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zero waste deodorant

What is the BEST Zero Waste Deodorant​ for Travelers?

Most zero waste journeys start with a reusable water bottle, but my zero waste journey started with deodorant.

After my PCOS diagnosis, I decided to cut plastic from my life, starting with my beauty routine. Deodorant was an easy swap since I can’t forget it (like a reusable water bottle) and it’s a “one and done” product, meaning I buy it once and it’s instantly part of my routine. Zero waste deodorant was the simple win I needed to start my journey.

Looking out for effective zero waste deodorant

In this review*, I look at price, scent/effectiveness, packaging, and availability for travelers.

*Compared to my pre-zero waste deodorant, Secret Clinical Strength, which cost $7.95 at my local store for 1.8 oz.

Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant

I didn’t realize there was a difference between deodorant and antiperspirant until I started this journey.

Most Americans use antiperspirant. The main ingredient is aluminum, which temporarily blocks the armpit’s sweat ducts. An additional scent helps make the area smell better.

Some people argue antiperspirant causes breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, but scientific research doesn’t seem to back this statement. This PopSugar article has a nice summary of this debate. Still, I like the idea of putting natural ingredients on my body instead of a chemical compound and a lot of women also suffering from PCOS recommend switching to all-natural deodorant.

Trying to find a deodorant that’ll keep beautiful places beautiful

Deodorant masks or neutralizes body odor. Unlike antiperspirant, it doesn’t block or reduce sweat.

My self-confidence suffered during the switch to zero waste deodorant due to pit stains. After a few months of especially sweaty adjustment time, I feel like my body sweats less using natural deodorant, but I have zero proof to back this. I also learned what clothing hides sweat stains and developed a “I don’t care what you think” attitude. Who knew zero waste deodorant would boost my self-esteem?

My Myro

This deodorant is all over Facebook and Instagram. I purchased a start-up kit during an Earth Day special. It included one case in the green “moss” color and one Cabin No. 5 scent in addition to a travel toiletries bag and pin.

Myro would be an easy zero waste deodorant switch since it’s a roll-on deodorant, similar to how most people already apply deodorant. The case almost looks like a table decoration and could add to your dresser’s aesthetic.

However, the container and pods are made of #2 plastic. Although this type of plastic is accepted in most community recycling programs, and it’s not technically single-use plastic, Myro deodorant still produces plastic waste. This is inherently not zero waste. Plus, in order to recycle the pod, you have to first wash the pod with soap and water to remove any excess deodorant. That’s not very convenient. Also, my pod doesn’t click well inside the container and the deodorant stick fell out of the pod twice.

Myro comes with a significant amount of packaging in a glossy box that’s difficult to break-down and recycle. Although it looks pretty, the box isn’t practical nor aligned with the concept of zero waste.

The Cabin No. 5 scent should smell like mountain air, but that’s not what I smelled from my pits. It smelled more like sitting in an enclosed space after hiking all day–mountain air, with the distinct smell of sweat. There are several other scents, though, so perhaps one of those is better.

Overall, Myro was the most effective deodorant. I felt less stinky (despite not liking the scent) and sweaty compared to the other zero waste deodorants.

A start-up package, including one container and one 2 oz pod, costs $10. After that, you can set up a subscription box. Each subscription box comes with three pods at $10 each, or $30 total. You can pause the subscription or switch scents at any time. This subscription-based model might be difficult for travelers without a home base or don’t have a spot they regularly return to every three or four months.

Fat and the Moon

This was the first zero waste deodorant I tried. It’s a deodorant cream, as are most zero waste deodorants, so it took some practice applying it. I’ve found a pea-sized amount applied to dry armpits works well for deodorant creams. For some reason, the cream doesn’t work if applied to wet armpits. I like to apply it in front of a mirror to ensure I smear the cream over the entire pit. On particularly busy days, I apply deodorant creams (no matter the brand) twice. I had to do this with my pre-zero waste antipersperant as well, though.

Fat and the Moon’s deodorant is all-natural and organic. It smelled intensely of arrowroot. Arrowroot is a different smell, but not necessarily a bad one. I like the organic smell, but my roommate thought it smelled terrible.

I ordered the deodorant with Amazon Prime and it arrived in Amazon’s traditional unrecyclable packaging. My sister reused the packaging, but a zero waste cream arriving in unsustainable packaging is less than ideal. You can purchase the deodorant from their website, but I’m unsure of what this packaging looks like.

Thankfully the glass container is easily reusable or recyclable. I reused mine to store a DIY deodorant cream (recipe to come). I wish the company had a give-back program to reuse the containers, as this would be even more zero waste, but I’ll take a glass container.

Deodorant cream is, well, creamy. Make sure to rub it in!

The 2 oz container costs $17 from Amazon, or $12 from their website (plus about $5 in shipping). Their website also sells a 6 oz container for $32 (plus shipping). The website offers free shipping on orders over $75, so if you really like this cream you could stock up or try some of their other products.

Since this product is available in bulk-size and you can purchase it from their website or Amazon, I’d say most travelers could easily mail this product to wherever they’re located. Then again, shipping produces extra carbon and packaging. I’d love to find a zero waste deodorant available in stores.

Since this was the first deodorant (not antiperspirant) I used, my pits were extra sweaty during this “detox” time so I don’t think I could accurately describe the effectiveness of this cream. However, due to the smell and cost, I won’t purchase this cream again.

Meow Meow Tweet

The name caught my attention.

I purchased the baking soda-free grapefruit deodorant cream thinking a baking soda-free deodorant might prove more effective for me. To be honest, I haven’t made up my mind on this yet. My pits feel moist all the time, probably because there’s no baking soda, but they don’t smell bad either.

I love the grapefruit smell and wish it was even stronger!

Similar to Fat and the Moon, Meow Meow Tweet’s deodorant cream comes in an easily recyclable and reusable glass container. Better yet, there’s a container take-back program (you can find the instructions on their website)…but only for their bulk containers.

I purchased my 2.4 oz container from Package Free Shop for $14, along with other zero waste necessities. The items arrived with minimal packaging and a recyclable box that’s easily broken down. Package Free Shop only sells the small containers, but you can purchase the 9.4 oz bulk container from Meow Meow Tweet’s website for $45. Meow Meow Tweet is also sold in stores, so you can use the store locator on their website to see if anyone sells the deodorant near you.

Even though this is the most effective zero waste deodorant I’ve tried yet, I’m not 100% happy with it and I’m unsure why.

Going Bare

I forgot to pack deodorant when I visited my friend in Hawaii and, when I asked if she had extra, I learned she doesn’t wear deodorant. So I said “yolo and didn’t wear deodorant for two weeks.

Um, what?

Before you pass judgment, trust me when I say we didn’t smell. My theory is the sea breeze masks body odor. When we weren’t sweating excessively anyway from hiking, swimming, or adventuring, we were freshly showered and not in sweaty situations, such as cooking or watching movies.

Now I skip deodorant before working out or on overnight treks. I’m gonna smell anyway, so why try to mask it?

No one’s said I’ve smelled bad yet!

The Best zero waste deodorant?

There you have it, four zero waste deodorants to try! I have yet to find the best deodorant for me, but hopefully one of these sound perfect for you.

Currently, I’m using the remainder of my Myro and Meow Meow Tweet deodorants. The next test will be with a homemade deodorant recipe. Check back in a few months for updates to this post!

What other zero waste deodorants do you want me to try? Let me know in the comments below!

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