Homemade Deodorant - and why you should never ever accidentally use a candle fragrance instead of essential oil!

Back in the spring of 2013 I started to make my own deodorant.   This post is a re-post of that original but this time I have personal experience as to what happens when you accidentally grab a bottle of candle scent fragrance instead of a safe essential oil made for soaps and lotions.

And it ain't pretty.

I'm actually not going to show you any photos... because really, pictures of armpits just aren't my thing.  But I can tell you what happened and then what happens after.


One of my daughters is a college student and she has started to appreciate her mother's (me) crafty and homespun ways of making my own candles, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, cheese, yada yada.  Her friend at school asked if her Mom (me) would make her some homemade deodorant over Christmas break and sent an empty container home with my daughter.

I actually had a little bit of my previous batch leftover (I put leftovers in a ziploc and melt it down and refill when mine is gone).  So I used that for the friends batch *thank goodness* and I proceeded to make a new batch.  A triple batch actually, as I was going to pour the excess into a container and send it all with my daughter back to school for her and her friend to use.

Normally when I make this for myself I whip it up - it's perfect and I go on my merry way.  Often I don't even bother with a scent/fragrance because I think it smells nice and clean on its own.  But this time it was being given away to someone else - my daughter and her friend - so I was trying really hard to find a scent I thought they would love.  Too hard.  Like, I was totally over-thinking this.

I went to my box of fragrances and oils and started to smell each and every one I had on hand.  I was trying to think like a college student - what scent would I like?  Is this one too fruity?  Too flowery?  Too Christmassy. Too strong.  Too yuck. Too this... too that... too too too.  

Our of frustration of smelling too many and not making up my mind, I grabbed another bag of bottles in the box, pulled out a 'rain water' scent and liked it.  Yes.  That will work!  Off I went.

Into the kitchen... made up a triple batch of deodorant.  Didn't measure the fragrance - just poured some in and stirred.  Ooops.  Poured a bit much.  That's ok.  I've got things to do and need to finish this up. Done. Poured into containers for me and my daughter and the excess into a large container to send with to school to get her and her friend through the end of the year.


She went back to school mid-January.  Within about week she sent me picture of her underarms.  Broke out in a horrible itchy rash.  Knowing she has sensitive skin and is prone to eczema, I told her I was sorry but it looked like she couldn't use the deodorant with any fragrance and I'd make her a new batch when she came home again, this time with no scent added.  She talked about how sore it was and how much it hurt.  But she had stopped using the homemade one.

I had just started to use the new batch about 3 days earlier and the next day had showered and shaved my underarm area.  Sure enough within a day, I had horrible itching, which lead to me scratching the heck out of my underarm area and when I finally looked in the mirror the  next day, wowzer!  Huge ugly red welts, bumps the size of pencil erasers, a dark red rash and dots of blood where my itching had broke the tender skin.

I totally understood my daughter's discomfort!  How was this possible?  I had been making and using homemade deodorant for 2 1/2 years at this point and had never been allergic to it before?

Even though I stopped using it, the pain, itching, huge bumps and rash wasn't going anywhere fast. I was having to put cold washrags on the area and walk around with my arms up to keep the skin from touching.

After a day or two I had that light bulb moment.

Back downstairs to grab the soap and lotion scent I had used...  bingo.

In my haste to find a scent that day I had waded from my soap and lotion fragrances into the bag of candle scents.  As in;  for candle use only!!!!

Good Lord!  What chemicals did I just put into my body!?  I have no idea really.  It doesn't way on the bottle and when I looked it up on their website, it led me to look up a couple of the words used and I scared myself silly when it led to "some of our fragrances still contain" and they are chemicals banned in Europe and being banned here in the US for causing cancer and birth defects, yada yada.  I don't know for sure if MY rain fragrance had them...  they didn't say which of their fragrances still used them.  But I had seen enough and knew now why my arms looked like a train wreck. 

It's now February 3rd as I type this and I stopped using the accidental scented deodorant around January 22nd or so.  It's just NOW as in, the last day or two, gotten to where I noticed most of the eraser sized moles and bumps and pimples have disappeared and the normal skin color is coming back.

Two weeks!  So dear friends... take it from me.  Don't be a hurry or rush grabbing a scent and smarter yet, keep your candle scents separate from your soap, deodorant and lotion scents!  (Originally mine were, but I ended up throwing them in the same box during my last candle making session clean up). 

Bumps, moles and pimples.

It's worth slowing down and double checking the bottle you grabbed is not for candle use only.


To make this you will need a container to keep your deodorant in.  You can put it in a jar and scoop some out to rub on if you wish, or if you have an empty deodorant container, you can use it and it will 'roll up' as it's being used, just like regular deodorant does. 

Homemade Deodorant

2 empty deodorant containers (or 1 but you'll have a little left over)
1/4 c baking soda
1/4 c cornstarch
5 T coconut oil (when you buy it, it's solid, like shortening)
8 drops tea tree oil (natural anti-bacterial oil), optional
2 T beeswax (I like white for this but you could use yellow), optional
1/4 t vitamin E oil (a preservative), optional

Melt the oil and beeswax in the microwave in a small bowl or container and stir until smooth.  Add to everything else in a small bowl and stir until smooth, blended and incorporated.  As it starts to cool, the coconut oil starts to make it thick.  You can pour it directly into your container or if you stir for a minute or two more, it gets to the consistency to scrape and push it into your container.

Tap the container on the counter during the filling process and after to get it completely to the bottom, and release air bubbles.  Then, refrigerate or let set in a dark, cool cupboard until it completely sets up.  When you use it, you gently glide it on your skin (don't push like you have to with regular deodorants) and you use less.

*You can make the simple version with just the coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch.  This however melts at 76 degrees and your body heat when applying it does start to melt instantly.  This is why I do use beeswax pellets in mine - 1-2 tablespoons is enough to help it firm up enough so it is easy to apply like a 'regular' deodorant. 

Empty Containers

Coconut Oil, beeswax, tea tree oil, vitamin E, cornstarch and baking soda

Adding the beeswax to the coconut oil

Beeswax is starting to melt but not quite clear yet

Mixing wet and dry

Mix everything together and it's ready

You might be interested in purchasing some of your ingredients on Amazon;

Essential Oil Variety Set- 14 Pack


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