Cruelty-Free Deodorant: A Breakdown

Cruelty-Free Deodorant: A Breakdown

When it comes to choosing a deodorant that is gentle and kind to our bodies, our planet, and the environment around us, there are a number of different factors to consider.

Opting for a natural deodorant with clean ingredients is a great way to make your daily deodorizing habits more sustainable. But, what else should you look for in your deodorant when considering its impact on the world around us?

Our recommendation: cruelty-free.

What does a cruelty-free deodorant entail, and how can you be sure a product is actually cruelty-free? Let’s dive into it!

What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?

Calls to keep animal products and testing out of the fashion and cosmetic industry have been prevalent since the 1960s and gained even more traction in the 80s and 90s. During that time, the language of cruelty-free took shape to specifically refer to animal testing in the cosmetic and personal care industry.

Many champions of cruelty-free (including us here at Bite) believe that the term should encompass every step of production, meaning that a product should only be considered cruelty-free if neither the product nor any of its ingredients were ever tested on animals, at any point in the manufacturing or development process.

Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

See, there is no FDA-approved or regulated definition for “cruelty-free,” meaning that brands and corporations have a lot of leeway in what they define as cruel and what falls into the category of cruelty-free.

For instance, some companies will market their products as “cruelty-free” if the final product was not animal tested, even if the ingredients used in the product were. Other companies claim they are cruelty-free if they don’t conduct animal testing themselves but are actually outsourcing that testing to a third party.

How Can I Ensure My Products Are Cruelty-Free?

While products claiming to be cruelty-free should mean that they aren’t tested on animals, the lack of FDA regulation allows some dangerous wiggle room.

So how can you know for sure that your cruelty-free deodorant — and its ingredients — have never been tested on animals? By seeking out products with a trusted cruelty-free certification.

Trusted Cruelty-Free Certifications

There are three major organizations that provide cruelty-free certification:

  • Leaping Bunny – The Leaping Bunny Program is internally recognized
  • Choose Cruelty-Free – An Australian based organization
  • PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is US-based but internationally recognized

Because some companies can falsely market their products as cruelty-free, checking the online databases offered by the above certification organizations can help you choose a cruelty-free option more confidently.

Here at Bite, we are PETA-certified cruelty-free.

Are Cruelty-Free and Vegan the Same Thing?

Cruelty-free and vegan are often thought of as interchangeable, but they are not the same thing.

While cruelty-free tells you whether or not the product was animal tested, it doesn’t tell you if the product uses animal ingredients or byproducts. Products labeled as cruelty-free may still include beeswax, gelatin, and other animal-based ingredients.

Similarly, a product that is labeled as vegan but not cruelty-free may not contain any animal-derived ingredients but could have been tested on animals.

The use of animal byproducts can have hugely negative consequences. For instance, sourcing popular moisturizing ingredients from shark liver results in approximately 2.7 million sharks being killed every year.

Sustainable and plant-based ingredients can replace animal-derived ingredients in skincare and dental care products. These plant-based ingredients are just as effective without requiring harm to animals to obtain. Our Deodorant (and all of our products!) is both cruelty-free and vegan.

What Should I Look For When Choosing a Cruelty-Free Deodorant?

We at Bite support all companies moving away from animal testing and hope to see more brands join us in making that pledge moving forward.

At the same time, we believe that ending animal testing is just one of the many ways we can make our products less harmful to the animals we co-habit this planet with.

Unfortunately, plenty of products that are considered cruelty-free still maintain practices outside of animal testing that can be harmful.

Sourcing and manufacturing practices, packaging materials, and shipping methods are all factors that can have an effect on ecosystems and wildlife.

We believe that steering clear of animal testing is just one important part of our role to sustain our planet and the many critters we share it with.

Along with being certified cruelty-free, here’s what we do at Bite to ensure our deodorant is helping protect our wildlife before, during, and after it makes its way to your doorstep.

No Harsh Chemicals

Our deodorant is made up of clean, plant-based ingredients and free of any harsh parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and other harmful additives.

Avoiding harsh chemicals isn’t only a benefit to your skin but also to the environment.

When residue from our deodorant washes away in the shower, or when the last little bit remaining in the tube gets thrown away, those chemicals can find their way into our waterways and oceans, where they could be toxic to aquatic life.

Manufacturing certain synthetic chemicals such as sulfates can also emit greenhouse gases. The release of these carbon emissions is playing an alarming role in the extinction of a number of species.

At Bite, all three of our scented deodorants (along with our unscented option) contain clean ingredients free of harsh and harmful chemicals. Our Neroli fragrance is 100% naturally derived, while our Rose Vert and Santal contain safe, cruelty-free synthetics.

100% Vegan

As part of our sustainability commitment, all of our products are completely free of any animal ingredients or byproducts.

Our deodorant uses a binding vegan mineral wax called ozokerite as an alternative to beeswax. All of our moisturizing ingredients, such as castor seed oil and shea butter, are plant-based, providing a gentle softness your skin will love.

Refillable Packaging

Bite deodorant is not only vegan but also comes in refillable packaging so we can work together to reduce waste (teamwork makes the dream work).

With our refillable deodorant, you receive a metal case in your first order along with two deodorant refills, which equate to a four month supply. When you run out, you can order more refills that fit perfectly into your metal case. The refills are shipped in sustainable, biodegradable packaging, meaning no environmental harm occurs along the way.

You can even choose a subscription, in which case deodorant refills will be automatically delivered to you every four months so you never have to worry about re-purchasing!

Plastic Free

At Bite, we know the importance of feeling and smelling fresh — while also combating the 15 million pounds of deodorant packaging ending up in our landfills and oceans each year.

And because plastics don’t naturally break down like biodegradable and compostable matter, the plastics we throw away turn into microplastics over time, small plastic pieces that end up in the air and oceans. There are currently between 15 to 51 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans, posing risks to seabirds, fish, and marine mammals that ingest and get caught in plastic waste.

That is just one of the reasons why Bite is committed to plastic-free packaging. Our refillable Deodorant comes with a plastic-free case and compostable refills that can be smoothly rolled onto the skin — easy as any plastic deodorant stick out there!

Helping to reduce the plastics building landfills also reduces the microplastics out of oceans and air, reducing harm to coral reefs, marine life, wildlife, and ourselves.

Carbon Neutral

Even the cleanest products can have a large carbon footprint during the shipping process. But, that isn’t the case with Bite.

Our vegan and cruelty-free deodorants are packaged in plastic-free shipping materials, and we are also proudly carbon neutral. This means that we offset any of the few carbon emissions we can’t avoid by partnering with

Bottom Line

When it comes to creating a better, more sustainable future, even the seemingly small changes add up to a significant impact. Here at Bite, our goal is to make it easy for consumers to make choices they feel good about without compromising on quality.

With a cruelty-free, vegan, zero waste, and wonderfully clean scented deodorant, you can start every day feeling fresh and confident that your product is helping keep animals everywhere safe.


"Cruelty Free"/"Not Tested on Animals" | FDA

Compassionate Shopping Guide | Leaping Bunny


Is Bite Toothpaste Bits Cruelty-Free? | PETA

Global Warming and Endangered Species Initiative | Center for Biological Diversity

Ocean Plastics Pollution | Center for Biological Diversity

Microplastics cause damage to human cells, study shows | The Guardian

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