3 Types of Natural Deodorants

Natural deodorants are better for you and for the environment. Find out what your options are.

| May 2013

  • Homemade Deodorant
    Making homemade deodorant is simpler than you think.
    Photo By Fotolia/Schlierner
  • Zero-Waste Lifestyle
    “The Zero-Waste Lifestyle” helps readers dip or dive into a greener way of life. This practical guide offers beginner to advanced ways to de-waste every room in the house as well as invaluable insight on how to remain waste-free in every situation.
    Cover Courtesy Ten Speed Press

  • Homemade Deodorant
  • Zero-Waste Lifestyle

Learn how to generate less trash and live a healthier and more sustainable life in The Zero-Waste Lifestyle (Ten Speed Press, 2012). Author Amy Korst offers hundreds of ideas for throwing away less in all aspects of your life. In this excerpt taken from chapter seven, “The Zero-Waste Bathroom,” learn what options there are for natural deodorants.

Deodorant, like toothpaste, lasts for so long that it doesn’t create a ton of waste. On the other hand, a bottle of roll-on or stick of solid deodorant every three months, or four a year, adds up over a lifetime. Most plastic deodorant containers are made from several different types of plastic. Because recycling facilities cannot take the time to separate plastic A from plastic B, deodorant containers are not generally recyclable. (Even if the two types of plastic were separated, the type of plastic isn’t always identified, so recycling plants couldn’t know how to sort the materials anyway.)

The Speed Stick deodorant website addresses the issue of recyclability: “All of our antiperspirants and deodorants are packaged in polypropylene, polystyrene, or PET packaging. Since they are made of mixed materials, they are not recyclable. Currently it is necessary to use these mixed plastics since the container is exposed to extreme temperatures during the manufacturing process.” The Tom’s of Maine company does manufacture a deodorant with a case made entirely from number 5 plastic, though you need to either live in a community that accepts this plastic for recycling (most don’t) or mail the container back to the Tom’s company for recycling.

Aerosol containers, if completely empty, are often recyclable wherever you take scrap metal (but call to check, and remove plastic parts first).

As with every other bathroom product, there are a number of natural deodorants you might try to reduce your deodorant waste. One benefit of trying an alternative method is eliminating your exposure to a number of questionable ingredients contained in conventional deodorants. Many deodorant/antiperspirant sticks contain aluminum-based compounds as their active ingredient. They also contain parabens. Both of these ingredients have been linked to serious diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Although the National Cancer Institute states that “there is no conclusive research linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer,” it also notes that “research studies of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and breast cancer have been completed and provide conflicting [emphasis mine] results.” If there is any possibility that conventional deodorant contains ingredients that are unhealthy, I’d steer clear.

3/25/2014 7:17:02 AM

How about using Milk of Magnesia?



October 19-20, 2019
Topeka, Kansas

Join us in the heart of the Midwest to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me