10 drops of essential oil of choice (I chose lavender for calming)



Pour all the ingredients into a jar. Mix together to form a paste.



  1. Scoop a pea sized amount onto your finger
  2. Rub together with a finger on your other hand
  3. Rub into your pits


So far I have been BO free for three days and we are still in the midst of a heat wave, which is surely testing the pit paste to its limits. I don’t know how it will perform under the harsh conditions of a gym sesh but I have faith!

UPDATE: It’s been two months since switching to the sole use of homemade deodorant and I am converted! I love how simple this recipe is and absence of harsh chemicals. I will note though, it is important not to use too much, especially on those really hot days as I did this once and the extra oil stained one of my t-shirts. 


2 thoughts on “Pit Paste – DIY Deodorant

Add yours

  1. Let me know how it goes. I have swapped to an all natural deoderant paste from Woohoo and it is really good even when going to the gym. It is in fully recyclable packaging too but still waste I guess.


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