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DIY Roll On Deodorant With Magnesium


Over the years I’ve perfected a few natural deodorant recipes for long-lasting protection. I was intrigued by the roll-on antiperspirant deodorants though and wanted to try my hand at a healthier version. You can never have too many homemade deodorant options, right?

Not only is this aluminum-free and alcohol-free, but it offers natural odor protection. It can easily work for even sensitive skin types and you can customize the scent!

Roll On Deodorant Stick

I was the girl who wore clinical strength deodorant in high school. I was taken in by promises of a fresh scent and 12-hour protection. Little did I know I was rubbing parabens, aluminum, and other not-so-good ingredients on my underarms.

While DIY deodorant may not be as flashy as a powder fresh invisible solid conventional deodorant bar, it’s certainly way healthier. Plus I’ve found natural deodorant can work really well, once you find the right recipe.

My version uses magnesium to help combat underarm odor and restore mineral balance. It’s fairly quick drying thanks to the arrowroot and baking soda. You can also add moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and glycerin if you’d like.

The Power of Magnesium

The kids and I often use topical magnesium to help with better sleep and boost magnesium levels. I found that magnesium oil on its own makes a good deodorant, but it’s not for everyone. It can feel a little tacky and sting the skin some if you’re not used to it.

Magnesium is great for the skin, both internally and topically, like in a magnesium lotion. According to dermatologist Dendy Engelman, it can also help balance hormones and improve cellular processes on the skin. I’ve found my skin is smoother and less prone to breakouts when I use magnesium oil.

You can certainly use plain magnesium oil in a roller bottle, but there’s another type that works well. Magnesium hydroxide is commonly found in magnesium-based deodorants and is great for the skin. You can add the powder to a regular deodorant recipe or make a liquid version that glides on the skin.

Milk of Magnesia

Magnesium hydroxide is sold on store shelves everywhere as the popular milk of magnesia. You may recognize it as a popular laxative. Some brands used to have surprisingly clean ingredients that were just magnesium hydroxide and purified water. For some reason though, every milk of magnesia I can find has been reformulated to include bleach.

Yep, the same chlorine bleach that’s added to swimming pools and will strip stains from clothing. You would think the FDA would ban products someone drinks from having bleach but apparently not!

The simplest roll-on unscented magnesium deodorant recipes all call for store-bought milk of magnesia. Since I didn’t really want to put bleach on my skin, it was on to plan B. This recipe uses magnesium hydroxide powder mixed with water to make your own milk of magnesia. It does separate in the bottle, but that’s an easy fix. Just shake before each use.

Roll On Deodorant Odor Protection

Since this isn’t an antiperspirant it doesn’t offer wetness protection like aluminum formulations. However, I’ve found I sweat less now that I use natural deodorant. When my body isn’t trying to increase sweat to eliminate toxins (especially from deodorant) I smell fresher.

Slathering aluminum and other toxins right by the lymph nodes and sensitive breast tissue isn’t the best idea either. If you’ve been using a conventional deodorant or antiperspirant then you may need to do an armpit detox first. This is a great way to help the skin’s microbiome get back on track.

Deodorant Container Options

People seem to have mixed results with roll-on bottles. The first ones I bought promised no leaks, but were so leak proof no product could come out at all! The ones I have now work much better, but some reviewers report variations between bottles.

If you don’t have a roll-on bottle then this mixture can also work in a spray bottle. I’ve also found it works well kept in a small jar and applied with a cotton ball. The recipe makes enough for two roller bottles.

Magnesium Roll On Deodorant

This DIY deodorant features magnesium for healthier skin and less stinky pits! Customize it with your favorite essential oils.

Prep Time5 minutes

Total Time5 minutes

Yield: 3 ounces

Author: Katie Wells

  • Heat the distilled water until it’s very hot.

  • Add the water and magnesium powder to the bowl and whisk together.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients together and whisk until smooth.

  • Pour the mixture into your roll-on deodorant bottles.

  • Shake well before each use.

  • If you want to use pre-made milk of magnesia, replace the magnesium hydroxide and water with 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the liquid.
  • I used 10 drops orange essential oil, 6 drops cypress essential oil, and 4 drops of tea tree essential oil.

Customize the Scent

Any skincare-safe essential oil can work here. I kept the dilution to 2% to avoid irritation, but you could safely double that if using oils like lavender or tea tree. Or you could reduce the essential oils or eliminate them entirely. I found that witch hazel can have a stronger scent but the essential oils cover it.

Lavender, tea tree, and patchouli are a few good options. I used sweet orange (antimicrobial), tea tree (also antimicrobial), and cypress (helps reduce wetness). Mix and match to create your own!

Have you ever used magnesium as deodorant before? How did it work for you? Leave a comment and let us know!

Like it? Try my men’s deodorant recipe too. It’s extra strength!

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