In search of cruelty-free, vegan deodorants or antiperspirants? There are plenty of options to choose from. But with so many brands out there, how do you know which one is the best and actually works?
I’ve done all the work for you and compiled a list of our favorites! You’ll find helpful information on each brand, including ingredients and what makes a deodorant vegan. We will also talk about the ingredients and differences in deodorant and antiperspirant.
So read on to learn more about these 21 vegan deodorants and antiperspirants!
What Makes a Deodorant Vegan?
For a deodorant or antiperspirant to be considered vegan, it must not contain any animal products or by-products.
To avoid using animal ingredients and derivatives in their deodorants and antiperspirants, companies are using a variety of different substances that don’t come from animals. These can include aloe vera, arrowroot powder, bentonite clay, and baking soda, among other things.
What Makes a Deodorant Cruelty Free?
A deodorant is cruelty-free when the product has not been tested on animals. Just because a deodorant is labeled cruelty-free, it doesn’t mean that the company has never tested its products on animals. Just that it didn’t test that one, or that they have stopped it… for now.
Something else to consider, while most things that are cruelty-free are vegan, they are not interchangeable. Some products may be cruelty-free but not vegan.
Best Vegan & Cruelty-Free Deodorant & Antiperspirant Brands
Before getting into the brands, we should specify that deodorant and antiperspirant are different. Deodorant covers odors but does not stop sweat. Antiperspirants stop sweat production, which minimizes the odor because the bacteria does not run rampant.
Vegan deodorants are quite popular and easy to find, whereas, vegan antiperspirants are slightly harder to find because there are specific ingredients needed to stop sweat production.
Vegan and Cruelty-Free Deodorants
Piper Wai makes several different types of deodorants including a cream and two types of natural deodorant sticks with activated charcoal. All of their products are aluminum-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and gentle on the skin. Their deodorant sticks come in scented and scentless. The other thing I love about Piper Wai is that they use ocean waste plastic to reduce their environmental footprint. The ingredients that make it effective are activated charcoal that absorbs moisture and odors, as well as coconut oil to moisturize the skin and restore the skin’s natural pH.
Schmidt’s is another great company with many options. They have signature deodorant sticks, sensitive sticks, and deodorant paste in jar form. They have many wonderful scents such as rose and vanilla, bergamot and lime, lavender and sage, and many more! Their sensitive skin formula replaces baking soda with magnesium, which is a less abrasive alternative. They also have unscented options for those with skin allergies.
Booda Organics has very minimalistic and eco-friendly products. While they only have one option for deodorant, it is a fan favorite for most eco-friendly, natural deodorant users. Their deodorant comes in a jar form. It is unscented but made with coconut oil, so it has a light coconut scent. Formulated with all organic ingredients, the paste is safe to use on all parts of the body. It can also be used for bee stings and bug bites!
Long Weekend Natural Deodorant
Long Weekend along with being vegan and cruelty-free is also zero waste! That means none of their products contribute to plastic waste and are great for the environment. Their deodorant product comes in a compostable push-up tube and has many different scent options such as lavender, fresh citrus, cucumber mint, and more! Their products also have a high-performance standard, which means they are highly effective.
Crystal Deodorant is a great option for those that are looking to neutralize odor. It uses natural mineral salts which neutralize odor. It’s also free of aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium, parabens, and phthalates. It only contains one ingredient! It’s also very cost-effective as one salt deodorant will last you for a year! The downside is that it does not stop you from sweating. It also comes in deodorizing wipes.
Vegan and Cruelty-Free Antiperspirants
Certain Dri is from a UK-based company but can be bought online. This is a great vegan option for individuals who need a clinical strength deodorizer. Certain Dri does not test on animals. However, their parent company does. Be aware that this option includes aluminum chloride as its antiperspirant ingredient.
Tom’s of Maine
Tom’s of Maine is a trusted natural company and contains several vegan antiperspirant options, plus they have a men’s line. The antiperspirant products are all vegan and cruelty-free. They have a few different options, such as coconut lavender, charcoal, natural powder, and north woods. Be aware that the active ingredient for the antiperspirant is aluminum chlorohydrate.
This is a popular natural men’s skincare and hygiene company, which includes an antiperspirant and deodorant option. The stick only comes in one scent, their most popular All Over, which smells of citrus, mint, and rosemary. This is formulated for long-lasting protection even through a heavy workout. The active ingredient for the antiperspirant is aluminum zirconium.
Zero Sweat is dedicated solely to antiperspirants and gives many different choices, from classic sticks to lotions and wipes. All of their options are vegan and cruelty-free. This is a good choice for someone who may want a few different types of antiperspirant, as they offer wipes that could be good for on-the-go coverage and after gym workouts. The most popular is their original clinical strength roll-on, which boasts to prevent sweat for up to seven days! They also have a formulation with aloe for sensitive skin. The active ingredient is aluminum chloride.
What Ingredients Do Vegan Deodorants Contain?
There are many different combinations of ingredients for vegan deodorants, but these are the most common ingredients included in most options.
- Coconut Oil – Added for moisturizer and antioxidant properties.
- Baking Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate – It absorbs odor, moisture, and helps to neutralize bacteria.
- Arrowroot Powder or Tapioca Starch – It absorbs moisture, and is a gentler alternative to baking soda.
- Shea Butter / Cocoa Butter – Added as a moisturizer, to help with smooth application
- Essential Oils – Added for scented options.
- Aloe Vera – Added for hydration and skin soothing.
- Witch Hazel – Used for oil absorption, and as a natural astringent.
- Jojoba Oil – This helps to keep the skin under your arms hydrated.
- Tea Tree Oil – A natural antiperspirant, tea tree oil has astringent and antimicrobial properties that help minimize the pores in your underarms and fights odor causing bacteria.
- Vitamin E -Helps to preserve your deodorant naturally.
Antiperspirant ingredients are slightly different because they will always include some form of aluminum, which is the active ingredient that plugs the sweat glands and prevents us from sweating.
What Ingredients Do Vegan & Cruelty-Free Antiperspirants Not Contain?
Some deodorants are not vegan, which means they contain animal-based ingredients. Here are some of the ingredients to look out for on your search.
- Beeswax – Obviously comes from bees, and much like honey, as an animal byproduct, it is not vegan.
- Lanolin – Another waxy substance made from sheep’s wool.
- Gelatin – A conditioner and bacteria prevention ingredient, made from animal collagen.
- Glycerin – A skin-softening agent that seals in moisture. It is made from animal fats. Vegetable glycerin is the vegan alternative and is made from plant oils.
Other Deodorant Ingredients to Avoid
While it’s a good idea to look out for animal products, also be aware of these harmful chemicals found in many deodorant brands. Many regular deodorants contain these ingredients.
- Synthetic Fragrances – It’s best to use natural fragrances rather than artificial fragrances to avoid skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
- Parabens – These can throw off your hormone balance which can lead to increased risk of some cancers, early puberty in children, as well as birth defects, and organ toxicity.
- Phthalates – These also disrupt hormone levels, and can increase risk of birth defects.
- Triclosan – This ingredient is classified as a pesticide according to the FDA, and a possible carcinogen by the EPA.
- Propylene Glycol -Another one of the harsh chemicals found in deodorant it can cause damage to your central nervous system, heart and liver. It also irritates skin. It can be harmful in as low a dose as 2%, but many deodorant brands have a high dose of 50%!
Why Should You Choose Vegan Deodorants?
There are many different reasons to choose a vegan deodorant, the main reason being, well, vegan. If you choose to live a vegan lifestyle, it goes beyond the food. Another reason is if you have allergies to popular deodorant brands and need a more natural option for sensitive skin. Switching to a Natural Deodorant that does not contain aluminum requires a transitional period that allows your skin to detox from the ingredients of the antiperspirants.
Vegan Deodorants FAQS
Yes, many vegan deodorants are just as effective if not better than “regular” deodorants and can be a much better option if you have skin allergies or sensitive skin.
Yes, vegan deodorant is very healthy, in fact, it is healthier than other standard deodorants because they contain fewer chemicals. Vegan deodorants are made from natural ingredients which are great for skin health and contain more natural, less irritating fragrances.
Yes, while some of the vegan, cruelty-free antiperspirants have unscented options, they still smell very fresh and clean. Others have options for example the coconut lavender and north woods scents from Tom’s of Maine.
All of Burt’s Bees products are cruelty-free, but they are not vegan. This is because, as the name suggests, they use beeswax in their products.
Dove is labeled as cruelty-free and is PETA certified, however, there is some speculation that, because of trade deals with their Chinese market, their products may be required to be tested on animals in rare post-market circumstances.
Is There a Difference Between Vegan Deodorant and Vegan Antiperspirant?
Yes, there is a difference between vegan deodorant and vegan antiperspirant. As previously mentioned, the goal of a deodorant is to mask the smell that comes from bacteria that break down the sweat and produces the body odor.
Antiperspirants, on the other hand, stop sweat glands from producing, which decreases bacteria from breaking down and creating odors. Both options contain scents and ingredients that mask said smells.
There is some controversy over the use of antiperspirants as the main ingredient is aluminum. The aluminum salts help plug the sweat glands, so your body recognizes the plugged sweat ducts and decreases sweat production.
Many people have suggested antiperspirants are unsafe for use but medical studies have shown no increase in breast cancer risk in using them and no link to increased toxins in the body.
The main point of health risks for using antiperspirants is if an individual has kidney disease, their body may accumulate an unhealthy amount of aluminum due to their illness. There is little to no risk of accumulation in healthy individuals, and the only risk is due to skin allergies.
If you are in the market for vegan and cruelty-free deodorant, be sure to try out the best vegan deodorants from the list above.
Whether you want a paste, a stick, wipes, zero-waste, or unscented, there is a vegan deodorant option for you! There are also a few antiperspirant options as well, for those of us who struggle with sweat. All in all, just make sure to look out for certain hidden ingredients and use this list as a reference to ensure the product you pick is safe for and made with our animal friends in mind!