For many folks the pH imbalance from natural deodorant containing, sodium bicarbonate, baking soda, burns the armpit, or it doesn’t work. This is normal and nothing concerning, but resolving the situation is necessary. The burn can be mild, presenting with a slight pink color, or advanced, where the skin is dark red, or even purplish, with a burning, hot, sensation which hurts. 

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Many homemade deodorant recipes, as well as commercially purchased deodorants, contain the instigator. Homemade deodorants are commonly made with coconut oil warmed to a liquid state, essential oil is added, then one tablespoon baking soda then one tablespoon arrowroot powder are alternatingly added until it’s the consistency of peanut butter. The mixture is then put in deodorant containers and solidifies at room temperature. This deodorant works, but if the pH is off, it burns. Blistering can even happen. 

Baking soda has a pH of 8.3.

A healthy body has a pH around 7.4.

Those with an altered pH in their body due to microbiome imbalance need recipes with a pH around 4.5-5.5.

Some folks say the burn is due to the body detoxing, advising to put a clay mask on the area to assist in pulling out toxins. This may work, however, since the pH of the armpits is determined by flora of the intestinal tract, detoxing the armpits, if successful, is merely a surface solution. To learn more, click here

Many folks from Latin America use straight up baking soda as a deodorant, however, it often darkens the skin. The amount of baking soda in homemade deodorant isn’t great enough to cause darkened skin in the armpits. 

Making a deodorant that doesn’t burn is the goal – this is not a situation to push through, man up, or put your big girl panties on, it’s time to use a deodorant that doesn’t burn. Once the microbiome is corrected, the burn will stop. 

First and foremost, when making deodorant, it’s important to remember that body odor is a magnesium deficiency. Supplementing with a magnesium that fully saturates the cells, like this magnesium glycinate or this magnesium malate

If you are looking for commercially purchased natural deodorants, they exist, such as this one, or this one, or this one.

If you are looking to make your own, there are several options, including these few. 

  1. Straight coconut oil is antibacterial and effective, however, it needs to be reapplied frequently.  To make this, simply put coconut oil in a small container like this one and apply as needed. 
  2. Coconut oil with clay and magnesium is effective. To make this, simply heat coconut oil to bring it to a liquid state then add clay and magnesium, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is to peanut butter consistency.
  3. Coconut oil with arrowroot powder, shea butter, beeswax and cornstarch. To make this, simply heat up 3 tablespoons coconut oil with 2 tablespoons shea butter, 2 teaspoons beeswax and arrowroot powder until the desired consistency. 

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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