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In the world of beauty products, deodorant may not necessarily be the sexiest on the block. Still, you’re probably not using that gorgeous red lipstick daily, but we’re willing to bet you are swiping on a deodorant every day, right? And as of late, this basic personal care necessity has reached new heights, with more options out there than ever before.
Whether you need a serious, sweat-stopping antiperspirant, or are making the switch to more natural, aluminum-free deodorants, the market is saturated with a little something for everyone. (As a quick reminder, antiperspirants are the only ones that will actually stop sweat, though they do so using ingredients that some feel are controversial in the safety department. Deodorants simply contain ingredients to mask or prevent odor, but you will still sweat.)
Other aspects to consider, besides ingredients, when you're making your deodorant-buying decision are whether you want to block sweat or just odor, how long you'll need one application to last and the scent.
Show your armpits some love with any one of these deodorants for women.
Best Overall: Dove Aluminum-Free Deoderant
Regardless of preference, we guarantee you there’s a Dove deodorant for that. They have a variety of traditional antiperspirants, including the new, aluminum-free deodorant that was a big hit with Byrdie editors, sprays, wipes…you get the picture. In total, including all of the extensive scent options, there are over 60 unique variants. In true Dove fashion, all of the formulas are super moisturizing and gentle on skin, too.
Best for Workouts: Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant and Deodorant
The sweatiest spin class or hottest yoga session is no match for this bad boy, which, according to the brand, touts an impressive 20% aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex (say that three times fast), the active ingredient that keeps sweat at bay, and the highest concentration you can get over-the-counter. It also comes in both solid and gel variants. Top tip: Swipe it on at bedtime so it can do its thing overnight to minimize sweat and keep on working for up to 48 hours.
Best Natural: Kopari Beauty Coconut Deodorant
A Byrdie Eco Beauty Award-winner, this aluminum- and baking soda-free formula uses coconut water, coconut oil, and sage oil to help keep you fresh all day. We love it for its ability to ward off sweat and odor (even for one Byrdie editor who normally relies on the high-powered antiperspirants) and the rounded shape, making application super easy.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Corpus The Botanist Natural Deodorant
Byrdie’s editorial director Faith Xue swears by this natural option; she raves about the sophisticated fragrances, smooth, residue-free application, and chic packaging. While many natural deodorants use baking soda—which may potentially be irritating for some—this relies on tapioca starch and diatomaceous earth to wick away moisture, and it’s also free of synthetic fragrance, a boon for those with sensitive underarm skin.
Best Odor-Repelling: Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant
This cruelty-free, vegan formula (another Byrdie fan favorite) is free of aluminum and drying alcohol and uses only 100% natural fragrance. Refreshing eucalyptus oil leaves you feeling—and smelling— fresh, while citronellyl is meant to neutralize odor—bonus points for the clear gel that glides on nicely, without leaving behind any residue.
Best Budget: Schmidt's Deodorant Stick
This natural deodorant is a winning combo of affordable and effective, which is why it's Commerce Editorial Director Jess Mahgerefteh's daily go-to. Magnesium hydroxide is meant to control odor, while coconut oil is meant to nourish the skin; This refreshing bergamot and lime version is Jess' favorite, but the brand also offers others like rose and vanilla, lavender and sage, and charcoal and magnesium. One thing to note: This formula does contain baking soda, so if you're sensitive to that, Schmidt's offers a baking soda-free option, too.
Best Scent: Nécessaire The Deodorant
When Byrdie contributor Jenna Igneri tested Nécessaire's debut deodorant, she fell in love with its eucalyptus scent immediately. "I never thought that a deodorant could smell sexy," she wrote in her review, "But this is it." It doesn't just smell great, though—its natural formula really works, thanks to lactic and mandelic acids (meant to fight odor) and a blend of while silica, zinc, and kaolin clay (meant to keep you dry).
Best Spray: Dove Invisible Dry Spray Antiperspirant
Spray deodorants are back in a big way. This one earns top marks for not only being alcohol-free (no stinging or irritation here, even if you spritz it on right after shaving) but also containing moisturizers to keep skin extra soft and smooth. Plus, it goes on totally clear, so there’s never any need to worry about tell-tale white streaks on your LBD.
Best Plant-Based: Briogeo B. Well Tea Tree + Eucalyptus Clean Natural Deodorant
Briogeo is best known for its hair products, but this plant-based natural deodorant from the brand is worth your time, too. Tea tree oil helps fight odor-causing bacteria, coconut oil soothes and hydrates the skin, and eucalyptus delivers a cool, refreshing scent. It's also vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free and comes in recyclable packaging.
Best Wipes: Pacifica Beauty Natural Beauty Underarm Wipes
Choice for when you’re on the go, these make it easy to freshen up, fast. Another one of our favorite natural options, a deodorizing blend of essential oils, keeps B.O. at bay, while coconut milk and shea butter help hydrate. Use them not only under your arms but anywhere on your body whenever a shower is hard to come by.
Best Cream: Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream
Cream deodorants can be a bit messy, but not this one from Drunk Elephant—its twist-up-style applicator is super easy to use. What's more, its formula promises to nix odor-causing bacteria, absorb moisture, and soothe the skin thanks to mandelic acid, arrowroot, and shea butter. It's also totally free of baking soda, essential oils, aluminum-derived ingredients, sulfates, silicones, and fragrances, so it should be safe for sensitive underarms.
Best Fair-Trade: Alaffia Everyday Coconut Charcoal Deodorant
This product is so much more than an effective natural deodorant. Yes, it'll keep you feeling fresh—thanks to soothing coconut, odor-neutralizing charcoal, antibacterial neem, and nourishing shea butter—but it also supports an excellent cause. Any purchase from Alaffia will help fund the company's efforts to empower communities in Togo, West Africa, through the advancement of Fair Trade, education, sustainable living, and gender equality.
Best Crystal: Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
It can admittedly take a little bit of time to get used to using crystal deodorant, but if you’re ready to make the switch, this one gets our vote. A mineral salt shaped into a gem-like stone, all you have to do is moisten the top and rub it under your arms.
Best Drugstore: Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant
This aluminum-, paraben-, cruelty-free drugstore buy consistently pulls in thousands of glowing reviews, with users applauding how well it works. It comes in four different scents, plus seasonal varieties, as well as a custom option that lets you create your own.
Best Personalized: Nala Personalized Deodorant
Anything and everything custom are having a major moment in the beauty world, and deodorant is no different. This brand lets you customize not only the scent but the strength, too, for a final formulation that suits exactly your needs and preferences. The natural option is free from aluminum, parabens, and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients, instead, relying on baking soda plus organic essential oils, butter, and waxes.
Best Hair-Inhibiting: Completely Bare Pit Stop Hair Inhibiting Deodorant
A deodorant that can cut down on how often you have to shave? It sounds too good to be true, but one Byrdie editor put this to the test and found that it seriously works after about three weeks. The brand credits natural plant extracts meant to slow down hair growth while also delivering an anti-inflammatory effect.
What to Look for in Deoderant
Choosing the best ingredients for your skin and health is something to consider with any product you are wearing every day, all day. Although experts say there is not enough evidence to support avoiding aluminum in many deodorants and antiperspirants, some people prefer to avoid it. This is due to the link that some research has found between aluminum and cancer, specifically breast cancer.
Other ingredients worth paying attention to are essential oils or synthetic fragrances, mineral salts, and alcohol. These ingredients can irritate the skin for some people.
Sweat and Odor Blocking
Deodorants work by offering scents to cover up or remove unwanted body odor. Antiperspirant block actual sweat glands as well as smell. Consider what type of protection works best for you.
Deodorants come in a wide variety of scents. Choosing one that doesn't put you off is essential since you will smell it every day. Some brands also use perfumes that might cause allergic reactions in you or other people who are close to you. Essential oils are typically less likely to cause allergic reactions. There are also unscented versions of deodorant and antiperspirant.
Strength and Longevity
Some deodorants and antiperspirants last longer than others. If you can't reapply or tend to sweat a lot, you might need a product that lasts longer or offers more substantial protection. Some brands claim to be clinical strength antiperspirants for people who are very sweaty.
Many deodorants claim to offer odor protection that lasts from 12–72 hours. Look for the upper end of that range if you need it.
Is using deodorant bad?
If you are concerned about aluminum or other ingredients in your deodorant, there are plenty of more natural options including aluminum free choices.
What is deodorant used for?
Deodorant is used to reduce and cover body odor smells that can be offensive. Certain ingredients in deodorant turn the skin's surface acidic, making it less bacteria, and therefore smell, friendly. Fragrances also help mask smells.
Do we actually need deodorant?
Deodorant is not needed if you don't mind natural body odor. However, social expectations and proper hygiene practices deem deodorant to be non-optional. Body odor can be strong and offensive for many people. Consider the social setting you will be in when deciding whether you will skip using deodorant.