Homemade Deodorant {For Sensitive Skin}

homemade deodorant for sensitive skin

When I first jumped ship from regular store bought deodorant, we started using this deodorant recipe from Mommypotamus, and we were immediately sold. And thrilled. It actually works and is made of only three (safe, edible!) ingredients- I never knew deodorant could be so fulfilling. (Read my review of it here.)

Unfortunately, about 8 months in to my new blissful homemade deodorant life, I started getting a painful rash on my armpits. It burned every time I put my deodorant on, and once I even had to wash the deodorant off because it hurt so badly. A quick Google search revealed that many people experience this kind of irritation from baking soda (and many people aren’t bothered by it at all). I was not happy to hear this, because there was no way I could go back to regular deodorant after experiencing the consistent results of the homemade version.

So I did what I always do… I Googled and I experimented. The general Internet consensus is that you can decrease the quantity of baking soda and the deodorant will remain effective, but will be less likely to irritate those with sensitive skin. So I went for it, and after several months, it is still working beautifully for me (and my husband).

Homemade Deodorant {for sensitive skin}

I make my deodorant in a 4 oz mason jar (these), so I use:

3 tablespoons arrowroot powder (this kind)

1 tablespoon baking soda

enough coconut oil to make a paste (about 2 tablespoons)

Mix all ingredients in the mason jar. If it’s cold, I melt my coconut oil first (in a pan on the stovetop) so it’s liquid and easier to stir. The consistency will be like a nice homemade icing. Then just scoop a little onto your fingers and apply a thin layer to your armpits. And tah-dah, no stinkies, ever.

Should you want to make a larger batch, just note the ratio is 3 parts arrowroot to 1 part baking soda, and then coconut oil to consistency.

If you have really sensitive skin, you may not be able to tolerate even the reduced amount of baking soda. Don’t worry, though, there are options!

(1) Just use coconut oil.

(2) Rub a small amount of apple cider vinegar on your armpits, then rub a small amount of coconut oil on top. (My friend told me about this one.)

(3) Many people report that they no longer have body odor once they start supplementing with magnesium. Cheeseslave eliminated the need for deodorant all together.

(4) Use grain alcohol.

(5) Rub a sliced lime on your armpits.

Have you found a homemade deodorant that works for you? Please share in the comments.


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: To support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for supporting our efforts at Whistle Pig Hollow!


  1. Perfect! I was using homemade deodorant for a few months before it started bothering me too, I went back to store bought but it had such a strong fragrance, I knew there had to be something else… Thanks so much!!

  2. Maryanne says:

    I have been using homemade deodorant for 18mths now…and about 8 mths ago began experiencing the same issue…I thought it was because I was using cornstarch and baking soda…not arrowroot powder…so my next batch, I used arrowroot, and reduced the baking soda as well…lol…NO more rash/burn!!! Thanks for posting!! I’m glad I’m not the “only one”….*grin*

  3. Brenda Duke says:

    Just this week I tried using the lime. It was a little sticky so I added a dab of coconut oil. For two days I have been using this and I love it! No sweating, odor or anything negative at all! Goodbye Mitchem:-)

  4. I will try this. I have had a rash from the first deo I made with baking soda. Not good. Wondering if even less baking soda would be better but still effective? I have all of the ingredients. I may try it just to see. Thanks for a new recipe for those of us with sensitive pits!

  5. Jodi Arnold says:

    Going to have to try one of these. It only took a couple of days before I got a rash when I started using the original recipe you mentioned. I tried to add more arrowroot powder and a little more coconut oil to change the ratio of the baking soda I had used, but that still hasn’t helped. I’ll have to try one of these.

    • Jodi, besides reducing the baking soda as much as possible, I also find it helps if I put plain coconut oil on my armpits first, then deodorant- It seems to shield the skin from some of the abrasion of the baking soda.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I used this recipe(coconut oil, arrowroot and baking soda, and store it in fridge)for months and it seemed to work if I kept applying it through the day. I made my last batch and added a few drops of tea tree oil, and WOW I have to say I LOVE it!! No odor at and I only apply once a day!!

  7. Lynn M. Carangelo says:

    I use the same recipe as above but also melt Shea butter with my coconut oil and a few drops of oregano oil. I LOVE it!!!

  8. I have recently started using a salt block that you lightly dampen and rub your pits the same as deodorant. It works great because it kills bacteria. I’ve also recently found coconut powder from Lush. The work great together or alone. I love the smell of the coconut powder.

  9. Thanks! I’ve made the transition this year, 2013, to using more natural products. I was so excited to make my 1st batch of homemade deodorant. I got a horrible rash, swollen armpits and terrible bumps. I took out the cornstarch and used arrow root powder…..same thing only worse. I am going to try this recipe and hope it works. I love saving money and making natural hygiene products. God bless everyone!

  10. Go for Lavilin, it’s fantastic! http://www.lavilin.com

  11. Ashley D says:

    Would it be ok to add a couple drops of essential oils to add a little scent?

  12. I’m so glad I found this! I’d been using Tom’s and had gotten a rash on top of it really not working. Then my sister had made me some deodorant. It smelled fantastic, and with putting some milk kefir on before using it, my rash didn’t get worse until I skipped the milk kefir one day. Now I have extremely painful and swollen underarms 🙁 I don’t want to go back to store bought deodorant, so I am going to try the non baking soda options you’ve posted!

  13. Ozone Layer Deodorant is safe for sensitive skin and the most effective deodorant I’ve ever used, utilizing a new natural deodorant technology that eliminates the bacteria that cause odor. Check it out at http://ozonedeodorant.com

  14. I don’t think it’s a rash from irritation to baking soda. I think it’s a skin fungus because my rash from my baking soda deodorant immediately got better when I used an antifungal cream

  15. Thank you for posting this. I have been using natural/organic deodorant for about a month and half and it does have baking soda. My under arms turned really dark and the creases are red. What should I do to help them heal? The deodorant I use works well, the only downside is the darkness and rash.

    • I had to take a deodorant break- over the weekend… And then I had to apply plain coconut oil as a barrier before I applied my new diluted version as they finished healing. Mommypotamus also has some baking soda free recipes as well. Good luck!

  16. Thank u 4 this as I write I’m experiencing the very painful red rash in my armpits. It also took a few months to happen and I am on my 4th deodorant recipe. DEF not going back 2 store bought deodorant. I read to spray some 1/2 part apple cider vinegar 1/2 part water for the pH balance and it worked 4 me. But, here I am again with the rash after reapplying the deodorant a week later. I am going 2 start experimenting with the other options, as soon as I heal from this episode :/

  17. I mixed up a batch of deodorant and my arm pits are on absolute fire 🙁 I honestly can’t take the pain…. I used the 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup baking soda, coconut oil (can’t remember the exact amount), 2 Tablespoons grated beeswax, Tea Tree and Grapefruit essential oils. Please help !!!

    • you have to cut the baking soda way down and increase the corn starch to replace whatever quantity of baking soda you removed! It’s the baking soda burning, but it also deodorizes. I use a very small amount of baking soda and it still works but doesn’t burn any more!

  18. What if you’re sensitive to both coconut oil and baking soda?!! I have tried primal pit.. Made 2bathces of my own soapwalla the crystal and toms deodorant the homemade batch worked amazingly!! But within a week my pits were dark w red in creases peeling swollen and hot to touch !! I used coconut oil baking soda and lavender EO ! I have been trying to find other things to use it I’m stumped! Tried Shea and cocoa butter but those don’t smell good to me sad face I don’t want to use dove or secret anymore

    • Samira- some people swear by rubbing lime juice (from a lime just cut in half) on their armpits as deodorant. I’ve never tried it but it could be worth a shot!

  19. I thought I was having a reaction to the baking soda in natural deodorants, but when I talked to my local natural grocer, they said a lot of people are reacting to arrowroot, not baking soda. I guess I will have to make two batches with and without to see what bothers me.


  1. […] 3. Whistle Pig Hollow’s Deodorant for Sensitive Skin […]

  2. […] Homemade Deoderant (for sensitive skin) from, Whistle Pig Hollow. […]

  3. […] Ashley’s two posts about her deodorant journey here and here. Eva’s recipe including cornstarch can be read here. And Nadine wrote about her homemade […]

Speak Your Mind