There’s more to deodorant than its namesake: Yes, it de-odor-izes your pits, but there should be a lot more intention behind the deodorant you choose. Whether it’s because you have sensitive skin, a preference for natural ingredients, excess perspiration, or because you like different means of application… there’s a deodorant that suits you better than the standard-fare drugstore options (which are themselves effective, too!).
Read on to learn about the different types of deodorants that are available to you (beyond the typical “roll on,” “gel,” “solid,” and “invisible solid” categories you see in other roundups). The below should give you a bit more scope for the different ways to prevent cantankerous odor—and sweating, when that’s a concern, too.
1. Best Natural Deodorant
Each & Every
Look, the deodorants you can buy on the shelves (and largely across the web) have been approved for sale by the FDA. That means, in theory, that they’re perfectly safe. But the powers that be also allow us to order super-sized value meals, and it’s well known that those are no good for us. So, while most deodorants won’t likely give you grief, the most surefire way to know one is 100% safe is to shop natural.
Best of all, God’s green earth gives us plenty of effective ingredients for managing odor, like tapioca starch for moisture, salts for fighting odor, naturally scented oils that also nourish, and coconut oil for conditioning. (That’s the roster of ingredients in every Each & Every deodorant, by the by).
2. Best Drugstore Deodorant
Many of us approach deodorant with the following train of thought: “I stink, and I need to not stink. The end.” That’s totally far, because deodorant can be purely functional. The drugstore brands are used by millions and millions—and those numbers don’t lie. On top of that, they’re the most affordable option, and there’s no shame in smelling nice while saving a few bucks.
We’ll forever be faithful to Old Spice in this field; they’ve deodorized generations of Americans, and we’ll carry that legacy forward (particularly to the tune of their invigorating, 24-hour “Pure Sport” scent).
3. Best Sensitive-Skin Deodorant
If you have sensitive skin, then some natural options might actually be tough to handle—sometimes the synthetic formulas have been perfected exactly because of sensitivities. That being said, you do have natural options available, and it’s a terrific consideration to make, so long as the formula is baking-soda free. (Baking soda can really mess with your pits’ pH levels, and leave you irritated if you are otherwise sensitive to these things.)
Ursa Major does everything correct, across all their natural products, and it’s this Base Layer deodorant that comfortably counters moisture, bacteria, and odor while minding your sensitivities.
4. Best Antiperspirant Deodorant
Art of Sport
As controversial as aluminum is, the studies still suggest it as a perfectly fine ingredient in countering moisture. You can fall on either side of the debate, but those of you with persistent perspiration are likely loyal to aluminum, and understandably so. So, since you won’t likely stray from antiperspirant territory, you can toss out many of the other requirements in a deodorant.
As long as it stops sweat and keeps you smelling fresh, then it’s meeting your expectations. Still, choose a stick like Art of Sport’s, since it’s endorsed by numerous top-tier athletes thanks to its stimulating and soothing matcha + arrowroot formula. It was co-founded by Kobe Bryant, by the by, and if the pros trust it to stop sweat, so can you.
5. Best Probiotic Deodorant
SALT & STONE
Bacteria are what causes odor—but only some bacteria. You’ve got good and bad types of these guys proliferating under your arms, and you only want to take out the baddies (the stink makers, that is). You can help the good guys win out by layering on a probiotic deodorant, which in turn can neutralize deodorant without any irritation to your pits.
Salt & Stone’s natural stick is our pick, and not just for its probiotic formula; it’s also got hyaluronic acid, to keep the skin ultra moisturized, and this eucalyptus-cedarwood one smells incredible.
6. Best Spray Deodorant
Spray deodorants sometimes target just the pits (especially if they’re antiperspirants), but many are also body deodorizing sprays, and can be sprayed anywhere and everywhere. OffCourt’s natural recipe is friendly to the entire body, plus it won’t stick or leave any residue. It even contains prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria on your skin. We love all three scents, but if we had to choose one, it’s Fig Leaves + White Musk.
7. Best Alpha Hydroxy Acid Deodorant
Alpha hydroxy acids (or AHAs), like lactic and glycolic acid, can break down dead skin cells and neutralize buildups of sweat, grime, and even bacteria. They’re a popular ingredient in facial skincare, since they help prevent clogged pores and promote cellular turnover (and thus smooth, clear skin).
While you may not seek smooth pits (nothing wrong with it, though), you can use the ingredient to flush away everything else, and leave you with a blank slate under there. Nécessaire’s does this and so much more, thanks to silica, kaolin clay, and zinc. You can enjoy dry, deodorized pits—and smooth ones at that.
8. Best Clinical-Strength Antiperspirant
There’s no shame in having hyperhidrosis (that is, clinical levels of sweat). It happens, and it can be minded. As it pertains to your pits, stick with a clinical-grade antiperspirant, which can keep you dry for up to 72 hours straight. That’s what Certain Dri promises, and they’re true to the name.
Photos via Brands, Shutterstock