Here It Is—Your One-Stop Shop for the Best Deodorants on the Market
There's nothing more challenging than finding a deodorant that really works for you. Deodorant isn't just a beauty product—it's more like an everyday essential, regardless of who you are. That being said, deodorant is also an extremely personal choice. Everyone is looking for something different in a deodorant, whether you want to opt for a pick that keeps your underarms dry or simply masks odor or you want a spray or a stick. Before we dive into the best deodorants available, let's break down some key things to know.
What's the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant?
"'Deodorant' and 'antiperspirant' are often used interchangeably, but there is actually a key difference between the two," says Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, board-certified dermatologist. "While both protect against body odor, antiperspirants traditionally use the ingredient aluminum, which keeps you dry by controlling the flow of sweat to avoid the feeling of wetness under your arms. Deodorants do not use aluminum and rely instead on other ingredients to reduce odor and to help you feel fresh throughout the day."
Antiperspirants actually stop sweat from the source. "Antiperspirants contain aluminum-based salts that form a plug within the sweat gland, preventing wetness from reaching the surface of the skin," says Josh Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist. "Antiperspirants do not actually decrease the amount of sweat that you make."
You've likely heard the term "natural deodorant" thrown around. Natural deodorants are aluminum-free options that utilize natural ingredients like cornstarch, coconut oil, and other naturally-derived ingredients to help eliminate odors and curb wetness. Keep reading to find our favorite antiperspirants and deodorants.
"If you're someone more focused on stopping the sweat via antiperspirant, Dove Ultimate Antiperspirant is an excellent option," says Woolery-Lloyd. "It not only blocks sweat and odor for 48 hours, but it contains a high concentration of glycerin, which helps moisturize, soothe dryness and improve texture on underarm skin."
Made entirely out of plant-based actives, Kopari deodorant helps curb odor after a "detox" period that's typical of natural deodorants. It takes your body a bit of time to adjust to a natural deodorant if you're swapping out for an aluminum-based option, so you'll need to ride this one out for a bit if it's your first time on the natural train. Once you make it through the adjustment period, it's well worth it. It's hydrating, soothing, and goes on clear—no white marks here.
If you've seen people sing this deodorant's praises, it's because it's truly that good. It's formulated with AHA, which creates a pH environment that odor-causing bacteria are unable to survive in. So while you will still sweat (this isn't an antiperspirant), you won't smell. It's also hydrating thanks to hyaluronic acid and aloe.
"If you're looking for a deodorant, I recommend Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Spray, as it not only freshens and keeps odor at bay for 48 hours, but it also contains Dove's moisturizers so it is gentle to the underarm skin," says Woolery-Lloyd. For the formulation being aluminum-free, it keeps underarm odor at bay for an impressively long time.
Best Without Baking Soda:
Leave it to Nécessaire to create a truly unique natural deodorant gel. Like the Kosas formula, this deodorant also relies on AHA to keep odor at bay. It also has niacinamide to strengthen the skin's barrier and chamomile extract to soothe. Plus, it's fast-drying and goes on completely clear.
Best for Sensitive Skin:
Made with baking soda, probiotics, coconut oil, and shea butter, many people swear by this deodorant to help keep their underarms dry and smelling good. This iteration is formulated with sensitive skin in mind, so you can be sure it won't bother your skin. Plus, it's plastic-free, so it's easy on the environment.
For over 60 years, Secret has been a trusted deodorant brand. Its deodorant blended with essential oils feels like an elevated version of their classic product. They smell divine, and they leave underarms feeling smooth and moisturized.
Corpus deodorant feels like a sensory experience. It's unlike any other natural deodorant out there—these are designed with the sensibilities of a fragrance, so they smell absolutely amazing. It glides on easily and never leaves any white marks.
Best for Sweat:
If curbing sweat is your main concern and normal antiperspirants and deodorants just don't seem to cut it, try opting for a clinical-strength deodorant. This deodorant is truly a heavy hitter against perspiration and odor. With 48 hours of clinical-grade protection, you can ensure you won't break a sweat—literally. "For best results, you actually can apply it the evening before bed to minimize wetness the next day," says Zeichner of clinical strength deodorant.