How to switch to natural deodorant

how to switch to natural deodorant and make your own deodorant

Remember my New Year’s Resolution to go more organic with my health and beauty supplies? Well I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned about natural deodorants, because they can be kind of intimidating. I’ve been using natural deodorants for years, but had gotten lazy and drifted back after Blythe was born. This year I experimented with a few other natural deodorant products, and I wanted to share the results with you.

If, like me, your first natural deodorant attempt was a failure (I’m looking at you, Tom’s of Maine, which actually made me smell MORE), don’t be deterred — like most organic/natural products, things have come a long way in recent years.

Here are two options (one store-bought, one homemade) that I’ve used for more than a year and liked:



Just because you’re going natural doesn’t mean you have to get all crunchy about whipping up your own. I tried the Lavilin brand of deodorants and really like them. I was intrigued by the online reviews for it, which were passionate, and many said that the longer they used it, the less frequently they needed to apply it.

Lavilin comes in two versions: a traditional roll-on and a cream paste. It does really work — even on tough workouts or long days. And it doesn’t smear on your clothes as easily as regular deodorant. NY Mag tested and reviewed 10 aluminum free, “hippie” deodorants, and Lavilin Roll-On was the winner.

If you like your product pretty, or scented, then consider Routine natural deodorants, out of Calgary, Alberta. This is a nice splurge gift or a good treat-yourself-to-get-started option. The Sexy Sadie scent comes recommended.

Homemade deodorant recipe

If making your own natural deodorant is more your style (or budget), then this recipe is tried and true, both by me and by dozens of online reviews. It’s easy to whip up, cheap, and the ingredients are easy to find.

Mix the following, using a fork to blend in the coconut oil:

  • 6T coconut oil
  • ¼ C baking soda
  • ¼ C arrowroot power
  • Essential oils (12 drops) if desired

Mix until well blended. I like mine to be the consistency of buttercream frosting, so if it’s too grainy, add some more coconut oil. Transfer it to a small jar.

Unscrewing a jar lid everyday is too fussy for me, so I put mine in a little crock jar with a cork lid that I got at an Anthropologie sale years ago. 

The only thing I DON’T like about this paste is applying it. For a long time I used my finger, scooping a bit and smearing it on, but I hated getting tiny bits of the gritty paste under my fingernails. So for this deodorant I prefer to use a little scoop or paddle (a baby spoon also works well.)

Some people in warmer locales have to keep this in the fridge since coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, but that is not a problem in these northern climes. If fact, sometimes in the winter it gets too hard or dried out, so I warm it up a little and add some more coconut oil (my non-airtight container contributes to the drying out as well).

How to switch

I read these tips in online reviews and thought they really made a difference:

  • When switching to a natural deodorant, apply it more often in the beginning. And before you re-apply it, scrub out underarms with soap and water first (wet a washcloth with a little soap and give them a quick scrub).
  • Once you get established, you may be able to go on an as-needed basis (more than once a day if active, but it may not be needed every day if not).

That’s it! Let me know if you have tips or other recipes or products to recommend.

You should tri it

tri gearIf you start running for health or because it is on your bucket list (or to lose baby weight like I did, seven years ago), the first question, real or in your head, is always “are you going to run a 5K?” Once you’ve done that, the question becomes “how about a half?” and when you’ve done that, comes the inevitable: “Are you going to run Twin Cities?” (That, for non-Minnesotans, is short for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon).

And once you’ve done that, what do you do next?

Try to qualify for Boston? (Hahahahahahahahaha! — no way that will ever happen for me.) Try an ultra? (That’s any distance LONGER than 26.2; Breanne has done it.) Switch to triathlons? (No way. Never. Not me. No swimming. Never.)

Well, if there’s anything distance running and marathon training has taught me, it’s never say never. Because if you tri it, you might like it. (I’m so funny — see what I did there? Because no one has ever made that pun before.) {Continue reading…}

On trail and on the town

MITY 8 crop

This summer my oldest son turned 13 — a momentous occasion for all of us. He is officially a teenager. I am officially a parent of a teenager. They weren’t kidding about that “the days are long but the years are fast” thing. It was truly a blink of an eye. But he underwent a […]

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Summer’s great and all: 4 reasons I’m ready for back-to-school

Noah asleep in boat

The pencils have been sharpened and new shoes are at the door. We have bus schedules, new teachers, open houses, stiff jeans. We are ready, so ready, and no one more so than me. Here are the four reasons I (and my family) need to get back to school. Beer and takeout don’t look all that […]

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How to unleash your hidden curl: A secret recipe for straight haired girls


A couple of months ago I met my friend Phoebe for happy hour and she showed up with these gorgeous curly locks. The whole time I’ve know her she’s always had straight hair like me, and now, this amazing hair! I sat there in curl envy for a while, and then broke down and asked her how she […]

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Getting back to the starting line

Family at mile 11 flipped

  Last weekend I did my first race in THREE YEARS. It’s not like I haven’t been running. Aside from the three months I missed around Blythe’s birth, I have been running 2-4 times a week the whole time, and far enough to pull out a 10 miler on any given Saturday. There are a […]

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Taking young kids on a BWCA canoe trip

Blythe at campsite

Previous post: Planning and prepping for taking young kids on a BWCA canoe trip On the days leading up to our BWCA trip with the girls, it seemed like an awful lot of work. Our trip was going to be two days (one night), which is the most gear and effort for the least amount of days.  And […]

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How to sew burp cloths, baby quilts, bibs, toys, and more: 10 great baby sewing tutorials

how to sew bibs and burp cloths

Sewing for babies is just about the easiest and most satisfying sewing work you can do. The projects are small so they whip up fast, and with the long lead time (9 months!) you can mosey your way through them. I did a LOT of sewing for Beatrice (not so much for Blythe, but she […]

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