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In Search of Vegan Antiperspirant

There are many available vegan deodorants but it’s hard to find a vegan antiperspirant.

What’s the difference between Deodorants and Antiperspirants?

Deodorants merely mask body odor with a more pleasing scent, while antiperspirants prevent or reduce sweat in the first place, reducing body odor.

Body odor is caused by bacteria on the skin breaking down our sweat into acids. Antiperspirants work by plugging the sweat pores in your armpits, and also causing them to contract.

There are several controversial claims against antiperspirants. I read up on them, and have added some information on those claims at the bottom of this post. I am still going to use antiperspirant. So, here’s a list of the few vegan antiperspirants I’ve found:

List of Vegan Antiperspirants – updated 5/21/2017 10/2/2017


Tom’s of Maine Naturally Dry Antiperspirant Deodorant

Tom's of Maine Vegan Antiperspirant (Unscented)*, (North Woods), (Fresh Meadow)
  • Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chlorohydrate
  • Company only uses vegan ingredients
  • Colgate-Palmolive purchased Tom’s of Maine in 2006 but agreed not to test Tom’s products on animals.
  • *This is my antiperspirant of choice.

Jack Black Pit Boss Antiperspirant & Deodorant
Jack Black Pit Boss Vegan Antiperspirant
  • Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tirchlorohydreax Gly
  • Company does not test on animals but products are available in China may be required.
  • Company has many marked vegan products.
  • Company uses beeswax, lanolin from sheep, and silk in some products.
  • Company only sells vegan shave brushes and has a FAQ about how badgers are killed for bristles in natural brushes.
M&S Floral Collection Rose Roll-On Antiperspirant

  • Available in the UK
  • From Marks & Spencer which does not conduct animal testing
  • English rose scent
  • Alcohol-free

 

Certain Dri Antiperspirant Roll On 1.2oz
Certain Dri Vegan Antiperspirant
  • Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride
  • Treats excessive sweating.
  • Company does not test on animals.
  • Certified cruelty free by PETA which means they self-report no animal testing.

ZeroSweat Antiperspirant
ZeroSweat Vegan Antiperspirant
  • Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride
  • Treats excessive sweating.
  • Company does not test on animals.
Why do people avoid antiperspirants?

Several health risks have been linked to the aluminum in antiperspirants, though many of these claims have been debunked. And some consider antiperspirants “unnatural” in general. You know what’s not natural? Wearing pants in 90 degree weather!

  • Breast cancer: There is a widespread fear that the the aluminum-based complexes in antiperspirants cause breast cancer. This has not been proven. You can read the full Snopes breakdown of the issue here. And Science-Based Medicine also wrote a post about it.
  • Alzheimer’s: Another fear is that aluminum in antiperspirants causes Alzheimer’s disease. This idea came from some studies in the 1960’s that found high levels of aluminum in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients. Aluminum cans and pots and pans were considered more of a risk than antiperspirants, and the studies were never reproduced.
  • Kidney Disease: Part of the job of our kidneys is eliminating excess aluminum from the blood stream. Most aluminum in our blood comes from food. When kidney function is impaired, kidneys cannot eliminate as much aluminum, and aluminum levels can build up in the blood. If you have kidney disease, consult your physician before using antiperspirant.

I’m always skeptical of research being influenced by powerful corporations. But having read up on these issues, I am not convinced antiperspirant is a great enough health risk to give it up. I would love to find a DIY solution to body odor because I don’t want to contribute to more plastic waste. But until I have time to figure that out, I’ll be slathering my armpits in aluminum on hot days and carrying a titanium spork, bamboo straw, cloth napkins, and thermos.

Do you have a favorite vegan antiperspirant?

Let us know in the comments. And test any other products with our free vegan ingredient checker.

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2 Responses
  • Mes
    October 2, 2017

    What about m&s antiperspirant? I know its cruelty free.

    • rebsy
      October 2, 2017

      Thanks for mentioning it! It wasn’t on my radar because I’m in the U.S. I found a Rose roll-on on Marks and Spencer’s website and it is listed as vegetarian. I’m chatting now with customer service to find out if it’s vegan. If there’s a specific product you have in mind besides the Rose roll-on please post the link.

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