Coconut Oil as Deodorant

The most natural products are the ones that contain one ingredient. I've been using coconut oil as a deodorant for about two months now, and it works great. The lauric acid in coconut oil kills odor-causing bacteria. The scent of coconut oil is very light, and it has never left a stain on my clothes.

Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants contain ingredients that can be hazardous to your health. Antiperspirants try to get the body to stop sweating by using aluminum. Remember that sweating, while sometimes gross, is natural! It is your body's way of releasing toxins and impurities. So you can imagine what happens when you force those toxins to stay inside. Links have been found between the aluminum in antiperspirants and Alzheimer's disease and even breast cancer. The other ingredient in deodorants that really affected me was propylene glycol, which is a component of antifreeze. Every time I used a product with propylene glycol, it made my skin burn. Interestingly, the Material Safety Data Sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with liquid propylene glycol, because it is a skin irritant that can cause liver and kidney damage.

A couple of years I ago I started using 'natural' deodorants. I was able to find brands that were aluminum and propylene glycol-free. Even natural deodorants contain ingredients that are questionable. I couldn't pronounce and didn't know what glyceryl laurate was; and just where was the natural fragrance coming from? To be fair, many of these ingredients really are natural, where the biggest concern is skin irritation, which can even be a side effect of coconut oil, if you're allergic. Still, I knew that these weren't products that my great-grandma would have used.

I made the switch to coconut oil as a deodorant after reading about the success others were having with it on the Internet. To use, just dab a tiny bit of coconut oil on your finger and rub it on your underarms just like you would with any deodorant. There are also many recipes on the internet for a homemade coconut oil based deodorant. Most of these include coconut oil, cornstarch or arrowroot powder, baking soda, and essential oil. This is a good place to start if you are uncomfortable suddenly switching to coconut oil alone. Personally, the idea of cornstarch and baking soda absorbing into my skin kind of creeps me out, but maybe that's just me. I hope you'll add deodorant to your growing list of uses for coconut oil!

Tropical Traditions is one of my favorite places to buy coconut oil. They almost always have Buy 1 Get 1 Free specials going on. They frequently have free shipping offers as well as great deals on their other amazing products. They offer an extensive selection of coconut products, organic foods, natural skin care products and household goods, pet products and more.

Disclaimer: If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

60 comments:

  1. Does it matter what type of coconut oil. Refined/not refined etc? Thanks

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  2. I use Artisana's raw, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is treated with sodium hydroxide and bleached, so I always use the most natural option.

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  3. Another thing that works is Limes. Rub the lime under your arm (use up to 7 days). Works really well. I will have to try the coconut oil.

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  4. Interesting! I usually find that as long as I'm eating well that I don't need deodorant. But this is a great option that I may make my preteen son try! :-)

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  5. I've been using organic virgin coconut oil as a deodorant for about two years. I think it's great. I tried mixing baking soda with the coconut oil, but the baking soda gave me a rash. So, I just use coconut oil. I also rub coconut oil on my beard before brushing on shaving soap. Makes for a more comfortable shave.

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    1. I found that baking soda by itself was great!
      Coconut oil + baking soda = rash :(

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    2. Yeah I had that exfoliation of skin rash when I mixed it with baking soda too.

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  6. Does it really stop stink? Do you have to reapply at all? What about when you stink?

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    1. Yeah! That's my question, too. And it's crazy hot where I live.

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    2. As stated, the lauric acid in coconut oil kills odor-causing bacteria. I personally never reapply it, but everyone is different.

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    3. My husband only puts it on in the mornings and doesn't stink. I on the other hand don't stink going to bed, but waking up I do. So I put it on when I wake up and when I go to bed. Everyones body is different.

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  7. After being diagnosed with contact dermiatitis from the deodorant ive been using, i started using just plain coconut oil instead of deodorant. It really works for me!

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  8. i truly believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. I'm glad that you posted this. I use coconut oil for my hair, but I'm happy that there's another use. I've been having a hard time finding the Arm & Hammer one, which is also natural. Thanks :)

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  10. I have heard you can empty an old deodorant container and fill it with coconut oil? any tips on refridgerating it?

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    1. I wouldn't refrigerate it as will harden. Just pop it in a container under your sink and apply with the fingertips, you will never get it out of the can if you refridgerate it

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  11. I tried refrigerating mine but it got so hard I could barely use it. I prefer having it as a cream. I love the smell!

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  12. Thank you for sharing this! I had not heard of coconut oil for deodorant. I actually rarely ever use any deodorant, but for those times that I do, I would love to use something natural like this!

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  13. I am goint to try this....adding Clary sage and Geranium essential oils. Thanks!

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  14. I love coconut oil for so many things, I will try this out. One less thing to buy at the store. I found your link on Frugally Sustainable.

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  15. Coconut oil is an incredible oil! I use it for SOOOO many things too. I just made deodorant with it too, but I also added baking powder, arrowroot and essential oils. It makes it thicker and works really well— all day long. I really wish I had tried this years ago rather than buying aluminum-tainted deodorant off the shelf.

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  16. I'm trying coconut oil as deodorant first time I hope it works will let you know

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  17. Actually, most antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is nasty, nasty stuff. Causes brain damage if ingested, and it has a sweet odor and taste, so animals may want to drink it if it's left sitting in an open container. Propylene glycol is also used, it is safer, but not as effective in cooling engines.

    I'm trying coconut oil today as deodorant, also put some on as aftershave! I smell delicious ;)

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  18. I have a contact dermatitis allergy to propylene glycol myself ... It's in many things! Foods too! Salad dressings , medicine that has coatings etc! I'm going to try the deodorant idea! Ty!!!

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  19. I started using coconut oil as a deodorant after I saw 50 uses for it on Pinterest a few weeks and find amazingly, it works. I started smearing my feet with it (originally for moisture and not as a deodorant) but have noticed my feet and shoes don't smell anymore - they are odor free. As my feet sweat profusely (way more than my armpits) I am ecstatic.

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  20. Is there anything coconut oil CAN'T do? Thank you for this idea!

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  21. Better be careful with lime. If you have lime juice on and are exposed to the sun you get a really bad rash!

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  22. I have always had issues with my underarm skin and continue to switch to more and more gentle, natural deodorants. I'm excited to try this. I love coconut oil as a beauty product. This is awesome.

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  23. I have to purchase Secret Clinical strength and I use Certain dri at night. I still sweat and have a terrible phobia of someone smelling me so I carry a travel size Clinical strength Secret in my handbag. I am going to order my extra virgin coconut oil tonight. I will let you know if it works. Thanks fo this site.

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  24. Interesting on the coconut oil! I haven't tried this one. Deoderant was a really tough one for me - it took me a while to find one that worked that met my criteria. I use the Crystal rock deodorant, and I LOVE it. It's different than regular stuff but it lasts years and is great. The only caveat is I have to put it on right out the shower, before bacteria has formed - I'm guessing like coconut... and it doesn't work if I'm really active on super hot summer days. Do you think coconut oil is similar?

    Also, do you have a way to respond to emails when you repond on the blog? I think my name should be linked to it - sometimes it's tough to try to remember to go back to a post and check for a response. (-:

    ~K

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    1. I actually use the salt rock and coconut oil together which works really well. After a shower, put on the usual amount of your Crystal rock deodorant. Then once applied evenly, apply enough coconut oil to coat your entire underarm area. If the oil is normally liquid in your home, using a small spray bottle works well. If it is normally solid, I usually turn the jar upside down so I can use my finger nail to scrape some and quickly apply it under the arm. Your body temperature will melt the oil. Just move your arm all around to get it applied evenly. Been doing this for over a year now, and the combination of the two works great.

      Another trick if your natural deodorant is not working, is getting into a infra red sauna about once per week. that makes a big difference also.

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  25. OMG that is what was happening to me. When i used deodorant my armpits burnt. My skin peeled it was so painful, i even tried two different brands. The culpirt was propelyne glycol!
    I always have coconut oil at home because i use it in my hair so i will try it for deodorant!

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  26. I love using coconut oil as deodorant! Did you read that news article re: sweat being a natural antibiotic? We want to keep sweating but can do without the odor. Coconut oil does the trick!

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  27. I have been using an aluminum-free, cream deordorant for years now called Yodora. It is very gentle and effective and I am happy with it, as it actually seems to kill the germs that make you have body odor, meaning that if I forget to use it for a day, I still will not have any underarm odor. I am wondering if coconut oil does the same thing...will try it. Thanks!

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    1. Where can I purchase this product? My Husband is having issues with using regular deodorants .

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  28. I have been using coconut oil as a deodorant for about 3 months now. It does work, but won't last for more than one day. And I find that at the end of the day I start smelling like an old man. So today I tried adding some essential oil to straight coconut oil. It's actually an essential oil blend of ylang-ylang, mandarin, grapefruit and lavender. Smells heavenly. And now so do I. I love this stuff!

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    1. What coconut oil do you use, and how do you mix it in, as the stuff I know of is in solid form unless you melt it...

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  29. I've been using coconut oil as deodorant for about a week now and it isn't doing as well as I would like with odor. Is my body potentially just adjusting to the lack of chemicals? Has anyone else had to fight through the beginning stages before the coconut oil worked well as a deodorant?

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    1. It's very possible that your body is detoxing from the chemicals that are normally put there.

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  30. I tried this and I still stink as well. I was using the baking soda one but it gave me a terrible rash after a month. I don't really believe the detox theory, especially after a month of not using store bought deodorant. Wish this would work for me.. the baking soda works wonders, but I can't use it. I'm at a loss :(

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    1. Detoxing can take a long time. Some people who switch to homemade shampoos, for instance, need to detox their hair for up to 6 months. You body has several years of toxins built up, they're not going to go away overnight.

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    2. I had the same problem. My underarms became really itchy and red. I made a new batch with half the amount of baking soda, and it was much better. I also didn't use it for a few hours after I had shaved, as it would cause itchiness again.

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    3. Check out my updated post on homemade deodorants and what I use now here: http://www.anorganicwife.com/2014/03/diy-tallow-deodorant.html

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  31. ^^Hold on. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. Did you make sure to buy the unrefined coconut oil? Because the refined one could be the problem. Another thing you could try is lemon juice. It's worked wonders for me. I used it as a deodorant before with success. You might want to consider trying the coconut oil WITH the lemon juice together as a deodorant. You can't fail with those two mixes!

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  32. Thanks! Was using deo with no issue but just recently found out about the dangers. Went online to look for alternatives. Nice to know there are other more natural alternatives.

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  33. Do you apply the coconut oil on your dry skin or do you dampen it first with some water like you would do with other oils when using it for your face (e.g. almond-oil)?

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  34. Just wanted to mention, if anyone is having an issue with odor using coconut oil, try using it in conjunction with Crystal Rock Deodorant. Also, getting into a infra red sauna will cleanse the pores and helps a great deal as well. I can use the Crystal Deodorant by itself if I've been in the sauna regularly, but if not, then combining it with coconut oil works wonders. Simply apply the salt rock first, then put a light coating of coconut oil over it. I've been doing this for a couple of years, and won't use anything else.

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  35. I've been using coconut oil as a deodorant for a couple of months now and it works even during exercise. Before that I was using baking soda and although that worked it sometimes made my underarm itchy and also ended up with darkened skin. The question is how to store it when traveling? When it's hot outside a squeezy type like bottle prevents leakage but when in air conditioning it solidifies and you can't get it out of the bottle. Same for jar leakage when hot but ok in cold. Any ideas?

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    1. I keep mine in a mason jar. When I'm traveling I just make sure it's in a place where the jar will stay upright. Keep it in a cooler room in the summer, and in the winter move it to the warmest room.

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  36. might be too personal, but it might be an effective genital deodorant too. personally I keep clean shaven and just wash, but sometimes in the summer.....

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  37. I found your post at the Frugal Days hop. Thanks for the great read! I made homemade deodorant with baking soda in it, and I love it, but it just started giving me a rash, so I think I will try plain ol' coconut oil and see how it goes! Thanks!

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  38. I found that baking soda by itself was great - no problems!
    Coconut oil + baking soda = rash :(

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  39. Hmm, coconut oil doesn't do it for me. No idea why!! I've tried tons of recipes - will give this one a shot too! My mom just bought me some Lavilin. Said her friend has been using it for ages and thinks it may be a good solution for my sensitive skin. Anyway, thanks for the tips!

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  40. I started out looking for help with a new rescue "little Yorkie" odor from her mouth and skin. I found suggestion that adding coconut oil to her food will help her skin, shiny fur, breath odors and digestive/stomach odors and problems. Thankfully I found this blog for me too ( !!) for an underarm deodorant. Peanut and I are very excited. Will try to keep everyone up to date. THANKS !!

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  41. I made a coconut oil/arrowroot/baking soda deodorant with lemon oil, and ever since I have had an itchy rash in my underarms. At first I thought it was the razor and shaving cream combo, but I changed that and still have a rash. I am so glad I found this site. I used to use arrowroot and baking soda with a powder brush and never had any rash. I am going to use straight up coconut oil for a week or two and see if that works! I also use coconut oil for my hair and as a moisturizer for my face. I use baking soda for a face scrub and mask, and to brush my teeth.

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  42. I just discovered this site and I am anxious to try some of the remedies here. my husband and daughter both had a real odor problem even with regular antiperspirants. I got them both on zinc tablets and in a very short time they no longer had the problem. take zinc don't stink!

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  43. Interested in this Coconut Oil theory as well... but right now I finally found a great one from Young Living, therapeutic grade essential oils! It's the only 'natural' deodorant I've found that fights odor all day and doesn't ruin my clothes being too oily or weird, and helps cut down w/ my 'sweaty pits'. If I'm hot, of course you'll still sweat, but feel like I can wear it to work without embarrassing myself :)

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  44. I have been using coconut oil as deodorant as well and I believe it is more effective at odor elimination then any other product that I have tried. One thing I have found that has really helped me to resolve skin irritation issues is to learn what sebum is and why it is important to protect it and keep it in balance. So google it and I think you will be surprised what you learn. Basically showering with warm water daily and only using shampoo on your hair one a week is all most people really need. More than that and you risk removing to much of your healthy sebum layer and suffering the consequences. After all it is our first layer of defense for our health.

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  45. Wow what a great idea, being someone with super sensitive skin I will definitely try this. My underarms always look very irritated, maybe that redness will go away with the coconut oil. Great post.

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