Everyday Enviro with Elise - Underarm adventures - Planet Ark Environmental Foundation

Everyday Enviro with Elise - Underarm adventures

By Elise Catterall  April 29th, 2019

Elise provides the recipe to her homemade, environmentally friendly deodorant, proving you can be sustainable without being smelly.


For many years I have been anti-antiperspirant and only an occasional deodorant user. However, deodorant is something that finds itself on the shopping list from time to time – because there are definitely those times when it is in everyone’s best interest to use it.

While I have always chosen natural deodorants, in our efforts to have a zero(ish)-waste bathroom, I decided to experiment with some homemade deodorants so we can make the world a happier place in more ways than one.

I limited my search to recipes that used ingredients I already had, weren’t too difficult to make and sounded like they’d be up to the task. At first I tried simple pastes with just baking soda and water (too messy), simple liquids of olive oil with some lavender essential oil (didn’t last) and simple applications of apple cider vinegar (shouldn’t have done it straight after shaving).

Then I found the recipe I’m sticking with and it is so easy with its 4,3,2,1 method: 

  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (needs to be slightly soft for stirring)
  • 3 tablespooons of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine (which I had from my previous adventures in homemade beauty products – you could substitute ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil)
  • I also added 4 drops of lavender essential oil, just to avoid smelling too coconut-y

This literally just gets smooshed up together until smooth and then popped in a clean jar with a lid. You can pop it in the fridge to harden a bit, but it is pretty much ready to use straight away. Then you just use it like you would any balm – take some with your fingers and rub it on.

It feels lovely too – slightly powdery, not at all greasy like I expected. Note that due to the coconut oil component, this could become very soft and harder to use in hot weather, so keep it in cool spot.

This recipe has worked a treat – it even held up throughout some particularly nerve-wracking meetings. And the household teenager has also given it the thumbs up. I’m doing this alongside all the other strategies that, as a naturopath, I would recommend to clients for body odour: eat clean & green, drink lots of water, move your body and manage stress with mindfulness, relaxation, meditation, and techniques like yoga and biofeedback. 

And, while it feels good that it works and there is no waste, it is also really comforting to know that all the ingredients are completely safe, aren’t linked to any health concerns, and don’t disrupt the natural function or flora of the body. Everyone wins!

See you next time! - Elise

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


By Elise Catterall

Elise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.

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