The Best Men’s Deodorants and Antiperspirants:
If your day-to-day activities include spending a lot of time around other humans, you need to keep body odor under control—no one at the office wants to be around someone with body odor—no one. Thankfully, the fresh 2022 line-up of deodorants and antiperspirants help to eliminate smells (caused by bacteria). In short, antiperspirants suffocates the life out of bacteria by preventing sweat from forming—therefore bacteria can’t grow.
Below, are some offerings for guys that sweat a lot as well as options for sensitive skin. Thus far, I have tested 9 brands but I may add to it once I finish reviewing two more.
And in speaking of sensitive skin, I suggest that you try a handful of the fresh new deodorants and antiperspirants made with natural, organic ingredients. I have even reviewed a few brands that can be personalized to your liking and come with an online subscription model to help replenish items in a timely manner.
As a consumer, I like to change it up here and there. For the most part, I use a roll-on. Nevertheless, I do keep an aerosol readily available. Throughout my career, I have directed, produced and styled celebrity and fashion photo-shoots. The work can be physically challenging – and just like clockwork at noon, the team breaks into a sweat like a thoroughbred race horse coming into home stretch. That being said, I understand the sweat game all too well.
Some of my closest friends sweat buckets as if being part of a jail break at a prison rodeo. Ok, you get the picture. But you should also be mindful that sweating is healthy and not something you should stop altogether.
Simply stated; the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant is worth noting. In a word, antiperspirants contain ingredients, usually aluminum, that stop you from sweating whereas deodorants tend to allow you to sweat, but make the sweat smell a whole lot sweeter. If I may point out to you that in most cases, it’s not the sweat that causes odor but rather it’s the bacteria that’s having a field day in your armpit. I can only suggest that you find the right item that works for your personal interests.
A crucial part of any grooming routine, deodorants rank No. 1 in the “must-have category” for most men. Whether you’re a naturally heavy sweater or you don’t break sweat even during a gruesome workout session, deodorant helps keep you smelling fresh and clean throughout your day.
That being said, with so many options to choose from—from sticks and balms to sprays and gels—it can be hard navigating the deodorant aisle trying to find the right one for you. Below, me and my style team ( one male, one female) rounded up the 9 best deodorants for men that reign supreme in their ability to control sweat, keep you feeling refreshed throughout the day, and can be nicely displayed on your bathroom countertop.
To help you decide the best deodorant for your personal needs and budget demands, I’ve rounded up ( in no particular order)—the top deodorants for men, from the newest product offerings in 2022 to the all-time classics. And yes, these items work well as stocking stuffers for the holiday season.
Taking good care of those underarms requires more than just a little soap in the shower and some nauseatingly fragrant deodorant. We love Blu Atlas’ deodorant because they treat underarms with the same care and attention that most other men’s grooming brands give only to moisturizers or scrubs. Their 100% natural deodorant uses coco-caprylate to help your skin fend off smelly bacteria and microorganisms, while the volcanic ash soaks up any other unwanted guests. A citrus fruit extract then uses antioxidant powers to cleanse the last of dirt and toxins away. Blu Atlas’ all-natural deodorant doesn’t just cover up bad smells, it attacks and removes their root causes. For this, Blu Atlas has earned my #1 spot.
We like to think of deodorants as an extension of our cologne, and with that comes developing a signature scent. That’s just what the folks at Dior had in mind with this deodorant spray. If you’re familiar with the brand’s steady range of Sauvage products (which include an eau de toilette, an eau de parfum and an elixir), you’ll know the well-deserved cult status it boasts. It’s not without precedence—the line not only touts an earthy, woody fragrance note across all formulas, but it delivers on staying power. If you prefer a spray deodorant to a stick, Sauvage welcomes you with open arms, enveloping your skin with the freshness of Calabrian bergamot combined with the earthiness of amber wood.
Show sweaty pits who’s boss with this pick from Jack Black, which leaves no trace of product behind (either on your skin or your clothes) thanks to its invisible formula. We’re fans of the fact that it tackles both odor and wetness since it’s an antiperspirant-deodorant hybrid. And if you have skin that’s prone to chemical burns, this stick is ideal for your sensitive skin type since it’s free of parabens and colorants, and boasts a gentle, non-irritating, hypoallergenic formula. Its scent screams sophistication with a dash of sweetness. You’ll want to throw one in your gym bag stat.
Looking for a deodorant that passes the sweat test with flying colors? This one from Chanel fits the bill, offering long-lasting freshness without the stickiness that many other deodorant sticks tend to leave behind. While it won’t combat wetness (it’s not an antiperspirant, after all), it significantly masks body odor even with its lightly scented aroma. It has the perfect amount of emollience that allows it to seamlessly glide onto the skin, and the sleek black packaging doesn’t hurt either.
For odor protection you can depend on, look to this one from Armani, which boasts impressive no-smell capabilities even though it’s made without alcohol. Even the heaviest of sweaters will be able to distinguish the signature refreshing, almost oceanic scent. It’s masculine at its core, blending key notes like marine, cypress and musk along with juicy green tangerine and a dash of Calabrian bergamot. Best part: It’s formulated to pair flawlessly with Armani’s range of colognes. TL;DR: you’re about to smell like a million bucks.
Concerned with more than just your underarms soaking up a stench? Polo Ralph Lauren has got you covered with this body spray, which effectively tackles body odor and imparts a bold scent wherever you apply it. Infused with iced mango for tanginess, silver armoise for freshness and patchouli noir for a dash of earthiness, you’re sure to turn heads with this one. It’s the perfect deodorant to take you from work to Happy Hour. Pro tip: Spritz it on right after the shower for a refreshing burst of energy.
This B.O.-nixing deodorant stick from Yves Saint-Laurent is housed in metallic blue packaging. Consider it the cousin of the cologne from the same line, but without an overpowering fragrance profile. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still get a whiff of the classic bergamot, sage and cedarwood that the line is known for, but it’s lighter in concentration and won’t punch the nose. Plus, it’s proudly alcohol-free (which means temperamental skin types won’t experience a gnarly rash when using it) and feels oh-so-soft on the skin as you glide it on.
More of a gel deodorant dude? Gillette clear gel will never steer you wrong, providing up to two days’ worth of stench protection so that you can spend less time worrying about your B.O. and more time living life. There’s no risk of it transferring onto clothes or leaving behind those pesky white stains, since it goes on clear. And, even though it’s a gel, it instantly dries on the skin, meaning you don’t have to wait north of 10 minutes to be able to finish getting dressed for the day. Heads up: A little goes a long way with this one, so apply sparingly.
If you’re a fan of the brand’s signature cologne, its deodorant stick is sure to be a keeper, especially if you’re into that wood-shavings-meets-fragrance scent. Exuding the same herbaceous, earthy fragrance profile as the cologne, this stick glides on like butter, imparts an irresistible freshness and feels impressively comfortable as it works hard to control odor. Green bergamot merges with Sichuan peppers for a unique fusion that’ll stop stank in its tracks. Best part: It won’t flake or clump up on your skin, which gets it an A+ in our book.
Below, I asked a handful of experts to answer some of the general questions that most consumers are aiming to find out.
What’s the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant?
There are a few things that set deodorants and antiperspirants apart. For one, their function. While deodorants are meant to mask odor and deodorize—as the name implies—antiperspirants are designed to prevent the sweating process from occurring in the first place. Not only will your body not have a chance to produce sweat, but it won’t mix with bacteria on your skin (which is the cause of B.O. to begin with).
Deodorants work by limiting the amount of odor-causing bacteria that hits the surface of the skin, which can lead to odor. They also contain fragrance that works to hide unpleasant odors. On the flip side, antiperspirants function by blocking the glands in your body that produce sweat, typically achieved by an aluminum-based ingredient.
Another difference between deodorants and antiperspirants lies in the category they fall under. The FDA classifies antiperspirants as a drug since they alter the performance of a bodily function. Deodorants don’t, and are considered a cosmetic product. Because they’re classified as a drug, antiperspirants are subject to regulation and may include an expiration date. While some products act as both a deodorant and an antiperspirant, others work solo, offering one or the other.
Do I need both deodorant and antiperspirant?
The need to use both a deodorant and antiperspirant depends on what your concerns are. If you simply want to mask the day’s odor, a deodorant could be sufficient. Also, deodorants don’t impede your body’s natural process of sweating, which some people may prefer. If you’re concerned with wetness as well as odor underneath your arms, antiperspirants may be a better fit for you since they’re meant to actually block your sweat glands, thus preventing you from feeling wet and preventing an unpleasant odor. Like deodorants, you’ll have to reapply antiperspirants after you bathe or shower, as their results are only temporary.
What ingredients should I avoid in a deodorant and antiperspirant?
There has been some concern with certain deodorant and antiperspirant ingredients. Here’s a handy list that highlights some of them.
• Aluminum: This is used in antiperspirants to prevent you from sweating, but there has been some concern that aluminum can lead to breast cancer, though this has been largely discredited and there’s no scientific evidence to back up this claim.
• Fragrance: The word “fragrance” on an ingredient label can mask hundreds of other ingredients, and though technically the word is approved by the FDA, it can pose some irritating side effects for those with sensitive skin types since brands aren’t required to disclose what exactly their “fragrance” consists of.
• Phthalates: Phthalates are typically used in deodorant-type products for their ability to help make the fragrance of a product more long-lasting. The problem? Some studies have shown that they may be an endocrine disruptor.
• Triclosan: This is an antibacterial ingredient that’s used for its germ-fighting capabilities. Some studies have shown that it can mimic the same function of hormones in the body.
• Parabens: Commonly found in cosmetic products since they act as a preservative, parabens have also been found to be an endocrine disruptor and are best avoided.Do your research, and find the best deodorants for men that don’t contain potentially dangerous ingredients.
How long can you leave deodorant on during the day?
Most deodorants market themselves as providing odor protection for up to 24 to 48 hours. If you have sensitive skin, stick to applying your deodorant every few days rather than every day, especially if you’re using a formula that’s meant to have long-lasting staying power. While many people apply their deodorant in the morning post-shower, others argue that the best time to apply it is at night before bed.
This is in part because your body temperature is lower at night, and in part because it takes time for the product to take effect. The philosophy here is that applying your deodorant at night means you won’t run the risk of it sweating off in the morning when sweat glands are at their peak.
What’s the best way to apply deodorant?
Whether you apply your deodorant at night or in the morning, there are a few cardinal application rules to ensure proper results.
• Apply to clean, dry skin: Always make sure you’re applying your deodorant to clean, dry skin, as applying it to wet skin can make it less effective.
• Apply deodorant anywhere you sweat: Deodorant isn’t just limited to your underarms—though that’s where most people find they sweat the most. Especially if you’re using a deodorant spray (which makes for easier application), you can apply it to other areas prone to sweating, such as on the inner thighs or behind the knees, so as long as the product label says so.
• Apply in swiping motions: Move back and forth in swiping motions when applying your deodorant to ensure it hits all areas of your underarms. Those with hair underneath their arms may consider applying firmer pressure to make sure they’re actually reaching the skin and not just the hair.
• Apply two to three swipes: Fun fact: There is such a thing as over-applying your deodorant. As a general rule, two to three swipes per armpit is sufficient. Caking on the product may lead to clumping, flaking and, ultimately, a less effective product.
• Let it dry: Especially if you’re using a gel-based deodorant, it’s important to let your formula dry completely before getting dressed. Even if the formula is invisible, you’ll want to minimize your risk of the product transferring onto your clothes. Give it a good three to five minutes before getting dressed.
How do I apply different types of deodorant?
There are many deodorant options on the market. Here’s a guide to application.
• Stick deodorant: Apply two to three swipes onto clean, dry skin. It’s always best to start at the middle of your armpit and swipe toward the edges.
• Gel deodorant: After twisting the dial at the bottom of the container once, you’ll see a layer of gel being pushed out. Swipe the gel onto clean, dry underarms for roughly 10 seconds. If you notice that the gel is balling up, you’ve applied too much product. Wait a few minutes before getting dressed to let the formula dry completely.
• Spray deodorant: Give your bottle a good shake before spraying for about three seconds onto clean, dry skin. Make sure you’re holding the bottle a few inches away from your skin to achieve an even layer.
• Roll-on deodorant: Roll-on deodorants can be applied by simply rolling the product onto clean, dry underarms for a few seconds until you achieve an even layer. Wait a few minutes before getting dressed to let the formula dry completely.
How do you preserve the last bit of deodorant?
You know the feeling—you twist up the bottom of your deodorant container only to find that it won’t twist up high enough to reach your skin, yet there’s still an obscene amount of product left inside. Here’s a hack: If you save enough of these containers, you can scrape out the remnants from each, combine them in a heat-safe bowl, microwave for about 10 seconds, then pour the mixture back into an empty container and wait for it to harden. You’ll essentially be creating another full deodorant bottle.
How do you get rid of deodorant stains fast?
Deodorant stains can wreak havoc on your favorite garments. Thankfully, there are a few easy hacks. If you have white marks on your clothing from a deodorant, you can simply use a baby wipe to remove it. If that doesn’t work, try rubbing the stain with a dryer sheet using short strokes (rather than rubbing back and forth). If you have sweat stains on a T-shirt’s underarm area, you can soak the shirt in distilled white vinegar for one hour before brushing it with a dense house-cleaning brush or a toothbrush. Throw it in the wash and you’re left with a clean, stain-free shirt.
Should I put on deodorant and antiperspirant before or after exercising?
Like the ever-popular question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, there are two schools of thought when it comes to applying deodorant before or after a workout. The truth is, it depends. If you’re going straight from work to the gym and have already built up quite a sweat, applying deodorant before your workout may save you some glares from fellow gym-goers. On the other hand, applying antiperspirant before going to the gym could lead you to overheat in the gym, as these types of products are designed to stop the sweat glands from performing their function (which is to sweat in order to help you cool down). In either case, showering after the gym is a must—both for the sake of your skin and because you’ll likely feel like you need a good cleanse.
Why do my armpits sting after putting on deodorant?
Deodorants sometimes contain metals, which can produce an allergic reaction for some people who experience contact dermatitis as a result of a metal sensitivity. If you’re experiencing stinging, irritation, redness, burning or itchiness after applying deodorant, this may be a sign that you’re allergic to an ingredient in the product’s formula. In this case, immediately wipe off the product. If your armpits are still burning after removing the product, try taking a lukewarm bath that contains colloidal oatmeal, a soothing ingredient touted for its ability to soften the skin and calm inflammation. Also, make sure whatever lotions or moisturizers you use are unscented, as this can contribute to an allergic reaction and produce irritating side effects if your skin skews sensitive. Finally, a cool compress could provide some immediate relief if the aforementioned remedies aren’t working.
What is a natural deodorant?
There are a fair number of natural deodorants on the market. Because many of them are made without harsh ingredients, they’re ideal for sensitive skin types and those prone to irritation. In general, natural deodorants nix the use of aluminum-based ingredients and instead opt for natural alternatives such as arrowroot powder, cornstarch and even coconut oil to absorb funky odors. Depending on the product—and if powder is used—some formulas also work to absorb wetness in addition to neutralizing body odor.
When making the switch to a natural deodorant, you may find yourself in a “purging phase.” This is a transitional phase your body goes through as it attempts to adjust to the new formula. The purging phase can last up to six weeks, and you may experience some foul-smelling B.O. during this time. Rest assured, this is a temporary period as your body detoxes the buildup of aluminum in your body.
What can I use in place of deodorant?
If you’re of the sensitive-skin camp, can’t seem to find a deodorant that doesn’t yield an allergic reaction and natural deodorants just aren’t cutting it for you, there are a few deodorant alternatives to try. Best part: Many of the ingredient are probably sitting in your kitchen cabinet.
• Baking soda and cornstarch: Baking soda and cornstarch are natural deodorizers—just like they can absorb foul odors in your refrigerator, they can mask funky odors on your body. To use, mix a quarter teaspoon of baking soda or cornstarch with as much water as it takes to forms a paste. Then apply it to your underarm area and let it dry completely before getting dressed.
• Essential oils: They won’t inhibit you from sweating like an antiperspirant will, but essential oils have powerful odor-masking capabilities similar to deodorants. Opt for refreshing scents like lavender, lemongrass and thyme, or you can try combining more than one essential oil to create your own scent.
• Lemon juice: Lemon juice, as energizing and invigorating as it is, is loaded with citric acid, which helps fend off the bacteria that causes odor on the body. Be forewarned, though, that because lemon juice is extremely acidic, it can sting your underarms.
• Witch hazel: Touted as being a natural astringent, witch hazel can ward off odor-causing bacteria while simultaneously eliminating wetness. The only caveat here is that you’ll probably have to reapply it throughout the day, as it wears off quickly.