The Best Zero Waste Deodorants for Eco-Conscious Consumers in 2021

zero waste deodorants

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Are you looking to reduce your plastic footprint but maintain good personal hygiene at the same time? Zero waste deodorant is an important part of this picture, but so many products available, it can be difficult to know which to choose! 

Why should you switch to zero waste deodorant?

The world is literally drowning in plastic. In 2015, 322 million metric tons of plastic was produced, with experts predicting that figure will quadruple by 2050.

This is causing a mounting waste management problem as plastic overflows from landfill, polluting precious land and spilling into waterways. Much of this plastic makes its way into the ocean, with 8 million metric tons of plastic reportedly dumped into the ocean every minute.

Traditional deodorant relies heavily on plastic: the casing, lid and roller dial are all usually made of plastic. What’s more, deodorant is usually a composite of different types of plastics, with each of these components being distinct plastics that cannot be recycled together.

This makes it virtually impossible to recycle properly, and attempting to do so without completely disassembling the product can cause batch contamination.

You may think that wasteful deodorant is a necessary evil. After all, as much as you want to look after the environment and limit the amount of plastic you produce, you also want to maintain proper personal hygiene.

Luckily, you don’t have to choose between using an effective deodorant and protecting the planet, thanks to the range of zero-waste deodorants now available!

Zero waste deodorants: our top picks

The zero-waste industry has grown exponentially in recent years, and zero-waste deodorant is no exception. We’ve helped you to narrow down your quest for the perfect zero-waste deodorant with our top picks.

1. BeNat Zero Waste Bundle

BeNat. Zero-Waste Ultimate 4-PACK Bundle. Zero-Waste Deodorant + Eco-Friendly Body Powder + Bergamot Shampoo Bar + Conditioner Bar

This zero-waste beauty pack not only includes deodorant but also eco-friendly body powder, a shampoo bar, and a conditioner bar. All products come in low-waste cardboard containers, and any plastic components, such as the body powder’s sifter, are recyclable.

All ingredients are natural and cruelty-free, and the products are free from aluminum, parabens, phthalate, and synthetic fragrances.

What we like:

  • Lemon and tea tree – the deodorant is scented with essential oils for a natural, uplifting fragrance.
  • Biodegradable packaging – it comes in a biodegradable, cardboard container.

What we don’t like:

  • Baking soda – People with sensitive skin may find this ingredient irritates their skin.

This pack is zero-waste, with cardboard packaging and recyclable plastic components, so you can minimize your impact on the environment. With all-natural ingredients, you can also be assured that it contains no chemicals that will harm you or the planet!

2. CRYSTAL Mineral Body Deodorant Stone

zero waste deodorant

This crystal deodorant comes in the form of a five-ounce rock that contains natural mineral salts that eliminate the bacteria in our skin that cause body odor. To use it, simply wet the stone and rub it onto clean skin.

The product comes with a reusable dish to hold your rock but no other packaging, keeping waste to a minimum.

What we like:

  • 100% natural minerals – this crystal deodorant is free from aluminum, parabens, alcohol, and fragrances.
  • Minimal packaging – the stone has no integrated packaging or casing.

What we don’t like:

  • Can accumulate odors – Crystal deodorants are prone to building up odors, especially if you apply them to skin that is not 100% clean.

Crystal rock deodorants are one of the lowest-waste options for eco-conscious shoppers. Although the form takes a bit of getting used to, the minimal packaging means you’re helping to protect the environment.

3. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

Schmidt’s Natural zero waste Deodorant

Packaged in a sustainable, glass jar, you can easily apply this deodorant cream using a popsicle stick or simply your finger. Made from vegan ingredients, it is naturally scented with lime, vanilla and rose, and contains zero aluminum, alcohol, parabens, or propylene glycol.

What we like:

  • Smooth feel – the deodorant is non-greasy and non-sticky.
  • Vegan – all ingredients are plant-based and cruelty-free.

What we don’t like:

  • A little messy – as with all deodorant creams, this product can be a bit messy to apply.

Deodorant creams are another innovative way to maintain your personal hygiene while protecting the planet. This is another one that may take some getting used to, but it’s worth giving it a try!

4. Meow Meow Tweet Zero Waste Deodorant Cream

Meow Meow Tweet deodorant cream

Meow Meow Tweet deodorant cream comes in a reusable glass jar and is formulated with organic plant oils. This not only minimizes odors but nourishes the skin at the same time. Made from natural ingredients, such as kaolin clay, shea butter and jojoba seed oil, it is palm-oil and aluminum-free.

The deodorant cream is available in both lavender and tea tree scents.

What we like:

  • Sustainable inner or outer packaging – the product comes in a reusable glass jar and ships in a recyclable/compostable paper box.
  • Made in the USA – you can reduce your carbon footprint by buying a locally-made product.

What we don’t like:

  • Temperature-sensitive – the cream can become grainy if too cold, and may liquefy at high temperatures.

Being made in the USA, this deodorant cream is not only zero-waste, but it boasts low carbon miles and supports the economy – a double win-win!

5. Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick

Another great option from Meow Meow Tweet is their deodorant stick. If you’re more accustomed to a conventional deodorant, you’ll appreciate this push-up deodorant stick.

Better still, it’s packaged in a recyclable and compostable paper tube, and shipped in outer packaging that is both recycled and recyclable.

What we like:

  • Paper packaging – the tube comes in a 100% paper tube that can either be recycled or composted.
  • No baking soda – one of the few natural deodorants free from this common ingredient, this is a good choice for sensitive skin.

What we don’t like:

  • Needs careful handling – you need to be careful not to push too hard on the bottom of the tube, as you cannot get the stick back into the packaging if it is pushed all the way out.

If you’re accustomed to a traditional stick-like deodorant, this product is a great option while being zero waste. It’s also made from all-natural ingredients, and is even baking-soda free.

6. CRYSTAL Mineral Deodorant Stick

Crystal mineral zero waste deodorant stick

This is another deodorant to use the antibacterial power of minerals, this time in a stick form. It comes in recyclable packaging.

All ingredients are vegan, cruelty free, and natural.

What we like:

  • Mineral formula – the mineral stick is formulated to eliminate the bacteria that cause body odor and forms a preventative barrier for up to 24 hours.
  • Natural – the formula is free from aluminum, parabens, phthalates, silicones, and artificial dyes or fragrances.

What we don’t like:

  • Specific use – because of the particular way that mineral deodorants work, they are not effective unless applied to very clean skin.

An easy-to-use mineral deodorant stick, this product is made from completely natural minerals, and is chemical free. It is also zero-waste, thanks to its recyclable packaging.

7. Ethique Deodorant Bar

Ethique Deodorant Bar

This deodorant bar is another unique take on the zero-waste format and is shaped rather like a bar of soap. Packaged in a compostable cardboard box, both the packaging and the product itself are fully biodegradable.

The bar is completely unscented, and contains jojoba and sweet almond oil for smooth skin.

What we like:

  • Absorbs sweat – contains magnesium hydroxide, zinc oxide, and bamboo to soak up sweat and odors.
  • Hypoallergenic and non-irritant – free from baking soda, aluminum, or toxins, which makes it great for sensitive skin.

What we don’t like:

  • Made in New Zealand – product needs to be shipped internationally, so can be inconvenient and expensive to get hold of.

We love how innovative zero-waste products can be – why not try a bar deodorant? Ethique’s unscented deodorant bar naturally absorbs sweat and odors and eliminates waste with biodegradable packaging.

8. Artemis at Dawn Scented Body Powder

Artemis at Dawn Scented Body Powder

Another alternative to traditional deodorant is a body powder designed to eliminate odors. The Artemis at Dawn scented body powder has arrowroot powder and kaolin clay to reduce sweat and chafing, and antimicrobial essential oils to combat odor-causing bacteria.

With scents of patchouli, black pepper, and rose geranium, it can be applied with a brush or your hands to your underarms, feet, or any part of your body!

What we like:

  • Recyclable packaging – the powder comes in a recyclable cardboard container with a plastic lid and base.
  • Natural and organic – free from talc, aluminum, and heavy metals.

What we don’t like:

  • Powder form – powder deodorants take some getting used to, and you may need to play around with quantities and application to find what works for you.

If you want to eliminate sweat and odors on various parts of your body, this body powder is for you! You’ll love the natural ingredients and fragrances, while avoiding waste with its recyclable packaging.

9. Ben & Anna Natural Soda Deodorant

Ben & Anna Natural Soda Deodorant

Based on shea butter and soda (sodium bicarbonate), this deodorant is chemical-free with essential oils providing its fresh Persian lime scent. The product comes in a fully recyclable paper tube.

What we like:

  • Sustainable – comes in a recyclable paper tube and the company supports ocean cleaning.
  • Smooth application – the solid consistency is non-greasy and non-sticky.

What we don’t like:

  • Can liquefy at high temperatures – you’ll need to put it in the fridge if it gets too hot.

Not only is this product zero-waste, but the brand also helps to fight the larger problem by supporting ocean cleaning. You can enjoy the smooth texture and fresh scent while knowing you’re helping look after the environment at the same time.

Best zero waste deodorant: a buyer’s guide

If you are an eco-conscious shopper, being armed with the right information will allow you to choose a deodorant that is effective, good for your health and looks after the planet at the same time.

What exactly is zero waste deodorant?

Zero-waste deodorant is any deodorant product that doesn’t produce waste, be it plastic or otherwise. Instead, it uses packaging that is biodegradable, reusable, or recyclable.

When looking for any zero-waste product, it is important to consider not only the waste involved in the product itself, but the entire production process and shipping as well. The latter can be the hardest to determine, as there may be waste generated during ingredient sourcing or manufacturing that goes unseen.

It is challenging to find a deodorant, or any product for that matter, that is truly zero-waste, that is, a product that generates absolutely no waste at any stage of the production process. Therefore, it is arguably a better approach to look for products that are within a circular system.

This means that all elements of the product itself, as well as all by-products of the production process, can either be composted or recycled.

What to look for in a zero waste deodorant product

When buying zero-waste deodorant, there are a number of factors to consider, including the ingredients, packaging, and how easily the product can be recycled.

Ingredients

Most zero-waste deodorants also use natural ingredients, avoiding chemicals such as parabens and aluminum, commonly found in mainstream deodorants. Although the evidence is not conclusive, some studies have linked aluminum in deodorants with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

One slightly controversial ingredient commonly found in zero-waste deodorants is sodium bicarbonate. Although this is the same as the baking soda commonly used in cooking, some people think it should not be included in natural products as it is not strictly organic.

For most people, sodium bicarbonate will not be problematic and will find this ingredient effective in controlling the bacteria that can cause bad odors. Indeed, the EPA has declared sodium bicarbonate as low risk and non-toxic.

However, some people may find baking soda irritates the skin, particularly if your skin is sensitive. Therefore, it may be best to test a little baking soda on your skin and if you notice a reaction, avoid products containing sodium bicarbonate.

Packaging

Of course, one of the key concerns when buying zero-waste deodorants is the amount of waste they produce. Just about every product comes in some kind of packaging, but the exact nature of that packaging is important.

First of all, the products should be designed to come in the least amount of packaging possible. For example, some zero-waste deodorants come in rock or cream form that needs very little packaging.

Secondly, the packaging, such as it is, should be sustainable, whether it is reusable or recyclable. Finally, it is important to consider the outer packaging: is it wrapped in plastic? Does it ship in bubble wrap?

Finding a product that is sustainable in both its integral and outer packaging is essential in order for it to be considered zero-waste.

Recyclable

As mentioned, for a deodorant to be zero-waste, its components and packaging need to be either reusable or recyclable. However, it is important to dig a bit deeper into what we mean when we say “recyclable”.

Some deodorants may be labeled as recyclable, but you need to make sure that the relevant materials can be recycled where you live. If you’re not sure, always check with your local waste collection service before buying a product.

Make it yourself

Another eco-conscious option when it comes to deodorant is to make it yourself. This does take a little time and effort, but homemade products are undoubtedly one of the best ways to limit waste!

To make your own natural deodorant, simply mix together baking soda, arrowroot powder, unrefined coconut oil and one or more essential oils.

You can choose whichever essential oils depending on the scents you love and the positive effects you’re looking for. For example, sweet orange essential oil is said to reduce anxiety, lavender is calming, and eucalyptus oil will give you energy.

Once you’ve made your DIY deodorant, you can store it in a jar or container of your choice. To use it, scoop a little with your finger or a popsicle stick and apply it to your skin.

You can also play around with adding a little beeswax or shea butter for a thicker, stick-like deodorant if you prefer to use it that way.

Wrapping Up

An important part of looking after the planet is considering the impact of the items that we use every day, such as shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant. Beauty and personal care products not only traditionally come packaged in large amounts of plastic, but also contain ingredients that can be harmful to the environment, as well as to human health.

Luckily, being an eco-conscious consumer has never been easier!

There are a large range of different types of zero-waste, ethical, and natural deodorants around these days, from mineral rock deodorant to deodorant cream and powder. Not every type of zero-waste deodorant will suit everyone, so it is important to experiment with different products to find the one that you love!

Did you find this round-up of the best zero-waste deodorants useful? If so, please share it with your friends and family so they can also be more eco-conscious in their daily routine.

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