Effective, cruelty-free deodorant?
August 25, 2021 12:28 PM   Subscribe

In search of a deodorant from a company that doesn't test on animals! That actually works!

Sorry for yet another deodorant question. Some additional details:

- Prefer a general use deodorant, but combos with antiperspirant are fine.
- I am fine with aluminum, but it seems like every deodorant/antiperspirant with it has been tested on animals (or at least, lacks a notice that they do not test on animals).
- I've tried a number of non-aluminum deodorants that just don't cut it.
- In fact, most cruelty-free deodorants appear to be "natural" deodorants. I honestly don't care if my deodorant is natural, I just want it to work.
- Lush's powder deodorant is the closest thing to functional I've found (but needs to be reapplied and is a bit messy). Tom's of Maine "clinical strength" one actively made me smell worse.

Any help is much appreciated. Thank you!
posted by Paper rabies to Shopping (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I've been using Paula's Choice BHA body lotion as a deodorant for several months and I don't think I'll ever go back to traditional deodorants.

The pH level of BHA makes it hard for bacteria that make the smell to survive. I've found it's ~90% as effective as my old deodorant, but it doesn't make my skin peel off every few months like every single actual deodorant has done, so that's a win in my books.

I suspect a swipe of one of their higher percentage BHA or AHA products would easily match my old deodorant's effectiveness, but I have a big container of the lotion I linked to, so that's what I'm using.
posted by burntflowers at 12:43 PM on August 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

I used Meow Meow Tweet deodorant and it worked fine for me. When I used up the small bottle, I didn't repurchase and decided to make my own as it was easy enough for me to do and that's what I've been doing ever since.
posted by Goblin Barbarian at 12:48 PM on August 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

I like Schmidt's Charcoal & Magnesium. Smells nice. Does the trick for me. Certified cruelty-free.

I've also tried a number of non-aluminum deodorants that just didn't cut it. I like this stuff, but I've also been less active. Jury is still out on whether or not it will still cut it once that changes, but give it a go.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 1:03 PM on August 25, 2021

My girlfriend recently started using Lume deodorant and it's fantastic. No aluminum, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, never tested on animals. She can go more than 48 hours between applications before I start to get a whiff of body odor.
posted by hanov3r at 1:36 PM on August 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

I love nuud. One application lasts for multiple days so a tube lasts a long time. I have rebought multiple times now and I can't recommend it enough.
posted by velocipedestrienne at 2:01 PM on August 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Jack Black Pit Boss, it's one of a vanishingly small number of vegan deodorants that are also anti-perspirants with aluminum (and therefore actually work)
posted by snaw at 2:10 PM on August 25, 2021

I am an EXTREMELY SWEATY lady so natural deodorants don't work for me because I sweat them right off, but Nuud, as mentioned by velocipedestrienne was the best one I tried (and I tried tons) it actually worked great, like - no smell at all for a few days, but I was just too wet all the time.

If you don't describe yourself as sweaty on the regular, I think it's a really great choice (almost all of my friends use it now because I gave everyone tubes - it's really great, I just need clinical antiperspirant.)
posted by euphoria066 at 3:01 PM on August 25, 2021

I haven't tried it but this is a brand a loved one uses: Madame Lemy
posted by VyanSelei at 3:27 PM on August 25, 2021

If you're looking for unscented, Each & Every has a good one. It's pricy though, $15 for 2.5 oz. And more emollient than most, so it gets used up fast. The website says cruelty-free.

Kosas has an AHA serum deodorant at $15 for 24 oz. It's leaping bunny certified. This is next on my list to try.

I use Native - I like the jasmine scent that's annoyingly exclusive to Target. $12 for 2.65 oz. The website says cruelty-free.
posted by meemzi at 3:42 PM on August 25, 2021

i love my malin+goetz deodorant. and they seem to be on the up and up.
posted by bruceo at 4:01 PM on August 25, 2021

I am likewise a very sweaty lady that requires an antiperspirant, not just a deodorant, and I’m also a vegan (which I’m sorry to say has done nothing to deodorize me from the inside out).

I use Harry’s extra strength antiperspirant and deodorant and it works as well as any traditional drug store brand—in fact I bought it at my local CVS. According to their social media presence, they are a vegan company and neither use animal products nor test on animals.

Their whole product line is inexplicably marketed toward men, which is a little annoying—it’s not like the different sexes require different chemicals to prevent perspiration and body odor—and I hate that they don’t make an unscented version, but their scents aren’t bad or overwhelming.
posted by jesourie at 5:10 PM on August 25, 2021

I use Crystal. It works really well for me, including bike commuting, morning jogs, and the like. I'm pretty sure I learned about it from Ask at some point in the past. I was hiiiiiighly skeptical but have had few complaints. The main issues have been 1) it will last much longer if you wet your armpit, rather than the stick, and 2) I've definitely had the stick fall out, fall on the floor, break, and that's that. The liquid/roll-on versions won't have that problem, and work just as well. I also just generally take the stick out of the plastic (bleh) holder and leave it in a dish in my medicine cabinet.
posted by curious nu at 5:13 PM on August 25, 2021

I started using a potassium alum block deodorant (this one), rather like the Crystal recommended above. It really does work - virtually no body odor at all. It is also unscented so no odor from the deodorant either. One stick lasts for months and months so it is very inexpensive. This particular brand has a handle attached to the base so it is easier to grab and rub. It was a little weird at first to get it wet and then rub something wet under my arms but with a little practice I figured out how to do without feeling wet afterwards.
posted by metahawk at 5:55 PM on August 25, 2021

I find No Pong quite effective.
posted by stray at 6:06 PM on August 25, 2021

Nthing Native, which I find quite effective despite being aluminum free. They claim to be cruelty free and vegan. They also have a plastic free version which comes in a cardboard push tube which is what I currently get from them. And the deodorant really does work, even on a sweaty guy like me in as hot a summer as this has been.
posted by dis_integration at 6:30 PM on August 25, 2021

Cruelty-free Real Purity roll-on deodorant has a mild herbal scent that fades quickly, and it's aces at controlling odor, even in the humid heat that afflicts New England in the summer.

It works better than other non-aluminum deodorants I've tried, especially since I've gone through menopause and the ensuing hormonal changes have brought new kinds of personal funk into my life. My pits stay pretty dry when I use this stuff -- the secret sauce apparently is the combination of vegetable glycerin and aloe.
posted by virago at 9:25 PM on August 25, 2021

This is going to sound like a joke, but I'm sincere. So a product says, "Not tested on animals." It seems the next statement should be "Tested on humans." I don't want to torture animals but I don't want to be an experimental subject for a manufacturer either.
posted by tmdonahue at 5:43 AM on August 26, 2021

I’ll second the recommendation for Malin+Goetz. I usually don’t have much luck with natural/alternative deodorants, but that one works great for me, smells pleasant but not too strong, and is cruelty-free.
posted by duien at 10:26 PM on August 26, 2021

I agree that among the non-anti-perspirants, Native is among the best.
posted by Dansaman at 10:32 PM on August 28, 2021

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