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.

Tea Tree

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


  1. Start by melting down the coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler or pyrex.
  2. Allow the temperature to cool so that it’s not solid but not hot, slowly stir in the baking soda and arrowroot.
  3. Stir in your essential oil blend and pour it into a recycled deodorant stick or a glass jar.
  4. 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!

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  1. Wow! Thank you for the shout out to Primal Pit Paste. All our products are made with food grade ingredients. The essential oils in our natural deodorant smell so yummy … you are tempted to eat it! We would love to provide a discount code for 25% off your followers P3 purchase. Just let me know! Again thank you so much – Lori, Chief Marketing Officer, P3 Pure

    1. Hi Lori,
      In our long and expensive search for deodorant that works without all of the toxins, we found primal pit to be the best of all by far. Love it!

    2. Hi Lori! We absolutely love your products and would be thrilled to offer our readers a 25% code for their P3 purchase. I will be reaching out to you over e-mail to coordinate.

  2. Thank you for all the great eo pit ideas, I will be using your guidance to make some deodorant when I get back home. But right now I am working far away from my supplies and am struggling with the organic choice I purchased for this trip so the recommendation of primal pit with the generous addition of a discount code is just what I needed.
    Thanks again for the thorough list of eo recommendations, I am really looking forward to trying my hand at making my own.

    1. Martha, thank you for taking the time to send us this note! It is always so encouraging to hear how these articles help and support those who are reading them. We LOVE Primal Pit and hope you do too! We also love our essential oils for deodorant, and are so glad this has inspired you to make your own. Go for it and have fun!

  3. Thanks heaps for the suggestions. Ive diligently tried out essential oils with carrier oil

    Suprisingly works great outdoors (!) but indoors… looks like my body is taking some time to get used to it ….. so now i am in limbo – i can neither use storebought deodarant (pits reject it) nor does my current blend work well indoors in an airconditioned office (yea i know weird i am – sweat in the office but not out under the sun)

    Any tips?

    1. One thing that I have tried is adding a drop of essential oil to the deodorant stick before application. I usually use Rosemary or doTERRA Balance and it works great. However, this is kind of an unorthodox way of using oils because I use the oil undiluted. You would need to do a patch test first to make sure that you don’t have a skin reaction (this is by far the most common adverse effect with essential oils). Provided you tolerate it well, this has worked great for me and Dr. Isaac too. I hope this helps!

  4. I infuse witch hazel with basil and lemon balm from my garden, and then add lavender oil and tea tree oil and use it as a deodorant spritz. Lemon balm is good for the skin and basil has antibacterial properties. I appreciate the recipes you have here!