14 Zero Waste Deodorants For The Best Sustainable Smells
It’s no secret plastic stinks, so what could be better than finding a plastic free deodorant to keep yourself from stinking, too?!
In the spirit of sustainable smells, we’ve found some of the best zero waste deodorants around, which we’ve listed below.
And for those who are always on the go, we’ll start by pointing out our top three choices, all which tick every single one of our sustainable beauty criteria.
Bai-li is great because it contains mostly certified organic ingredients (well suited for sensitive skin) and is completely compostable. We’ve been using Ethique’s waste free deodorant bars for a long time and we love them. They are super effective for all-day wear and the product lasts an age.
Dirty Hippie not only makes a great option but has one of the lowest impact business models around.
Oh, and if you want to know why traditional deodorant is the pits and how we chose these better, more sustainable brands, roll-on down to the end of the article.
We also touch on the baking soda debate and how to make DIY zero waste deodorant.
*This post contains affiliate links
1. BAI-LI ORGANIC ZERO WASTE DEODORANT
About Bai-li Organic Zero Waste Deodorants
Bai-li offers an (almost) certified organic zero waste deodorant.
It’s formulated with just a handful of natural skin care ingredients (sans aluminum, parabens, baking soda and sulphates) anyone can understand, like organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic arrowroot starch, candelilla wax, organic essential oils, and organic jojoba oil and shelf-stable probiotics.
We know, that’s a lot of organic right there.
There are five different scents to choose from: eucalyptus + rosemary, lavender + peppermint, lemon + bergamot, cedarwood + sweet orange, and unscented.
The product is packaged in a perfectly compostable tube or if you’d prefer to get creative, you can turn it into something useful like a tooth tab holder or a small paper based pot for seedlings.
Hailing from Los Angeles, this is the newest zero waste brand on the block.
Having launched just last year Bai-li (i.e. ‘pure-beautiful’) are certainly making their mark on the sustainable personal care market. Which is no surprise given their dedication to the environment and creating effective products that work.
Bai-li sticks to creating small batches in order to reduce excess waste and ensure fresh (and effective) ingredients are always used.
They’re vegan friendly and cruelty free and are currently working towards getting their Leaping Bunny certification.
And as mentioned, if you’re looking for one of the healthiest options on this list you can’t go wrong here, especially since many of their ingredients are certified organic.
A really good option for those with sensitive skin.
In addition to ensuring their deodorants are as environmentally friendly as possible they also partner with EcoEnclose which provides recycled padded mailers and recyclable cardboard boxes with kraft packing paper and kraft flatback sealing tape.
About Ethique Solid Deodorant Bars
Ethique has been on our radar since the early days of our beauty brand research.
We first tried out their zero waste shampoo bars and recently caught a wonderful wiff of their deodorant bars.
We’ve been testing these bars for a while now and can honestly say we really enjoy them. Lyall doesn’t even mind smelling a bit like lavender! Though if readers are looking for a more subdued scent or a men’s specific deodorant, they make an unscented version, too.
They also tick all our sustainable beauty criteria, being vegan, palm oil-free, cruelty-free, aluminum-free, and non-toxic. These also make a good zero waste bakind soda free deodorant option.
These bars are made of ingredients magnesium hydroxide (which prevents bacterial growth without blocking pores), anti-inflammatory zinc oxide, bamboo (absorbs 200% its own weight in sweat and oil), jojoba oil, almond oil, and essential oils.
Since founding in 2015, New Zealand company Ethique has cultivated a huge range of zero waste beauty products. Whether you’re looking for hair care, scrubs, deodorants, or cruelty-free moisturizers, they’ve got it in a non-toxic, waste-free bar (which are AMAZING for travel and last for ages).
Everything they make is palm oil-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Aside from donating 2% of yearly revenue or 20% of profit (whichever is higher) to charity, Ethique is also a certified B-Corp, meaning their supply chain is upheld to rigorous social and environmental standards.
But they even go above and beyond being verified climate-neutral and 100% plastic-free.
Join us and them to #giveupthebottle.
Available: Amazon | Holland & Barrett (UK)
3. FAT & THE MOON
About Fat & the Moon Zero Waste Deodorant Cream
Fat & the Moon deodorant “is for the full spectrum of stinky”.
These light creams are designed to block odors and bad microbes without plugging up the body’s natural detoxifying and temperature regulating sweat system.
Made from “ethically and safely wildcrafted” ingredients like organic coconut oil aluminum-free deodorant, arrowroot powder, beeswax, and various antibacterial essential oil, Fat & the Moon deodorants are soothing and subtly scented (without making you smell like you just stepped out of Abercrombie & Fitch).
If your skin puts the pH in pHincky, opt for their bicarb-free Sensitive Pit Cream. If deodorant creams in general make you crinkle your nose, they also make deodorizing bod powders.
All creams come packaged in reusable glass jars and the bod powder in a cardboard jar (though the lid looks plastic, so it might be worth inquiring as to whether they’ll package it in a jar instead).
About Fat & the Moon
As you can see by glancing over the hilariously entertaining product descriptions, women-owned Fat & the Moon puts the “fun” in zero waste beauty fundamentals.
They have a huge selection of skin balms, dry shampoo, anti-fungal creams, and more, each handmade to order because “body products, like food, are not meant to last forever!”
While not entirely a vegan company as some products contain beeswax, they are cruelty-free and palm oil free as a company. Many of their ingredients are organic and they transparently specify which are and which aren’t.
They also regularly donate to charity and sponsor local community causes.
4. MEOW MEOW TWEET CARDBOARD STICKS
About Meow Meow Tweet Plastic Free Deodorants
All their deodorants are 100% vegan, palm oil free and natural. Many of their ingredients are USDA certified organic.
They have a huge fan base around the world because they’re not just ethical but also extremely effective.
The packaging is 100% recyclable, but since biodegradable packaging is always preferable to glass, we recommend the compostable cardboard sticks.
Like many on our list, they offer a zero waste deodorant with no baking soda for sensitive skin, as well as mini sticks perfect for travel or for just trying it out to see if MMT is right for you.
About Meow Meow Tweet
Meow Meow Tweet is a small batch and zero waste skin care company offering a cute range of body care, facial care, soaps and deodorants.
All their products are 100% cruelty-free, organic / natural, vegan and palm oil free.
They source all of their ingredients ethically including their cocoa butter, shea butter, sugar, coconut oil and coffee which are all from Fair Trade suppliers.
All their packaging is 100% recyclable and they support an impressive number of charities with ongoing monthly donations.
5. DIRTY HIPPIE COSMETICS DEODORANTS
About Dirty Hippie Zero Waste Deodorants
Dirty Hippie is one of our favorite brands (you may have seen them on many of our lists!) because they just tick all the boxes for us.
They offer a “Natural Probiotic Deodorant” paste that you rub into your pits. The product comes in either compostable packaging or aluminum tins (depending on which size you get).
You can choose from 4 scents Active (Virginian Cedar, Lime and Eucalyptus – this is the one we use and it’s great); Fresh (Rose Geranium, Mandarin and Cypress); and Earthy (Patchouli, Lavender and Vanilla).
They also offer a zero waste deodorant for sensitive skin. It’s a Spray On Deodorant that’s Magnesium based (aluminum free) and also baking soda free which come in the same scents as the pastes and are packaged in a 100ml recycled brown glass bottle.
All Dirty Hippie’s products are cruelty-free, vegan, certified organic and palm oil free. They also accept empties and provide refills!
About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
Hailing from Bywong, Australia, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics are one of the most sustainable zero waste brands we’ve had the pleasure of covering.
They create handmade, organic and clearly top quality products (based on hundreds of super reviews).
They’re a 100% cruelty-free and vegan friendly brand.
The only thing they currently can’t guarantee is for their moisturizers, eyeliners, mascara, facial primers, and mineral cream concealers to be palm oil-free due to a change on their supplier’s end. They’re in the process of finding a new supplier.
They source all their ingredients ethically, either purchasing through fair trade channels, buying local or growing their own raw ingredients in Australia.
Their packaging is made using recycled paper (which can be composted). Otherwise they use tins and glass bottles which can be recycled or reused.
Their labels are printed with refillable veg-ink and their operations (which currently have a 50% carbon offset) will be powered with solar when they move into their new HQ.
They’re based in a zero waste community, so it’s no surprise that their lab makes use of naturally collected rain water.
And if that wasn’t enough, they’re involved in a number of charitable initiatives and projects from raising awareness for suicide prevention to animal rescue to support for cancer sufferers.
Available: Etsy | Biome Stores (AU)
6. APOTHECARY MUSE
About Apothecary Muse Compostable Deodorant Tubes
Apothecary Muse is the zero waste outdoor lovers’ dream come true.
Their cardboard push stick deodorants come in some truly delightful earth-inspired scents. For an “everyday” deodorant, choose between lavender & sandalwood and alpine citrus.
For an extra strength advanced care and activewear deodorant, choose between geranium patchouli clay and lemongrass sage.
All these blends are paraben-free and aluminum-free. Instead, you’ll find organic essential oils, coconut oil, candelilla wax (which gives it an all-day waterproofing while still being vegan), arrowroot powder, illipe butter, bentonite clay, grapeseed oil, and even non-nano zinc oxide.
For more on what non-nano zinc means, see our article on zero waste sunscreen.
About Apothecary Muse
Apothecary Muse specializes in “Adventure Skin Care”.
Their all-vegan, palm-oil-free products include vegan sunscreens, vegan muscle salves, and award-winning cold-process soaps (which come wrapped in plantable wildflower seed paper!).
Everything else is packaged in compostable cardboard or reusable tins, with biodegradable adhesive labels printed with wax-based ink.
Eryn Hughes founded the company in 2013 because she saw a gap in the market of natural skincare geared for outdoor enthusiasts (where proper skin protection is ever more necessary!).
She’s passionate about ethical sourcing, which is why she either foraged for ingredients herself or uses local, organic companies. She told us:
“When sourcing materials, I look for real people who share the values of fair trade, giving back to the community, and reduced impact. My olive oil supplier is a Greek family-based business who ships their whole, organoleptic certified olives to Pittsburgh and they press them 10 miles from my studio which reduces shipping materials and emissions.
After they bottle the top shelf, I get the middle shelf olive oil which is a little more cloudy and wouldn’t look good in a bottle but is still food-grade and I use it to make soap (which they get a portion of).
This reduces their waste and increases both of our profitability. I recently chose a new bulk supplier for other materials because of their details in material safety data sheets and ability to answer specific questions about deforestation impacts. When I am purchasing at an increasing volume, it is essential to me to maintain reduced impact.”
The level at which she strives to be sustainable is truly one of the best we’ve seen. Heck, she even delivers local orders herself by bicycle (where possible)!
Available: Etsy | Apothecary Muse
7. RAINWATER BOTANICALS EFFECTIVE ALL-NATURAL DEODORANT
*Note: While the deodorants are vegan-friendly, their “healing salve” contains beeswax
About Rainwater Botanicals All Natural Deodorant
Rainwater Botanicals‘ chemical, irritant and plastic free deodorant is comprised of a blend of skin soothing oils, bacteria fighting arrowroot powder, and scented essential oils.
They also offer a zero waste deodorant for sensitive skin, which uses clay instead of baking soda.
All deodorants now come in compostable paperboard tubes.
Their deodorants are 100% cruelty free and vegan and contain no palm oil or palm oil derivatives.
About Rainwater Botanicals
Rainwater Botanicals began in 1999 with a simple, natural multi-purpose healing solution to fill what they saw as a large gap in the natural market.
By 2004, their salve was so popular they expanded into making a larger line of handmade products. Which they still create in the kitchen and test on themselves.
They have three core philosophies: Natural Ingredients, no animal testing and sustainability, focusing on local, organic and sustainable ingredients, sourced ethically.
They have recently removed all palm oil from their products and all their products are suitable for vegans (except their healing salve which contains local beeswax).
They support North Beach Paws (a no kill animal shelter) and some local charities for kids.
They are focusing on creating an entirely zero waste range which will include paperboard, glass or metal packaging and they plan to offer refills in compostable bags, where possible.
They have switched to 100% recycled paper mailers for all small packages and use biodegradable vegetable starch peanuts.
For larger and heavier orders, they ship using recycled and recyclable/reusable boxes wherever possible. They also print their labels on recycled paper and their office recycles, re-uses and composts what they can.
Available: Etsy | Rainwater Botanicals
8. THE NATURAL DEODORANT CO. CREAM DEODORANT
*Note: We have attempted to confirm the policies directly with this brand with no response to date
About The Natural Deodorant Co. Deodorant Balm
Based in the UK, The Natural Deodorant Co., as the name suggests, focuses purely on creating long lasting zero waste deodorants. Quality over quantity!
These balms are both moisture absorbing and anti-bacterial, to keep you fresh and healthy all day long in a variety of scents for both men and women. You can choose form three main formulas to best fit your body and lifestyle.
These deodorant balms are also cruelty-free, natural & organic, vegan and palm oil free. The tubs are made of glass and can either be reused or recycled.
About The Natural Deodorant Co.
After a lot of trial and error to create a natural deodorant that lasted all day, The Natural Deodorant Co. launched it’s Clean Deodorant Balm in 2015.
Since then, it has stuck to its same three simple and perfect recipes (which also avoids aluminum). Their focus is sustainability. They’re registered internationally as vegan and cruelty-free by The Vegan Society and are also 100% palm-oil free.
They also donate to CoppaFeel, an organization that promotes breast cancer awareness and prevention.
Available: Ethical Superstore
9. BATTLE GREEN
About Battle Green Natural Zero Waste Deodorant Balm
Battle Green’s deodorants are somewhat new to the zero waste deodorant scene, but they’ve already got tons of great Etsy reviews over the last year.
PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free, these baking-soda-based deodorants also contain non-toxic ingredients like arrowroot powder, organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, soybean wax (as opposed to palm oil!), and various pure essential oils depending on the scent.
Choose between three natural scent blends (Lavender and Tea Tree, Grapefruit and Mint, Orange and Patchouli) and between reusable tins pots or compostable cardboard tubes.
About Battle Green
Battle Green is a newer brand based in the Wale’s beautiful Snowdonia region. Their range of small-batch handmade products includes zero waste toothpaste and other bath and beauty products. All vegan, all cruelty-free, all zero waste!
To give back, they are members of the Surfers Against Sewage 250 club, volunteering and sponsoring local beach clean-ups.
10. NO PONG
*Note: No Pong’s Original and Bicarb-Free varieties contain beeswax are not vegan, but the Fragrance Free is vegan.
About No Pong Zero Waste Deodorant Tins
Just apply a pea-sized amount of No Pong deodorant cream and you won’t have to worry about being the person to make the room smell like BO.
No Pong, no problem.
Choose between three main formulas, all of which are Choose Cruelty Free certified, aluminum-free, and palm oil free. To make sure they are fully cruelty-free, they refuse to sell into China.
Their original formula combines coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch (along with various essential oils for scent), while the low fragrance Bicarb Free formula swaps out potentially irritating baking soda for magnesium hydroxide and non-toxic food-grade Diatomaceous Earth.
Neither are vegan because they do choose to use beeswax for its long-lasting and moisture resistant quality. This helps the deodorant actually last a full day and prevents it from wearing off onto your (sustainable) clothes even amidst high levels of activity.
However, try their newest fragrance free formula which IS vegan.
About No Pong
A newer brand just established in 2015 by cofounders Melanie McVean and Chris Caley, No Pong is quickly making a name for themselves as “Australia’s Favourite Natural Deodorant”.
They first caught a whiff of the winning idea when Chris borrowed Melanie’s deodorant that she had made for herself on a surf trip after he had run out. Much to his surprise, he was able to wear it for three days without having to change his shirt.
They’re primarily based in Australia, where every product is made, and most ingredients are locally sourced save for a few where necessary.
Because Melanie is originally from Canada and they want to support the Canadian economy as well, they’ve opened another branch in Canada, where they make and ship products specifically for their Canadian customers to keep cost and impact a little lower.
No Pong donates product to the Big Hug Box, which provides care boxes for people going through cancer treatment.
Available: Nourished Life (AU) | Well.ca (CA)
11. KATIE MAE NATURALS
About Katie Mae Naturals
Another zero waste brand on Etsy with great reviews, Katie Mae Naturals makes aluminum-free deodorants out of raw organic coconut oil, beeswax, arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, unrefined shea butter, essential oils, and baking soda.
They have baking-soda free options, too.
These ingredients combine into a final product that’s cleansing, deodorizing, antibacterial, and moisture-absorbing (but not blocking- an important distinction!).
While the beeswax means they aren’t vegan, Katie Mae uses organically and ethically sourced beeswax from local suppliers who treat their bees well.
The customizable scent selection is especially varied, and most of them come from Katie Mae’s own garden.
Choose any one or combination of the following scents: lavender, grapefruit, ylang ylang, geranium, cedarwood, orange, patchouli, lemongrass, lime, and vanilla. Of course, you can also opt for unscented.
About Katie Mae Naturals
Katie Mae and her husband Johnny make all their products right on their 100-acre Ohio farm. From zero waste sunscreen to soaps and more, their products are “simply gifts of the earth, mixed up with our ideas and brought to life.”
Using only natural ingredients that are mostly locally sourced or sourced from her own farm (with a few exceptions where necessary). They strive to source externally only form Fair Trade channels and have excluded ingredients when they can’t be sure.
Everything is 100% cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and includes no fillers, preservatives, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, or synthetic fragrances.
The company as a whole is not totally zero waste, but they do cater to those who strive for a zero waste lifestyle by omitting any plastic shipping materials upon request. Just drop a note in the order notes.
Similarly, if you want a refill only, include a note and the product will come without a jar (provided it’s not a liquid or cream).
Any plastic shipping materials they do use for non zero waste requested orders are reused and recycled.
Additionally, Katie Mae’s family partners with other locals to form a group called Sustainable Medina County, with the intention of “protecting the environment to ensure a healthy ecosystem for today’s residents and future generations”.
One group initiative was to fight to get a community charter initiative on their ballot. That essentially gives county residents the right to vote on proposed projects that pose a threat to the environment.
12. HAMMOND HERBS
About Hammond Herbs Pit Stop Natural Deodorant
If you find yourself in frequent need of a body-odor refresher in the middle of the day, Hammond Herbs’ Pit Stop deodorant can provide alternative all-day freshness.
With scent combos including Lemongrass & Peppermint, Tea Tree & Lavender, Geranium & Cedar, Orange & Patchouli, Cedar & Doug Fir, Bergamot & Lime, or just plain unscented, these deodorants will make man, woman, and child smell great for hours on end.
These zero waste deodorants are free from aluminum, parabens, synthetic preservatives, synthetics fragrances, and of course, animal testing.
They’re not vegan, however, as they do contain organic beeswax.
Other all organic ingredients you’ll find are cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, shea butter, arrowroot powder, essential oils, non-GMO vitamin e oil, and baking soda.
About Hammond Herbs
Based in Eugene, Oregon, Elise Hammond has been making natural bath and personal care products since around 2016. Their range includes body butters, deodorants, vegan tooth powders, and soon, zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars.
All her products are made in small batches from “ethically sourced materials” mostly from Mountain Rose Herbs, or local and Fair Trade sources.
They also come in compostable containers and ship everything 100% plastic-free.
While Elise doesn’t yet have a regular giving partner, she frequently donates to local charities that aid the homeless. As she grows, she plans to start donating a set percentage of monthly profits.
13. BEN & ANNA NATURAL SODA DEODORANT
About Ben & Anna Natural Soda Deodorant
These handmade zero waste deodorant bars, available in a variety of sweet scents, are designed to last, keep you fresh and dry.
They contain baking soda as an odor neutralizer and all other ingredients are certified vegan and organic. The tubes are also alcohol, gluten free and are FSC-certified recyclable (and compostable).
They’re a cruelty free brand although their ingredients do contain palm oil derivatives.
About Ben & Anna
Ben and Anna, founders and creators of the company, are based in Germany’s Hessian countryside.
After searching long and hard for a suitable vegan and aluminum free deodorant, the couple decided to create their own. A process that took “a lot of time and tinkering” but yielded a product now popular all over the world.
Their products are entirely cruelty free and certified vegan. They also have the Natrue certification, certifying that their products are 100% natural.
They do use RSPO certified palm oil in their products (you can read more about our thoughts on RSPO and palm oil).
They support the German charity One Earth One Ocean and they take care to use harmless materials for their packaging.
Available: Amazon | Love Lula (UK) | Ecco-Verde (EU)
14. BOODA ORGANICS CREAM DEODORANT
About Booda Butter Creams
Designed to create an “all day zen fresh” feeling, Booda Butter creams are 100% USDA certified organic, using only food-grade non-GMO ingredients purchased through Fair Trade suppliers.
It’s also cruelty-free, vegan, bee free, palm oil-free and gluten free and come in plastic-free glass jars.
They believe in product pureness.
It only comes in unscented Naked Coconut (which is delicious!) working by blocking body odor, rather than just covering it with other fragrances.
About Booda Organics
Booda Organics began in 2010 and prides itself on its award winning sustainability (being completely palm-oil free and vegan certified by Leaping Bunny and Vegan.org) and strict ethical sourcing policy.
Each handmade item is backed with a 100% Happy Guarantee and company profits are used to donate to over 30 different organizations.
“Spread the love” isn’t just a marketing catch phrase; it’s their mission statement.
Available: Booda Organics
DIY ZERO WASTE DEODORANT
About DIY Deodorant
Like most things zero-waste (whether it’s in your zero waste bathroom, zero waste kitchen, or zero waste toothpaste), you can forgo the pre-made product all together and make it yourself based on your preferences and needs.
Remember, most of the products on this list start just that way.
Oil-based recipes tend to be gentler on the skin and often more effective, but they can leave oil stains on your clothes if you sweat at all.
As such, many people prefer non-oil based, like this recipe by Kathryn from Going Zero Waste:
- 2 oz. water
- 1 tsp. baking soda or bentonite clay
- 1 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt:
- 2-3 drops essential of your choice
The Process of DIY Deodorant
Bring the water to a boil then remove from heat and let it cool just slightly before adding all other ingredients and allowing them to dissolve. Shake to dissolve any remaining particles before pouring into a container.
For a container, we recommend either a non-plastic spray bottle or a roll-on bottle (maybe recycled from an empty essential oil!).
With this recipe, Kathryn was able to go an amazing 10 days without showering and still passed an honest scent test at the end of it. She also created an extra strength recipe for athletes, heavily active users, or those that live in hot climates.
Whether you choose to buy or DIY, remember to detox before switching to natural deodorant!
Conventional deodorants are full of harmful synthetic ingredients like phalates, parabens, aluminum and even formaldehyde (the same thing used to preserve dead bodies), which block pores that build-up in your body.
You need to let that build-up work itself out before starting a natural alternative.
During this detox, it’s important to refrain from wearing any deodorant (even natural deodorant) to avoid skin irritation and an increase in smell.
This process takes about three weeks, so doing it in colder weather is ideal because you’ll sweat (and smell) less while not using any deodorant.
ZERO WASTE DEODORANT WITH OR WITHOUT BAKING SODA
Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, is a common ingredient in many natural deodorants, though it is not, strictly speaking “organic”. Plenty of people have debated over whether baking soda belongs on the skin given it can irritate the skin.
EWG has listed baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) as a low risk, non-toxic ingredient, however baking soda doesn’t work for everyone. Especially if you have sensitive skin it can cause an adverse reaction, so do be mindful if you are choosing a deodorant with this additive.
Otherwise, it is a really effective ingredient at combating the odor-causing bacteria on your skin.
WHY PLASTIC FREE DEODORANTS?
As a quick reminder, the goal of zero waste is to send no trash to landfills or incinerators. Instead, it suggests we minimize toxic impact by relying on biodegradable, compostable, or reusable products.
Finding zero-waste deodorant alternatives (or general zero waste cleaning products) is so important in striving for a zero waste or just less wasteful lifestyle.
For example, the roller dial and cap are often different plastic than the tube itself, and would thus need to be completely disassembled to be recycled properly and avoid recycling contamination (which can ruin the whole batch!).
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZERO WASTE DEODORANT
Time to throw your arms up and celebrate your great smelling pits and the fact that you’ve prevented so many plastic tubes from entering landfills.
Or worse, contaminating large batches of other recycling.
Always remember, plastic stinks, but you don’t have to.
That’s why we encourage you to share this article with your friends and family (maybe those you find yourself in close quarters with too?!).