It makes sense why people are swapping out single-use packaging for more eco-friendly products, especially in beauty: The average person in the U.S. produces close to 300 million tons of trash per year, according to a 2018 study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and in 2018 alone, more than 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging were produced globally, according to a Zero Waste Week study. Combine that with the climbing 300 million deodorant and antiperspirant users in the U.S., and a refillable deodorant seems like a worthy way to cut down on disposables.
"While using recycled materials and making the packaging components recyclable moves the needle in the right direction, making the primary packaging components reusable by offering refills is even better," according to Birnur Aral, the executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab. Refillable deodorant comes in reusable cases with replaceable inserts as opposed to conventional deodorant casings made from virgin materials or can't be recyclable curbside. This can save energy during manufacturing (assuming fewer materials are used in making and packaging refills), she says. More energy savings means that the product's carbon footprint is also reduced.
Whether you're looking for natural deodorant, traditional deodorant or aluminum-free deodorant, we, at the Good Housekeeping Institute, rounded up the best refillable deodorants of 2022, including GH Institute-tested and award-winning picks, as well as those from popular brands whose reviews we vetted, below:
Our top picks
- Comes in a twist-and-click stainless steel case
- Refillable sticks are made from 98% recycled plastic
Dove’s deodorant uses one-quarter moisturizing ingredients and 48-hour odor-blocking to give you hydrating protection all in one go. Plus, its sleek, functional packaging comes with a lifetime guarantee. A winner of our 2021 Beauty Awards, one of our beauty scientists described it as “one of the best product launches I’ve seen in my career.” It also earned high regards for its sweet-smelling long-lasting scent and lightweight feel.
- Great formulas
- Made from plastic-free packaging
- Tricky refill mechanism
Great for sweat and odor protection, this Secret deodorant earned praise in our Beauty Lab for its reliable formula. It comes in a light lavender scent that promises to mask odors for up to 48 hours. The twist-up is a bit tricky, and we found its casing heavier than other options we tried. Still, we think it's a worthy antiperspirant option.
- Cute packaging
- Creamy formulas
A winner in our 2021 Sustainability Awards, BeautyCounter's refillable deodorant helps minimize the amount of single-use plastics in landfills by using sleek, chic containers. Our Beauty Lab experts also praised the company’s initiative to bring transparency to its mica mining. It's made with cornstarch and baking soda to stop sweat in its tracks and coconut oil and shea butter to leave your underarms soft. The formula applies like a balm, "and I liked the easy-to-swap refill," says GH Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Sabina Wizemann.
- Easy-to-use refills
- Uses vegan, plant-based scents
Beloved by both men and women, Peach Not Plastic's refillable deodorant comes in a wide range of scents, from cucumber eucalyptus to citrus vetiver. Aral loves its "refreshing scent and the long-lasting protection I get from it." The brand itself earned a spot in our 2021 Sustainable Innovation Awards, thanks to its plant-based fragrances, plastic-free primary and secondary packaging and seamless execution of its refillable cartridge design.
- Offers customizable cases
- Comes in a wide range of pleasant scents
- Subscriptions available
With a variety of case color options, you can customize your Myro deodorant to match your beauty bag, bathroom or your own personal style. Our Beauty Director April Franzino appreciates that you can also pick from nine fragrances, from fresh botanical scents to floral, sweet and even spicy. "I'm not usually a fan of subscription beauty purchases, but it is really easy to change your ship dates or pause your subscription," says Cleaning Lab Analyst Jodhaira Rodriguez. "Their 24-hour performance scents actually work, too"
- Comes in minimalistic cases
- Offers value variety packs
- Subscriptions available
The fun in refillable deodorants is being able to customize your own packaging. Fortunately, By Humankind offers neutral cases that blend seamlessly with your bathroom. You can choose from five refreshing formulas like lemongrass and coconut, plus variety packs to let you try out more! Its formulas are designed to be natural – without GMOs, aluminum, parabens and gluten – so, according to their site, you could actually eat them if you wanted to (though we advise against it!).
- Classic scent
- Easy-to-refill design
As the first Old Spice refillable option, this 48-hour antiperspirant is designed to let you refill with ease thanks to its twist and click top. For now, it's just available in the brand's signature Swagger scent, which offers subtle notes of cedarwood and lime, according to its site. Plus, it's not only supposed to mask smells but also offers long-lasting sweat protection.
- Comes in plastic-free packaging
- Offers an extra deodorant refill
- Subscriptions available
This deodorant is formulated without baking soda, an ingredient that can irritate skin. It starts you off with two deodorant refills worth a four-month supply, plus a refillable deodorant case. Simply remove the base and insert the refill, then put the base back on and push the bottom up with two fingers. "Drugstore deodorants make my underarms dry and itchy, and most natural ones don’t actually stop sweat. This one is THE BEST, and it smells so good!" says one Bite reviewer. "Rose is my favorite!"
- Refill, repurpose or recycle the glass jar
- Offers a subscription program
Rather than buy a separate cream to refill on your own, Meow Meow Tweet lets you send the glass jar back so the brand can refill the deodorant cream for you. As for your underarms, this formula is created baking soda-free and with plant oils and butters that aim to nourish skin. "It leaves my armpits soft," says one Meow Meow Tweet reviewer. "It is not powdery or sticky like other deodorants." Our associate product & reviews editor can attest to its subtle but pleasant grapefruit smell.
Our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts and chemists regularly test skincare products of all kinds, from sunscreens and razors to nail polish and more. We consider the ingredients and formula to get a sense of whether the product will hold up over time. We also try them in real life to make sure they apply easily and wear well.
This list was put together with help from our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts including Sabina Wizemann, Senior Chemist; Birnur Aral, Executive Director of the Health, Beauty & Sustainability Lab and April Franzino, GH Beauty Director. Each expert has spent at least a decade at the GH Institute, working closely together to research, test and evaluate thousands of beauty products.