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If you’re looking to be a more ethical shopper, it can feel a little overwhelming knowing where to start. But there are some quick and easy wins that anyone can begin with and feel good about.

So why not make the simple switch from your regular deodorant to a clean, eco-friendly and cruelty-free alternative?

I get it though – deodorant is not something you want to get wrong (for your own sake and everyone else in the room!). If you’re concerned about finding a natural product that performs to the same level as your trusty go-to aerosol or roll-on, then don’t fret! Because you’ve come to the right place.

Ethical and sustainable products have been making waves in the bathroom in recent years – and fortunately, deodorant is no exception. If you haven’t heard of the brands in this list, then you seriously need to check them out for some innovative and stunningly designed non-toxic, zero-waste deodorants in the UK.

My Top Picks

Review Summary

Here are the best cruelty-free & eco-friendly deodorants UK

There’s loads of reasons to switch to a natural deodorant (I go into more detail later in this post), but for now, it’s time to discover my favourite ethical and sustainable deodorant brands on the market in the UK.

Just remember that, as with any change to your beauty regime, you may need to give your skin a couple of weeks to adapt to a natural deodorant – especially if you’re used to a traditional antiperspirant. After this initial transition period, you can say goodbye to toxic chemicals and plastic waste, and hello to all-natural, sustainable and cruelty-free pits!

1. Fussy

  • Use code AFFIV15 for 15% off your order

We’re on a mission to banish single-use plastic from your bathroom. With simple, high-quality and effective personal care products that are backed by science not buzzwords.

If you’ve watched Dragon’s Den, then you may have spied sustainable deodorant brand Fussy make an appearance! Now a B-Corp and carbon-neutral certified, they are on a mission to banish single-use plastic. With a handy reusable case and refills available on a rolling 3-month subscription, you can choose from five gorgeous scents. Fussy are 100% plant-powered, Leaping Bunny approved and certified vegan, plus free from aluminium and other nasties.

The real star of the show in their ingredients list is a little probiotic called Lactobacillus, which helps to keep your armpit ecosystem in perfect harmony. Unlike other natural deodorants you’ve tried which may not have been very effective, Fussy’s science-backed ingredients do more than just mask bad smells – they stop the growth of odour-causing bacteria for long-lasting freshness.

Packaging: Inspired by the shape of pebbles on the beach, Fussy cases feel lovely in your hand and look just as gorgeous on display. Made from recycled plastic, they are fully recyclable and come with plastic-free compostable refills made from waste sugarcane. Shipping packaging also uses fully recyclable cardboard for that fussy finishing touch. Fussy are my own refillable deodorant of choice and I’d highly recommend them.

2. Wild

Millions of bathroom products are thrown away every year and the sustainable and natural alternatives out there don’t cut it – until now.

With Wild, you have a deodorant for life with zero plastic packaging. Also a proud B-corp, Wild follow a similar model to Fussy – choose your case, pick a refill from 7 stunning scents, then subscribe and save (if you like). Free from aluminium salts, parabens and sulphates, Wild’s naturally derived ingredient list includes moisturising coconut oil and shea butter to keep your armpits soft and hydrated.

Just be aware that the use of baking soda might not make their general scents suitable for everyone. Fortunately, they’ve thought about this and have a range for sensitive skin sufferers, too. For every deodorant purchased, Wild will plant a tree in partnership with ON A MISSION.

Packaging: The main difference between Fussy and Wild is that Wild’s metal tins are made from aluminium (not plastic) with compostable bamboo pulp refills. A bonus feature is that you can add an engraving onto your case for that extra-special little touch. You can also buy some super-handy plastic-free holiday minis.

3. Proverb

Proverb means ‘statements of truth’. No patronising marketing tones here. Just clear, honest answers and a brand on a mission to positively impact your health, the planet and change the way the beauty industry uses packaging.

This list of natural deodorants wouldn’t be complete without Proverb. Handmade in England using strictly natural and organic ingredients (no aluminium, aerosol gases, petroleum or parabens within sniffing distance), with Proverb you can buy once and reuse for life with planet-friendly refills. Simply choose your case and unisex vegan scent, then pick your preferred strength.

Oh, and a little goes a long way. Each supersized 70g refill should last you around 3 months – much more cost-effective in the long run than your average aerosol! They also donate a huge 10% of their annual profits to charitable causes.

Packaging: Deodorant refills come in paper wrap which is recyclable and 100% plastic-free. It’s also a nice touch that you can opt out of excess packaging by refusing a box. At the moment, cases are made from recycled PET, but if you need to, you can send them back to be reused with a pre-paid label.

4. AKT

Cruelty-free, aluminium-free deodorant did exist in the natural beauty aisle, but we couldn’t find a single one that actually worked. Something didn’t smell right… So we made AKT.

AKT is a London-based premium skincare brand. “BORN TO PERFORM” is their motto – an apt slogan for its two West-End founders. Working an intensely physical job, Ed and Andy took it upon themselves to solve a very real problem in their world – sweat! with planet-friendly ingredients, sustainable packaging, and proven results at the top of their agenda, the award-winning plastic-free deodorant balm was born in 2020.

For a vegan, cruelty-free, unisex, multi-use balm that contains no aluminium or other chemical nasties, AKT has a range of five stunning scents. I’d suggest purchasing a starter kit as they come with a handy little tool called ‘the assistant’, meaning that you can squeeze every last drop out of your aluminium tube. Excitingly, they are currently working towards their B-Corp certification, so watch this space!

Packaging: Housed in beautiful aluminium tubes, AKT products look good… and do good, too! Every single element of their packaging can be recycled at home once empty. Plus, they use zero plastic – right from their factory shipping boxes down to the tape used to seal your delivery. Even the bespoke aluminium cap is plastic-free!

5. Milly & Sissy

  • Use code IVVEO10 to get 10% off your order

Our aim is simple: to reduce our negative impact on our environment. To reduce consumption, reduce waste and reuse as much as possible.

Join Milly & Sissy on their refill revolution with two sustainable and effective natural deodorant scents – Fresh Burst and Cotton Fresh. Made from 99% natural ingredients with no aluminium, sodium bicarbonate, SLS, parabens or palm oil, these odour-busting roll-ons are both Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society certified.

The beauty of Milly & Sissy is that their refillable deodorants arrive in powder form, which reduces transportation emissions by a whopping 94%. When you receive your package, you’ll just need to mix the powder in the sachet with hot water, give it a good shake, then let the ingredients settle overnight. Admittedly, this is a little more effort than your traditional store-bought deodorant, but it’s a great option for those who want the glide-on feeling of a roll-on liquid deodorant whilst still being planet-friendly.

Packaging: Milly & Sissy deodorants come in a gorgeous British-made, 45% recycled glass bottle, complete with a glass roller ball and bamboo lid. The refill sachets are also home-compostable for zero-waste impact.

6. Battle Green

Like many people, we were feeling increasingly concerned by the stream of reports on the negative environmental impact humans are having on the planet.

Based in Snowdonia, Battle Green’s award-winning deodorant balms are handmade in Wales using plant-powered ingredients. PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free, they are waging the war on single-used plastic waste with their range of natural deodorants in cardboard push-up tubes, bicarb-free bars (for sensitive skin) and balm tins.

Their deodorants won’t stop you from sweating, but they will help to fight the bacteria that cause bad odours plus moisturise your underarms with organic shea butter and essential oils. Choose from five lovely natural scents with zero aluminium, parabens or synthetic fragrances lurking inside. They also do lots of charitable work and are partnered with Ecologi, so will plant a tree for every one of their zero-waste starter kits sold.

Packaging: Battle Green’s natural deodorant stick and bar are completely zero-waste with home-compostable packaging. You will receive your order in biodegradable, plastic-free packaging materials.

What to Look Out For in an Ethical & Eco-Friendly Deodorant

Clean & natural ingredients

I’m guessing you wouldn’t swallow a mystery pill without knowing what was in it.

But when it comes to skincare, it’s easy to smear all sorts of products on our skin without giving a second thought as to what’s actually in them. We implicitly trust that the products we pick up off supermarket shelves are tried, tested and safe.

Unlike food that gets digested, the problem with applying products directly to the skin is that some chemicals can penetrate our skin barrier and enter our bloodstream without being metabolised. These can also become stored in the fat cells under our arms, playing havoc with our sensitive hormone receptors.

More research is required, but it should come as a huge red flag that over 50% of breast cancers start in the area closest to the underarm region.

What toxic ingredients should you watch out for in deodorant?

Ingredients to watch out for in regular deodorants include:

  • Parabens – A preservative found in the vast majority of regular deodorants, they have been observed to interfere with the way the body produces and regulates estrogen.
  • Triclosan – A chemical added to products to kill bacteria, Triclosan may promote unusual hormone activity, interfere with your microbiome and affect the daily functioning of your genes.
  • Phthalates – compounds that help fragrances stick to your skin, they may impact men’s reproductive ability and cause abnormal fetal development, with links to low IQ and asthma.
  • Fragrance – I talk more in-depth about fragrance or ‘parfum’ in this article here, but safe to say it’s impossible to know what cocktail of chemicals is protected under the guise of ‘trade secrets’.

What toxic ingredients should you watch out for in deodorant?

Let’s just quickly address the aluminium question separately, as there’s been much debate in recent years as to whether or not it has any place in your deodorant.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that deodorants and antiperspirants are actually slightly different things. Deodorants mask or neutralise the odours caused by bacteria under your arms. On the other hand, an antiperspirant plugs your underarm sweat ducts with aluminium at the source, to prevent sweating from even occurring in the first place.

I am generally all for treating the root cause rather than the symptom, but the problem here is that it completely disrupts our natural bodily functions. As human beings, we are designed to sweat in order to regulate our temperature and expel toxins. Antiperspirants have also been proven to increase bad bacteria growth, meaning that we grow to rely on them in a vicious cycle.

Have a watch of the above video if you want a quick run-through of the current studies on antiperspirants and cancer risk. There is good evidence to suggest that regularly shaving under your arms and applying an antiperspirant spray increases the rate of aluminium absorption, which could contribute to the development of breast cancer.

So why put yourself at risk of long-term, low-dose exposure when you could switch to a natural deodorant?

The problem with aluminium in antiperspirants

Refillable or zero waste

At the supermarket, you’ll find a pretty even split between the two traditional types of deodorant:

  • Metal pressurized aerosol spray cans
  • Plastic roll-on deodorants

The problem with both of these is that they are disposable and regularly thrown away as household waste.

Aerosol deodorants are technically recyclable, but the reality is… it’s not so easy. They would need to be thoroughly dried and cleaned in order to do so. They also contain compressed gases that negatively impact the environment. Sadly, they are generally destined to sit in landfill.

Roll-on deodorants contain various types of plastic so become difficult to deal with at the end of their life. It’s no surprise then, that according to Fussy, over 3.2 billion single-use plastic deodorants are thrown away each year (that’s 15 million pounds of plastic waste created by the deodorant industry annually).

By contrast, a sustainable deodorant will generally be zero-waste – either in the form of a biodegradable stick or a refillable case with compostable refills. At the very least, packaging should have been carefully considered to minimise its impact.

Vegan & cruelty-free

Plant-based ingredients have all the health benefits of ditching the synthetic chemicals listed above. But just as importantly, they also minimise the exploitation and suffering of sentient animals.

Generally speaking, some non-vegan ingredients to watch out for when purchasing deodorant include lanolin, gelatin, collagen and stearic acid.

I’ve made sure that all of the brands featured in the list below are vegan and cruelty-free. This means that you can rest assured in the knowledge they contain no animal-derived ingredients and that no animals have been tested on in the formulation of your cosmetics.

Woman at the beach enjoying the sunshine

Make the Switch to Plant-Based & Eco-Friendly Natural Deodorant Today

I hope that these innovative natural deodorant brands have got you feeling inspired about changing up your regular antiperspirant for a refillable or plastic-free alternative! To look after your health as well as treating the planet and animals with the respect they deserve, there is every reason to go au natural!

If you’re an aspiring minimalist, you’ll also find that opting for a subscribe and save model not only works out more cost-effective in the long run (after the initial starter pack purchase), it also puts your shopping on autopilot with scheduled deliveries straight to your door. This means one less thing to remember to add to your shopping list when your current deodorant runs out. Plus, you’ve got the peace of mind that you can cancel or pause your deliveries at any time.

To complete your signature scent with a spritz of non-toxic perfume, check out my recommendations here. And for more plastic-free bathroom swaps, I’ve got plenty of suggestions – from eco-friendly toilet roll to sustainable haircare. Don’t forget to let me know how you get on in the comments below!

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