For us, traveling is synonymous with taking control of our own health and well-being. Just because we are on a budget doesn’t mean we have to compromise completely on how we care for our bodies and minds. We stay healthier and more present when we eat what works for our bodies, drink lots of water, keep active, and choose our self care products carefully.

One way that we take control of our own health and well-being is by making some personal care products as we go. It gives us control of what we use in and on our bodies and saves us money in the process. Call me crazy but I prefer to know what I am putting in or on my body and I really like paying less than premium prices to do so.

When we left Brooklyn, we gave up almost everything we owned… but we did find room in our bags for the ingredients we need to keep making our own self-care products. Some of the things we make ourselves include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, sunscreen, and deodorant. Each of these things is ridiculously easy to make, we save money, and we know exactly what the ingredients are in each one!

One of the things we are most committed to making ourselves is deodorant. Given the potential dangers of store bought deodorants and antiperspirants, we’ve been using a great alternative made by Soapwalla for a while. But when our stash ran out, we needed to find a way to make our own version. Recently, I made a new batch of our super simple deodorant and it really works great!

For each small container of deodorant I used:

3 Tbs. Baking soda

3 Tbs. Bentonite Clay (also know as Montmorillonite clay)

4 Tbs. Coconut Oil
(*note: we are in a hot climate! In colder climates, more coconut oil might be needed to keep the deodorant  a soft enough texture.)

2 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil

2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

A few drops of Essential Oil of Choice for Overall Scent

Coconut oil is possibly the most versatile product we use when making homemade products. It’s moisturizing, has anti-viral; ani-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties; has a natural SPF of 4; and can be used in/as toothpaste, mouth rinse, eye liner, conditioner, and, or course, deodorant (among MANY other things).

I mixed it all together and came up with a mixture that looks like this…

Homemade Deodorant

Since we are in Costa Rica, the coconut oil was already liquid and mixing this up took me less than 5 minutes. If you are in a colder climate, you may want to warm the oil somewhat to make it softer. You can then put it in the fridge to help it solidify a bit if you like.

For scent, Aaron chose an essential oil called Peace and Calming and I chose an oil called Joy, both made by a company called Young Living. I think the Joy oil smells particularly good as there is a strong scent of rose in there. Both oils are also used as aromatherapy so there is an added benefit to wearing them all day!

Essential Oils


There are lots of homemade deodorant recipes out there. You can find two good options here and here. Our recipe is simple out of necessity- we only have so much room in our bags and every ingredient has to do (at least) double duty or it doesn’t make the cut!

The end result? Homemade deodorant that is actually effective, moisturizes, smells fantastic (and does double duty as aromatherapy), utilizes a combination of safe ingredients, saves us money, and is super easy to whip up! 

Do you make any self-care products by hand at home or on the road? What are your favorites?