When your deodorant is working like it’s supposed to, you hopefully won’t even really notice it’s there. There are a lot of different products out there on the market and several factors to consider when making a choice about what to use. We have done the research for you, so you can just sit back and relax with your feet up and your hands behind your head, armed with the confidence that you will be well-equipped to choose the best product for your needs.
Do You Need a Deodorant or an Antiperspirant?
Have you ever wondered what the difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant is? The goal of both products is to keep your underarms from smelling and keep you feeling fresh throughout the day. Sweat itself does not smell bad, but when it mixes with bacteria from your underarms, that’s when the area can develop an odor. Deodorant helps you smell less when you sweat, and an antiperspirant helps keep the smell down by blocking sweat from coming out in the first place.
Deodorants work to combat odor when you sweat in a couple of different ways. One way is to neutralize the odor by killing the bacteria that live under your arms. Another way deodorant reduces smell is to mask any odor with other more pleasant scents. Many deodorants include ingredients that tackle odor on both fronts.
Antiperspirants have ingredients in them that keep your armpits from sweating. If you perspire less, then there is less sweat to mix with your underarm bacteria, which generally means less odor.
In addition to working differently, deodorants and antiperspirants have different types of ingredients and sometimes ways of being applied. Either product will help your armpits feel fresher, so it’s up to you to decide which type you prefer.
What Does It Mean for a Deodorant To Be Organic?
Antiperspirants all contain ingredients that make them not organic. Some of those ingredients include aluminum, parabens, phthalates and propylene glycol. While some antiperspirants may contain fewer of those ingredients than others, we haven’t found one that doesn’t include at least aluminum, which is the ingredient responsible for blocking sweat. Non-organic deodorants that are not also antiperspirants include some of the other ingredients listed.
There has been a lot of concern about aluminum in antiperspirants in recent years. The fear stems from the fact that aluminum can build up in the body and have negative health effects. However, aluminum that is placed on the skin is not actually absorbed into the skin, so it cannot build up that way. However, aluminum does block perspiration from coming out of sweat glands, and some people feel that preventing the body from the natural function of sweating can have negative health effects.
Parabens, Phthalates and Propylene Glycol
Parabens are used as a preservative, while propylene glycol is used to give deodorants and antiperspirants a slick or slippery feeling that makes it easier to apply. Phthalates are used to help the product absorb into and moisturize the skin, because antiperspirants themselves are by definition drying to the skin. These are all chemicals that are petroleum-based, and many people are concerned enough about this substance that they try to reduce the number of petroleum-based products they use on their skin and as part of their hygiene routine.
In addition to those chemicals, non-organic deodorants and antiperspirants may contain fragrances and other ingredients. Even if these are natural, they are often produced using chemical pesticides or mixed with chemicals in the production phase to create the deodorant’s final formulation.
Organic deodorants do not contain any of the above chemicals. Additionally, they will be made with organic products and processes.
Aloe vera juice is often used in natural deodorants because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties as well as its ability to soothe and hydrate the skin. Lichen extract is another ingredient used for its ability to fight bacteria. People with allergies should check for this ingredient though, because it is known to be a contact allergen for some. Another ingredient used you may be more familiar with is hops, an ingredient commonly used in making beer. Hops extract also helps fight bacteria and is commonly used in natural deodorants.
Fragrances used in organic deodorants will often be from essential oils. While essential oils smell great, many also have additional beneficial properties that work well in a deodorant. Some popular essential oils that also contain antibacterial properties are lavender, tea tree oil and geranium. Additionally, essential oils can affect your mood. Some can soothe anxiety, such as lavender or frankincense, while others can invigorate, such as peppermint or sandalwood. A great combination of these essential oils will both fight odor and give you a great start to your day.
How We Chose Our Picks
When looking at the field of men’s deodorants and antiperspirants, we considered several factors to determine our top five picks. We considered reviews both from popular websites and from customers, and we paid specific attention to whether the reviews said the deodorants actually worked. We also looked at price and availability, because while you may be willing to pay a little more or look around for a product you really like, no one wants to pay an arm and a leg or have to make a special trip to a specific store to buy an everyday item like deodorant. Finally, we considered the extras of the product – for example, whether it has an especially good scent or goes on more smoothly than its competitors.
Fresh, clean scent
Pure Sport, Lemon Lime
Our Top 5 Picks
Degree Men Dry Protection is a deodorant and antiperspirant that will hit the check boxes on almost everyone’s list. It is affordable at $3.08 for a 2.7-ounce stick. Its 48-hour formula means that it can take you from your shower in the morning, through your work day, and into a night out without needing to be reapplied. Your body heat helps to activate it, so it works harder when you are working out or out in the heat. The scent, Cool Rush, is crisp and clean and gives a fresh fragrance to the fresh action that this antiperspirant delivers.
Best Antiperspirant Deodorant
Degree Men Dry Protection 48 Hour Antiperspirant
Has a unique body heat activated formula that keeps you dry and fresh all day. It instantly responds to changes in your body temperature to help you stay dry as you do more.
Customers consistently mention how well Degree works to keep sweat away without leaving chemical burns, which is a problem men report having with other antiperspirants they have used. A number of reviewers were women who purchase the product for their boyfriends or husbands because they like how it works, but they also like the smell of the deodorant itself.
Another big selling point for this deodorant is the fact that it mentions “48 hours” in the name. People who do intense workouts or who might wake up and roll out of bed without a shower especially appreciated the strength of the product. Some people and reviews claimed that the product was less invisible than claimed. Chalky white marks on clothes and skin were reported by a few people and cited in some reviews.
At $18.00 for 2.75 ounces, Jack Black Pit Boss Antiperspirant & Deodorant is a pricier option than any of the others on our list. This antiperspirant and deodorant combination is a product for when you want to treat yourself with something special. An invisible stick that goes on smoothly without any chalky residue, it smells both clean and natural. This product has a formula that contains aluminum, but it is both vegan and paraben-free and is especially good for those with sensitive skin.
Best Antiperspirant Deodorant
Jack Black Pit Boss Antiperspirant & Deodorant
This roll-up stick is featuring an All-Over scent that glides on easily to deliver long-lasting odor and wetness protection. The gentle antiperspirant and deodorant formula won’t irritate delicate underarm skin.
Fans of Jack Black Pit Boss really like that it doesn’t irritate their skin. A number of reviewers finally landed on this product because they had tried and passed on other more popular brands that were harsher. Although the formula is nice for the skin, the stick itself is described as hard and without a lot of slip, so it can be difficult to apply. Once it’s on though, it’s very effective, and many people even mentioned being able to skip a day if they don’t shower.
Another big plus for this product is the scent, which is clean and fresh without being overpowering or too like a cologne. Besides the high price, another slight knock on this product is that it can be harder to buy because it is not available at local drugstores or supermarkets.
#3 Every Man Jack Deodorant
A deodorant with only naturally derived ingredients, Every Man Jack Deodorant is $5.50 for 3 ounces and comes in a clean, fresh scent. This stick contains no aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol or phthalates and goes on without leaving any white residue. Of the two options that don’t contain aluminum in our top picks, this is the clear winner with an effective formula, a stick that is easy to apply and a pleasing scent
Reviewers were impressed by the effectiveness of this natural deodorant, commenting that it could even last through strenuous workouts. It is a lesser-known brand than some of our other options, and many people expressed that they found Every Man after trying a variety of other deodorants while looking for the “right” option.
Best Natural Deodorant
Every Man Jack Deodorant
Comes with cotton extract and witch hazel to absorb wetness. It also contains Lichen extract that fights odor-causing bacteria. And Essential oils that leaves you feeling fresh and smelling clean.
This product does not stop sweat but does contain several ingredients that help to absorb sweat, such as cotton extract and witch hazel. Users also expressed that they noticed less sweat at the end of the day than with other natural options.
The product is softer than some other solid sticks, so more product goes on with each swipe than with a harder stick. Some reviewers think of this as a positive because enough product goes on for it to be effective. While other reviewers disliked this aspect because it meant they used up the product a little faster than other options.
Another natural option on this list, the well-known and respected brand Tom’s of Maine offers a unisex, unscented deodorant that works well for some and has a loyal following. Tom’s also comes in at a good price point, at $4.27 for 2.25 ounces. This is a great option for anyone who really doesn’t want to add any extra fragrances to their hygiene and personal care routine. Overall, this is a solid product, but it also doesn’t bring anything extra to the table to wow us.
Best Natural Deodorant
Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant
A natural deodorant to keep you smell fresh and antiperspirant to help keep you dry.
A big draw for Tom’s of Maine is that it’s natural. Individual customers and review sites consistently refer to the fact that Tom’s is a natural brand and note that it appeals to people looking for natural products. Many of the fans of the product are generally fans of the brand, and they reference in their reviews other Tom’s products they use. An interesting fact to note is that a plant-based propylene glycol is one of the ingredients listed on the product label.
One of the knocks for this deodorant is that people say it works great at first but loses its effectiveness over several weeks. While we mentioned above that a lot of people love the unscented version, many others disliked that the product had no scent at all to help mask any body odor that did occur.
Old Spice is a brand that has been around for a long time with good reason: It puts out a good product that works well. The only spray on our list, this Old Spice deodorant costs $3.97 for 6 ounces, which looks like the best deal; however, the amount received can’t be directly compared with the other brands since you lose some spray to the air, which doesn’t happen with a stick deodorant. Old Spice also comes in with the highest aluminum content, which will really help keep you dry, but some people may want to avoid that much aluminum. The scent, Pure Sport, which has a lemon-lime quality, is strong and has a lot of staying power.
Best Antiperspirant Deodorant
Old Spice Deodorant and Antiperspirant High Endurance
Odor protection in a highly pressurized metal canister and a wetness protection you can always count on.
While there are a lot of users who like Old Spice either for its nostalgia factor or its brand recognition, people are also generally impressed with the formulation itself. The spray comes with a stronger scent than some of our other picks, but for those looking for an antiperspirant that could double as a signature scent, this is a solid option.
A factor mentioned a lot across sites was that Old Spice appears to have altered its formula a few times in recent years, and longtime fans of the product were less satisfied because their tried-and-true option has changed into something else. Newcomers to the product still praised the effectiveness of the deodorant, so the new formula is clearly still a winner for lots of men.
Pro Tips: How To Choose the Best Deodorant for men?
We’ve given you our top choices, but you need to choose the product that will work the best for your needs. Below we list some of the top factors to consider when choosing a deodorant.
The Sweat Factor
We all perspire at least a little throughout the day, but how much you sweat is something to consider when choosing between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. Some people are just naturally sweatier than others or may have a job that involves heavy labor or keeps them outside in the heat, so they will sweat more throughout their day. On the other hand, some people, especially if they work in a climate-controlled office and don’t do a lot of manual work, stay relatively dry.
The Fragrance Factor
Some deodorants and antiperspirants come with their own strong scents and can be used as a substitute for cologne. Others have more natural scents or almost no scent at all. You will need to decide how much and what kind of scents you want in the deodorant you choose.
The Application Factor
Deodorants come in sprays, sticks, roll-ons and even powders and pastes. One consideration when choosing an application type is how hairy your underarms are. If you have a lot of hair there, getting the product to reach the skin can be tricky if you are using a stick, so a spray or roll-on might be better. Also, deodorant can get on clothes and stain them, which is partially due to the ingredients but also may be more likely to happen depending on how you put it on.
The Ingredient Factor
Whatever is in your deodorant is going right up onto to your skin and then will stay trapped there in your armpit for the whole day. More guys today are shaving or waxing their underarms, which means the skin there might be more sensitive than it was with hair on it. Additionally, some ingredients may be more likely to stain clothes or create the stiff yellow pit stains on white undershirts that seem to be impossible to get out in the laundry. Some people are also just trying to move to more natural ingredients for all of the products in their lives. Whatever the reason, you will want to consider what ingredients your deodorant or antiperspirant has before choosing one.
If you find the deodorant of your dreams but it costs an arm and a leg, what good is that? This is, after all, a product you largely want to forget about once it’s on, so finding something that meets your needs within a good price point is also important.
Which Choice Is Right for You?
In our modern society, most people want to keep themselves from having a noticeable odor when they are out interacting with others in the world. Some people are lucky enough to not have a lot of personal body odor when they sweat, and those people may choose to go au naturale most of the time. The rest of us, however, will likely choose a deodorant or antiperspirant to keep ourselves feeling fresh and to prevent odor throughout the day. Whether you decide a deodorant is better or an antiperspirant better works for you is a personal decision, but we hope the picks we have provided here and the criteria we outlined help you in your quest to find the right product for you.