Of all the products you might be willing to switch, changing to a plastic free deodorant might not be top of the list. They’re one of those products that, when you find the perfect match, you stick with for life.
But roll on and aerosol deodorants are not the friends we think they are. Many are incredibly harsh on the skin and can block your pores. If you read the ingredients list, most contain chemicals with unpronounceable names that you’ve likely never heard of.
Plus, the packaging is a nightmare for the planet. It’s often a mixture of plastic and metal which is difficult and expensive to recycle.
So more packaging free shopping is the way forward. Thankfully, huge strides have been made in effective zero waste and plastic free deodorants.
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Hands Up if You Use Deodorant, Hands Down if You Don’t..
As you start to look at eco friendly deodorant options, you’ll be staggered at the variety of products available for your underarms. Most of them contain natural ingredients that are kinder to us and the planet.
Natural deodorants don’t mean you have to keep your arms down with a fear of body odour either. They can be just as effective as regular deodorants, with the bonus of making us consume less plastic.
It’s worth noting a couple of things before you make the switch though.
Firstly, these are all deodorants, not antiperspirants. Deodorants help to make us smell more fragrant. Antiperspirants are designed to stop perspiration (sweating). As a result, they often contain aluminium.
Yes, they’re effective at keeping us dry. But many people are now concerned about the effect of aluminium, as it’s been linked to some health scares. There’s also the risk that some products will stain or mark clothing.
One downside is that some natural, plastic free deodorants cost more than conventional antiperspirants.
This is mainly due to them being made by small, independent brands that face high start up costs.
But smaller brands are starting to enjoy the bulk buying power enjoyed by larger producers. So we’re starting to see prices drop as demand for products that reduce packaging waste rises.
There are some options which, if they work for you, could work out cheaper as they are designed to last for years.
Here’s our top seven choices for plastic free deodorants:
1. Plastic Free Deodorant Bars
A deodorant bar is one of the simplest plastic free options. It resembles a bar of soap and often has minimal packaging such as a paper bag or cardboard wrapper.
Deodorant bars can be stored in a reusable container at home. They’re also simple to apply as they only need to be rubbed against dry skin before you get dressed.
Lush deodorant bars are packaged in a paper bag if you’re buying in store. Or, if you order online, they’ll arrive wrapped in cardboard. Both are plastic free and easy to recycle. You could also take your own container or bag when shopping in store.
Another option is the Lamazuna Palmarosa Solid Deodorant. It’s specially shaped for easy application and use.
Deodorant bars have great reviews from users, thanks to their ease of use and choice of scents. Plus they’re often vegan friendly as well as plastic free.
2. Deodorant Powders
Like deodorant bars took inspiration from soap, deodorant powders resemble talcum powder.
A few companies, such as Lush, sell deodorant powders (like The Guv’ner which is marketed at men). But be warned – if you’re ordering online these still come in plastic bottles. So you’ll have to look elsewhere to find a plastic free option.
Heavenly Organics have a Lavender and Tea Tree Deodorant Powder which comes in a glass jar. It can be applied like talc.
There are mixed reviews for these. Many people find them as effective as a deodorant but trickier to apply. This can be overcome by using an old powder puff or applying them with a plastic free sponge, like this one from Tabitha Eve.
3. Crystal Deodorant Sticks
Crystal deodorant sticks are perhaps the most obscure option. They look like crystal ornaments rather than a skincare product. But many are now harnessing the natural elements of crystals to keep their skin fresh.
Like deodorant bars, they’re rubbed against the skin and there are plastic free, zero waste options.
Described as 100% natural and perfect for a zero waste lifestyle, Biork is a potassium crystal deodorant in a cork case. It couldn’t be more different to chemical laden deodorants. The makers claim it slows the growth of bacteria and lets the skin breathe.
Another option is the Hotel Organic Natural Himalayan Salt Deodorant Stick.
Both of these could last years, so are a great plastic free investment for your bathroom or boudoir.
4. Deodorant Sticks in Paper Packaging
Several well known high street brands sell deodorant sticks. If you already use a stick deodorant, switching to a plastic free option couldn’t be easier.
This Ben and Anna Natural Deodorant in a paper tube is ideal. The brand originates from Germany and is now sold across Europe thanks to its popularity. Their products are available in a range of lovely scents, such as pink grapefruit and Persian lime. The paper tube can be recycled when the product is finished.
For those who don’t want a flowery scent, try the Earth Conscious natural deodorant stick. With peppermint and spearmint, it promises strong protection and a clean, fresh scent.
This deodorant stick comes in a paper tube which is also biodegradable. Making it another great zero waste option.
5. Plastic Free Deodorant Creams
If you’re looking for a product with less plastic and fewer ingredients, deodorant cream could be for you.
Deodorant creams are popular as they can be easily rubbed in like a body cream or moisturiser. Plus the creams hold their scents well.
This Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream contains baking soda, arrowroot and clay. It comes in a reusable glass jar and a range of scents such as lavender, tea tree and grapefruit.
6. Plastic Free Deodorant Putty Tins
Deodorant putties are like deodorant creams, both in texture and packaging. They’re oil based and are a great option for drier skin. They’re cost effective too, as you only need a small amount.
Little metal tins house the Pit Putty Natural Deodorant. Pit Putty is a blend of plant oils, butters and naturally mined powders. They’re scented with essential oils such as geranium, rose oil and lemongrass.
One of the reasons Pit Putty is so popular is the option to buy them in a full size or a mini tin. The mini tin is an ideal size for travel, handbags, gym bags or to try them out to see if they work for you.
Earth Conscious also do a range of deodorants either as a cream in reusable metal tins, or as deodorant sticks in paper packaging.
7. Making Your Own Plastic Free Deodorant
Looking through the vast array of plastic free deodorants, something dawned on me. Many are made using natural ingredients we may already have in our homes.
Baking powder, arrowroot, coconut oil and essential oils are pretty much all you need to make a cream deodorant.
Most ingredients can also be purchased from zero waste stores if you’re trying out plastic free shopping.
There are lots of great recipes online that are easy to follow. Plus YouTube videos can give you more guidance and inspiration.
Plastic free deodorants can be easily made at home at a fraction of the cost of the ones above. Once made, store your homemade deodorant in a reusable glass jar or tin and it will last for months.
Body Odour Busting, the Natural Way
Does a simple deodorant bar appeal to you? Or will you be packing a deodorant putty in your gym bag? Maybe you’re trading in your deodorant stick for one in a biodegradable cardboard tube?
There are so many brands and products available to help you to make the switch to a plastic free deodorant. It’ll feel great having one less plastic container in your bathroom!
Let us know how you get on and tell us about your favourite brands inside the Eco & Beyond Community.