I've been road-testing deodorants for you for many months now. Which zero waste deodorants smell the nicest and which work the best? Despite making little notes in my phone like "too floral," I'm here empty-handed: though I now know which work for me, I've figured out that telling you which ones you should use is kind of like telling you what kind of coffee to drink. My preferences have no input on your preferences, my body works differently than your body, what I like doesn't mean a whole lot about what you'll like.
So, presented (mostly) without comment, in case it's helpful, a selection of the natural deodorants I've tried that come in recyclable or compostable plastic-free packaging. The one thing they all have in common is that they are free of baking soda, which I've found to irritate my skin. (More on how to avoid that, here).
In case you're in the market for a new alternative, here are ideas for places to start:
-Meow Meow Tweet: Their baking soda-free deodorant is my go-to and what I reach for every day. It comes packaged in a cardboard box (recyclable) and then a glass jar (reusable, then recyclable). At $14 a jar, this may seem like more than you want to pay for deodorant, but one jar has lasted me almost exactly a year. They offer a mini size for half the price if you want to test it out or purchase a travel version.
They also make a more traditional deodorant stick, without the plastic or the nasty ingredients; the cheerful cardboard packaging is biodegradable once it's empty. I'm eager to try their new rose geranium scent, but for now I have their grapefruit version.
-Little Seed Farm: Though I haven't tried their deodorants, I love the scents that Little Seed Farm uses in their soaps, and the fact that they make their products just a few states away from where I live. They have a new baking soda-free deodorant that comes in a glass jar, inside a small cardboard box printed with the words "please recycle this box." When you check the box for their "zero waste shipping option," your order will come with no additional packaging materials.
-Routine: This Canada-based natural deodorant brand makes "The Curator," a baking soda-free option. I found the scent overpowering, but fragrance enthusiasts might be fans. Note: the glass jar of deodorant comes with a plastic seal on top that will become landfill trash, and consider avoiding their small sample sizes, which come in tiny non-recyclable plastic pots.
-Fat and the Moon: This all-natural variety has a balm-like texture that's smooth and luscious. I have the small tin for traveling and testing, but if you love it and are ready for a commitment, you can size up to the 6-ounce jar to cut down on packaging waste.
-Other options: Lalin et La Sirèn's four-ingredient deodorant stick in a paper tube (found here on BLK + GRN), Primal Pit Paste's sensitive skin formulation in a glass jar, Chagrin Valley Soap Co.'s option with clay in lieu of baking soda (in the order notes, ask for yours to be shipped without bubble wrap), and Soapwalla's sensitive skin deodorant (comes in a recyclable plastic pot, but is enough of a cult favorite to be worth mentioning here).
Do you have a favorite that isn't listed? A question I can answer? Fire away.
More notes on zero waste bath and beauty, here.