Arm Pit Probiotics and DiY Deodorant

by Todd Walker

The importance of probiotics to intestinal health has been common knowledge for some time. I’ve written about the helpful bacteria we ingest via fermented foods here. But there is less known about the health benefits of probiotics for our largest bodily organ – our skin.

Just as our gut is infested with billions of microorganisms busily doing their thing to boost our immune system, researchers are now looking into how these friendlies actually help our skin.

Our skin is literally bathed with trillions of bacteria. For all you ultra clean freaks, you can’t just wash them off. Why would you want to anyway? Just as a healthy gut flora benefits overall immune function, studies are showing the colonies of skin microorganisms play a major role in your overall health as well. Though you can’t see these little critters, we live together with them in a symbiotic relationship, much like a bird lives in symbiosis with the hippopotamus. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

In other words, the bacteria living on your skin are involved in a symbiotic relationship with you.. The bacteria on your inner elbow, for instance, process the raw fats it produces and in turn moisturize your skin. – Source

Let’s talk arm pits shall we. I stopped using commercial deodorant a while back. Aluminum chlorohdrate or aluminum zirconium found in commercial brands was not something I wanted absorbed through my skin. I’ve always used natural brands. They’re expensive though. I’ve used a coconut oil and corn starch mix before – and other homemade recipes – but was never really satisfied.

Then Andrea over at Frugally Sustainable comes out with a probiotic deodorant recipe. Right on! Two of my favorite things: probiotics and another DiY project!

So, Dirt Road Girl and I go shopping for ingredients. What a hoot. I broke one metal – yes metal – scoop digging out bulk cocoa butter. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk and I was determined to do just that. The store had everything we needed that we were missing at home. And they were probably glad to see us leave before breaking more equipment.

I used Andrea’s recipe over at Frugally Sustainable. Click here to for details.  If you haven’t visited her site, stop by. It’s loaded with great tips on frugal preparedness and health tips.

Instead of rehashing her recipe, I’ve added it below with a few of my own [italicized] comments in brackets. Also, photos are mine. To see original pics from Andrea’s site, click the link above.

Homemade Probiotic Deodorant

DiY Deodorant1 - Copy


-1 tbsp. cocoa butter
-1 tbsp. coconut oil
-1 tbsp. shea butter
-1 tbsp. beeswax
-2 1/2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
-1 tbsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp. vitamin E oil
-15 drops essential oil of your choice
-2 capsules powdered probiotics


1. Melt cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax over low heat. [I used a grater to shave of the beeswax. The cocoa butter is rock hard. I dug out enough with a spoon – without breaking it – to get the tbsp. need. We almost passed on the shea butter due to its smell. I talked DRG into buying it since we’d be adding peppermint essential oil to the mixture.]

Let it cool before adding probiotics

Let it cool before adding probiotics

2. Remove pot from heat, then add arrowroot powder and baking soda. Whisk with chopsticks until all powders are dissolved and combined. [Since I don’t own chopsticks to stir with, I used an old-fashioned fork and a whisk. Even if I had chopsticks, I prefer the whisk and fork. It seems like they’d accomplish the desired effect (stirring) better. I’ve never been skilled with those little sticks.]

Add vitamin E oil and essential oils at this time. [I added 12 drops of peppermint essential oil at this point. I’m calling my concoction “Candy Cane B.O. Killer”.] Allow mixture to cool in pan. Once it is cooled and the consistency of pudding, open capsules of probiotics and add powder to mixture. Stir with spatula quickly to combine. [Let it cool. I dumped two capsules of probiotics into the pan before it cooled. Realizing that the heat cooked my probotics, I followed directions and added two more after the right temp was reached.]

3. Add mixture to a clean, used deodorant container. Place in refrigerator to cool and harden. After this, product may be stored on counter (Note: Using a shelf stable probiotic such as Bio-Kult will prevent the need for refrigeration). This recipe will fill container and last for 3-4 months. Remember…a little goes a long way!

The stick on the left is only partially full.

The stick on the left is only partially full.


-When choosing a probiotic supplement for this deodorant it is important to find one that is shelf stable. It should also contain highly resistant beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. These “good bacteria” have the ability to survive the pH of our stomach acid during digestion and are the one’s that should be included in this recipe.

-If you have sensitive skin, substitute baking soda and use arrowroot powder solely. You may also consider omitting the essential oils.

-Use good smelling essential oils, any scent or combination of scents will do. So pick your favorite and have fun with it!

My Results

I used my Candy Cane B.O. Killer for the first time yesterday. It was a typical work day for me. Standing all day teaching. I also did my usual 3 sets of 30 push ups between classes and on breaks. In the past, the natural store-bought deodorant starts to wane by 4 or 5 o’clock. Not big a problem since I’m getting home by then where I can reapply as needed.

But here’s the real test.

DRG has a highly sensitive sniffer. When I walked in after work, I kissed my lovely wife, dropped my lunch pail, and raised my arms in surrender and said, “Smell.” Drum roll…..

It really works! I pasted the DRG sniff test – and with only two light swipes under each arm. My old deodorant took several swipes and left my pits soaked.

My pits, my students, and DRG would like to give a sniffing shout out to Candy Cane B.O. Killer!!!

Keep Doing the Stuff,


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Categories: DIY Preparedness, DIY Preparedness Projects, Frugal Preps, Natural Health, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , | 36 Comments

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36 thoughts on “Arm Pit Probiotics and DiY Deodorant

  1. Crkhess

    Probiotics for your skin!! to keep you healthy, especially while traveling! i will figure this out for you…


  2. Hi Todd,

    Here is four deodorant options. Honestly, I like the slice of lime the best:

    We also need to change our societal norms about the appropriate smell for humans. It is sad that a human can’t smell like a human. It’s a marketers dream to have people wanting to smell like something they aren’t. Marketers make their fortune on your insecurities.

    Stay clean and calm and you will smell nice to the people that matter and love you. I can tell when a family member is stressed by their smell. This information can help me know I need to give someone a hug or help in some special way.

    We also find our perfect mate by smell. This might explain way there is so much divorce because all those hygiene products cover up “your true smell” to that special “one”. This Valentine’s Day give your potential loved one a true smell of you and see if their eyes dilate with pleasant or their nose crinkles in disgust. I would beat on the long-term potential of the lover that loves your “real” smell over the one that likes your perfume best!


    • DRG has always commented on my natural smell – in a good way. She really likes the way I smell –

      I work with a buddy who has a family member that doesn’t use any deodorant – just stays clean – and reports that he doesn’t “stink” at all. I’ve read of this before over at Mark’s Daily Apple. Never tried though.

      Thanks for the input and link! Hope all is well with y’all up north 🙂


  3. Sorry, that would be “bet” not “beat”.


  4. Medea

    Best deodorant ever: plain old Milk of Magnesia (unflavored, please). I keep an extra mini blue bottle just for deodorant that I refill from the family size one. The natural deodorant sticks made from waxes, oils etc. don’t work for me at all, besides I hate that “wet soapy feeling” on my skin that they give me. Milk of magnesia keeps me dry as well. BTW, got the Milk of Magnesia tip from the Mercola website, it is said to provide extra magnesium through the skin as well. Do a search, it provides other health benefits as well, especially for women (for men as well)


  5. Medea

    Darn. Forgot this link on Mg supplementation. By Carolyn Dean MD ND:
    Scroll down and read the part on “Magnesium Deficiency Triggers or Causes The Following Conditions”, to find more ideas where MoM and the Mg in it may come in handy.


  6. Kelly

    I’ve read in several articles that one of the reasons people may smell “unpleasant” has to do with all the chemicals we ingest in our food these days. That really doesn’t seem hard to believe to me. I know when we used to eat more frozen meals, my DH’s breath was pretty rank, and now that we no longer eat those types of food, it’s MUCH better! Go figure…


  7. I make my own deodorant too! Although, I haven’t tried the addition of probiotics. Thanks, Medea, for the milk of magnesium tip — I’ll have to have hubby give that a try. He doesn’t like my deodorant on him.


  8. Lenny

    After years of searching for the right deodorant, i found that smearing baking soda underneath my armpits after applying my (degree) deodorant removes bad smell and lasts all day. it really works


  9. What probiotic capsules did you use? I found Frugally Sustainable’s recipe a while back. Can’t wait to make it. I am a holistic health counselor and I’m concerned about just using any old probiotic capsules. Doesn’t make sense if the bacteria are dead. At the same time I’m not sure I want to spend too much. I work in a natural health food store. I know good brands, but are super costly. Just wondering.


    • I don’t remember the brand of probiotic. I did put the probiotics in before it cooled and then realized they probably died. I redid that batch and let it cool before adding them next time.

      Thanks for your comment, Marie!


  10. Heather

    I dont have cocoa butter. Could I just double the shea butter? Or will there be a price to pay for that :/


  11. H.Ferguson

    I’ve been using this recipe along with another that contains probiotics, bentonite clay etc. I have had issues with terrible oil stains. My & my husbands clothes are looking pretty gnarley these days. Not to mention the first several weeks we were smelling uniquely good. Five weeks in & well, we are smelling rather ripe. By mid-day we can’t even stand ourselves. Haha! I love the idea of this natural remedy but if I can’t find a fix to these problems, I feel I am forced into going back to commercial products. Any suggestions?


    • Sorry, I don’t have any suggestions about the stains. I’ve not had the ‘ripe’ issues you’ve experienced. I really don’t have an answer for this one either. I don’t add any bentonite clay to mine. Do you use arrowroot in your recipe?

      Hope you figure out a natural solution 🙂


      • Mindy

        I have the same problem with staining! I have found that if I apply the deodorant, let it absorb for a couple minutes, then get dressed, I have fewer problems with staining.

        As far as the smell- I made sure to add tea tree EO to my lavender/peppermint combo since it antibacterial in nature.

        Also, what soap are you using in the shower? It, too, needs to be antibacterial to make sure you don’t stink. I made some cold process soap with tea tree EO for that purpose.

        I love the deodorant as it totally helps (not cures) with wetness, especially compared to commercial products. Thank you for the recipe!


      • Glad it’s working for you!


  12. This is something that I have wanted to start making and will have to give this a shot. We started making our own laundry detergent and the savings really are worth the time it takes to make it.

    Now to save on the deodorant and can’t wait to test a couple essential oil options and see what works best for the wife and myself.


    • Doing the Stuff yourself earns many benefits… saving money being one of them! Please keep in touch and let us know how yours turns out. Thanks for commenting!


  13. Jane

    Do you ever go with off-the-shelf brands? I’m debating among Lavilin, Jason’s, and Primal Pit Paste. Heard good things about Lavilin. Thoughts?


  14. Maria

    Where did you find raw cocoa butter in bulk? I’d love to have a good supply on hand. Thanks for the DIY project!


  15. Albert Micklethwaite


    If you wish to go down the probiotic route, you really need to go the whole way! firstly;
    buy a shower filter to remove chlorine from the water which kills the good bacteria on our skin.
    use a probiotic soap, or even no soap at all just water and your hands as some people have found works very well.
    use a probiotic lotion on your face and body, or again nothing at all!
    There are some people who just buy the shower filter (which is the most important thing) and use only the water to wash with then allow their natural bacterial balance to return.
    After many years of using harsh cleaning and moisurizing products which are full of rubbish it can take several weeks if not months for this to happen.
    Some people even find they have a nice sweet natural smell to them, probably because the bacteria that causes BO problems is now kept in check by the thriving good bacteria.
    Personally I use the full range of probiotic products and the shower filter and they have worked very well for me.


  16. Laura Graham

    For the past 20 years I have used lavender essential oil under my arms for deodorant. I also use it in other skin to skin places such as at my panty line between my legs where I get some irritation from time to time. I have since added rose geranium EO to the lavender for a sweeter smell, and also for the added benefits to he skin. Sometimes I add a drop or three of almond or jojoba oil. I keep the EOs in the bathroom and simply put 5 or 6 drops of the EOs in one hand along with the oil drops, rub my hands and apply to my underarms, underbreasts, and at the top of my leg crease. This has done well for me as an alternative to commercial deodorants with the bad ingredients. Lavender and rose geranium are very skin friendly and healing. They are not “hot” like peppermint which I would not put on a sensitive area such as underarms after shaving and not anywhere near genetalia. Just another idea for simple, natural deodorant care that helps heal your skin too.


  17. Pingback: 39 Manly Uses for Coconut Oil in Your Bushcraft Kit | Survival Sherpa

  18. Pingback: 39 Manly Uses for Coconut Oil in Your Bushcraft Kit » Survival Gear & Food Storage

  19. Pingback: 39 Manly Uses for Coconut Oil in Your Bushcraft Kit - Prepper Ways

  20. This is cool. Recently I came across something really simple, cheap, and works amazing for deodorant. A friend who is in really poor health, and couldn’t find anything natural to work for her, tried using milk of magnesium from the dollar store on her pits. She said it not only worked well, but lasted all day, acting almost like an antiperspirant.
    So I and my daughter tried it, and it seems to work for every kind of body odor, even hormonal. Truly amazing, and so cheap at a dollar a bottle! Just remember to shake the bottle before applying each time, so that it doesn’t become to thick in latter usage. Totally natural, and helps to draw the toxins from your body!


  21. Pingback: Arm Pit Probiotics and DiY Deodorant - AllDIYIdeas.comDIY Ideas

  22. Its excellent as your other posts : D, appreciate it for putting up. “A single day is enough to make us a little larger.” by Paul Klee.


  23. Pingback: Arm Pit Probiotics and DiY Deodorant | Survival Sherpa... - AllDIYIdeas.comDIY Ideas

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