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There’s a big difference between good and bad deodorant. But how can you tell just by looking and not actually buying and trying?
We’ve put together a list of the top deodorants marketed to men to help you decide on a good, long lasting deodorant.
Here are some of the criteria we used to select these deodorants:
- roll-on stick, gel, spray, or paste
- deodorant, antiperspirant, or both
- how long it lasts with use
- how long until it needs to be replaced
- how affordable it is
First, a quick note about price: We’ll indicate where each choice fits in the possible price range with the following key:
- $. Bottom of price range, usually from $1–$3.
- $$. Slightly more expensive, ranging from $4–$9.
- $$$. Expensive, from $9–$12.
- $$$$. Top of price range, $12 or higher.
Now, on to our top eight recommendations of the best deodorants for men and for anyone with sweat glands.
Key features: affordable; widely available at many department stores and drugstores; pleasant and mild scent available in many fragrances; long-trusted brand with other products, like bodywashes that use same scents
Considerations: contains aluminum; company’s large-scale manufacturing practices may have environmental impacts
Key features: relatively affordable for a natural deodorant; widely available at many stores; free of aluminum and artificial fragrances and dyes; wide variety of scents; company is certified B Corporation and donates 10 percent of profits to charities; company offers numerous other hygiene products with similar scents
Considerations: reported by some customers to not last very long and to lose effectiveness over time; some customers report burning or stinging from allergic reactions
Key features: contains ingredients meant to be effective for people with sensitive skin or contact allergies; contains many safe and sustainably sourced ingredients, such as essential oils instead of artificial fragrances; doesn’t contain many common deodorant ingredients like parabens and phthalates
Considerations: smaller and more expensive than many similar deodorants; texture of deodorant is somewhat coarse and can irritate some people; some ingredients may irritate allergies
Key features: sprays as a mist for easy and convenient application; easy to find at many stores; reduces the appearance of white spots or marks from roll-on deodorant; MotionSense design uses fragrance-filled microcapsule meant to release fragrance during physical activity
Considerations: contains aluminum and other possibly toxic ingredients, including chlorofluorocarbons, which can contribute to air pollution; can’s packaging materials aren’t sustainable and are hard to recycle
Key features: antiperspirant designed for people who sweat a lot or who have trouble finding deodorants that work; easy to find at many well-known stores; has a strong but pleasant scent that masks odor; uses similar scents to other Gillette products, like shaving cream and bodywash
Considerations: contains aluminum; company not known to use environmentally friendly manufacturing practices
Formerly known as Primal Pit Paste (PPP), these natural deodorants can now be found as Pretty Frank. Baking soda is one of three formulas the company uses, all of which are available as paste in glass jars or as deodorant sticks.
Key features: comes in a glass jar of paste that you can apply directly into your pits with your fingers; contains natural ingredients including shea butter and coconut oil; contains no aluminum or toxic ingredients like phthalates
Considerations: somewhat expensive for small size; some customers report the paste doesn’t work well or last long; manufacturer sometimes changes formula, which affects efficacy
Key features: doesn’t contain any common toxic deodorant ingredients like aluminum or phthalates; doesn’t use artificial ingredients; doesn’t test on animals; increasingly easy to find at popular department stores; reported to last a long time by many users; comes in a variety of scents designed to be natural or outdoorsy; they offer the same scents for men and women
Considerations: expensive; some customers have reported stains on clothes with use; some online customers have reported receiving less effective counterfeit versions
Key features: uses completely natural ingredients; free of aluminum and parabens; contains ingredients compatible with a vegan lifestyle; doesn’t test on animals; certified by notable environmental groups, including the Environmental Working Group
Considerations: very expensive; scent has been reported to be too strong for some users; not easy to find at many department or drugstores
Here are some tips to know what you’re looking for when you shop for a deodorant or antiperspirant.
Is it a deodorant or antiperspirant?
There’s a difference between deodorants and antiperspirants.
Deodorants contain ingredients like alcohol to make your skin more acidic so odorous bacteria are less likely to build up and create an odor. They’re not meant to stop you from sweating.
Antiperspirants, on the other hand, contain ingredients that block your sweat glands from producing moisture.
Many antiperspirants are made with aluminum-based substances that plug your pores and reduce how much you sweat.
Does it contain ingredients you’re concerned about?
Phthalates are common ingredients in deodorants and household products. They’ve been linked to the disruption of sex hormones like androgen, and long-term exposure has
Some research suggests that parabens commonly found in consumer products may disrupt the body’s endocrine function. Such changes in endocrine function can have health impacts on people. More research is needed.
Are you allergic to any of the ingredients?
A single stick of deodorant can contain 10 or more ingredients. The ingredient listed as “fragrance” can be a combination of 100 or more ingredients.
Read up on your favorite deodorant brands to see which ingredients they use and what other users have experienced who may have similar allergies as yours.
Does the deodorant medium fit with your lifestyle?
Different types of deodorant might have an advantage for different lifestyles.
For example, always in a hurry or don’t like the way paste deodorant sticks pull at your armpit hairs? You may want to choose a spray-on deodorant or a gel stick.
Is the deodorant sustainably sourced and manufactured?
Pro tip: Look for a B Corporation logo. This essentially means the company has to meet a certain minimum requirement for sustainability and fair employment practices.
Can you afford to buy this deodorant often?
You may find a deodorant that works wonders for you, but it’s too much to fit into your budget every few weeks or months.
In this case, try finding a more affordable equivalent that contains similar ingredients to what works best with your body chemistry.
Everyone’s body is different, but here are some tips for how to use your deodorant for maximum effectiveness:
- Wash your armpits with water and gentle soap before you apply deodorant.
- Swipe the deodorant two to four times under your arms.
- Apply the deodorant and wait a few minutes before you put clothes on to avoid streaks.
- Store your deodorant with the cap on somewhere cool and dry to help keep its shape and effectiveness.
Deodorant is a daily necessity for many of us, but it can be oddly difficult to find one that works consistently and effectively. The huge selection in stores doesn’t help, either.
But once you figure out what ingredients work for you and how you can buy sustainably within your budget, it can be much easier to confidently pick a stick off the shelf and know it’ll keep your pits pleasant.