For the majority of my life, the idea of switching away from my beloved industrial-strength antiperspirant was pretty much out of the question. I simply did not have the emotional stability to play Russian roulette with my armpits. Excess sweat? An (ahem) odor? Rings around my underarms? Yeah, count me out. But as cleaner deodorants have grown in number and efficacy, I decided to rethink my stance and pursue not only an aluminum-free alternative, but a vegan deodorant, at that.
Let’s get a few things out of the way about the confusing underarm lexicon from the get-go: First off, deodorants differ from antiperspirants in that they’re devoid of aluminum, which creates a plug in the sweat gland to prevent sweating from happening. Deodorants, instead, are a cosmetic product that help to sop up sweat with ingredients like baking powder and add a nice fresh scent in some cases. Vegan options, could theoretically contain aluminum so long as they’re devoid of animal byproducts and haven’t been tested on animals, but the ones that I tried out didn’t. They were vegan deodorants.
In terms of using a vegan versus a non-vegan option, Tara Pelletier, co-founder of the vegan deodorant brand Meow Meow Tweet told me that the effect on your pits is roughly the same no matter which deodorant you choose, but she added that “in terms of sustainability, using plant-based ingredients from ethical, organic farming methods is often more environmentally friendly than farmed animal products.” And so without further adieu, the tried-and-tested vegan deodorants that will keep your armpits fresh and feeling good.
The brand made their mark on the scene when they emerged with their vegan and natural deodorant cream. They have since expanded their offerings and their cult-favorite deo now comes in traditional stick form, with super-cute packaging to boot.
While many deodorants tap the drying prowess of baking soda or arrowroot powder, Kaia Naturals alternatively relies on charcoal to help absorb sweat from the notoriously damp area. These sticks which come in a variety of scents (one fan-fave is rose), which when coupled with the magnet-like ability of charcoal, prevent the area from getting smelly.
Spray deodorants used to have a bad rep (read: aerosols) but Erbaviva creates organic and vegan deodorants using a combination of grain alcohol and essential oils. It keeps you smelling fresh and the essential oils helps to fight bacteria in the area.
When this brand-spanking new deodorant was sent the the office, editors had a field day. There are four fragrances, which are ranked based on their strength. Each of them is so on-point, you wouldn’t be wrong to consider them a fragrance library for your underarms. Best yet? While the $22 price tag might seem steep, you can empty out the container to reuse it as a makeup brush holder, a jewelry catchall, or even a succulent planter.
Sway uses an apple cider vinegar base combined with other natural ingredients to balance the pH level of your armpits, which is meant to translate to a chiller environment. Aside from being vegan-friendly, it’s a go-to option for people nervous about deodorant stains.
Schmidt’s is one of the OGs when it comes to natural deodorants. Their options are vegan, come in an endless variety of scents (bergamot lime, geranium, coconut pineapple), which you can find at drugstores and in bougie boutiques alike.
This is why you should look for an aluminum-free deodorant and some editor approved natural deodorants to shop through.
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