The concern over ingredients in our beauty products is nothing new. The seemingly benign deodorant we mindlessly apply each morning is one example. Scientists are showing concern over aluminum found in deodorant, which can cause kidney problems during processing. There are other ingredients of concern in popular deodorants, which is why there’s been a movement towards natural ingredients instead. PAPR is one company that’s embracing all natural ingredients and biodegradable packaging.

Four tubes of deodorant, from left to right, yellow, black, blue, green and red

PAPR recently released a new scent in their deodorant lineup called The Deep Blue, which they described as a unisex scent where the ocean meets plumeria and a hint of lemon. This is in addition to a well-established line that includes So Hot Right Now, Bright Shiny Morning, From Dusk Till Dawn, Coastal Forests and a fragrance-free option. Each of the 100% natural deodorants is produced without aluminum, parabens, silicone or sulfates.

Related: What to expect when switching to natural deodorant

A chart labeled as "Natural, Safe Ingredients" including jojoba and shea butter

In addition, all products are completely vegan and are never tested on animals or contain any animal materials. As a substitute for aluminum, PAPR uses baking soda to eliminate odors. For scents, the company combines cold-pressed essential oils. There are no artificial fragrances or chemicals. Along with baking soda and essential oils, the ingredient list includes tapioca starch, silica, castor oil, jojoba ester, coconut oil and shea butter. 

PAPR is not only thinking about the health of the customer, but also the environment. The deodorant tube widely distances itself from the standard plastic tube. By design, it’s more like a Push Pop you used to eat as a kid. The paper packaging is made to be recycled, but even in the garbage, it will biodegrade naturally, with no chemical leaching. 

A chart titled "Sustainable Packaging" featuring a large image of the deodorant tube

Currently, the tube is made from 99.98% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. Not only has the company taken steps to use a design that meets its planet-first packaging goals in terms of waste, but the FSC certification means the wood the paper comes from was sourced in an environmentally and worker-friendly way. The simple shift to paper from plastic tubes eliminates countless conventional deodorant tubes from landfills, where they will sit for hundreds of years. 

The other 0.02% of the tube composition comes from a cornstarch membrane. Although it’s 100% biodegradable, the PAPR team has plans to phase it out by the end of the year to make room for faster biodegradability. 

A red deodorant tube with the cab set beside it

The packaging is more than just eco-friendly, it’s artwork. Each of the different scents has completely different packaging. Colorful and interesting, each tube is adorned with sketches of origami animals that represent the scent. The newest release, The Deep, features shades of blue and turquoise with images of whales, sea turtles and crabs. 

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A blue deodorant tube with the dark blue cap sitting next to it

Personal Review

Natural deodorants offer protection without the potentially harmful chemicals and components in mainstream antiperspirants and deodorants. The journey into finding an adequate natural deodorant can take time, sifting through different brands to evaluate effectiveness. 

When PAPR offered to send me a sample, I was happily willing to try it out. In short: I was pleasantly surprised. The smell is subtle, and I’m extremely scent sensitive so I’d call them out if it was too strong. I sampled The Deep and would describe the scent as mildly floral and fresh.

The application is gentle and soft, with no grating or wet feeling (yes, some do). I’ve been using it for a month or two and I haven’t broken out, none of my shirts have acquired pit stains. I also haven’t had to reapply during the same day.

The packaging speaks to a dedication to the environment with a push-up mechanism in a cardboard tube. The tube states an oil residue might build up along the edges, but I haven’t seen that happen yet. I’m about 1/5 of the way through the tube after seven weeks so I expect it to last close to six months or more. 

I received the sample in the fall and haven’t tried it out in really hot weather, but I am also curious to see if it travels well without melting. Of course, that can be an issue with any deodorant, so I don’t expect a bigger problem here.  

I can’t tell you how much better this is than the one I’ve been using for the past year, thinking it was the best I could get with a natural deodorant. The body chemistry of each individual is different, so I wouldn’t expect everyone to have the same results. For me, however, I’ve found a winner. 


Images via PAPR and Dawn Hammon 

Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by PAPR. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own. 

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