It might be time to rethink your deodorant or antiperspirant. If you’ve been been using the same product since puberty or are just blasé about the brand of choice, you’re missing out. There are so many products today — from natural deodorants to pastes, roll-ons, gels, sprays and even towelettes — that it’s worth finding one that you’re, well, thrilled about.
The first factor to consider is whether you purchase a deodorant or antiperspirant (or both). As the names suggest, deodorants fight the stink, while antiperspirants use small amounts of aluminum salts to block your pores from sweating.
See more: Best Men’s Colognes
The main other factor to consider, is skin irritation. Although you might need to practice trial and error to find a formula that works for you, Dr. Ken Howe of Wexler Dermatology in New York City says that certain ingredients, usually scented ones, are the common culprits. These include geraniol, an alcohol found in rose oil and other essential oils; eugenol, a scented compound found in clove leaf oil; hydroxycitronellal, another popular synthetic fragrance ingredient; and propylene glycol, a petroleum-based compound that is sometimes used to give deodorants or antiperspirants a slippery feel. Another culprit is aluminum. No, there’s no big, convincing studies that it can cause cancer or Alzheimer’s, but it can cause irritation among those with sensitive skin.
So it’s time to get a new product. Here’s your inspiration.
Yes, the brand's name does sound like a race horse. This is an essential oil-based deodorant that keeps you fresh without harsh chemicals.
Pros: If you’re concerned about aluminum, this deodorant is made without it. Instead, it relies on essential oils to keep the stank away.
Cons: It has a rather sticky texture.
We're guessing AOS co-founder Kobe Bryant knows a few things about staying fresh. This line is specifically aimed at active dudes to keep them dry and smelling good.
Pros: The AOS deodorant is aluminum-free, and is an invisible solid that goes on clear and wicks away moisture.
Cons: It’s not strong enough for a truly powerhouse workout, say naysayers.
We love the fresh, understated scent, and the fact that this deodorant is alcohol-free.
Pros: This deodorant dries fast, has a subtle hint of cypress and incense, and is made without parabens and aluminum salt. Because it’s not an antiperspirant, you should apply it several times a day, if you need to.
Cons: It’s a bit on the pricey side, if you’re not into spending that much.
This invisible solid deodorant glides on smoothly, won't stain your clothes, and has a hint of a scent.
Pros: The smell is invigorating and clean (think fresh out of the shower), plus this deodorant doesn’t leave any clumps behind when you apply it, and works all day.
Cons: It’s pricey, but a little of this deodorant does go a long way.
We figure brand co-founder Kobe Bryant knows a thing or seven about getting sweaty. His deodorant is targeted at active guys who want to smell fresh
Pros: This deodorant is perfect for sensitive skin, doesn’t stain your armpits, keeps you dry, and smells stellar. Plus, it includes matcha and moisture-wicking arrowroot powder. This specific product contains aluminum as the active ingredient to block sweat, but there’s also one without it.
Cons: In some cases, the deodorant can be clumpy when you apply it.
If you're the guy who has visible sweat stains even while sitting in an air-conditioned office building, this might be the choice for you.
Pros: With more than 2,000 Amazon reviews, people simply love this bestselling deodorant enough to marry it. It’s a super-strong product that claims to have the highest concentration of sweat-blocking aluminum chloride that you can buy without a prescription from your derm.
Cons: This deodorant works best if you put it on at bedtime, when your skin is clean and dry—and no, a shower the next morning won’t wash it off—but this may be a bit of a routine shift for some.
This tried-and-true brand's deodorants smell so good, they've been compared to colognes. This one is deodorant-only, so it doesn't contain sweat-halting aluminum.
Pros: The fresh scent of this deodorant, which has hints of lime and cypress, lasts for hours. The glide-on formula doesn’t leave chalky white stains on clothing. Old Spice products are also both affordable and easy to find.
Cons: Only one, which is that you may sweat more during summer, since it’s not an antiperspirant.
The company claims to have done extensive research to create products that will no longer stain clothing, like this clear gel.
Pros: The scent is reminiscent of a zesty soap, and fans say they that especially during winter, they don’t even need to apply it daily, since it lives up to its promise of lasting for three full days.
Cons: If it isn’t allowed to dry fully (which can be tough if you tend to rush in the morning), it can leave marks on lighter-colored shirts.
You get a whole lot of freshness from this industry leader in eco skin care, including odor-fighting hops, moisture-absorbing kaolin clay and soothing aloe vera.
Pros: This deodorant, which works well for both men and women, is aluminum-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free. The brand says the formula is 100 percent naturally-derived and non-toxic. It also doesn’t stain clothes.
Cons: It doesn’t work for long periods of time, so plan on reapplying, and often.
Vanicream's moisturizers and sunscreens are often recommended by dermatologists for patients who need something gentle but also effective. If you have sensitive skin but aren't ready to switch to a deodorant-only product, their gentle combo product may be your unicorn.
Pros: Many people found that it went on smoothly, stopped sweat and odor and didn’t cause irritation. It was also praised for being truly unscented, versus having a strange smell.
Cons: Some people claimed it rubbed off on clothing (applying it on dry skin and allowing it to dry fully may prevent this), others said despite the claims, it still caused irritation. It’s also on the pricier side.
Don't just focus on your pits. Your balls need love, too. And this unique formula is a residue- and oil-free, anti-chafing liquid talcum gel to keep your boys dry and happy.
Pros: No more stinky balls. With this deodorant, your nuts will stay dry, clean, and smelling fresh. The product is formulated as a gel talcum, it goes on dry and stays dry.
Cons: Some say it’s nothing more than a lotion that smells great.
Native's deodorant is made without aluminum, parabens, phthalates, and talc.
Pros: This lightly scented formula is made without aluminum, parabens, phthalates, or talc, and the solid application won’t leave wet marks or streaks. Using baking soda to remove odors and arrowroot powder to absorb wetness, this brand prides itself on including only ingredients that you can pronounce, derived from natural sources you trust.
Cons: You generally need to reapply this throughout the day.
Another big-time brand in the natural space, Schmidt's works by neutralizing odors and absorbing wetness. It's not greasy or sticky.
Pros: This mineral-based deodorant is made without aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens and phthalates. It’s also vegan.
Cons: It can leave your armpits itchy.
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