If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for ways to replace everyday items with non-plastic alternatives. I originally started with some of the easier-to-replace items around the house like soaps and shampoos but soon started looking elsewhere in other areas of my life for items to swap out. I soon set my eyes on one of the less savory aspects of everyday life, deodorants.
It’s taken me almost a year and a half to thoroughly test out many different varieties, but now I feel confident in giving some recommendations on the top zero waste deodorant brands and options I would choose. But before we get to that, why would you want to consider a zero waste alternative versus sticking with your existing deodorant brand?
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What are zero waste deodorants and what makes them different from non-zero waste options?
These zero waste deodorants are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. Traditional deodorants often come in plastic packaging, contain harsh chemicals, and are not biodegradable. Zero waste deodorants, on the other hand, are made with natural ingredients and are packaged in eco-friendly materials.
They are created to reduce the amount of waste generated from conventional deodorants whether from the packaging they come in or the ingredients they include – and usually, they improve on both. They are becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of their environmental impact. These products have typically come in either bar or paste form and are packaged in reusable containers such as glass jars or tins, but more recently they’ve started to come in more traditional packages like deodorant sticks.
What makes zero waste deodorants different from non-zero waste options is that they don’t produce any single-use plastic packaging, making them an eco-friendly alternative. They also tend to contain fewer chemicals and synthetic ingredients than traditional deodorants, making them a healthier option for both you and the environment. These deodorants are often free from aluminum and vegan-friendly for those who prefer these options. Additionally, these deodorants often come in refillable containers so you can keep reusing them for years to come.
If you’re not ready to leap into the reuse of containers just yet, there are deodorants increasingly packaged in recyclable containers or compostable cardboard packaging. Another positive for these deodorants is that they are generally affordable and last longer than traditional deodorants. All in all, these eco-friendly deodorants are an ideal choice for anyone looking to reduce their environmental impact while still keeping themselves smelling fresh without breaking the bank!
Types of Zero Waste Deodorants
Many of these natural deodorants often contain baking soda, essential oils, and other plant-based ingredients like arrowroot powder or coconut oil that work to absorb moisture and neutralize odors. Some vegan deodorants are made with synthetic ingredients such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol certified by the Vegan Society.
Aluminum-free deodorants are formulated without aluminum compounds like aluminum chlorohydrate, which can be potentially harmful to your health. These types of deodorants are great for those who want to avoid using traditional antiperspirant products. Regardless of which type you choose, these are all easy ways to reduce your environmental impact without sacrificing effectiveness.
Throughout testing, I evaluated many different types and brands of deodorants. I definitely felt more comfortable using solid deodorants but there were some great options in cream and paste form as well. Not only was that a more typical form factor for normal deodorants, there were also more options in brand, scent, and composition. Many of the products we saw are vegan and cruelty-free, aluminum free, include sustainably sources ingredients like coconut, tea tree, palm oil and are fair trade. Some are even certified organic deodorants.
While there are many different types of these deodorants available on the market. Here are some of the most popular options:
Solid Deodorants: Solid deodorants are similar to traditional deodorants in that they come in stick form. However, they are made with natural organic ingredients and are often packaged in biodegradable or compostable materials.
Cream Deodorants: Cream deodorants are applied to your armpits with your fingers and are made with a combination of natural oils and butters. They are often packaged in glass bottles or metal tins, which can be recycled or reused.
Powder Deodorants: Powder deodorants are made with natural ingredients such as baking soda and arrowroot powder. They are often packaged in recyclable paper containers.
DIY Deodorants: Many people choose to make their own deodorants using natural ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oils. This is a great way to reduce waste and customize your deodorant to your specific needs.
Tips for Using Zero Waste Deodorants
When switching to a more sustainable deodorant, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Be patient: It may take a few days or even weeks for your body to adjust to a new deodorant. Give yourself time to adjust before giving up on a product.
Test for sensitivity: Some natural ingredients, such as baking soda, can cause irritation for some people. Test a small area of your skin before applying to your underarms.
Store properly: Store your deodorant in a cool, dry place to prevent it from melting or becoming too hard.
Use sparingly: You may need to use less product than you would with a traditional deodorant. Start with a small amount and add more if necessary.
Here are our favorite eco friendly deodorants from each category:
For all of these categories, we tried to stick with the best zero waste deodorant brands, those that are the most widely available, where their deodorant comes in plastic free packaging, are low waste, and are well known for being sustainable brands. Additionally, many of these products don’t use any plastic and are made in the USA.
Best Solid Deodorants
Ethique Rustic Solid Deodorant
Ethique used to make deodorant bars, and I loved them, so when I found out they had started making solid deodorant sticks I was extremely excited (or as excited as you can get by deodorant). Packaged in compostable cardboard, one of our favorites throughout testing was the Ethique Rustic Solid Deodorant. This waste free deodorant comes packaged in a plastic-free deodorant tube, is baking soda-free, aluminum-free and cruelty free.
This deodorant is made without aluminum, parabens or phthalates, goes on easily, and comes in a typical form factor. My favorites here were the charcoal and citrus & herbal musk varieties. From a product availability perspective, this is probably one of the best natural deodorants on the market.
Best Deodorant Cream & Best Deodorant for Sensitive Skin
Compared to pastes, the deodorant creams were much easier to apply and seemed to be overall less harsh on the armpits making them ideal for sensitive skin. I liked Meow Meow Tweet’s deodorant creams the best for various reasons. First off, the cream comes in a reuseable small glass jar which was completely plastic free – they even offer Terracycle services for the seal. Personally, I think the jars are great for reuse around the house. Meow Meow Tweet also offers its cream in a variety of scents, including unscented. My favorites were the lavender and tea tree options. Some of them do use baking soda so make sure to look into which one you’re selecting.
I tried several different deodorant pastes and kept coming back to Schmidt’s. They are a fairly ubiquitous brand although their pastes, which come in glass jars, are harder to find. I did find that some of the fragrances were harsher than others and they offer a fragrance free version. My personal favorite, however, was the Bergamot and Lime version. Its light, natural scent was pleasing and stayed consistent throughout the day.
While many pastes contain baking soda, there are also baking soda free versions out there that are touted to be better for sensitive skins as well – look for those containing arrowroot powder as that typically indicates they are bicarb free.
Where to Find Eco-Friendly Deodorants?
The good news is that they can be found in many places, both online and in stores. Online stores such as Amazon carry a wide variety of ranging from natural ingredients to plastic-free packaging. Local health food stores and co-ops are other great options for finding these sustainable deodorants. Many local businesses have embraced the zero waste movement and offer plastic-free options. Finally, many beauty supply stores now carry natural deodorants with little or no packaging. With so many options available, it’s easy to find a sustainable deodorant that works for you and your lifestyle.
Check out the Zero Waste List Store for our favorites!
In conclusion, there are many reasons to switch to plastic free or more sustainable deodorants. One of the main reasons is to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and oceans. Plastic packaging takes hundreds of years to break down and often ends up harming wildlife and polluting the environment.
These deodorants are also better for your health. Traditional deodorants often contain aluminum, which has been linked to health problems such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, these deodorant products are made with natural ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oils. These ingredients are not only better for your health, but they also provide effective odor protection.
Finally, these deodorants are often more affordable than traditional deodorants in the long run. While the upfront cost may be slightly higher, eco friendly deodorants can last longer and are often more concentrated than traditional deodorants, meaning you can use less product and save money. With so many options available, there’s a zero waste deodorant out there for everyone. Give it a try and see the difference it can make!