14 Zero Waste Deodorants For The Best Sustainable Smells

It’s no secret plastic stinks, so what could be better than finding a plastic free deodorant to keep yourself from stinking, too?!

In the spirit of sustainable smells, we’ve found some of the best zero waste deodorants around, which we’ve listed below.

And for those who are always on the go, we’ll start by pointing out our top three choices, all which tick every single one of our sustainable beauty criteria. 

Bai-li is great because it contains mostly certified organic ingredients (well suited for sensitive skin) and is completely compostable.

We’ve been using Ethique’s waste free deodorant bars for a long time. They are super effective for all-day wear and the product lasts an age. 

Dirty Hippie not only makes a great option but has one of the lowest impact business models around.

Oh, and if you want to know why traditional deodorant is the pits and how we chose these better, more sustainable brands, roll-on down to the end of the article.

We also touch on the baking soda debate and how to make DIY zero waste deodorant. DIY ZERO WASTE DEODORANT

Like most things zero-waste (whether it’s in your zero waste bathroom, zero waste kitchen, or zero waste toothpaste), you can forgo the pre-made product all together and make it yourself based on your preferences and needs.

Remember, most of the products on this list start just that way.

There are lots of different recipes out there (here’s a particularly good one from Wasteland Rebel), but ultimately, it all boils down to recipes that are oil-based and those that are not.

Oil-based recipes tend to be gentler on the skin and often more effective, but they can leave oil stains on your clothes if you sweat at all. 

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As such, many people prefer non-oil based, like this recipe by Kathryn from Going Zero Waste:2 oz. water1 tsp. baking soda or bentonite clay1 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt:2-3 drops essential of your choice

Bring the water to a boil then remove from heat and let it cool just slightly before adding all other ingredients and allowing them to dissolve. Shake to dissolve any remaining particles before pouring into a container.

For a container, we recommend either a non-plastic spray bottle or a roll-on bottle (maybe recycled from an empty essential oil!).

With this recipe, Kathryn was able to go an amazing 10 days without showering and still passed an honest scent test at the end of it. She also created an extra strength recipe for athletes, heavily active users, or those that live in hot climates.

Whether you choose to buy or DIY, remember to detox before switching to natural deodorant!

Conventional deodorants are full of harmful synthetic ingredients like phalates, parabens, aluminum and even formaldehyde (the same thing used to preserve dead bodies), which block pores that build-up in your body. 

You need to let that build-up work itself out before starting a natural alternative.

During this detox, it’s important to refrain from wearing any deodorant (even natural deodorant) to avoid skin irritation and an increase in smell. 

This process takes about three weeks, so doing it in colder weather is ideal because you’ll sweat (and smell) less while not using any deodorant.ZERO WASTE DEODORANT WITH OR WITHOUT BAKING SODA

Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, is a common ingredient in many natural deodorants, though it is not, strictly speaking “organic”. Plenty of people have debated over whether baking soda belongs on the skin given it can irritate the skin.

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EWG has listed baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) as a low risk, non-toxic ingredient, however baking soda doesn’t work for everyone. Especially if you have sensitive skin it can cause an adverse reaction, so do be mindful if you are choosing a deodorant with this additive.

Otherwise, it is a really effective ingredient at combating the odor-causing bacteria on your skin.WHY PLASTIC FREE DEODORANTS?

As a quick reminder, the goal of zero waste is to send no trash to landfills or incinerators. Instead, it suggests we minimize toxic impact by relying on biodegradable, compostable, or reusable products.

Finding zero-waste deodorant alternatives (or general zero waste cleaning products) is so important in striving for a zero waste or just less wasteful lifestyle.

Not only are conventional deodorant tubes plastic, but sadly are rarely ever recycled properly due to a composite plastic combination of #dua, #4, and #5 types of plastic even within the same tube.

For example, the roller dial and cap are often different plastic than the tube itself, and would thus need to be completely disassembled to be recycled properly and avoid recycling contamination (which can ruin the whole batch!).

Having said that, the glass vs plastic packaging debate is not as straight forward as you might think. Still we’d opt for glass containers over plastic.FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZERO WASTE DEODORANT

Time to throw your arms up and celebrate your great smelling pits and the fact that you’ve prevented so many plastic tubes from entering landfills.

Or worse, contaminating large batches of other recycling.

Always remember, plastic stinks, but you don’t have to.

That’s why we encourage you to share this article with your friends and family (maybe those you find yourself in close quarters with too?!).

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