Switching from your trusty old deodorant to a new vegan deodorant brand is a great idea if you don’t like the thought of spraying a whole menagerie of animal body parts under your pits.
As well as being kind to animals, cruelty-free vegan deodorants are often kinder to the planet with smarter plastic-free packaging and kinder to our skin with no harsh chemicals.
But are vegan-friendly deodorants as good as regular deodorants? And is antiperspirant a suitable option for vegans? read on to find out…
The best vegan deodorants
I’ve spent many hours reading all of the vegan deodorant reviews, good and bad! If you’re short on time and just want to buy the best vegan deodorant, here are some links to the top-rated vegan-friendly deodorants to buy right now:
- Best overall: The Natural Deodorant Co
- Best manly scent: Mancave
- Best feminine scent: PitROK
- Best unscented: Salt of the Earth
- Best antiperspirant: Certain Dri
Otherwise, read on to learn why most deodorant isn’t vegan-friendly, what the difference is between deodorant and antiperspirant and which is the best for your lifestyle.
Is deodorant vegan?
Most deodorants are not vegan because they contain animal products such as stearic acid, lanolin, glycerine, squalene and beeswax and because they are tested on animals. However, vegan cruelty-free deodorants are available.
What animal ingredients are in deodorant?
The ingredients in each type of deodorant are different. Mainstream deodorants may contain any of the following animal ingredients:
- Stearic acid – Generally made from animal fat but can also be made from vegetable fat
- Lanolin – Grease from sheep’s wool
- Glycerine – Generally comes from animal fats but can come from vegetable oil
- Squalene – Shark liver oil (not to be confused with squalane which comes from olives)
- Beeswax – Excreted from bees bodies and harvested alongside honey
- Tallow – Cow or sheep fat
- Keratin – Made from animal horns, hooves, nails and hair
- Collagen – The skin and connective tissue of cows, fish, horses, pigs or rabbits
- Elastin – Sources from the skin, ligaments, lungs and bladders of animals
- Gelatin – Made from the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows and pigs
- Hydrolyzed silk – Many silkworms are killed in the harvesting of silk
- Milk – Cows’ milk is the most common type
And it’s not just the animal ingredients that you need to worry about. Many deodorants contain a whole host of chemicals that may be detrimental to health, including parabens, triclosan and artificial fragrances. Luckily, the best vegan deodorants are made from natural ingredients that don’t pose the same health risks.
Deodorant vs antiperspirant
Now you might be wondering what is the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant, and whether you get vegan versions of each.
Antiperspirant actively blocks your sweat glands to stop the sweat from leaving your body. Deodorant, on the other hand, allows you to sweat but uses antibacterials to kill the bacteria in your sweat and stop it from smelling.
In short, antiperspirants prevent wetness and odour, whereas regular deodorants only prevent odour. If you sweat a lot, you’ll want to use an antiperspirant but if not, then a deodorant should be enough.
Most vegan deodorants only work to prevent body odour, but it is also possible to find vegan antiperspirants in the UK. The best one I’ve come across is Certain Dri.
The Best Vegan Deodorants and Antiperspirants – Buying guide
So many vegans swear by this once-a-day deodorant – it has the best reviews online. You simply rub the balm into your pits in the morning and it will keep you smelling fresh and clean all day.
It’s available in several fresh, unisex scents as well as an unscented variety. You can also choose from ‘gentle’, ‘clean’ and ‘active’ which have different mixes of ingredients to suit your needs. Go for the ‘active’ one for maximum protection.
- 100% natural ingredients
- Made in the UK
- Each pot lasts around three months
- No white marks
- Slightly gritty consistency
⭐Best for men
Formulated with natural ingredients like eucalyptus, witch, hazel and tea tree oil, Mancave deodorant is a great option for vegan men or anyone who likes to wear a manly scent.
This cruelty-free men’s deodorant is a thick roll-on, which doesn’t leave your armpits wet and prevents your natural body odour from smelling bad.
- Natural ingredients
- Aluminium- and alcohol-free
- Works for up to 24 hours
- Recyclable packaging
- Some people are allergic to the ingredients
⭐Best for women
PitROK is a popular brand of vegan-friendly deodorant. Anyone who’s hesitant to switch to a balm instead of their usual roll-on will be pleased to know that they don’t have to as this vegan roll-on deodorant is 100% cruelty-free.
Women love the fruity, berry fragrance. But if a girly scent isn’t for you, it also comes in a variety of mens, womens and fragrance-free scents. As well as the roll-on, there’s also a push-up stick and a spray to choose from.
- Fruity fragrance
- No white marks
- Takes a minute to dry
- Plastic packaging
Salt of the Earth is an award-winning deodorant that has been around for over twenty years. Made from the natural mineral salt, potassium alum, it’s very effective at preventing body odour when applied to damp skin.
The lack of fragrance means that it won’t interfere with any other scent that you’re wearing, yet it will stop any sweat from smelling.
- 100% natural ingredients
- Each stick lasts for several months
- No white marks
- Needs to be applied when wet
- Have to rub it in quite firmly
5. Certain Dri
If you want your pits to be 100% dry as well as banishing body odour, then Certain Dri is for you. Certain Dri is one of the only vegan-friendly antiperspirants to buy in the UK. Luckily, it’s also incredibly good and is often prescribed by dermatologists to help people who suffer from excess sweating.
A top tip when using this vegan antiperspirant is to dry your armpits thoroughly with a hairdryer as it can itch if you apply it to damp skin.
- Most effective solution to sweating
- Contains aluminium
- Not suitable for people who suffer from kidney disease
How to know if deodorant is cruelty-free and vegan
It is often impossible to tell which cosmetic products are vegan from the packaging. This is because ingredients such as stearic acid and glycerine can be derived from plant or animal sources. This list of common vegan and non-vegan ingredients is handy to reference when trying to decode the ingredients on deodorants.
It is generally easier to tell which products are cruelty-free from the packaging, as these usually carry a ‘leaping bunny‘ logo.
Cruelty-free and vegan do not always go hand in hand. A product can be labelled as cruelty-free, but contain animal-derived ingredients. Likewise, some products that are labelled as vegan, are actually tested on animals. You can read more about the difference between vegan and cruelty-free here.
Sometimes, you can gather information about whether deodorants are vegan and cruelty-free by contacting the manufacturer to ask. But oftentimes, they will simply send a very generic stock reply which doesn’t answer the original question.
Therefore, the best way to choose a vegan deodorant is to buy one that says ‘vegan’ on the packaging.
Which supermarket deodorants are vegan?
I contacted the manufacturers of the top-selling deodorant brands to find out if they are cruelty-free and vegan. Here’s what I found…
Is Sure deodorant vegan? – No
Sure has 135 different deodorant products in the UK. Sure deodorants cannot be said to be vegan because they contain animal ingredients such as gelatine tallow, keratin, collagen and elastin.
Sure’s website states:
Our products may contain animal-derived ingredients from normal sustainable animal husbandry or farming or fishery practices such as milk, honey, lanolin, silk etc. Products may also contain processed and denatured animal by-products with established uses such as tallow, keratin, collagen and elastin. In most cases, this is because the ingredient performs a function for which there is no suitable alternative available.
Is Sure deodorant cruelty-free?
Sure deodorant cannot be said to be cruelty-free because Sure is owned by Unilever, a company that uses animal testing when legally required to do so (such as in China). However, Unilever is working towards ending animal testing worldwide.
Is Dove deodorant vegan? – Yes
Dove deodorants have not been certified as vegan, however, Dove has confirmed that they do not contain any animal-derived ingredient. Dove has received a PETA accreditation for being cruelty-free and has not tested on animals since 2017.
Dove is also owned by Unilever, a company that uses animal testing in countries where it is legally required (i.e. China). Although some vegans choose to boycott Unilever products, Dove is on PETA’s cruelty-free companies list.
So, it seems that while Dove can be considered to be cruelty-free, many vegans do not consider Dove to be a 100% cruelty-free brand because some of the products are manufactured and sold in China.
Is Mitchum deodorant vegan? – No
Mitchum deodorant is not suitable for vegans because it is sold in China and the Chinese government requires all products to be tested on animals. It’s not clear whether Mitchum contains animal ingredients as some of the ingredients, like glyceryl stearate, could come from plants or animals.
Mitchum is owned by Revlon, who commented:
Revlon attempts to avoid the use of animal-derived materials and ingredients in its products, this includes bovine and porcine-derived raw materials. However, we may use animal-derived materials, in very limited cases, where there are no vegetable or synthetic equivalents.
Is Mitchum cruelty-free?
Mitchum deodorant is not cruelty-free. It is tested on animals, which is a legal requirement of any products that are sold in China, as Mitchum is.
Is Sanex deodorant vegan? – Sometimes
Sanex NaturProtect deodorant roll-ons and sprays are suitable for vegans. Other varieties of Sanex deodorants may contain animal ingredients. Sanex never tests on animals and is investing to reduce the use of plastic packaging.
If you want to buy Sanex deodorant, be sure to look out for the NaturProtect variety, not the Zero% and not any of the Sanex antiperspirants.
Is Superdrug roll-on deodorant vegan? – Yes
Superdrug women’s roll-on antiperspirant deodorant is suitable for vegans. It does not contain any animal-derived ingredients and Superdrug never tests its own brand products on animals.
If you’re looking for a cheap vegan deodorant that you can buy in a local store, then Superdrug own brand roll-on antiperspirant is a great option.
Most deodorant is not vegan. However, there are lots of vegan-friendly deodorants to choose from. Most vegan deodorants do not stop sweating, they just stop the sweat from smelling bad. However, vegan antiperspirants are available in the UK so look out for these for the best protection from wetness and odour.
The best top-rated vegan deodorants to buy on Amazon right now…
- Best overall: The Natural Deodorant Co – Check price
- Best for men: Mancave Eucalyptus Deodorant – Check price
- Best for women: PitROK Berry Burst Deodorant – Check price
- Best unscented: Salt of the Earth Natural Deodorant – Check price
- Best antiperspirant: Certain Dri Antiperspirant Deodorant – Check price