Cruelty Free Deodorant Guide: I tested them, so you don’t have to.

Cruelty Free Deodorant Guide: I tried them so you don't have to.

Finding cruelty free deodorant that works can feel a little bit daunting. I’ve been trying vegan deodorants for years and finally landed on what works. Here are my top picks and tips for effective cruelty free deodorant.

Here’s the catch: I don’t just want cruelty free deodorant. I want it to work, and I don’t want it to contain nasty chemical ingredients. That rules out a lot of things, and it’s meant a lot of stinky days. Benefit from my own experiments!

About Cruelty Free Deodorant

Cruelty free products are not tested on animals and contain no animal ingredients. The deodorant recommendations below hit both of those marks.

Animal ingredients to look for when you’re shopping for cruelty free deodorants include:

  • beeswax
  • bee pollen
  • carbamide
  • chitosan
  • lanolin
  • propolis
  • stearic acid (unless it says that it’s coconut-derived)
  • urea or uric acid

Your best bet is to stick to deodorants with a trustworthy certification like Leaping Bunny. Certifications are expensive, though, and some companies just don’t have the budget to spring for third-party seals. Not all of the deodorants below are Leaping Bunny certified, but they are all cruelty free.

About Natural Deodorant

Cruelty free deodorant doesn’t have to be all natural. But chances are if you’re looking for deodorant that’s not tested on animals and not made with animal ingredients, you also want one that’s healthy for your own body.Because natural deodorants don’t contain chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban, they are not as powerful in the germ-killing department. That’s how deodorant works. It keeps bacteria from living in your pits. Bacteria is what makes you stinky. I wrote a piece last spring about how to maximize your natural deodorant’s effectiveness, and those steps are still part of my routine. They make a huge difference!

Cruelty Free Deodorants I’ve Tried

The key with natural deodorant is to choose more than one and rotate. Right now, I am rotating two brands, using each one for part of the week. The first two cruelty free deodorants on this list are the ones I’m using, and I’ve included some other good options below that. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so if my faves don’t work for you, go down the list until you land on your best combo.

The list below includes the cruelty free deodorants I’ve tried and my thoughts on each one. There are both store-bought and homemade recipes on the list, so you’ve got lots of options!

Schmidt’s Deodorant – This deodorant is made by a small Portland, Oregon company. They use essential oils for the scents and their ingredients list is stellar. Schmidt’s is a little bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. If I have to skip a shower, this is the deodorant that I use.

Earth Science Naturals – Part of what I like about this cruelty free deodorant is that it’s a stick. With a toddler to chase while I’m getting ready most mornings, something that I can apply with one hand is a plus. This one doesn’t work as well if I don’t have a chance to shower, but it’s still pretty darn good.

My Homemade Recipe – This deodorant rivals the ones above in effectiveness. The main reason that I don’t use this right now is that I ran out and haven’t made more.

Andrea’s Recipe – Andrea at our sister site Green Living Ideas makes her own deodorant, and it’s a great recipe. Andrea lives in Hawaii, so you know that in that balmy climate she has to have some serious deodorant.

Nature’s Gate – This brand did not work well for me at all. I felt stinky by lunch time.

Crystal Essence – This one works well if you’re able to reapply a couple of times throughout the day. Crystal brand deodorants are Leaping Bunny certified.

The Crystal – When natural deodorants were less common, The Crystal was the end all. I found that it would start out working well if I reapplied a couple of times during the day, but after daily use the stick itself would get stinky. I tried rinsing or wiping it, but nothing seemed to help.

Tom’s of Maine – Tom’s of Maine is cruelty free certified, but this brand never worked well for me. I have tried lots of their varieties – including the newer 24 hours one – with no luck. I’d be smelly long before lunch with this brand.

Do you have a favorite cruelty free deodorant that I haven’t tried? Or is there one that you’ve been wanting to try but didn’t want to waste money on? Drop a comment! I am always up for experimenting.

Image: Shopping for deodorant photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .
  • MyPrettyThings

    Hi Becky, I am currently using a deodorant from Meow Meow Tweet (cruelty-free & vegan) and it is quite good. I also like the deodorants from Schmidt’s and Jason. I have been curious about the deodorant from Lavanila. Have you ever tried it? Thank you for your list!

    • I’ll have to try Meow Meow Tweet – what a cute name! I haven’t tried Lavanilla, but I hear good things.

  • Hey Becky! Love the list, deodorants are such a tricky subject! My personal favorite is Erbaviva’s Lemon & Sage, but I do have a few other vegan deodorants on the list if you’re curious!

    • Ooh thank you for this. Lemon & Sage sounds lovely. I’ll have to give that one a try.

  • Hamilto Bergeran

    What about Ozone Layer Deodorant??

    • I only reviewed deodorants that I’ve tested extensively. Since I haven’t used Ozone Layer, it wasn’t on the list. Sorry about that!

    • Korey Smith

      I’m currently using Ozone Layer Deodorant and love it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new deodorant to try. It comes in numerous scents, including unscented, but I would suggest trying a scent. Also, I would recommend you order directly from their site as opposed to I’ve read some various reviews on Amazon and it makes me question the source of the product, which is why I suggest ordering directly from their website.

  • IamVirg

    I’ve tried four now and not one has worked! Getting expensive trying to find one!