Trust me, I know what an undertaking a sustainable lifestyle can be. Every detail of daily life gets dissected and analyzed, from the toothbrush you use in the morning, to the plastic bag you get no-questions-asked at the drugstore. Each mundane task you previously took for granted, has now transformed into a deeply existential question: “To create pollution or not to create pollution?”
When I started off in this pursuit myself, deodorant quickly became a concern. To start with, most deodorants I was familiar with can be classified as an antiperspirant, which I quickly discovered wreaks havoc on the natural detoxification process of our bodies. If you didn’t know, aluminum used as an antiperspirant works because it blocks up your pores from sweating. That may not sound so serious, but this very process has been linked to breast cancer. Once you get past the antiperspirant options, many natural deodorants still come packaged in disposable plastic packaging, and that’s equally bad for the environment.
That’s why I set off to find a list of zero waste deodorants, deodorants with no poisonous chemicals or animal testing in sight. I expected to find just a few worth mentioning, but the more I dug, the bigger this list got. These 25 plastic free deodorants are a sliver of the many I tested, so I can promise these ones really get the job done.
If you’re hesitant about switching to a natural, zero waste deodorant, take this article as a push in the right direction. Now’s the time to go all the way, and choose one of these sustainable deodorants: Mother Earth will thank you.
Good-bye Plastic Packaging! Hello zero waste Deodorant.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve has developed an excellent deodorant stick, that I can’t get enough of. It comes packaged in a biodegradable cardboard tube, without a speck of plastic in sight. If you’ve never used a deodorant that comes in a paper tube like this, here are a couple tips for you:
First, all you have to do is push up on the bottom of the tube, no twisting necessary. Think of it like a Push-Pop for your armpits.
Secondly, this will go on much smoother if you first warm up the stick in your pit for a few seconds before applying – this will help the product soften a little from its naturally solid state.
I love the ingredients in Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve’s Deodorant Stick, starting with their use of baking soda and cornstarch, to first dissolve bad smells, and then sweat. Cornstarch absorbs oils without the pore-blocking nonsense you’ll see in a traditional antiperspirant, and has a more natural effect overall. Virgin Coconut Oil has antibiotic properties in addition to its lauded moisturizing effect.
This comes with no added scent, to compliment sensitive skin types. It does have a light scent of coconut, which I personally adore.
I know, first we have to address the adorably designed packaging – those little illustrations, the bold color! Ugh. If that’s not enough to turn you head, then you should know this deodorant also comes in a totally recyclable or compostable cardboard tube.
Meow Meow Tweet’s cruelty free deodorant is baking soda free as well, with respect to more sensitive armpits. This zero waste deodorant comes loaded with healing plant based ingredients like arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, and shea fruit butter. My favorite of the three available scents is Rose Geranium – refreshing, zesty, and floral.
Meow Meow Tweet is an incredibly well formulated, beautifully packaged brand, that has the ethical standards to back it up. They produce small-batch skincare and bath and beauty products that are Leaping Bunny Certified. Their company is built on a mission to minimize the amount of plastic packaging used for any of their products. On top of all that, Meow Meow Tweet donates to over twenty different nonprofit organizations, such as The Navajo Water Project, RAICES Texas, Trans Lifeline, Earthjustice, and The Ocean Cleanup.
This particular Schmidt’s deodorant comes packaged in a reusable or easily recyclable glass container. I love products that come in these little glass jars since they’re so easy to repurpose once you clean them out.
Formulated without aluminum, parabens, phthalates, or artificial fragrance. I like how you can control the application more with a glass jar product like this, whether I use my fingers or an applicator of some kind. This combination of Bergamot and Lime is one of my favorite scents I’ve come across – the bergamot adds a kind of smoky herbal quality to the bright lime.
Schmidt’s is a household name, but you probably don’t know too much about their background. Schmidt’s was created in 2010 by Jaime Schmidt as a part of the Maker Movement, where she noticed a dearth in the marketplace. Just a few years later she broadened Schmidt’s horizons to include bath, oral, home, and child care products. Schmidt’s has rightfully earned its place as an industry giant among natural wellness and skin care.
Weleda’s beautiful deodorant comes packaged in a non-aerosol, glass spray bottle that is very easily recycled or reused. This is definitely one of the more unique packaging choices on this list (or anywhere else for that matter), and gives an elevated experience, much more similar to giving a spritz of perfume. Leave it to this European natural beauty brand to add a pinch of culture to something as basic as daily deodorant application. Weleda’s zero waste deodorant uses lemon peel oil and other essential oils, and no antiperspirants or aluminum-based salts.
Weleda is an excellent company to turn to if you’re looking for high quality skin and body care with a rigid ethical backbone. Here are some quick facts you should know about Weleda:
- Absolutely cruelty free.
- No parabens, phthalates, or any other nasty, poisonous chemicals.
- All ingredients and packaging materials are sustainably sourced, “with respect for people and biodiversity.”
- Weleda also has earned its Natural Skin Care certification from NATRUE.
Soul Sunday’s deodorant comes in a minimalistically eye-catching little glass jar. This deodorant is scented with a heavenly combination of French lavender and geranium. Lavender is a natural antifungal and antibiotic, making it the ideal essential oil to throw into deodorant. Lavender is also a natural anti-inflammatory, so your potentially raw armpits will thank you. Likewise, geranium essential oil is known to help with hormone balancing, that can encourage cell turnover. You’ll find this comes with coconut oil and shea butter which soothes as it moisturizes. Last but not least, arrowroot powder comes in to naturally soak up moisture.
Soul Sunday keeps a foot forward in luxury, with another foot in ethics. They are built on the principles of minimalism, especially the environmentally friendly ramifications – this isn’t just a pretty jar for your medicine cabinet after all.
Aquarian Bath makes one of the best natural deodorants, and conveniently enough, you can find it on Etsy. Their Deodorant Balm in particular is very popular, and it’s no surprise why.
This zero waste deodorant balm is formulated from baking soda, arrowroot powder, organic cocoa butter, vitamin E, and organic extra virgin olive oil. This formula is also completely vegan and cruelty free.
If you like to stay informed on environmental activism, you might recognize Aquarian Bath from Plastic Free by Beth Terry. That’s right: this deodorizing gem also comes zero waste, packaged in a reusable tin.
Aquarian Bath is smaller than some of the other companies on this list, but they’re no less accomplished or effective. For all things bath, beauty and hair, that are also handmade, vegan, and lacking synthetic, problematic ingredients – Aquarian Bath has your back.
For something a little more graphically bold and glamorous, take a look at Routine’s line of zero waste deodorants. All thirteen scents come formulated with coconut oil, cocoa butter, and marigold infused olive oil, for a gentle blend that moisturizes as it rids your pores of odor and germs.
My personal favorite of the thirteen botanical fragrance options is one named The Curator. This fragrance is composed of eucalyptus, patchouli, black spruce, and rosemary leaf extracts. Folks with easily irritated under-arms will appreciate this scent as well, since it doesn’t contain baking soda. Instead Routine makes use of dietary magnesium to soak up and stave off excessive sweat and bacteria.
As Routine cleverly puts it: “Always tested on friends, never animals.” What’s more is you won’t find any aluminum syntheses, parabens, triclosan, or any other intrusive chemicals in their entire product line. They’ve developed their brand with the intent to take care of Earth and the people who live here, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Okay, I see you readers who are looking for something not only natural and nice to the environment, but something that puts the luxe in luxury skin care. This one was made with you in mind. You can tell this is an Experience, with its light pink and gilt-edged packaging.
One of the things I like most about Aurelia’s Citrus Botanical Cream Deodorant is its cream to powder formula. Aurelia uses a specialized mixture of antimicrobial arrowroot powder and kaolin, which helps keep sweat and odor-producing bacteria at bay.
They use a base of moisturizing shea butter, with tea tree, eucalyptus, and peppermint for their antibacterial benefits. Lavender and bergamot essential oils create an added depth of fragrance, combining in a scent which is both floral and a little smokey. From the fragrance, formula, right down to the packing, you won’t regret shelling out some extra bucks for this high-end zero waste deodorant.
Aurelia has made a name for itself in the natural beauty market with its proprietary line of probiotic skincare, which works with your body to help balance skin concerns, and never against it. To clarify, they don’t believe in eliminating bacteria, and instead have scientifically developed methods of using good, healthy bacteria in conjunction. None of their products contain toxic synthetic irritants or chemicals of any kind. Aurelia Probiotic Skincare really isn’t just a pretty package – it’s the real deal.
I hope by now you’re getting used to the trend of incredibly cool packaging in this list, because Fat and the Moon is here to deliver cool packaging for their very cool product line — from eye paints and face oils, to tooth cleansing tabs and poison oak salve. Fat and the Moon’s Deodorant Cream uses coconut oil, baking soda and antimicrobial essential oils as its base, instead of harmful aluminum (Seriously, I think we’re at the point in this list where I don’t have to convince you we don’t need aluminum salts in our deodorant).
I love love love this scent, and is one of my favorites for that reason alone — aside from everything else I love about this formula and brand. It’s a warm spicy scent, with a mix of bergamot and black pepper, and a hint of clary sage – a little desert musk, in a scent that is distinctly unisex. If you like to wear perfume, as I do, this scent also won’t interfere, and was designed to have a subtle effect.
Fat and the Moon is a sustainable and cruelty free brand that I absolutely love for all things bath and beauty. Rachel Budde, Fat and the Moon’s founder, developed the brand after exploring her family’s heritage in Slovenian healing. This Eastern European tradition is based mainly in plant medicines, which you’ll see reflected in Fat and the Moon’s gentle, but powerfully effective products – medicinal and cosmetic alike.
Plum Brilliance’s Natural Deodorant is a superb natural and very much zero waste deodorant option. Plum Brilliance comes packed with shea butter, coconut oil, and arrowroot powder, which makes a triple threat of moisture, antimicrobial power, and perspiration wicking.
The fresh lemongrass and rosemary essential oils make the ideal fragrance for any deodorant – it’s like a splash of cold water to your senses. Honestly, if you ask me, it’s almost better than a cup of coffee. Every time I catch a whiff throughout the day, it perks me right up.
Plum Brilliance is a small company, but they’ve still produced a breadth of plant-based products, for hair, face, body, and wellness. This brand was built to honor the environment, and show appreciation for the medicinal gifts found in our backyard. This is definitely a brand anyone should give a try.
We’re all familiar with Ethique’s line of solid shampoos and conditioners (I’m partial to their Mintasy shampoo in particular), but did you know they also make solid products for your body? Ethique’s Eco Friendly Deodorant Bar comes with very little packaging. Like, literally just a paper carton, so hardly any packaging at all.
Can you tell I’m a little biased towards my woodsy fireside scents? Because Rustic must be sniffed to be believed how delicious this scent is. You’ll instantly be transported to a cozy bonfire beside a remote cabin. Smelling Ethique’s deodorant bar has to count as some kind of aromatherapy, right?
Some of you are probably giving me an odd look right about now, because how do you use a deodorant bar with no packaging – like, at all? But I promise, it’s just as simple as it looks: rub it under your arms just like you would with any other stick of deodorant. Except this one’s the epitome of a zero waste deodorant.
Ethique as a company has tied their mission to eliminating plastic waste, one solid soap or lotion at a time. This brand is plant based, cruelty free, sustainable, and affordable.
Eco Collective’s Natural Deodorant is a simple but incredibly effective deodorant that comes packaged in a biodegradable, or recyclable cardboard tube. You can’t go wrong with the Rosemary Mint scent, since it’s both herbal and refreshing – so refreshing it leaves you feeling clean just from applying this alone. This is a solid option for anyone interested in trying out a deodorant in a cardboard tube, since it’s biodegradable, and a bit more familiar to a more traditional deodorant.
Eco Collective was established as a “one stop shop” for all things sustainable, based in Seattle. They strive to make the zero waste lifestyle accessible to everyone, as much as possible. Anyone can agree, that these are admirable goals.
Booda Organics uses pure baking soda, shea butter, tapioca flour, virgin coconut oil, and cocoa butter for a nourishing zero waste deodorant that really gets the job done. I love the little glass jar Booda Organic’s Cream Deodorant comes packaged in, as it’s a piece of pie to repurpose. This stuff is everything you need out of deodorant, which includes a simple, natural formula, that really helps get rid of body odor.
All of Booda Organics products are formulated with the idea in mind that what we put on our skin will eventually end up in our bodies too. Booda Organics is a small, family owned and operated company, though they have the entire planet, people and all, in mind when creating these natural, gentle skincare products.
Dirty Hippie’s deodorants contain probiotics which helps tamp down unwanted, smelly bacteria, and boosts the healthy bacteria we all need for our bodies to do their thing.
You’ll also find their formula contains coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, and tapioca flour — all totally organic.
This comes scented with lemon, patchouli, bergamot, and lavender essential oils, in a bright, herbal fragrance.
You can order any of Dirty Hippie’s deodorants in either a cardboard push-up tube, or a refillable (and reusable) glass jar. I personally like the cardboard tube, since it provides a more familiar experience to your standard deodorant. However, the formula in the glass jar is softer and more pliable with a spatula or fingers.
Helmed by the singular Dawn, Dirty Hippie was created in New Zealand, after she developed an interest in natural personal hygiene products while pregnant for the first time. So many personal hygiene products, deodorant especially, contain harmful chemicals, that can have serious repercussions on our reproductive organs and lymph nodes. Dirty Hippie presents an alternative, that keeps our bodies and the environment perfectly healthy.
Natural Vegan’s Deodorant comes in a compostable cardboard tube, which in itself is made from post-consumer recycled paper – so from the moment of its creation, you know Natural Vegan is taking waste seriously. The formula of the deodorant itself was also developed to be completely biodegradable, so when you wash it off, it won’t bother our friends in the ocean.
In fact this formula is totally free from gluten, animal testing, aluminum, palm oil, and anything else that hurts your bod’ or the Earth. The recipe for Natural Vegan’s zero waste deodorant includes coconut oil, arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, kaolin clay, grapeseed oil, and lavender essential oil for scent. Check out the link above for the full ingredient list, but I can tell you for a fact that you can count all the ingredients on your hands – rare for any product, natural or otherwise.
Natural Vegan was created between two friends in Canada, who wanted to see more attention and care paid to the way we manufacture, distribute, and consume products. Each product stands to make an impact on the world, after all. They strive to create 100% compostable packaging for everything they offer.
Just as charcoal has a powerful effect in skincare and dental health, so too does it in deodorant. Pretty Frank uses a gentle, baking soda free formula, with a base of moisturizing shea butter, with a dose of activated charcoal to help finish off odor-causing bacteria. I love the scent of Pretty Frank’s Seaside – it’s a real splash to your senses, with juniper berry, lemon, palmarosa, and lavender essential oils.
Pretty Frank as a brand prides itself on its no B.S., no nonsense attitude towards natural wellness products. They don’t hide behind fussy aesthetics or jargon, and keep it short and sweet: they care about the environment and keeping ingredients gentle, clean, and effective. Period.
Not only is Ben & Anna’s Natural Soda Deodorant NATRUE certified, but the cardboard packing itself has earned an FSC certification as well. A purchase of this deodorant also supports non-profit group, One Earth – One Ocean.
This Natural Soda Deodorant goes on smooth and soft thanks to the shea butter base, and baking soda helps keep pits dry and clean. Ben & Anna doesn’t make use of any stabilizing chemicals, so you’ll want to be careful to keep this deodorant at room temperatures, to prevent sweating and melting. You can stick this bad boy in the refrigerator for a little bit, if it starts getting too soft in warmer weather.
Like most other zero waste deodorants that come packaged in a cardboard tube, you can apply by pushing up on the bottom of the tube. Their full line of scents are meant to be gender neutral – we recommend the Persion Lime fragrance, for something light and zesty to get your day started.
Based out of Germany, this vegan couple have a shared concern for the environment and conscious consumption. They formulated their deodorant with this in mind, aware of how few options there are in even the natural skin care market. They’ve certainly impressed me with this product, and you’ll be equally wowed when you give this Natural Soda deodorant a try.
Some of you may recognize this gem from it’s stint on Shark Tank, but it doesn’t need any kind of mainstream recognition to prove it’s worth every penny.
PiperWai, like many natural, zero waste deodorants, is formulated to work with your body and its natural process of detoxification, and not against it. That’s right: we’re treating our pits with the respect they deserve, and instead of blasting our lymph nodes with chemicals and metals. PiperWai’s deodorant contains a wonderful combination of shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil. For scent, PiperWai has devised a proprietary essential oil blend of citrus and mint based fragrances, a scent that isn’t too herbal, but is subtle enough you won’t be in a walking cloud of citrus.
PiperWai focuses on one thing, and that’s making really effective, really natural deodorant. In 2014 Sarah Ribner and Jess Edelstein took on the challenge of purging synthetic products from their medicine cabinets, where they became inspired to make their own natural deodorant. Shortly thereafter they earned a spot on ABC’s Shark Tank, and the rest is history.
This is another deodorant where the only packaging is a slip of paper to protect it during shipping. Seeing this method of basically no packaging, it really makes you appreciate how unnecessary the whole idea of packaging really is.
On Simple Good’s website they claim that this puck-shaped deodorant could last up to a full year or longer — so not only are you saving money, but you’re also saving the environment.
Simple Good also provides some really helpful information for the first time natural deodorant user in the product description. For instance, one of the things they clarify is the detoxification period when you first switch to a deodorant without antiperspirants; you’ll probably expect to have a stronger body odor and sweat more, but this is just the result of toxins leaving your previously blocked pores.
Simple Good works to concoct bath and beauty products that are sustainable through and through; if this thoroughly zero waste deodorant doesn’t tip you off to their ethics, now you know. Furthermore, Simple Good donates 5% of all profit to the Sierra Club and environmental advocacy. So, in a way, when you buy this deodorant, you’re also making a contribution to support environmental protection and advocacy.
You’ll notice right off the bat that this comes packaged in style, with beautifully minimalist lettering and a simple, aesthetically pleasing black and cream label over an amber colored jar. Don’t you just love amber glass packaging? Nothing makes you feel more like you’re cultivating a mystical apothecary, and not just keeping your bathroom stocked with basics.
I can’t get over this fragrance either. A scent like this belongs in Sephora’s low-lit perfume section, among bottles of Jo Malone and Chanel: sandalwood, vetiver, and cardamom. This deodorant definitely goes beyond the typical scent profile offered for any natural or zero waste deodorant, and shows that just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it can’t have class and elegance.
Milk & Honey was developed in 2006 by Alissa Bayer, out of Austin. The idea was to replicate a premium spa experience at home, while also using the most sustainable ingredients and treating employees and community with respect. I can vouch for Milk & Honey, because this deodorant is exactly like taking a piece of spa with you wherever you go.
Lalin Et La Siren’s Manuka Probiotics Deodorant is another highly impressive, and ingeniously blended deodorant that moisturizes as it detoxifies. For those with gluten sensitivities, don’t worry – you can keep your pits smelling sweet with this zero waste deodorant, because even that controversial substance can’t be found here.
Lalin Et La Siren is a natural bath and beauty brand that was inspired by the brand-owners’ Afro-Caribbean roots, and a tradition of plant based healing practices. All of their containers are recyclable, reusable, or compostable. Like many other organic beauty brands, Lalin Et La Siren makes small batches, and many made to order items, which means products are more likely to be used up and not expire or go to waste. I love the story behind this small beauty and wellness company, and I couldn’t be happier with Lalin Et La Siren’s Manuka Probiotics Deodorant in particular.
Taylor Natural’s Elevated Pits! Stick Natural Deodorant claims to be the first natural and zero waste deodorant on the market, so really this doubles as a historical monument. This groundbreaking deodorant mixes herbs and plant by-products into a deliciously aromatic and gentle formula, that really takes care of odor.
The ingredients list includes raw shea butter, virgin macadamia nut oil, virgin coconut oil, and calendula oil, alongside a selection of essential oil-based fragrance options. I’m of course partial to their Feelin’ Woodsy scent, which evokes a walk in an evergreen forest, passing your hand along bushes of rosemary and lavender.
Also, side note, but did you know you could also use Taylor’s Natural deodorant on stinky feet as well? This is the only deodorant I’ve come across that can take care of not just your pits, but also your toes. That’s twice the bang for your buck.
Taylor’s Natural is an all over bath and beauty industry pillar. I recommend anyone interested in going zero waste but are concerned about what beauty products to turn to — take a look at their website. The link above to their deodorant alone provides some helpful information on switching to a natural deodorant, as well as the effects of plastic on our bodies and the environment.
This is one of the most unique approaches to zero waste deodorant I’ve come across, and it’s no gimmick: Myro is a refillable natural, earth-friendly deodorant based on a subscription service model. Buying this deodorant is a satisfyingly customizable experience, where you get to pick one of six bold colored cases, one of six scents, and finally the frequency at which you get your replacements delivered. You’re free to skip deliveries or change scents whenever you like, so there’s not too much rigidity around maintaining a subscription with Myro.
Myro was developed to address the trash that hygiene products produce, with a simple but brilliant solution. It works similar to makeup brands like Kjaer Weis, or vintage makeup brands, which used refillable packaging. Think of those fanciful compacts and lipstick bullets you’ve seen, because those were most definitely made to be refilled, just like Myro’s Refillable Deodorant.
I adored this deodorant by Apothecary Muse. I found myself particularly happy with the skin soothing effects of this deodorant, as it contains witch hazel. This ingredient really tamps down after-shave burns or itchiness that I often have to deal with. Apothecary Muse says “No more of that!” You’ll also notice that their zero waste deodorant’s scent lasts up to 12 hours, which is 4 hours longer than most others. For that, they are heroes.
I love the Trail Blazer scent, which combines sandalwood with lavender, in a true stroke of genius. This scent does everything I love in a deodorant — fresh, clean, and warm, but also still human and real. This isn’t shot through with alcohol or metals, or anything synthetic to amplify the fragrance. It’s nice and subtle, but still cancels out odor.
Apothecary Muse was created to take care of the planet, the people that live on it, and use their profit with integrity. They care deeply about the place their products have in the world, and take consideration in mapping out sustainable business, harvesting, and sourcing practices. This is an ideal business to support, since your money will do a lot more than line some anonymous executive’s pockets.
Where would we be today if Lush hadn’t established natural, eco-conscious beauty in the mainstream? I shudder to think of what the answer would be to such a hypothetical. Lush’s T’Eo Solid Deodorant proves what all the fuss is about, using a killer combo of powders and essential oils, to not only eliminate odor, but help absorb sweat as well.
T’Eo is fragranced with lemongrass oil, and makes use of tea tree oil’s antimicrobial properties, lemon oil’s cleansing properties, and fresh grape juice’s enzymatic cleansing effects.
Like their other bar deodorants, Aromaco and Sunflower, T’Eo comes with a piece of paper as packaging alone, so you can smell fresh with a clear conscience. T’Eo makes zero waste deodorants a clear “Yes.”
If you’re somehow not familiar with Lush, you should know this company is proof that companies don’t need to greenwash to be successful – that a company can thrive AND maintain 100% vegetarian ingredients, combat animal testing, and maintain sustainable harvesting and manufacturing practices. Since 2017 they have also kept in place a statement against modern slavery and human trafficking anywhere in their supply chain, as well — which isn’t something a lot of companies of their size can promise.
In conclusion, zero waste deodorant is a game changer.
Are we all on the same page? Because this is what I’m thinking: Plastic is old, dusty, and unnecessary — all that on top of being a fossil-fuel based waste generator. I’m gonna go there: plastic is even worse than your most problematic fave, plastic is down right ethically repellent. Yet it can be hard to avoid! Some of my favorite natural products still come packaged in plastic, including many deodorants. There’s only so many ways, if any, to up-cycle an empty, disposable deodorant container.
These 25 companies prove that even products that come packaged in plastic, don’t have to follow tradition. Zero waste deodorant seems like such a no-brainer to me now. In fact, I’ve started to look closer at all the other products I use to maintain my hygiene, and how the majority have some kind of wasteful packaging.
Why wouldn’t all products come with a reusable or biodegradable container? Aren’t you partially paying for the packaging when you buy a new product for yourself or your home? Why not let that packaging be something you can use again?
Do yourself and the planet a favor: give one of these deodorants a try.
Comment below and tell us which one you’ve got your eye on!