Homemade Deodorant for Sensitive Skin – a new recipe

Last year I wrote about a homemade natural deodorant recipe for sensitive skin. I’ve been using it over a year and I still love it. It is an effective deodorant for me, and the only deodorant I have found that does not have ingredients that I wish to avoid, does not irritate my skin, and actually works well!

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

As with all my recipes, I am both anxious to share with you when I find something that I like and that works, but I also like to experiment and try to perfect my recipes as well. My deodorant is no exception.

Pros and cons of the original natural deodorant recipe

Here’s where my original natural deodorant recipe worked well:

  • does not irritate sensitive skin
  • goes on smoothly onto smooth (hairless) skin
  • goes on smoothly in warm weather
  • mild smell, almost no smell (closer to fragrance free than fragranced deodorant)
  • free from ingredients I seek to avoid (aluminum, baking soda, parabens, synthetic fragrance, etc.)

And here are some of the shortcomings of my original natural deodorant recipe:

  • need to use extra pressure to apply in cold weather – want a better year-round formula
  • difficult to apply/goes on a bit clumpy on underarms with hair (my male volunteer)
  • lacks the fragrance to which some people are accustomed and want in their deodorant
  • may tint darker skin tones
  • leaves a thin wax layer on skin which clogs my razor when I shave
natural homemade deodorant, ready to use
original natural deodorant

My new recipe maintains all of the good from my first list, while solving 4 of the 5 shortcomings from the second list.

As long as I keep with a recipe that uses wax I am going to have the problem of wax clogging my razor, but so far I have not found any other recipes that come close to being as effective and gentle on my skin, so I accept that shortcoming. Also, I use a double edge safety razor for shaving, so it is very easy to carefully remove the razor blade from the handle, carefully remove the wax from the blade by sliding my fingers from the center of the blade outwards and repeating until the wax has cleared, and replacing the blade.

The new natural deodorant recipe

My new recipe is very similar to my original recipe, which I adapted from this recipe from The Things We’ll Make. The real difference is change in quantity of some ingredients, and options for different essential oils to allow for different fragrances.


  • 2-1.75 oz deodorant tubes or other container for storing deodorant
  • 25 g shea butter
  • 40 g coconut oil
  • 30 g beeswax pellets
  • 7.5 g zinc oxide
  • 3.5 g zinc ricinoleate (package recommends 1.5-3%, this yields 3% concentration)
  • 1/2 tsp.(2g) matcha
  • 10 drops vitamin E
  • 30 drops essential oil(s) of choice

Essential oil blends

Sensitive skin blend:

  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops eucalyptus oil

Forest Blend

  • 8 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 8 drops cypress essential oil

Blending Guidance

I reference this blog post from Rose Mountain Herbs for essential oil blending. I also avoid citrus oils in deodorant and body products because many cause photosensitive reactions (irritate skin when exposed to sun), and also avoid very “strong” oils like clove and oregano which can irritate skin.

ingredients for natural homemade deodorant
natural deodorant ingredients


  1. Combine the bees wax, shea butter, and zinc ricinoleate in the top of a double boiler or microwave safe container.  Heat slowly- I do 50% power in my microwave for a minute then add 30 seconds, stir, add 30 seconds, repeat until all ingredients are melted. Stir until all ingredients mixed together. 
  2. Add the zinc oxide and mix well.
  3. If using matcha, add matcha and mix well.
  4. Add vitamin E and desired essential oils and mix well.
  5. Pour into a deodorant container or other container of your choice and allow to cool at room temperature. (If accelerating the cooling process such as by placing in the refrigerator, there will be a bigger indentation in the center due to uneven cooling rate.)

Any time after the deodorant has fully cooled, it is ready to be applied. 

new recipe natural deodorant in re-used deodorant tubes


I apply my natural homemade deodorant each morning, and after each shower. 2 swipes per arm to fully cover the underarm is sufficient for me. Either my original or this new recipe work just fine for me, this I do prefer the consistence and feel of this new formula best, especially in colder temperatures. I am using up the last of my original recipe deodorant this summer, and will continue to make this new formula for the winter and future years.

Ingredient selection

As with my original recipe, each ingredient was selected for a specific purpose. substitutions may be possible, but will likely have some impact on the end result product.

  • Beeswax – critical to consistency of the deodorant stick.  Antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. Possibly a similar consistency could be reached using large amounts if cocoa butter, with shea butter and less coconut oil than this recipe.
  • Shea butter – key to the consistency of the deodorant stick, but different combinations of oils/butters/waxes (beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil) could result in a good substitute deodorant stick base. 
  • Coconut oil – key to the consistency of the deodorant stick, but different combinations of oils/butters/waxes (beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil) could result in a good substitute deodorant stick base. Also, believed to be antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal
  • Zinc oxide – soothing for skin, skin protectant, and safe according to chemicalsafety.orgWebMD, and others.  It could be omitted or used in a lesser quantity, but it does thicken the deodorant, so it may be necessary to increase the amount of shea butter and/or beeswax if zinc oxide is omitted. 
  • Zinc ricinoleate – This is the odor absorber, I will never make deodorant without it again.
  • Matcha powder – antioxidant, and adds fun (and natural!) color.  This is used in such low quantity in this recipe that it could be omitted with no other substitutions.  
  • Vitamin E – antioxidant.  This could likely be omitted without negatively impacting the recipe. 
  • Tea tree essential oil – is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal so for me a great choice for me to use on this area that is prone to irritation.
  • Lavender essential oil – antioxidant, helps heal skin, fragrance.
  • Eucalyptus oil – antibacterial, antimicrobial, fragrance.
  • Cypress oil – antimicrobial, fragrance.
    • The oils can be substituted for other essential oils to suit desires for specific scents or properties. I am careful to research essential oils to make sure they are safe to use on skin, and safe to use mixed together, before using in a recipe like this. I reference this Modern Essentials book a lot – I like that it not only gives information but also cites references for that information. This website also gives a good overview on key safety points for essential oil use.
Cost for 2-1.75 oz tubes
  • Shea butter, $11.50 for 1lb. 25 grams x (1lb/453.6gram) x ($11.50/lb)=$0.634
  • Beeswax, $18.95 for 2 lb.  30grams x (1lb/453.6gram) x ($18.95/2lb)=$0.627
  • Coconut oil – $16.04 for 54oz at BJ’s wholesale club.  40 grams x (1oz/27.02 grams) x ($16.04/54oz) = $0.440 (also available on Amazon though a bit more pricey.  Still a good deal!)
  • Zinc oxide, $10.99 for 1 lb. 7.5g x ($10.99/1 lb) x (1 lb / 453.6g) = $0.182
  • Zinc ricinoleate $15.95 for 125g. 3.5g x ($15.95/125g)=$0.447
  • Matcha, $14.99 for 8oz (227g). 2g x ($14.99/227g)=$0.132
  • Vitamin E, $5.71 for 2.5 oz or 296-5 drop servings. $5.41/296 servings x 2 servings = $0.039
  • Tea Tree Oil, $10.64 per fl oz.  600 drops oil per ounce. 15 drops x (1 fl oz/600 drops) x ($10.64/fl oz) = $0.266
  • Eucalyptus Oil, $8.69 per fl oz. 600 drops oil per ounce. 7 drops x (1 fl oz/600 drops) x ($8.69/fl oz) =$0.101
  • Lavender Oil,$14.64 per fl oz. 600 drops oil per ounce. 7 drops x (1 fl oz/600 drops) x ($14.64/fl oz)=$0.171
  • Deodorant tubes, $8.95 for 5.  $8.95 / 5 tubes x 2 tubes = $3.58

Total*: $3.04 for 2 tubes worth of deodorant, $6.62 for 2 tubes of deodorant, including tubes.  $3.31 for 1 tube of deodorant with tube.  I used old deodorant tubes for this batch, so they cost only $1.52 per deodorant!  With this slightly softer consistency I use this deodorant a little faster than the original recipe; in about 9 months. Cost per month is only $0.37 with new tubes, and with reused tubes less than $0.17 per month.
* total cost is calculated for my sensitive skin essential oil blend. Cost will vary based on essential oils used.

See my original natural deodorant for sensitive skin post for price comparisons to other deodorants.

Have you tried a natural deodorant? Tell us what you thought about it in the comments!

Reduced Waste, Partially Reusable Bandage for First-Aid

I have avoided the first-aid Band-Aid type bandages for years. Primarily because I am allergic to the adhesive. Also, if I didn’t really *need* one, I wanted to avoid the single use product.

Since I’m talking about first-aid in this post I am going to reiterate here what is in my disclosure statement. I am NOT a doctor and everything written here is my own opinion based on my personal research and experiences. Use your own judgement and consult your doctor with questions.

Note: I strongly believe that health and medical safety is important, and if using a single use bandage product was necessary to protect someone’s health I absolutely would without question.

I actually came up with this this reduced waste, partially reusable first-aid bandage after using a medically necessary bandage…and getting contact dermatitis from the adhesive.

"Reduced Waste, Partially Reusable Bandage for First-Aid" text over photo of a self-adhesive bandage with gauze

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

The idea for a reusable bandage

After needing medical tape applied to my skin, which ultimately caused contact dermatitis (I was really glad I had this tea tree oil & glycerine remedy, because this was a particularly itchy case of it!), I was set on finding an alternative to adhesives on my skin. I remembered that once when I was a child, I saw a wrap bandage that was self-adhesive, rather than requiring those little metal clips to hold the end in place. I thought that maybe this type of self-adhesive bandage could replace the adhesive plastic or fabric strips of a first-aid bandage.

photo showing rectangular patch of contact dermatitis from medical tape
contact dermatitis from medical tape

I set off to a local drug store, and found 2 inch wide “self-grip athletic tape/bandage”. I was picturing something more like 3/4″ or 1″ wide, but I could work with this! I purchased the package took it home to start experimenting.

When I opened the package, I immediately noticed it smelled a little minty, like Bengay. Really weird, but didn’t bother me. I did not think to check out on regularly, but when I picked up the reusable bandage tape several weeks later almost all of the smell had dissipated.

I unrolled a section several feet long and carefully cut it in half lengthwise, so I had two-1 inch wide strips. These will be easier for me to use as bandages. I pre-cut some to length to wrap around fingers, hand, and arm. I left the rest on the roll to cut to length as needed.

self-adhesive bandage cut into 1" wide strips for first aid bandages, with bandage wrapped around thumb and another strip of self-adhesive bandage with gauze in the background

How do I use the Reduced Waste, Partially Reusable First-Aid Bandage?

I use the self-adhesive bandage in combination with cotton gauze and a 9:1 solution of fractionated coconut oil and tea tree oil or my tea tree oil stick.

If there is a wound to clean, I will properly clean that first. I use my bandage to cover wounds or to remind myself of an injury so I don’t keep re-injuring it.

The tea tree oil solution (either liquid, diluted with the coconut oil, or in solid form in my tea tree oil stick) is my antibacterial/antiviral/antifungal “cleaner” and I use that if there is an open wound to try to keep it clean.

The gauze is to provide a soft, non-sticky surface against the injured or tender skin. For most minor injuries I don’t worry about this being sterile because I have already applied tea tree oil (if there was a wound). I like 100% cotton because it is compostable, and if there is no blood on the gauze (or just a tiny drop), that is how I dispose of the gauze.

And of course, the self-adhesive bandage holds the gauze in place. I have found it works best to wrap and gently stretch the bandage to apply the desired amount of pressure along most of the length of the bandage, but then for the last 1-2″, do not stretch, just place over a section of the already wrapped bandage and press down. This will allow the bandage to stick best to itself.

roll of self-adhesive bandage, stack of gauze, 1" wide strip of bandage with folded gauze, and bandage wrapped around thumb

What do I do with the bandage when I am done using it?

Once I am done using the bandage, there are 2 parts to deal with: the self-adhesive bandage, and the gauze.

For the gauze, If I’m certain the gauze is 100% cotton, and if it is clean or only very lightly soiled, I put it in my backyard compost. If I had commercial compost facilities available (the kind that accepts meat scraps and bones), I would compost the 100% cotton gauze in the commercial facilities, even if it was more heavily soiled. If the gauze is not 100% cotton or if I am unsure, I dispose of it in the trash.

For the self-adhesive reusable bandage, I save it to reuse! If I only used it for a short time and it is clean, I just roll it up and store it with my other reusable bandages. If I wore the bandage longer, sweat when using it, got it dirty, or just think it might not be clean, I wash it before putting it away. To wash, I use my hands to rub castile soap and cool water into the bandage along the entire length. Then I rinse with cool water and pat dry with a towel. I hang to air dry completely, and once dry, loosely roll up and store with my other reusable bandage products. Eventually I expect that the bandage may lost its self-adhesiveness and will have to be disposed of in the trash. But so far I have used the same bandage at least 6 times and it does not seem to be any less sticky than the never-used portion.

1" wide strip of self-adhesive bandage with folded piece of gauze

Why I love this bandage

  • No adhesives = no contact dermatitis for me
  • The self-adhesive bandage will stretch a little – really handy when used over joints (I am forever injuring my fingers)
  • The bandage is breathable
  • The self-adhesive bandage won’t fall off it it gets wet
  • The bandage is reusable – except the gauze
  • The gauze part is compostable (if 100% cotton gauze is used)
  • Self-adhesive bandage comes in different colors – my store had beige, black, bright pink, and neon green. There are fun color options to for kids (and adults!)
roll of self-adhesive bandage, stack of gauze, reusable bandage with gauze pad folded on top

Some notes about the self-adhesive bandage

  • This bandage contains natural rubber LATEX so it is not suitable for people with latex allergies.
  • This specific bandage that I purchased is fairly thick. I need scissors to cut it, but it does hold up well to multiple uses and (hand) washings.
  • There are many self-adhesive bandage options available on Amazon, including 1″ wide varieties. I considered many, but have not found any yet that I think will be better than what I currently have. Several say they are very thin, can be torn by hand, etc., and I don’t think those will be reusable.

Have you ever tried an alternative to the standard Band-Aid? Please share your experiences, or any questions or comments, in the comments below!