Blog Post / Eco-Friendly Products

Best Vegan, Zero-Waste Deodorants that Work

Updated April 4, 2023

We’ve all been there—you smell something and think, ew, that can’t be me, right? But sadly, it is! When I first set out to try and find a vegan and cruelty-free deodorant, I thought I just might have to give up and be that stinky person because so many of them did a poor job combating body odor! Luckily, products have improved over the years. Now, many new companies on the market are offering vegan, zero-waste (+ cruelty-free) deodorants—allowing you to protect yourself, the animals, and the environment—hooray!

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Sweaty Business

One important thing to note about deodorants (specifically the ones I will recommend) is that none of them contain antiperspirants. 

So, what’s that mean? You’re still going to sweat! 

Many people think that deodorants will help combat sweat, but a deodorant’s only job is to keep you smelling fresh. If you’re switching from an antiperspirant, you’re going to need to give your body a couple of weeks to adjust to the new formula.

There is a lot of debate on whether antiperspirants are harmful to you. Some fear that the active ingredient, aluminum, is linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and even kidney disease, while others say that they are safe to use regularly. 

The concern stems from evidence that shows breast cancer generally starts in the upper outer part of the breast, right where antiperspirant is applied. The fear is that with regular, long-term use, aluminum can be absorbed into the skin, therefore, influencing the growth of breast cancer cells. As for Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, the concern arose in the 1960s when studies showed that the brains of people with Alzheimer’s Disease had very high levels of aluminum—calling into question everything we use made of aluminum. 

So, what’s the truth?

Many experts claim there is no proven risk of disease associated with aluminum, while others still aren’t entirely convinced. Personally, because women are exposed to over 160 chemicals in personal care products every day, I would prefer to kick some to the curb and take a more natural route. 

If you feel similar and are looking for vegan and zero-waste deodorant options, then this lineup is for you!

Six Vegan & Zero-Waste Deodorants

I have used almost all of these products, but I will note the ones that I haven’t— they come with solid smell banishing reviews! 

#1 Ethique

First, I have to say I am partial to just about anything that Ethique sells. All of their products are zero-waste, eco-friendly, and vegan), plus they work fantastically—seriously, I am not getting paid to say this (although they could send me a few freebies if they’d like!). 

But you came here to learn more about their deodorants, so let’s get to it. 

Their deodorant recently got a packaging upgrade, which makes me like it even more! It was just a bar, which was a little awkward to use at first (you got used to it), but now they’ve upgraded to a zero-waste, compostable pushup, making it more familiar to use. 

They have three scent options—Botanica (lavender and vanilla), Rustic (lime and eucalyptus), and unscented. Both the Botanica and Rustic scents are nice and light, not overpowering or obnoxious. So how do they banish stink, you might be wondering? Their blend of magnesium hydroxide, zinc oxide, and bamboo (which is fantastic at absorbing sweat and oil) does an excellent job of keeping you fresh. 

I have used it during a workout and for regular all-day protection and stayed stink-free! If you’re a heavy sweater, you may need to re-apply, but Ethique’s deodorant does a really great job! Oh, and they have a travel size option too.

Ethique Botanica vegan cruelty free zero waste deodarant
Credit: Ethique

#2 PAPR Cosmetics

When I was first investigating the wide world of vegan, cruelty-free, and zero-waste deodorants, PAPR’s were one of the first that I tried and loved (I was honestly a little skeptical that it would work)! Aside from their amazing deodorant lineup, they’re also a great California-based company. For every PAPR purchase, funds are donated to support one of their many environmental projects, ranging from planting a tree to becoming climate neutral—cool, right?

So now on to the deodorants! 

There are 5 scent options—Bright Shiny Morning, So Hot Right Now, Coastal Forests, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Deep Blue, and they also carry an unscented option. The Bright Shiny Morning was my favorite; it is a blend of citrusy grapefruit—the perfect scent when you’re waking up!

To keep you smelling like roses (or forests), PAPR uses a blend of baking soda, silica, tapioca starch, castor oil, jojoba, shea butter, and coconut oil—nothing wild or crazy is hidden in there! What I liked the most about PAPR’s was that it went on really smooth, and there wasn’t a white residue that could end up on my shirt. 

PAPR Cosmetics vegan cruelty free zero waste deodorant
Credit: PAPR

#3 Pack & Leaf

Pack & Leaf started from its founder’s desire to rid herself of extra chemicals in her life; even so-called natural ones were chock full of nasty stuff—I totally get this (but it’s so hard, bad stuff is in everything!). In addition, they also want to protect the environment, so all of their products are plastic-free and palm oil-free.

They have two deodorant scent options (hopefully more to come because it doesn’t include an unscented option): coconut and vanilla, cucumber and lavender. I tested the coconut and vanilla and thought it was pleasant, maybe a little more on the vanilla side than coconut. Their zero-waste packaging is compostable, which is a bonus. The main deodorant ingredients are baking soda (non-aluminum), magnesium oxide, coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and arrowroot powder. 

A stink fighting bonus is that they also sell a travel size deodorant with the regular size, which is perfect when you’re on the go. I did find that if I was really sweaty, I did need to re-apply more often than some of the other products. 

Aside from deodorant, they also sell zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars—something else you need to pack lighter!

Pack and Leaf vegan cruelty free zero waste deodorant
Credit: Pack & Leaf

#4 Meow Meow Tweet

When I was initially looking to test out vegan, cruelty-free, and zero-waste deodorant options, I stumbled across Meow Meow Tweet. I fell in love with their creative kitty-centric packaging (you probably could sell me a bottle of water with a kitty on it—I’m a sucker for them!). But I didn’t end up testing out the deodorant because they only had a deodorant cream in a glass jar, and to be honest, I didn’t love the idea of sticking my fingers in there every day—it seemed messy. 

Luckily, things have changed! They now have deodorant options in a compostable tube!

They have five scent options—lavender bergamot, rose geranium, grapefruit, eucalyptus lime, and cedar spruce. Interestingly, none of their formulas use baking soda; they all rely on magnesium hydroxide, arrowroot, coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oils to keep you smelling fresh.

The reviews are stellar— “best decision ever,” “seriously amazing,” “ONE OF MY FAVORITE products,”—I think you get the idea. If you try them, let me know! 

Meow Meow Tweet vegan cruelty free zero waste deodorant
Credit: Meow Meow Tweet

#5 Essence by Noble

I am thrilled to include Essence by Noble in this lineup because they are an incredible vegan and cruelty-free company based right here in Detroit—set off the party horns! We just happened to meet the folks behind the products at a festival, and Matt (my stinky significant other) decided to test them out. All of their products are made by hand (I just can’t even imagine how much work that is), compostable, and free of palm oil.

They have two deodorant scent options—tea tree and lavender. I thought the lavender was really lovely (I really dig a pleasant lavender scent), and the tea tree is refreshing like eucalyptus. Their scent-busting formula includes arrowroot powder, baking soda (aluminum-free), coconut oil, shea butter, candelilla wax, avocado oil, and essential oils.

Matt gives this one two thumbs up—way up! He was using a different product but decided to kick it to the curb in favor of this (little does he know that we’re not wasting anything, and he has to finish that). During the day, he doesn’t need to re-apply, and I can attest that he’s never once been stinky! Woo! 

Noble by Essence vegan cruelty free zero waste lavender deodorant
Credit: Essence by Noble

#6 Native

Native has been around the deodorant block for a little while but recently added a plastic-free option to its lineup. Honestly, they should just remove the plastic ones altogether—they don’t need ’em now! Especially since switching from the plastic deodorant to this one can help reduce 169 tons of waste every year! 

They have an extensive lineup of deodorant scents—lilac and white tea, citrus and herbal musk, eucalyptus and mint, plus limited-edition scents and sensitive skin scents. It’s safe to say whatever you want to smell like Native will have it for you! Their ingredients are similar to some of the others with baking soda (aluminum-free) and magnesium hydroxide, but they go a step further with the addition of probiotics to help kill odor. 

One note, if you’re sensitive to baking soda, check out their sensitive formula—all the same excellent stink fighting power just sans the soda.

I used Native when it was only available in the plastic container and thought it worked well, but I think they have upgraded the formula since those days and the reviews reflect that— “best deodorant ever,” “better than men’s sport deodorant,” “amazing.” I think it’s pretty safe to say that you won’t have to worry about being the stinky person if you use Native!

Native vegan cruelty free plastic free deodorant and soap
Credit: Native

Other Vegan Tips & Tricks to Check Out

If you’re in need of more recommendations for yourself or your home, check out these articles.

HoldOn: Compostable Trash & Kitchen Bags You Must Try
Zero-Waste & Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
15 Zero-Waste & Eco-Friendly Products to Try

About Author

Rebecca is the founder of the vegan travel company Veggies Abroad. In 2021, she bid her 15-year career goodbye and ventured into the world of ethical business with the launch of a vegan travel blog (the one you’re reading!). As the blog flourished, Rebecca expanded her vision to encompass personalized travel planning services and launched Veggies Abroad's inaugural vegan tour to Thailand, marking the beginning of many more eco-conscious, plant-powered adventures to come. Follow her adventures on Instagram or Facebook @veggiesabroad