When it comes to deodorants, we all have our favorites. Some of us swear by antiperspirant aerosols no matter how many people they choke in the changing rooms in the process. Some prefer the heavyweight chemical-laden drugstore cream deodorants. And then there's the natural guard: Those who look for labels that omit dubious aluminum, opting for the smell-masking power of natural botanical ingredients instead. But which deodorant is the best?
I decided to get (mildly) scientific about this whole thing and devise an experiment that would crown the winner once and for all. So I gathered together a selection of the deodorants I see most often in kit bags at the gym as well as the ones the Byrdie team swears by and put them through what is arguably one of the most hardcore challenges any deodorant could ever face: a spin class.
Over the course of five days, I attended a 45-minute spin class at London's Boom Cycle (a class known for its relentless high intensity—if you live in London, I recommend you try it) to test each one. I showered before each class to set a level playing ground and applied no more deodorant than I usually would each day. I even got pretty technical, calling upon a calorie tracker as a measurement of how hard I pushed myself in each session. You've got to be fair about these things.
Now I'm not saying you should skip out of the gym and into the office without even a splash of the shower in between. Of course, you shouldn't. But what I am saying is that if these deodorants can withstand a sweaty spin class without leaving me in a puddle of sweat and smell, then they'd have little bother seeing you through that big presentation, jam-packed tube ride or even a nerve-racking first date.
Now for the results. Here are the deodorants that passed (and failed) the spin test.
#5 Optima Healthcare
Calories Burned: 522
Okay, so I never understood the hype surrounding crystal deodorants, and after my test, I'm even more bemused. It looks like it does nothing, feels like it does nothing, and after clocking up 522 calories of surge-spinning and on-the-bike push-ups, it's safe to say it does nothing too. Next!
Calories Burned: 475
With my lowest calorie burn, this deodorant had an easy ride, but it wasn't the strongest. Yes, the classic Dove scent is nice, and it makes for completely adequate everyday wear (as long as you aren't going anywhere near a hot tube carriage), but it seemed to evaporate minutes into the session. Will save for non-gym days, probably a Sunday.
Calories Burned: 497
When I told her about the experiment, Associate Social Media Editor Alyss Bowen waxed lyrical about this deodorant from Mitchum. And I have to say, I get what she sees in it.
This one is a solid stick format and only takes a few swipes to get a good payoff. The smell is fresh but not overbearing (it won't mess with your perfume on top), and it lasted, but it didn't leave me in an acceptable state to walk home afterward. It's good, but it's not the best.
#2: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare
Calories Burned: 534
Yes, I'm well aware $23 is a ludicrous amount to spend on deodorant, but if you've already purged all toxins from every other part of your beauty regime, it's about time you switched to a natural deodorant too. And this one is impressive.
It's a paste, meaning you have to apply it with your fingertips, which is weird for the first use, but then you quickly get over it. It smells strongly of peppermint and tea tree, and even after the class, the scent remained. Plus, it seemed as though the kaolin clay at the base of the formula plugged each of my pores as I hopped off the bike at the end of the class with barely any sweat under my arms at all. I'll be using it again for certain.
Calories Burned: 547
Coming in top place is a deodorant both I and Editorial Director Amy Lawrenson have kept in our gym bag for years. It feels like a face moisturizer, and you only need a little, but it contains odor-fighting technology activated by movement and sweat, so as I started to spin faster, it started to work harder. I genuinely think you could go without showering after the gym with this one, as it's that good.