Go All-Natural With Sustainable Deodorant Brands That Work

After trying to make the switch for years, I finally found some sustainable deodorant brands that work. Learn about why going all-natural is the way to go, along with how to make the switch yourself.

sustainable deodorant case with different refillable scents

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Why Natural Deodorant

Switching to natural deodorant is a journey rooted in health and environmental consciousness. Traditional deodorants often contain harmful ingredients that can affect our health and contribute to environmental degradation.

As someone who values sustainable living (or at least is trying to figure out how to live a more eco-friendly life!), I was determined to make the switch to this more sustainable option.

However, the transition was challenging. Despite having access to a variety of sustainable deodorant brands through my husband, who worked at an organic grocery store, we struggled to find one that worked effectively.

Both of us experienced persistent body odor despite our best efforts. And so, at that point, we actually gave up and returned to traditional deodorant.

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title of how to make the switch to natural deodorant with list of steps

Years later, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to use the isolation factor to our advantage, and we revisited our quest for a natural deodorant.

This time, we were successful. We found not one but two brands that effectively kept us odor-free.

This experience showed us that the right natural deodorant does exist, and it’s worth the search for both personal health and environmental reasons. 

Switching to natural deodorant not only means better health but also less environmental impact. Natural deodorants are free from synthetic chemicals and often come in sustainable packaging.

These small changes can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. The journey might be bumpy, but once you find the right products, you’ll be contributing to a healthier planet while enjoying the benefits of natural ingredients. 

The Problem with Conventional Deodorants

In addition to their single-use plastic packaging, conventional deodorants, and antiperspirants often contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact our health and the environment.

These products are designed to block sweat glands and mask body odor, but at what cost? They are often packed with ingredients that are, well, less than beneficial. 

These ingredients are not only harmful to our health but also contribute to environmental pollution, as many of them are non-biodegradable and can accumulate in ecosystems.

Deodorant vs Antiperspirant

Understanding the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants is crucial when making the switch to natural products.

Deodorants are designed to neutralize body odor by targeting the bacteria that cause it. They do not prevent sweating but rather mask or eliminate the smell.

Deodorants typically contain antibacterial agents like essential oils to neutralize odor-causing bacteria, and they often include natural fragrances to provide a pleasant scent. 

Antiperspirants, on the other hand, contain aluminum-based compounds that block sweat glands, inhibiting a natural process and reducing the amount of sweat produced.

And now is a great time to dispel a common myth. Sweating does not purge the body of toxins (sweat is over 99% water), meaning antiperspirants do not block the body’s detoxification process.

Rather, there are other issues when it comes to this common product. Many antiperspirants contain synthetic fragrances and other chemicals that can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and other health problems.

And many of these chemical compounds aren’t great for the environment, either.

What Makes a Deodorant Sustainable

Sustainable deodorants are crafted with care for both human health and the environment. Here are the key factors that make a deodorant sustainable.

Natural Ingredients

Sustainable deodorants use natural, non-toxic, and often organic ingredients that are gentle on the skin and effective in controlling odor. These ingredients are often derived from plants and minerals, providing a safe alternative to synthetic chemicals.

  • Essential Oils: These oils provide fragrance and have antibacterial properties. Lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus not only add a pleasant scent but also help combat bacteria.
  • Shea Butter: This is a moisturizer and skin soother. Rich in vitamins A and E, it nourishes the skin and helps prevent irritation.
  • Coconut Oil: Organic coconut oil is both antibacterial and moisturizing. Its natural antibacterial properties help reduce odor-causing bacteria.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate: Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes odor and is a key active ingredient in many natural deodorants. Also known as baking soda, it absorbs moisture and combats odor.
  • Cocoa Butter: This natural ingredient hydrates and nourishes the skin. It is a fat extracted from cocoa beans that provides deep hydration.
  • Arrowroot Powder: This powder is effective at absorbing moisture. It helps keep the underarm area dry by absorbing excess sweat.
sustainable deodorant

Packaging

Sustainable deodorant brands prioritize eco-friendly packaging. This includes:

  • Plastic-Free Deodorant: These products are packaged in biodegradable materials like compostable cardboard tubes. They reduce plastic waste and decompose naturally.
  • Refillable Options: Many sustainable deodorants come in reusable containers, reducing waste. Once the product is used up, you can purchase refills on the product is used up, minimizing the need for new packaging.
  • Recyclable Packaging: If plastic is involved in the packaging, it should be a type that is easily recyclable. Additionally, brands often may also use materials like aluminum that can be recycled multiple times.
sustainable deodorant refills

Practices

Responsible practices are integral to sustainable deodorant brands, such as:

  • Small Batches: Small-batch production often leads to better quality control and less waste.
  • Animal Testing: Brands that avoid animal testing ensure no animals are harmed in the development of their products. These products are often labeled as cruelty-free.
  • Certifications: Eco-certifications like USDA Organic, Leaping Bunny, and Fair Trade are positive indicators. These certifications ensure that the products meet high standards for environmental and ethical practices.
  • Sourcing: Sustainable sourcing practices ensure that the ingredients are harvested in ways that do not harm the environment or exploit workers.

Types of Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorants come in various forms to suit different preferences and needs. 

  • Deodorant Stick: This is the most common form and easy to apply. Sticks are convenient and mess-free, making them a popular choice.
  • Creams: Creams are applied with fingers, offering precise control. Creams allow for more targeted application and can be more moisturizing. With that said, it can be an uncomfortable choice if you are looking for a hands-free application.
  • Roll-On: This version comes in a liquid form that glides on easily. Roll-ons are quick to apply and usually dry fast.
  • Sprays: Sprays can be refreshing and are easy to use thanks to their quick, hands-free application.
  • Powders: Powders absorb moisture and neutralize odor. They are great for keeping the underarm area dry and fresh.
  • Refillable Deodorant: This type of deodorant comes in reusable containers. These options reduce waste by allowing you to refill the container rather than buying a new one each time.
sustainable deodorant on wooden table with colorful pots

How to Find the Right Natural Deodorant

Finding the right natural deodorant involves considering several factors. And it may take a bit of experimenting to find what works best for you.

Skin Type

Understanding your skin type is crucial. Those with sensitive skin should look for deodorants with soothing ingredients like shea butter and avoid potential irritants like sodium bicarbonate.

If you have dry skin, opt for products with hydrating ingredients like cocoa butter and coconut oil.

For oily skin, deodorants with absorbent ingredients like arrowroot powder can help manage excess moisture.

Fortunately, today even a single sustainable deodorant brand has different options for specific skin types.

Body Chemistry

Body chemistry plays a significant role in how effective a deodorant will be. It’s important to find a product that works with your body’s natural processes to effectively combat body odor.

Everyone’s body reacts differently to various ingredients, so it may take some experimentation to find the perfect match.

Some people might find that essential oils work well for them, while others might need stronger antibacterial ingredients like baking soda.

Application Method

The application method is also important. Some people prefer the convenience of a deodorant stick, while others may like the feel of a cream or the ease of a roll-on.

Packaging preferences, such as reusable containers or recyclable materials, can also influence your choice.

Consider what fits best into your daily routine and comfort level.

travel-size sustainable deodorant

Price

Natural deodorants can be more expensive than traditional options, but they often last longer.

Consider the cost per use and the long-term benefits of using a product that is better for your health and the environment.

While the upfront cost may be higher, the durability and effectiveness of natural deodorants often make them a more economical choice over time. Additionally, investing in higher-quality products can lead to better overall health outcomes.

Personal Values

Choose a company that aligns with your personal values. If you prioritize vegan products, look for vegan deodorant brands.

If sustainability is your main concern, choose brands that focus on eco-friendly practices and packaging.

Look for certifications that resonate with your beliefs, such as cruelty-free, fair trade, or organic labels. This ensures that the products you use align with your ethical standards.

Xtra Eco Tip: Check for labels that carry the B Corp Certification. B Corp businesses are certified by B Lab, a non-profit organization, and meet the highest standards of social and environmental impact, accountability, and transparency. And, FYI, the ‘B’ stands for ‘Benefit for all’.

sustainable company certification labels

Making the Switch to Sustainable Deodorant Brands

Switching to natural deodorant can take time. Here are some ways to help ease the transition.

  • Plan for a detox period: Your body may need time to adjust to a natural deodorant. During this period, you might experience more sweating and odor as your body detoxifies from traditional antiperspirants. This can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

    This is exactly the reason my husband and I decided to make the switch during COVID! We were very fortunate in that neither of us went through a noticeable detox period.

    But if your experience is different, that is completely normal, and don’t give up…especially if this is your first time!
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins. Proper hydration supports your body’s natural detoxification processes.
  • Wash regularly: Wash your underarms regularly to remove bacteria and odor. Use a gentle, natural soap to avoid irritation.
  • Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate your underarms to remove dead skin cells and improve the effectiveness of your deodorant.
  • Wear breathable Fabrics: Opt for natural fibers like cotton, which allow your skin to breathe and reduce sweating.
  • Experiment: Give yourself a few weeks to adjust. It may take time to find the right product that works for you. Keep experimenting with different brands and formulations until you find one that meets your needs.

My Favorite Sustainable Deodorant Brands

After extensive research and trial, I’ve found two sustainable deodorant brands that work exceptionally well. At this point, my husband and I have been using both brands for several years. 

Wild

Wild is a fantastic brand offering sustainable deodorants.

They provide refillable deodorant options, which significantly reduce plastic waste.

Wild’s products are vegan, cruelty-free, and made with natural ingredients. Their compostable cardboard tube refills and recyclable packaging make them a top choice for those seeking zero-waste options.

sustainable deodorant on wooden table
  • Natural Ingredients: You’ll find essential oils, baking soda, and other plant-based ingredients. No toxic ingredients here!
  • Refillable Packaging: They offer a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic through an innovative, reusable deodorant case that looks and feels much like conventional deodorant.
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free: This company is committed to ethical production practices.
  • Unique Scents: There is a range of refreshing and unique scents. And they also frequently introduce new scents. 
  • Affordability: After a one-time purchase of the usable case, the refills are priced very reasonably. And, if you sign up for their subscription service, there is an additional discount. 

I have had such a great experience with this product, but let me share a couple of things I’ve learned.

First, when installing the refill cartridge, follow the instructions. The instructions are not complicated at all, but if you don’t follow the steps, you probably will end up frustrated.

Additionally, I found that the reusable case can get scratched up during travel. I don’t find this to be a big deal, and I just love, love, love the fact that the case is reusable. 

50% Discount
Wild Refillable Deodorant
  • 50% discount through "Buy Now" link below
  • Natural ingredients & aluminum-free
  • Plastic-free packaging
  • Multiple reusable case colors & refillable scents
  • B-Corp Certified
Buy Now

Hey Humans

Hey Humans is committed to providing high-quality, eco-friendly personal care products. Their deodorants are made with natural ingredients and come in recyclable packaging.

They offer a variety of unique scents, all free from toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances.

Hey Humans also focuses on creating products in small batches to ensure quality and sustainability. Some key features include:

sustainable deodorant
  • Natural Ingredients: They use essential oils and plant-based ingredients to provide effective odor control.
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging: Their products come in recyclable and biodegradable packaging.
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free: No animal testing is involved in the making of this cruelty-free deodorant. 
  • Unique Scents: They offer some really interesting scent combinations that cater to a lot of different preferences.
  • Affordability: Their sustainable options come at a reasonable price point. And these deodorants last me for a couple of months at least.

Hey Humans’ commitment to sustainability is evident in their entire product line, making them a reliable choice for eco-conscious consumers.

If you decide to try this brand out, here are a few things to be aware of that I have learned from personal experience.

First, if it is cold out, it may be hard to get this deodorant started. In this case, gently squeeze the tube to separate the deodorant from the inside of the container.

Alternatively, when it is hot out, do not leave this deodorant in your car! It will melt (although this may be true for most deodorants).

Finally, since this deodorant lasts a long time (which is great), I found the cardboard packaging will start to break down a bit towards the end, so it becomes harder to take the lid on and off.

With that said, I didn’t find any of these things to be deal-breakers…rather, I just want you to learn from my experience!

Hey Humans Natural Deodorant
  • Natural, vegan & cruelty-free
  • Aluminum-free
  • 99% plastic-free packaging
  • 6 scents
Buy Now
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A Greener, Fresher Future

Switching to sustainable deodorants is a worthwhile endeavor for both your health and the planet. While the initial transition may come with challenges, the long-term benefits are significant.

And, keep in mind, there is a chance you may not even go through a transitional detox period!

By choosing natural, eco-friendly products, you’re contributing to a healthier environment and a healthier you. Embrace the change and enjoy the fresh, natural feeling that comes with using sustainable deodorants.

I absolutely love it and can’t imagine returning to regular deodorants! If you’ve already made the switch, what are some of the best eco-friendly deodorants you have used?

FAQs: Sustainable Deodorant Brands

What is the detox period when switching to natural deodorant?

The detox period refers to the time it takes for your body to adjust to natural deodorant, usually a few weeks. During this time, you may experience increased sweating and odor as your body releases toxins from traditional antiperspirants.

Can natural deodorants cause skin irritation?

Some natural deodorants can cause irritation, especially those with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). If you have sensitive skin, look for formulas with soothing ingredients like shea butter or cocoa butter.

How do I know if a deodorant is truly eco-friendly?

Look for certifications like USDA Organic, Leaping Bunny, and Fair Trade. Check the packaging for information about recyclable or biodegradable materials and research the brand’s sustainability practices.

Are natural deodorants effective at controlling odor?

Yes, many natural deodorants are effective at controlling odor. It may take some trial and error to find the right one for your body chemistry.

How long does natural deodorant last compared to conventional deodorants?

A: Natural deodorants can last just as long, if not longer, than conventional deodorants. They often require fewer reapplications and provide long-lasting freshness.

What should I do if my natural deodorant stops working?

If your natural deodorant stops working, try switching to a different brand or formula. Your body chemistry can change over time, so what works now might not work later.

Can I use natural deodorant if I sweat a lot?

Yes, natural deodorants can be effective for heavy sweaters. Look for formulas with strong odor-neutralizing ingredients and consider reapplying throughout the day if necessary.

Is natural deodorant more expensive?

Natural deodorants can be more expensive upfront, but they often last longer than conventional deodorants. Consider the long-term benefits for your health and the environment.

Can I make my own natural deodorant?

Yes, you can make your own natural deodorant using ingredients like coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oils. DIY deodorant recipes are widely available online.

Will natural deodorant stain my clothes?

Natural deodorants are less likely to stain clothes compared to those with aluminum. However, it’s still important to allow the deodorant to dry before dressing.

Are natural deodorants safe for children and teenagers?

Yes, natural deodorants are generally safe for children and teenagers. Opt for gentle, unscented formulas designed for sensitive skin.

How often should I apply natural deodorant?

This can vary based on individual needs, but most natural deodorants can be applied once daily. If necessary, you can reapply throughout the day, especially if you are very active.

What should I do if I experience a rash or irritation from natural deodorant?

If you experience a rash or irritation, discontinue use and try a different formula. Look for products designed for sensitive skin or those without baking soda.

Are all-natural deodorants vegan?

Not all-natural deodorants are vegan. Check the ingredient list for animal-derived products like beeswax and ensure the brand states it is vegan.

Can natural deodorant expire?

Yes, natural deodorants can expire. Check the packaging for an expiration date and store the product in a cool, dry place to extend its shelf life.

What are some tips for reapplying natural deodorant on the go?

Carry a travel-sized deodorant or use deodorant wipes for quick touch-ups. Keep a small container of powder or cream deodorant in your bag for convenience.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Each post reflects both my research and my personal experiences (as well as those of my pups). Every person is different, and what works for me and my furry family may not work for you.

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