Do you remember when you were a little girl and you didn’t know what arm hair was let alone sweat?! If you can remember that wonderful time, I’m sorry I reminded you–time machines aren’t a thing. Fast forward to 20 plus years later and we can’t go three days without shaving our underarms. And skipping deodorant one day? Unheard of.
If we want to actively participate in society, hug family members without them holding their noses, and be able to walk around the mall all day without having to cover up pit stains, then we need deodorant.
But what about all this recent prevailing information about the harms of conventional deodorant? The aluminum we are putting directly on our armpits right next to our breasts and potential issues? The correlation between aluminum being found in breast tissue and the rise in breast cancer is no coincidence.
To avoid this, we need to ditch conventional and go for natural. If you’re like most people and have a hard time choosing the right natural deodorant (because let’s face it, some clay bases work better than baking soda bases for some people) then essential oils for deodorant could be your pits saving grace.
In this article, I’ll tell you the best essential oils for neutralizing odors and killing bacteria. Then I’ll give the crafty ladies some easy homemade deodorant recipes. If you just want to get to the good stuff, I’ll let you know the best natural deodorants on the market and my favorites.
The Top Essential Oils for Deodorant
Using essential oils for deodorant can be as easy as diluting a drop in a half teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil (maybe sweet almond oil or coconut oil) and apply to each pit. If you want your natural deodorant to work extra hard, try making this your first step (this really works for me!). Essential oils will work hard to keep funk away and your deodorant working.
The best essential oils for underarm odor are going to be those with antibacterial effects and those that smell ah-mazing. The aroma is a personal choice so pick your favorite out of these bacteria-busting oils.
Besides being antibacterial, tea tree essential oil is also anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Three anti’s that you want under your detox centers. Tea tree oil will be like one of those British guards outside of a fancy and important building: he won’t smile at you but he won’t tell you to go away either. He’s just there to keep things in check. Tea tree oil will do kind of the same thing to your sweat. It won’t inhibit your body’s natural perspiration function but it will keep it under control. Consider adding tea tree essential oil for underarm protection.
Fun fact about thyme: did you know that ancient Greeks used to give it to warriors to enhance courage? Well, what gives someone more courage and confidence to raise their hands high at a concert than lovely smelling armpits? Thyme is anti-bacterial and a natural astringent that will kill bad odor AND bad bacteria. Thyme smells wonderfully sweet but is incredibly tough. Add thyme to your daily deodorant routine so you too can throw the rock on sign up at the next concert.
Vetiver is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and just might be the essential oil for underarm odor you are looking for. If you kind of dig the outdoorsy smell after you’ve been on a hike–using vetiver will help you get the scent of a forest during autumn without the sweat smell that makes you want to jump in the shower. Vetivers bacteria and odor-fighting properties are a good idea before any hike.
I bet you’ve been waiting for this one. Lavender essential oil is one of the most used essential oils in natural deodorants, and it makes sense. Lavender is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, and antimicrobial. Lavender can help with just about any skin condition and that includes your smelly and sweaty underarms. Not only will lavender work hard to keep you odorless and smelling like the loveliest thing to ever fill a room, but the aromatherapy will also keep you calm, cool, and collected all day. Bonus: lavender is like that non-confrontational friend: goes along great with any oil– so get creative and make a combination for extra fighting power.
Lemongrass essential oil is antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and a hardcore bactericidal. This essential oil will be on the frontlines of your underarm protection; killing bacteria and eliminating odor. Another benefit of lemongrass is its detoxification effect. It will give your detoxifying center some extra help so your body can flush out all the bad toxins. That doesn’t mean that you will sweat or smell more. When absorbed, lemongrass will kill toxins on site. Talk about a warrior with a badge of honor.
One of the most popular essential oils, rosemary essential oil is that girl that everyone goes to because she will never say no to helping! With strong antibacterial and antiseptic effects, rosemary oil will keep your pits clean and smelling crisp. The only possible downside is that rosemary is also known for stimulating hair growth. But I mean, the ’60s are repeating themselves so if you’re going for that look (embrace it!), maybe rosemary is the best underarm choice for you.
Geranium smells of wonderful florals so if you want to smell like a blooming flower consider this potent essential oil. Geranium will work hard at fighting bacteria while soothing and renewing your skin. A cool thing about geranium essential oil is that it stimulates the lymph system which is how we detox. What better place to put a lymph stimulator than on the site of our most detoxifying lymphs!
If you want to smell like you just got back from vacation somewhere foreign than maybe sandalwoods incredible exotic aroma is for you. Sandalwood also has strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic benefits making it a skin care superstar. It will soothe underarm skin and problems that sometimes come with over perspiration. Sandalwood also combines well with geranium and vetiver (and obviously lavender).
Best carrier oils for deodorant
Now that you’ve chosen your weapon of choice, let’s pick your armor: carrier oil. It’s always a good idea to dilute essential oils before applying to the skin. The good news is that you probably already have some of these natural oils at home– and they are terrific for making your essential oil skin ready.
The carrier oil you choose will depend on your aroma preference and your skin type.
- Coconut oil: for underarm odor, this is my top pick; it’s solid at room temperature and easy to work with plus coconut oil has its antimicrobial properties enhancing the effectiveness of your essential oils.
- Jojoba oil: perfect for every skin type and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores); this oil is super useful if you’re struggling with ingrown hairs in your pits
- Sweet Almond oil: non-comedogenic and skin soother; rich in Vitamin E almond oil works great for soothing razor burn or irritated underarm skin
Essential Oil DIY Deodorant Recipes
Essential oil deodorant roll-on
Yields 1 oz
In a dark roll on glass bottle combine:
- 1 ½ tablespoons of organic witch hazel
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of thyme essential oil
- 5 drops of vetiver essential oil
- Shake and roll on to each underarm
In our article 10 basic Essential Oil DIY recipes we give you two deodorant recipes: one stick and one spray. Both are killer.
Essential Oil Deodorant Spray
Circulatory blend to neutralize odors and stimulate your lymphatic system
- ¼ cup of witch hazel
- ¼ cup of purified water
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 4 drops of vetiver essential oil
- 4 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 2 drops of thyme essential oil
- 4 oz glass spray bottle
Essential oil homemade deodorant stick
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- ¼ cup of arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon of beeswax pellets
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 5 drops of lavender, lemongrass or geranium
- Start by melting down the coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler or pyrex.
- Allow the temperature to cool so that it’s not solid but not hot, slowly stir in the baking soda and arrowroot.
- Stir in your essential oil blend and pour it into a recycled deodorant stick or a glass jar.
- Allow the mixture to solidify and use as needed!
If you’re not into making your own recipes or just don’t have time check out our article on non-toxic deodorant for the best natural underarm options without aluminum or other trouble making chemicals. Below are a few of my favorite brands that include essential oils.
Essential Oil Deodorants
Primal Pit Paste
Primal Pit has really good essential oil pastes and sticks. Primal Pits deodorants are organic with tons of skin lovin’ ingredients like shea butter, arrowroot powder, baking soda, coconut oil, candelilla wax, and vitamin E. They have a variety of scented essential oil options like lavender, lemongrass, jasmine, and patchouli.
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
Soapwalla’s cream deodorant is a great organic deodorant option sans toxins and chemicals. Soapwalla uses bacteria and odor fighting ingredients like jojoba oil and lavender and tea tree essential oils. This cream is perfect for all ages, even your children!
Now that you have all the best essential oil deodorant options, pick your favorite and start your day with high hopes that your underarms will finally be able to live up to! Comment below and share your favorite underarm protectors!