We all sweat, some more than others, and that's just a fact of life. Unfortunately, sweating can lead to bad body odor, excessive dampness under your armpits and even the dreaded pit stains on textiles. That said, no man wants to go through their day worrying they're giving off BO or too cautious about lifting their arms without revealing grave pit stains.
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant
The difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant is crucial when it comes to men's grooming.
Deodorants contain ingredients such as alcohol that make the skin more acidic, reducing the chances of odorous bacteria building up and creating an odor. Technically, they only mask or neutralize body odor; deodorants are not meant to minimize or reduce sweating.
On the other hand, antiperspirants contain ingredients like metallic salts-typically aluminum compounds. These plug your sweat pores to reduce how much you sweat. It's worth noting that aluminum can irritate sensitive skin. Therefore, if you're prone to itchiness and rashes, you might be better off with deodorant-only products.
For these reasons, the gold standard for sweat reduction and odor protection is a combination of both; an antiperspirant-deodorant.
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Best Deodorant for Men - Reviews
The "No B.S" is probably the first thing that'll catch your attention. Well, it stands for 'no baking soda' but it also aligns with Ursa Major's ethos: nothing but good, natural products for your skin. And this is exactly what makes the "No B.S" arguably the best deodorant for men who want to smell fragrant and stay fresh all day long.
Baking soda tends to irritate some skins, mostly by throwing their pH levels out of balance. Instead, this natural deodorant contains plenty of soothing natural ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter and camomile. Kaolin clay and tapioca starch help in moisture absorption, thus also preventing bacterial buildup. Additionally, hops- a great antimicrobial agent, fights the bacteria that cause odor.
People who tend to sweat a lot need an aluminum cover-up, even though it'll more than likely stain their white T-shirts. However, the Dove Men+Care is a great option if you're a profuse sweater. It hits the skin easier than almost any roll-on antiperspirant, reducing stains on textiles. It's also a remarkably long-lasting deodorant, going well into two days. Furthermore, most reviewers vouch for its ability to keep them very comfortably dry.
For men who don't really need the strongest antiperspirant on the aisle or whose skins are irritated by strong products, this is a pretty good option. It's considered a "one step down" in intensity from some of the strongest products. Nevertheless, it's still exceptionally effective in controlling dampness and odor.
If your skin reacts negatively to deodorants, it might be due to the ingredients contained in those products. Chemicals and fragrances can cause gnarly rashes, a reasonable deterrent for people with sensitive skin. However, Schmidt's fragrance-free natural deodorant contains gentle yet effective ingredients such as magnesium and arrowroot powder. These two combine to neutralize odorous bacteria effectively. This natural deodorant also contains coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter and Vitamin E to keep your skin extremely soothed and nourished.
Roll-ons and spray-ons are probably what come to mind more often than not when you think about the best deodorants for men. But there's a third option: cream. This one from Kiehl's applies the same way you do body moisturizer. Put a dab of the cream, amount the size of a pea, and apply it into the armpit for 24-hour defense. Since it's fragrance-free, it won't interfere with whatever else you decide to wear.
"Clinical" is undoubtedly the keyword here: This exceptional antiperspirant gel from Gillette lasts a solid two days. It's a tried and tested remedy for even the most seemingly unstoppable body odor. Its "prescription-strength" combination is 6.25% aluminum chloride, a stark margin from the typical 1-3% in most other antiperspirants. This means its odor shield is notably stronger than the competition.
Old Spice, a popular drugstore staple, has always produced some of the best deodorants-not to mention the most affordable. You can get this Old Spice deodorant, which comes in a 2 pack, for the price of what a single deodorant stick would set you back from a boutique. Despite the low price, it still gets the job done remarkably well, keeping you fresh and dry all day long.
You can almost make out the smell of this deodorant from just looking at the can. Oars + Alps' natural deodorant smells as refreshing as it looks and feels. This aluminum-free deodorant soothes the skin and calms the senses, both at once. The fragrance might even turn a couple of heads for all the good reasons. It's a sweet-smelling deodorant that'll be mistaken for a cologne occasionally.
Given that natural deodorants lack aluminum, it's understandable to doubt whether they can keep you dry during intense, sweating activities like working out. But this aluminum-free deodorant from Art of Sport manages to accomplish just that. It's made for athletes and is exceptionally soothing on the skin. The Rise Scent contains vanilla and cedar, while the active ingredients in this all-natural deodorant include arrowroot powder and matcha.
People with chronic dryness tend to dry out even more when they use antiperspirant-deodorants. This new option from Old Spice is great for people who react badly to aluminum. Its formula includes a moisturizer and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex, a less-irritating ingredient. The Mandarin & Mask is equally refreshing and natural-smelling.
What to Consider in the Best Deodorant for Men
Deodorants aren't created equal. Some embrace aluminum, promising a two-day no-sweat streak. Others are all-natural deodorants, complementing your natural scent. This is precisely why you must research your products before you buy them.
It's also important that we also point out that an aluminum-free deodorant and natural deodorant essentially mean the same thing.
So here's what to keep in mind when buying:
Far from a straightforward matter of simply grabbing whatever catches your eye, picking the right deodorant narrows down to your lifestyle and how you want the product to work.
For instance, you want a deodorant that reacts to intense movements and reduces odor in your gym bag, whereas in your desk drawer, you're better off with a light-smelling formula that you can layer on top of your fragrance. Figure out why and where you most need to use the deodorant to find what works best for you.
2. Roll-On/Stick vs. Spray-On
Despite the slight differences between these two, roll-on versus aerosol application mostly boils down to personal preference. Roll-ons yield more active ingredients directly into your armpit areas, which is why deodorants that treat excessive sweating mostly come in this form. Aerosol sprays are more suited to all-round protection, especially if your personal odor isn't confined to one place.
Experts recommend changing your deodorant stick every six months to prevent your body from becoming immune to the ingredients. Either way, it's still very important to know what exactly goes into a product that'll be in direct contact with your skin.
As much as most biologically and environmentally harmful products have been banned for a while now, some permitted ingredients can still pose a risk to your skin. People with sensitive skin, in particular, should opt for dedicated and alcohol-free formulations to reduce the risk of irritation. If you have normal skin and your wardrobe is mainly white tops, it's best to go for an aluminum-free deodorant to steer clear of the dreaded yellow stains.
4. Scented vs. Unscented
Unscented products contained fragrance additives that mask the chemical smell of other ingredients. On the other hand, fragrance-free products don't have any additives, hence lack a primary odor. The potential problem with scented deodorants is their scent clashing with your cologne or aftershave. You'll need to keep this in mind if you prefer having a statement fragrance.
5. Sensitive Skin & Allergies
A single deodorant stick contains at least 10 ingredients. Any active ingredient listed as "fragrance" can be a combination of up to 100 or more ingredients. It's advisable to look into your favorite deodorant brands to see which ingredients are used for manufacture. Only then can you establish which product is safe for your skin, particularly if you have sensitive skin or allergies. Alternatively, you can just get deodorant for sensitive skin.
6. Sustainable Production
You might also lean towards a deodorant that's sourced and manufactured sustainably. Look out for a B corporation logo; this means the manufacturer has met certain minimum requirements for sustainable production and fair employment practices, including cruelty-free sourcing.
How to Use a Deodorant
For maximum effectiveness:
- Wash your armpit area with water and gentle soap before applying the deodorant.
- Swipe the deodorant two to four times under the arms.
- Wait for a couple of minutes before you get dressed to avoid streaks.
- Store the deodorant with its cap on in a cool and dry place.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Deodorants for Men
1. How much deodorant is too much?
If you notice white spots or marks on your clothes -when you're wearing or taking them off- then you may have put on too much deodorant. The white patches mean your skin did not absorb the product completely.
2. Can you use a deodorant and an antiperspirant together?
Technically, yes. But there's mostly no need to. If you use either product properly, it should keep you smelling fresh and feeling dry all day. In fact, a lot of products combine deodorant and anti-perspirant ingredients to offer the benefits of both.
If you really want the best of both worlds, then go for an antiperspirant deodorant. However, if you sweat a lot, it might be more practical to use antiperspirant to handle the sweat (after showering at night) and deodorant to freshen up in the morning and prevent body odor all day.
3. Do deodorants or antiperspirants expire?
Well, yes... and no.
Yes, because cosmetic products that contain water, like roll-ons and creams, generally have a 12-month shelf life from the first day of use. But this still depends on the specific product or brand.
And no, because expiry dates don't particularly bear on spray deodorants and antiperspirants.
4. Can you spray deodorant onto clothes?
Technically you can, but what's the point in it anyway. Deodorants or antiperspirants need to be sprayed directly onto the skin to work properly. A deodorant won't reduce odor-causing bacteria, neither will an antiperspirant minimize the amount of sweat produced when it's sprayed on clothes.
5. How do you avoid stains after using deodorant?
- First, go for a product that's designed not to leave stains on textiles.
- Apply your product to completely dry skin.
- Don't apply too much - a couple of roll-on swipes or a 2-3 second spray should be enough.
- Wait until the product dries completely before you dress up.