The 5 Best Deodorants for Women That Will Decrease Sweat and Odor
Deodorant is an essential part of many people's everyday skin routine due to its effectiveness at masking underarm odor. Many deodorants, except for natural deodorants, are also combined with antiperspirants, which work to stop the sweat altogether.
We looked closely at dozens of deodorant products and evaluated them on formula, strength, and application method to determine the best deodorants for women. Our top choice is the Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant, which does an excellent job at keeping odor and sweat at bay and contains ingredients that moisturize and allow for easy application.
Read on for all of our top deodorant picks for women.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Deodorant: Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant
- Best Deodorant for Sweat: Secret Clinical Strength Completely Clean Invisible Solid Antiperspirant & Deodorant
- Best Natural Deodorant: Kopari Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant
- Best Anti-Stain Deodorant: Degree Ultraclear Black + White 72-Hour Antiperspirant & Deodorant
- Best Spray Deodorant: Dove Advanced Care Dry Spray Antiperspirant & Deodorant
Best Overall Deodorant: Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant
Best Deodorant for Sweat: Secret Clinical Strength Completely Clean Invisible Solid Antiperspirant & Deodorant
Best Natural Deodorant: Kopari Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant
Best Anti-Stain Deodorant: Degree Ultraclear Black + White 72-Hour Antiperspirant & Deodorant
Best Spray Deodorant: Dove Advanced Care Dry Spray Antiperspirant & Deodorant
Overall, we recommend the Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant, which offers robust protection from sweat and underarm odor for up to 48 hours. It also features moisturizing ingredients to keep your underarms smooth, comes in a variety of scents, and has a budget-friendly price.
How to Shop for Deodorant
Traditional "deodorant" is actually two products in one: a deodorant and an antiperspirant. Deodorants keep underarm odor at bay, while antiperspirants prevent sweating—and the properties in antiperspirants that prevent you from sweating also stop body odor. As such, you can get an antiperspirant that also does the work of deodorant, but you can't get a deodorant that also does the work of an antiperspirant. While most people benefit from a deodorant-antiperspirant combo, people who don't sweat much and people who prefer chemical-free deodorants should look for a natural deodorant.
One of the most talked about ingredients in deodorant is aluminum, which is the ingredient most often used to block sweat. Aluminum is present in most antiperspirants, and although the amount of aluminum in antiperspirants is considered safe to use daily, many people are more comfortable with an aluminum-free deodorant, aka a natural deodorant. Natural deodorants use alternatives such as baking soda, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch to help soak up sweat, although they simply aren't as effective as aluminum.
Another thing that people don't often know when switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant is that your body may have a reaction to it. This reaction includes smellier, sweatier armpits for up to four weeks. The aluminum in antiperspirants is so effective at blocking sweat that, when no longer used, the barrier that existed before dissipates and the waste buildup that lived behind it starts pouring out, resulting in more sweat and body odor. This might be uncomfortable, but it should stop once your body adjusts to your new, natural deodorant. The best thing to do is let the process happen, but if you want to help alleviate the symptoms, just wash your armpits more frequently with soap and water.
Other ingredients to keep in mind are fragrances. Fragrances, such as essential oils or plant extracts, are added to help mask that body odor smell. Many deodorants are scented, but added fragrances can cause skin irritation and underarm discomfort for some people. It's recommended that people with sensitive skin opt for fragrance-free deodorants. If you're unsure, you can always try a deodorant with fragrances and see how your skin reacts. If you start to feel irritation in your armpits, then you'll know it's probably because of the added fragrances.
You'll find deodorants with various application types, including sticks, roll-ons, and sprays. One type isn't necessarily better than the other, so the type you choose all comes down to personal preference. Sticks are great for people who want to get maximum coverage, while roll-ons are better for people who prefer a lighter application. Both of these methods might leave more of a residue or gel film that can be uncomfortable for some, and may take longer to dry. If that bugs you, you may be better off with a spray deodorant, which dries quicker. Just know that if you buy a spray, you'll be breathing it in every time you use it, which might be annoying to some people.
Questions You Might Ask
What does it mean when a deodorant is "clinical strength"?
Clinical strength deodorant is a deodorant-antiperspirant combo that simply offers more of the ingredients that prevent odor and sweat, which is usually aluminum. This is the strongest deodorant and antiperspirant you'll get without a prescription from a doctor. As such, if you struggle with regular deodorants or antiperspirants not working, try something that is labeled as "clinical strength" and follow the brand's directions exactly. Just keep in mind that clinical strength deodorants do cost more than regular deodorants or antiperspirants.
When and how often should I be applying deodorant?
The odor- and sweat-blocking properties of deodorants and antiperspirants usually last about 24 hours, with some up to 72 hours. However, if you find yourself in a situation where your armpits are sticky or are excessively sweating, there is no harm in adding another application. Try to avoid applying deodorant or antiperspirant multiple times a day though, as this could lead to skin irritation. If you become uncomfortable after applying your deodorant more than once per day, consider upgrading to a clinical strength deodorant.
When you apply deodorant, make sure your armpits are completely dry so that your skin properly soaks up its ingredients. This is especially important for antiperspirants, which work better in a dry underarm environment and are usually recommended to be applied at night rather than the morning. Not only are your sweat glands less active at night, but applying overnight allows more time for the product to sink in. Following this routine should increase the effectiveness of the antiperspirant, so much so that it won't be affected by or rubbed off from the water in your morning shower. This isn't the case, however, for deodorants.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. She spent hours researching all the components that make the best deodorant for women, ultimately choosing the products on this list based on deodorant type and ingredients.