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The Best Vegan Deodorants To Keep You Smelling Fresh All Day

by Charlotte Pointing

Dec 15, 2022

Sweat is a fact of life. While it would be ideal to smell naturally lovely all of the time, that's just not reality. But that's why, thankfully, deodorant exists. While many of the biggest deodorant brands continue to engage in animal testing, there are plenty of cruelty-free (and vegan!) options out there. Here are some of the best.

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The personal care market—which includes products used for hygiene, like deodorant—is huge. Right now, it's valued at more than $6 billion USD. But some of the biggest names in the industry, like Gillette, Nivea, and Kiehl's, still continue to engage in animal testing. For most, this is because they continue to sell in China, where animal testing is still required by law for certain products.

While the country removed pre-market testing requirements for "general" cosmetics like makeup and nail varnish (although they are still vulnerable to post-market testing), "special use" products, like deodorant, are still subject to pre-market animal testing.

According to the Humane Society International, around the world, roughly 500,000 animals still suffer for cosmetic purposes every year. Most of them are guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, rats, and mice. This is despite the fact that, for all of these tests, humane scientifically-approved alternatives exist.

Testing aside, deodorants can also sometimes include animal byproducts, like lanolin (which comes from sheep) and beeswax (which, you guessed it, is made by bees).

But good news: you can smell great without hurting any animals, thanks to these vegan, cruelty-free deodorants. Plus, most of them are packaged in recyclable tubes, or even better, they're totally plastic-free.

Important note: these are deodorants, not antiperspirants, which means they will not stop perspiration. They'll simply help to eliminate any bad odors.

The best vegan and cruelty-free deodorants

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Unilever

Schmidt's started back in 2010 when founder Jaime Schmidt was pregnant. She started making natural deodorants in her kitchen. With a pleasant scent and an effective formula, her home remedies were a big hit. Now, Schmidt's is one of the most popular natural deodorant brands on the market.

This formula provides 24-hour protection with just one or two swipes, alongside a delicious coconut and pineapple scent. But if you prefer a different fragrance, Schmidt's has a whole range of options, including Rose & Vanilla and Jasmine Tea. Or, if you're sensitive to fragrance, there is an unscented option too.

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

JASON has been making natural personal care products for decades. The brand started in California back in the 1950s, and since then, has remained dedicated to providing consumers with simple products, made with wholesome ingredients.

JASON offers a wide range of natural deodorants in a variety of fragrances, including this Apricot option. The high-performance formula features apricot oil, which is known for its softening and soothing effect on the skin. Other options include Calming Lavender and Purifying Tea Tree.

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?None specified
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Unilever

As the name suggests, Nubian Heritage is about honoring the history and traditions of Africa. (Nubia in the northeast of the continent was once a center of global trade and home to some of Africa's earliest kingdoms.)

The brand was founded back in 1992, in Harlem, New York, when Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman decided to "bring together traditional healing practices, cultural wisdom, and indigenous ingredients, remix them and create modern natural solutions for skin and hair care."

Today, Nubian Heritage offers a number of formulas, including this Coconut & Papaya 24-Hour Deodorant. Made with coconut oil, which is moisturizing and anti-inflammatory, the texture is smooth and silky and the scent is long-lasting too.

Other deodorant options from the brand include Raw Shea Butter, African Black Soap, and Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed.

Best budget:

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable with Terracycle
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Colgate-Palmolive

Tom's of Maine has its roots back in the 1960s when founders Tom and Kate Chappell moved to Maine. There, they decided that they wanted a simple, easy life, and that included everything from food to personal care.

The brand is best known for its natural toothpaste, but it also offers a range of other products, including natural deodorants and aluminum-free antiperspirants. Choose from a range of pleasant scents, including Lavender and Cedar Peak.

To reduce waste, Tom's of Maine has teamed up with the recycling platform Terracycle, which will take in and recycle customers' deodorant containers and caps for free.

Best plastic-free:

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Plastic-free
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Procter & Gamble

Unfortunately, the personal care industry is a big contributor to plastic pollution. If they can't be recycled, plastic deodorant tubes can sit in the environment for centuries, as they are not biodegradable.

But in a bid to tackle this problem, some brands, like Native, have cut out plastic use altogether. Its vegan, high-performance, natural deodorants offer the same consistent protection against bad body odor, only without the environmental impact.

Native offers a range of Classic Scents, including Coconut & Vanilla and Lilac & White Tea. But it also offers holiday collections and seasonal fragrances, like Warm Cider & Cinnamon. Plus it has designed its Aloe & Green Tea and Cotton & Lily options specifically for those with sensitive skin.

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Plastic-free
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Known for its commitment to reducing plastic pollution, everything offered by the British brand Ethique is also totally plastic-free.

This solid deodorant is formulated with zinc oxide and magnesium hydroxide, to help eliminate bad odors, as well as bamboo powder. The latter is an ideal natural deodorant ingredient because it helps to absorb excess sebum on the skin. Plus, it will leave your underarms feeling moisturized, soft, and soothed.

According to Ethique, choosing to buy this plastic-free deodorant will also help to save 400 milliliters of water and stop two 100 ml plastic bottles from entering the environment.

ScentedNo
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

For those who like to keep their personal care products as simple and stripped back as possible, Crystal's Mineral Deodorant Stick is ideal. It's made with one ingredient only: potassium alum, which is a form of pure mineral salt.

Potassium alum is a safe chemical compound that works by sitting on the surface of the skin and preventing bacteria from multiplying. (Bacteria is, after all, the source of the bad odor.)

It's important to note that while this mineral deodorant is effective, it does not work if you are trying to cover up an existing bad smell. For the salt to work properly, you must apply to the stick to clean armpits only.

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Compostable tube
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

With a strong lavender smell and a balmy texture, this natural deodorant (which also comes complete with compostable packaging) is great for super sweaty days. The mix of plant and mineral powders with essential oils will keep you feeling and smelling fresh and floral.

But it's not just for armpit use (although that is its primary purpose). The brand also recommends spreading the formula over your neck, chest, and even your feet if you desire, in order to stamp out any unwanted odors.

While this is an effective deodorant, the nature of the formula means it will not last forever, so try to use it up around three months after purchase.

Best natural deodorant for fitness:

This is a sponsored listing.

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

For those who love to get out and exercise, but don't love the odor that often accompanies a lot of physical activity, Cleo + Coco offers a long-lasting natural deodorant that will keep you feeling fresh long after a workout.

The secret is charcoal, which is known for its ability to absorb sweat and bacteria, which, in turn, reduces odor. It also contains arrowroot powder, which is not only packed with vitamins and minerals but is also associated with a reduction in skin irritation, as well as sweet-smelling essential oils, like lavender.

The brand has won multiple awards, including two Dirty Thinkers Choice Awards for Best Deodorant, for its Sweet Surrender option. And in good news for the environment, the packaging is totally recyclable. But if you prefer to reduce waste even more, Cleo + Coco also offers a variety of zero-waste solid deodorant bars.

Best long-lasting deodorant:

This is a sponsored listing.

ScentedNo
Sustainable packaging?Plastic-free
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

Canadian brand Super Deodorant prides itself on doing one thing exceptionally well: keeping away bad odor for long periods of time. And it does so without the use of scents or fragrances, which can cause irritation for people with sensitive skin.

Instead, Super Deodorant relies on ingredients like pure medical-grade silver, zinc oxide, and magnesium hydroxide, all of which help to create an environment under your arms where bacteria can't thrive.

The result is an incredibly efficient and long-lasting formula that will stop you from smelling bad, even on your busiest and most active days. It's so good at its job, the brand notes you can even use it on smelly feet too.

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable with TerraCycle
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Whether you prefer to smell like a beach or a tropical cocktail, Kopari has the scent for you in its range of Aluminum-Free Coconut Deodorants.

The key ingredient in all of these products is coconut oil, which is gentle on the underarms and will leave the skin feeling soft and conditioned. It's also anti-bacterial, which makes it the perfect ingredient for tackling bad odors. Another key component is soothing sage oil.

Like Tom's Of Maine, Kopari also has a TerraCycle partnership, which makes its packaging easier to recycle.

ScentedYes
Sustainable packaging?Not specified
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Kosas' unique deodorant offering relies on a blend of AHA serums to fight odor and soothe and soften underarms.

Mandelic acid and lactic acid, for example, help to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, which may help to reduce bacteria buildup, while shikimic acid has antimicrobial properties. For hydration, Kosas' Chemistry Deodorant contains hyaluronic acid, and for that desirable soothing effect, it includes aloe vera.

The idea behind Kosas' product is to tackle bacteria before it starts to build up, because, ultimately, that's where the bad smell comes from. If you want to give it a test, there are three scents to choose from: Fragrance-Free, Beachy Clean, and Serene Clean.

The verdict

While many big personal care companies still subject animals to painful and invasive tests, it is possible to find natural, cruelty-free, vegan deodorants that nourish your skin and leave your armpits smelling fresh and clean. There are also plenty of low-waste and recyclable options too, so the planet doesn't have to suffer. Here is the roundup of our top choices:

Best budget: Tom's of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant
Plastic-free: Native Plastic-Free Deodorant
Natural deodorant for fitness: Cleo+Coco
Best long-lasting deodorant: Super Deodorant Fragrance-Free Natural Deodorant

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