If you're committed to buying cruelty-free beauty products (which we sincerely recommend!), smelling decent and/or not staining the living daylights out of all your shirts shouldn't be something you have to sacrifice. Yet somehow, most cruelty-free and vegan deodorants just don't do live up their promises. Sweat and body odor might not be the most adorable topics in the entire world, but we need to get real about the fact that it is shockingly difficult to find deodorants that are both kind to animals and effective on your sweat levels.
Speaking of sweat levels, while we all might have a disdain for animal testing in common, everyone produces a different amount of sweat, so cruelty-free deodorants aren't one-size-fits-all. That's why we've put together this guide to Byrdie editors' favorite cruelty-free deodorants, according to exactly how much we sweat—products that genuinely work to curb wetness and stinkiness, no matter how much you perspire. Yes, we're getting super personal about what's going on under our arms so you can find the right animal-friendly deodorant for you.
Keep scrolling to get the dirty (or shall I say, sweaty) details.
Sweat Level: 1
"I don't really sweat (I know—woe is me), but I still count on deodorant every so often to keep me smelling fresh on muggy New York days (or a hot yoga session). I love Agent Nateur's rose deodorant because it's made with all-natural ingredients and smells like a bouquet of fresh roses. I apply generously, knowing that no sketchy ingredients are touching my underarms, and that I'll smell fresh all day." — Faith Xue, editorial director
Sweat Level: 2
"This is the only natural deodorant I've found that genuinely works so that I don't smell while I'm wearing it. There are literally only four ingredients, and the scents are all really nice. There are three of them, but I have the lavender, which smells great but not too strong. You have to scoop out the product with your fingers, which can get a little icky, but for a product that works, it's worth it. I also just love that the brand is run by a mom who manages the business from her home, so you know exactly where your product is coming from." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
Sweat Level: 3
"I work out a five to six times a week and welcome sweat in the gym. However, outside the gym, I'm looking for natural products to reduce sweat and odor. I've tried tons of natural formulas, and through trial and error, I have to say there are two deodorants that I really stand by. One is Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox Deodorant (the brand even makes a deodorant booster soap that makes the formula more effective!), which keeps me smelling good and feeling fresh." — Aimee Jefferson, social media editor
"Every Man Jack Deodorant in Cedarwood is the other natural formula I swear by. I like that it's really affordable, unlike some natural formulas, it smells great, and even though it's formulated for men, I used it first and converted my boyfriend to use it too." — Aimee
Sweat Level: 4
"I have no patience for shvitzing like a pig and smelling like trash, not even in the name of cruelty-free deodorant, which is why I tend to opt for men's formulas. (Yes, sometimes I sweat like a man—judge all you want.) Jack Black's take is an antiperspirant that goes on clear, lasts all day, and doesn't make my sensitive underarms itch or sting thanks to the gentle formula which contains aloe and vitamin E. What also makes the product so gentle—and so good at preventing sweat—is an effective, FDA-approved antiperspirant ingredient called aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly.
This ingredient is different than the aluminum-based compounds you'll find in most antiperspirants in that it's way milder on the skin.
"The only downsides to this product are that A) it's kind of pricey and B) it definitely smells like men's deodorant. But hey, better than the alternative." — Amanda Montell, features editor
"If your sweat level is akin to someone sunbathing in the middle of the desert, but you still want to make sure your deodorant is cruelty-free, Certain Dri is basically your only option. This is one strong antiperspirant—the active ingredient, aluminum sesquichlorohydrate, has been shown to offer days (yes, days) of protection for people who sweat excessively. I don't use this pick every day, but when I'm working out or hiking and don't want to ruin my clothes/life with sweat stains, I trust nothing else." — Amanda
Ever wondered why natural deodorant takes so long to work? Don't miss our story on the process of deodorant "detox."