The 5 Best Essential Oils For Deodorant

by Ileana Morales Valentine
hand pouring essential oil in a bowl

Though often prized for their scents, the best essential oils for deodorant have beneficial properties beyond aromatherapy to keep you feeling fresh. When making homemade deodorant, look for essential oils that will keep bacteria at bay. Bacteria mixes with sweat and causes body odor, so you’ll definitely want to choose an essential oil with antibacterial properties to prevent the development of bacteria in the first place. Luckily, many essential oils boast this benefit.

Essential oils also often have multiple benefits for skin, which may include anti-inflammatory effects to alleviate irritation or properties that can treat hyperpigmentation in underarms. Some essential oils have a stronger or lighter scent, and they can be blended for a fragrance that best suits your own personal preference or skin-care needs.

When using essential oils for making deodorant, you’ll want to make sure to buy ones that aren't already diluted with carrier oil — meaning, look for bottles with 100 percent of the oil you want. You can later dilute the pure essential oil yourself with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Although essential oils are plant-based, don’t assume they can’t be irritating to your skin. It's important to choose essential oils that are appropriate for topical use. It's also always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding any essential oil to your routine and to always follow the instructions for use carefully.

The below essential oils are highly-rated on Amazon and each bottle contains 100 percent of the desired essential oil.


The Best Essential Oil For Nixing Odor-Causing Bacteria: Tea Tree Oil

Prized in Australia for about a century thanks to its medicinal properties, tea tree oil is now widely used in personal care products like deodorant because of its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Backed by more than 34,000 Amazon customer reviews, this tea tree essential oil can be blended with a carrier oil (or added to a diffuser if you want to use it for more than just deodorant). The scent is strong and medicinal (similar to eucalyptus) so you might want to mix it with one of the lighter-scented oils below for a custom blend.

Fans say: “Excellent quality. I use as an antibacterial. A few drops in homemade deodorant.”


The Best Essential Oil For Soothing Irritated Skin: Clary Sage

With a clean, refreshing scent, this clary sage essential oil is antibacterial and also can provide antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic relief when applied to injured skin. If you're prone to razor burn or irritated underarms, add a few drops of clary sage oil to your homemade deodorant. With regular use, clary sage oil can tone and tighten skin. As for the scent, this one is herbaceous and complex: earthy, fruity, and floral with hints of nuttiness.

Fans say: “This is just wonderful! I have too many problems with deodorant that I have been trying to find a solution that works for me. I heard that clary sage might help. I mix virgin coconut oil, [manuka] honey, tea tree oil and clary sage oil together in a little glass container and it seems like magic! ...The aroma is mild and a little sweet and it lasts even when I have worked in the garden for hours. Very happy that I tried this.”


The Best Essential Oil For Reducing Hyperpigmentation: Ylang Ylang

There are steps you can take to help prevent dark underarms by shaving properly, but adding this ylang ylang essential oil to your deodorant can also help. Ylang ylang is notable for its “inhibitory effect” on melanogenesis and has shown high potential as treatment for hyperpigmentation. With more than 34,000 reviews, fans love the oil's sweet and floral scent. Plus, a fragrant combination of ylang ylang with lavender and clary sage is found to have an especially strong antibacterial and antifungal effect if you're considering a blend of oils for your homemade deodorant.

Fans say: “[...]I've been using Essential Oils to also help with the excessive dryness, acne, fine lines, wrinkles, & hyper pigmentation. I've added this to my daily routine and have nothing negative to say about it! [It's] been working great and my skin looks amazing! Something I haven't seen in many years due to acne scars! I'm using a blend of Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Bergamont, Ylang Ylang, Tea Tree, Rosehip Seed Oil & Frankincense every morning & night with either a Jojoba or Aloe Vera as a carrier.”


The Most Versatile Essential Oil: Lavender

Lavender essential oil is versatile, and its qualities can help both physically and emotionally. While lavender soothes and nourishes skin, the floral scent can also keep you calm while you break a sweat. Lavender is known for being antifungal and antibacterial, making it a popular choice for treating skin ailments and for use in skincare products. Lavender can even soothe itchy, dry skin. Its rich, relaxing scent also blends especially well with other essential oils.

Fans say: “I bought this lavender essential oil because of its size. I use a lot of lavender in the skin care products that I make. [Skin] issues tend to run in our family, and lavender is very soothing for people with [sensitive] skin issues. I love the size I find I don’t run out of lavender as often.”


The One With A Refreshing Citrus Scent: Bergamot

Bergamot — a hybrid citrus fruit of bitter orange and lemon that's commonly grown in southern Italy — is aromatic and heady with a spicy, floral, citrus-forward scent. Beyond its alluring fragrance, this bergamot essential oil is a great addition to homemade deodorant since it's also antimicrobial, antifungal, a natural deodorizer, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

Fans say: “The scent of this Bergamot Essential Oil is incredible. This oil has a citrus-like, tangy, fresh, bright scent with distinctive spicy-floral quality. Shipping was fast, and the packaging is both simple, and pretty. Overall I am very happy with this purchase, and would highly recommend these essential oils.”

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