vegan deodorant

The ultimate guide to vegan deodorant and antiperspirant in the UK

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Switching from your trusty old deodorant to a new vegan deodorant 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.

The best vegan deodorants

If you’re short on time and just want to buy the best vegan deodorant, here are some links to the top-rated vegan deodorants to buy on Amazon right now:

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 artifical fragrances. Luckily, the best vegan deodorants are made from natural ingredients that don’t pose the same health risks.

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.

choosing vegan deodorant

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.

Which 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. 

Sure is owned by Unilever, a company which uses animal testing when legally required to do so (such as in China). 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 which 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.

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 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.

Conclusion

Most deodorant is not vegan. However, there are lots of vega-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 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…

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