If you’re a heavy sweater, then you’re probably preferential to a deodorant that goes the extra mile. Or rather, you want a dual-purpose product, because deodorant by definition doesn’t stop moisture. It stops odor (if the name wasn’t otherwise evident), and it does so by neutralizing certain bacteria under the arms, which themselves cause the odor. But smell isn’t the only problem for many of us; it’s paired with the fact that we have faucets for armpits, and we need a product that tempers moisture as well as odor.
There is a lot of talk about whether or not antiperspirants are safe for use, given their primary active ingredient, aluminum (which is used in different forms, like aluminum chloralhydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium… don’t get too tripped up on those variants). These salts dissolve on the surface of the skin, and then clog the pores/sweat ducts in that area, effectively keeping the skin dry.
However, they have also been linked to some breast cancers throughout the years, so numerous studies have been conducted to assure their continued safety. While results of studies have varied, some studies do show a buildup of aluminum in breast tissue, particularly when participants used the products multiple times a day from a young age. Most of those studies have been conducted on women, given their higher risk of breast cancer than men.
But with all of this in mind, many people still prefer using antiperspirants—just like many people smoke despite knowing the risks, or eat fast food voraciously despite the evidence against. So, it’s a case of “proceed with caution,” and in moderation. The good news, though, is that most antiperspirants these days only need applying every other day, since they promise protection for a full 48 hours (or more). And with that spaced-apart use, you can strike the balance of preventing soggy pits and lowering long-term risks.
Read on for our 5 favorite antiperspirant deodorants—the ones that will keep you drier longer, and some of which offer multiple benefits beyond just that and odor control.
1. Art of Sport “Cool Victory” Antiperspirant
For High Performance
In Art of Sport’s deodorant, aluminum gets an assist from natural arrowroot powder, for a double-down on sweat. It stimulates the skin, thanks to matcha, and keeps you dry for the entire day. It’s not as long-lasting as some alternatives, and that can be a good thing. It performs highly when you need it most—during work, during a workout—but won’t plug you up for an entire weekend.
Reapply as needed, with the assurance that it’ll protect you as effectively as it does the high-performance athletes who endorse it. (Did we mention that Kobe Bryant was one of AoS’s founders?)
2. Dove Men+Care “Extra Fresh” Antiperspirant
For Added Nourishment
Sure, the main goal of antiperspirant is to control moisture, but it also shouldn’t dry out the skin itself. And that’s what makes Dove’s antiperspirant so exceptional: Just like its signature soap cradles and softens the skin as it cleans, this deodorant nourishes and conditions the underarm while the product mitigates odor and wetness.
So, here’s one instance of a “pro-moisture antiperspirant”… just not the kind of moisture we refer to when discussing underarms. Best of all, it gives you 48-hour defense, so you need only reapply a few times each week.
3. Jack Black “Pit Boss” Antiperspirant Deodorant
For a Gentle, Soothing Application
Packed with aloe and Vitamin E, Jack Black’s stick soothes and nourishes the skin as it counters smells and moisture. It’s been tested on all skin types, including the most sensitive on the spectrum, and should go on chock-free (and chalky-free, as in no white residue) on your pits, too. Its citrus-herbal scent is positively invigorating, too, and casts a small, friendly radius all the while.
4. Degree Men Antiperspirant Deodorant Spray (Coconut & Mint)
For Spray-On Defense
It’s a matter of preference, but some guys prefer an aerosol antiperspirant or deodorant application. (And in emergencies, it might even prevent a case of swamp ass, but we won’t formally endorse as much.) Degree’s excellent 48-hour spray, with a coconut-mint freshness, is an easy win in this category.
Since many sprays can leave an initial powdery residue (typically absorbed within minutes), we like to apply this right after the shower, typically in the evenings, and then enjoy two full days of dryness.
5. Certain Dri Clinical-Strength Antiperspirant
For Clinical Dryness
Most clinical antiperspirants will “up” the dose of aluminum in their formulas, as high as 30% in some prescription-only formulas. And if you experience hyperhidrosis, then you likely need this level of sweat protection. (Most regular aluminum chloride antiperspirants keep the value at or well below 10%.)
Certain Dri’s recipe is 12%, an amount low enough for an over-the-counter buy, but strong enough to stop moisture for an entire 3 days’ time.
And if you want to consider a natural approach to moisture mitigation…
If you’d rather not risk it with aluminum, then you need to find a deodorant that prioritizes moisture control. They won’t be allowed to call themselves antiperspirants, but with the right ingredients, you can absorb moisture and stay relatively dry compared to other deodorants.
One of our favorites in this category is the all-natural deodorant from Each & Every ($17), which uses tapioca starch to absorb excess moisture, alongside coconut oil and mineral sea salts which nourish skin and prevent odorous bacteria.
Other common ingredients you can look for to counter moisture include kaolin clay, arrowroot powder, zinc, and magnesium.
Photos via Brands and Shutterstock