10 Best Deodorants for Men Tested and Reviewed
Life can be stinky, especially when you are training hard. Love the way you feel after an intense stair workout? You probably do not love the way you smell, and would not want to smell like a wet gym bag all the time. Smelling great boosts your confidence and helps you tackle every aspect of your life with as much tenacity as you do when you attack the next set. And we get it: you want a deodorant that works as hard as you do.
Deodorant is personal. Everyone’s body works a little different, and people need deodorants that address their body’s needs. Some sweat more than others. Some have odor that smells fouler. And still more have sensitive skin and easily develop rashes. The deodorant that satisfies your body’s particular needs indeed exists, but you may need to explore the many options to find it.
To help you on your quest for the best, most reliable stink-buster out there, we have put together a list of the best deodorant products available for men. Our choices include both antiperspirants and deodorants. Antiperspirants operate in your pores to block sweat secretion whereas deodorants combat odor-producing bacteria on the surface of your skin. For the earth-conscious or chemical-shy men, we have included some natural options. Men with sensitive skin will find relief in several products that appear on our list, and they may also benefit from the more natural options. So while the best deodorant is ultimately the one that works best for you, our list offers you a top-flight selection backed by extensive research. These deodorants may very well dethrone your favorite old stick.
- Axe White Label, Signature Night
- Easy to apply
- Dove Men+Care, Clean Comfort
- Mild scent
- Clinique for Men
- Great for sensitive skin
10 Best Deodorants for Men
1. Axe White Label, Signature Night
Made for men who work hard and play hard, this antiperspirant deodorant promises 48-hour protection from sweat pools and face-warping stink, withstanding tough jobs and intense workouts. The stick goes on white, cool, and clean, and unlike other antiperspirants, it does not stain shirts yellow or leave them streaked with white powder. White Label does contain aluminum (15.2%), as do most antiperspirants, and which helps block pores to stop sweat at the source. Weighing in at 2.7 ounces, both the roll-on stick and the spray are below TSA carry-on toiletry limits, making them ideal for business trips and vacations.
Not natural, but paraben-free, Axe’s high-quality antiperspirant may contain chemicals, but does not smell like them, nor does it irritate skin or leave an uncomfortable rash.
With White Label, Axe overcomes its reputation for cloaking teenage boys in obnoxiously strong odors by finally making a product that smells good on men. Check out “Night” scent for a confident, not boastful, blend of grapefruit, cedar wood, lavender, and praline.
For the price of a regular stick of deodorant, Axe White Label delivers so much more.
- Keeps arm pits dry and lasts a long time
- Easy to apply in stick or spray form
- No stains, no streaks, no rashes, no burns
- Good, consistent scent that stays on longer
- Not natural – contains aluminum, alcohol, and hydrogenated castor oil
2. Dove Men + Care, Clean Comfort
Dove remains one of the most trusted brands for both men and women. Dove employs its signature ¼ moisturizer technology to stave-off irritations common with antiperspirants and to keep underarm skin soft and healthy. People with sensitive skin, or those who have experienced rashes from other deodorants, prefer Dove Men + Care to other antiperspirants and deodorants because the simple non-irritant formula works. The stick does not sacrifice performance for comfort, offering 48-hour sweat and odor protection. The 2.7 ounce container will easily fit in an office satchel, gym bag, or travel toiletry case. Simple, clean, and effective, Dove Men + Care antiperspirant is the best option for sensitive skin-types.
It is not, however, a natural option. Like many other antiperspirants, Dove’s stick contains aluminum (15.2%) and alcohol.
The “Clean Comfort” scent may be mild, but it can survive the whole day, so users can enjoy the just-showered fresh smell as easily in the afternoon as when first applied. Bring this antiperspirant anywhere.
This inexpensive antiperspirant feels great both on the skin and on the wallet – popular features that attract a loyal customer-base.
- Excellent protection from rashes or irritations
- Mild scent
- Long-lasting, reliable sweat-blocker
- Not natural – contains aluminum, alcohol, and hydrogenated castor oil
3. Clinique for Men
The packaging embodies this antiperspirant’s functional, yet sophisticated, composition. A 2.6 ounce container, with matte black or grey finish and simple lettering – fit for a gentleman’s bath case, or for a jet-jockey businessman’s roller-board. While great for men who like a scent as rich as it is expensive, Clinique for Men’s truly excels in its performance. Here is an antiperspirant deodorant that works like it ought to, with the frills. Recommended for heavy-sweaters and dedicated athletes, Clinique’s stick controls sweat and stops the funk, without all the annoying side-effects of other antiperspirants. No yellow pit-stains. No streaks. No burns or rashes. While not advertised as a gentle product, this luxurious roll-on provides comfort and relief for men with sensitive skin and men who are allergic to other deodorants.
Clinique for Men does contain aluminum and alcohol.
Top-notch performance costs top dollar, but Clinique for Men is worth the splurge. For those with an expensive sense of smell and for those with sensitive skin looking for a product that actually works, Clinique for Men earns every penny of its price.
- Great for men with allergies or sensitive skin
- Long-lasting protection for heavy-sweaters and athletes
- Easy application, guaranteed to function
- Smells like the high-end product it is
- Not natural – contains aluminum and alcohol
4. Degree Men Dry Protection, Cool Comfort
Degree Men meets high performance standards with 48-hour protection against sweat and odor and a powerful amount of Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex (18.2%), the active ingredient that blocks pores and prevents sweat accumulation, to back it up. The non-irritant formula features aloe juice, which soothes skin and helps prevent rashes from forming, even during hill-sprints on a hot summer day. Ideal for runners who simply want to stay dry and feel good, this no-fuss deodorant does not stain shirts or leave streaks like other, similarly inexpensive options.
The Degree Men Dry Protection Antiperspirant’s high-octane performance recipe makes for a potent, chemical smell. Many find the citrusy scent over-powering.
Offering superb protection for an incredible price, this antiperspirant claims the title for best value on a strictly functional basis.
- Inexpensive – represents good value
- Tough sweat-blocker for active individuals
- Non-irritating formula with Aloe for healthy, comfortable skin
- Extremely undesirable smell
- Not natural – high levels of aluminum and also contains alcohol and hydrogenated castor oil
5. Old Spice Fresher Collection, Timber with Mint
For generations, men have been slathering Old Spice deodorants over their pit hair; sons, fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers – all of them. The Fresher Collection takes on the responsibility of keeping millions of men dry and smelling good with enthusiasm and rigor. It fights sweat like a heavy-weight champ, making Old Spice Timber a favorite among athletes. At 2.6 ounces, this stick can travel anywhere. Roll it on and watch it disappear. Old Spice Timber will not stain your favorite workout shirt or leave behind streaks. Some people may have a sensitivity to Old Spice deodorant products, and while rashes are not common, this antiperspirant puts performance before comfort. Suspend use if irritation occurs.
This antiperspirant weighs in heavy with 18% active ingredient Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex.
A fun, outdoorsy smell with a twist of zesty lime, this new Old Spice fragrance is just as “Ooh” inducing as the originals. Users can’t say it enough: “Smells great!”
Old Spice Timber is slightly more expensive than other antiperspirants, but the scent is simply irresistible.
- Long-lasting, fresh and unique scent
- Durable, reliable sweat protection
- Comfortable, easy application
- Not natural – contains high levels of aluminum and also contains alcohol and hydrogenated castor oil
- More expensive than other brands
6. Arm & Hammer Essentials, Fresh
Note, this is a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, so it will not block pores nor prevent sweat. It does, however, have the reputation of being a deodorant with outstanding longevity. Arm & Hammer Essentials sinks right into those hairy pits, preventing odors without staining clothing or leaving tracks on dark shirts. Natural ingredients make this stick an excellent choice for people with sensitive underarms. The bottom line: Arm & Hammer Essentials is the best deodorant for environmental-minded, budget-conscious individuals.
The Essentials deodorant line remains unsoiled by unnatural ingredients; no aluminum, no alcohol, no castor oil, no parabens, no colorants, and no animal-derived products.
The “Fresh” scent stays around longer than most natural deodorants, with most users reporting they smell just as fresh in the evening as in the morning, when they first applied the deodorant.
As far as natural deodorants go, Arm & Hammer stands committed to producing a high-quality, affordable, and reliable option.
- Unbelievably inexpensive
- Long-lasting clean scent
- No streaks, no stains
- All natural ingredients; no aluminum, parabens, alcohol, colorants, or animal products
- Excellent for sensitive skin
- Not an antiperspirant – will not prevent sweat
- Does not hold-up through intense sweating/exercising
7. Recipe for Men
This antiperspirant proves its value on a daily basis, making sure that the hairy mess under men’s arms stays dry at all time. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, use Recipe for Men, so athletes can rest assured that this prescription-grade antiperspirant can handle the hardest training days. Weighing in at just 2.0 ounces, this little roll-on stick packs a punch, promising 24-hour sweat control and touting an ultra-mild formula that eradicates bacteria and prevents odors from taking hold. After a few quick swipes, this antiperspirant soaks in, leaving no sticky residue, powdery crust, or yellow pit stains. As a bonus, this little sweat-crusher contains no alcohol, making it a more comfortable wear.
Recipe for Men hits the pits hard with 20% active ingredient Aluminum Chlorohydrate – the kind of stuff that will stop sweat better than the Hoover Dam.
It smells like nothing, and it feels like nothing.
Award-winning sweat protection does not come free, and at $22 per bottle, Recipe for Men may seem overpriced.
- High-performing antiperspirant; will keep armpits bone-dry for a long time
- Can handle excessive sweating from intense workouts
- Quick absorption and zero residue
- Does not smell like anything
- Not natural – contains high levels of aluminum
8. Old Spice High Endurance Original Scent
This deodorant does not mix with bacteria, it annihilates bacteria. Proudly declaring 24-hour odor protection, this Old Spice series is all about longevity. Although it is not an antiperspirant and will not combat sweat, High Endurance deodorant fights tenaciously to defeat foul-smelling agents and keep men smelling good, no matter what. Good for sweaty workouts, and for hugging the family after. The 3 ounce stick is larger than other deodorants, but it will still travel, and the familiar design makes application smooth and easy. In blue-gel form, this deodorant will not stain shirts or leave behind a white, flaky residue. The Bottom Line: to smell the best all the time, wear Old Spice High Endurance.
Most users wear Old Spice comfortably, without any irritation or rash, and High Endurance’s gentle recipe leaves out the aluminum and the alcohol
Powerful, potent, manly fragrances are the trademark of Old Spice, and the High Endurance line salutes the brand’s proud tradition.
This deodorant is priced a little higher than others on this list.
- Assortment of popular, memorable scents
- Never-ending good smell – they mean “high endurance”
- Comfortable and clean application
- No aluminum
- Not an antiperspirant: will not prevent sweat
- Slightly pricier than other deodorants
- Bulky container
9. Jack Black Pit Boss
Jack Black is a Texas-born, family owned-and-operated grooming and skincare company. Getting men to buy high-end personal hygiene products can be tough business, but Jack Black earned a stalwart band of supporters by making top-notch items like the Pit Boss antiperspirant and deodorant. With a gentle formula that contains Vitamin E for better skin health, this non-traditional roll-on conditions underarm skin while keeping it free of sweat.
While it does contain aluminum, this antiperspirant is cruelty-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, and vegan. Proven to last all day, and maybe part of the next day too, Pit Boss provides long-term wetness control and sweat prevention.
To be applied like, any old regular stick of deodorant, Pit Boss antiperspirant treats the user and others to the distinct, unique aroma of Jack Black’s signature “All-Over” scent.
Some users are dissatisfied with Pit Boss’s tendency to clump and flake after it dries. For $17 per stick, men do not want chalky shirts or uncomfortable armpit hair-balls.
- Cruelty-free, vegan, no alcohol, no parabens, no colorants,
- Unique, mild scent
- Consistent, effective sweat protection
- Not totally natural – contains some aluminum
- Clumps and/or flakes after application
10. Herban Cowboy Maximum Protection
The recipe for this deodorant contains many extracts, silver, zinc, rice starch, and aloe barbadensis leaf juice. Natural ingredients, especially the aloe juice, make this deodorant an ideal candidate for people with sensitive skin.
Just like more mainstream deodorants, Herban Cowboy actually smells really good. Available aromas include “Forest,” “Wild,” and “Dusk.” With Herban Cowboy, smelling great the all-natural vegan way is as easy as applying a couple swipes to each armpit.
This deodorant is expensive, running about $8 per stick.
- 100% vegan, all-natural, no aluminum, no parabens, no alcohol, etc.
- Extra-whiff worthy assortment of great scents
- Goes on cleans, leaves no marks
- Not good for strenuous activity like intense exercise or running
- Not an antiperspirant – will not block sweat
- Fragrance diminishes quickly – poor endurance
- Expensive at over $8 per stick
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Deodorant for Men
Choosing a deodorant can be as easy as pulling the first stick off the shelf at the local pharmacy or grocery store. Most men don’t even think about it. Finding the right deodorant, however, can prove much more difficult. A multitude of brands – big-name and boutique – all offer a similar product: a nice-smelling formula to be used on the armpits. With packaging that stacks up the promises and punch-words, it can be difficult to determine which product works well and which one works better. To put together our top 10 list, we’ve done extensive research and determined some key factors to use when choosing which deodorant to buy.
No one wants to deal with annoying side effects when using a personal grooming product. We use deodorant every day, so tolerance for malfunction or irritation should be low. A deodorant that functions properly will come in a form and packaging that make it easy to apply. (Don’t buy something you will have to dab on with cotton balls unless you like that method of application.) Most deodorants come in stick form, which tends to be the form preferred by men. Poor-functioning deodorants will ruin shirts or make skin feel uncomfortable. Yellow pit stains; white, streaky deodorant powder trails on dark shirts; dry, hard balls clinging to pit hair; sopping wet underarm hair; greasy paste collecting in armpits. These are all signs of a deodorant that is not right for you. In addition to the more superficial irritations, deodorant may result in actual skin irritation. If a deodorant produces a negative reaction in the skin, usually in the form of an itchy, burning rash, find a new deodorant. Basically, the best deodorants are the deodorants that go in your armpits cleanly and then allow you to forget that you’re wearing deodorant by just working – no irritation, no clumping, no stains. Little fuss = great deodorant.
Most deodorant brands will make bold promises about how many hours their product stays on the job on your sweaty, hairy underarm. Not all brands keep their promises, and ultimately it is best to find the deodorant that works all day for your own body. Good deodorants should withstand a full day of everyday activity. You may need to reapply deodorant later in the day, but two applications per day is the most anyone should need if they’re using a good product. For our top 10 list, we’ve gone beyond daily use to consider the needs of athletes. Work hard, play hard, sweat hard should be the actual mantra of trail-race warriors and road-runners alike. Athletes need a deodorant that will stand up to all that sweat and keep them dry, or at least keep them smelling good. A truly great antiperspirant will keep you dry all day. A truly great deodorant will keep you smelling good all day. That is the standard. If an antiperspirant cannot fend-off the sweaty barrage from intense workouts, and if a deodorant loses its scent after half a day, those products will score poorly in endurance and we would not recommend that you use them. The right deodorant will keep you feeling good and smelling good all day, period.
This criterion is pretty straight-forward, and extremely subjective. Does the deodorant agent smell good to you, or not? That’s it. Some brands place less importance on fragrance, and their products will likely have milder, less-perceptible scents. Other brands want to turn you into an aroma-bomb with a blast radius of thirty feet. Men should choose the product that aligns with their preference – mild fragrance or bold scent. Natural deodorant products have a reputation for smelling bad, or turning foul after several hours, or even losing the scent completely after a short period of time. While natural deodorants may have fewer preserving agents than mainstream, chemical-formula deodorants, that does not necessarily mean they don’t smell good or last a long time. For our top 10 list, we’ve carefully selected natural products provide reliable, durable, and fresh-smelling fragrances.
Pharmacy-shelf deodorant brands cost more or less the same. Boutique, specialized, and natural grooming products usually cost more. Do not allow price tags to scare you away from a high-end product or dupe you into buying a 32-pack of white sticks that just say “Deodorant” on the label. The value of a product lies in how well it performs in relation to how much it costs. It may be well worth it to hand over a few extra bills for a product like Clinique for Men that does its job reliably and consistently. If you need extra-strength antiperspirant, you may need to spend a little more to get the results that you want. If aluminum and alcohol in deodorant makes you fear for your health, invest in natural products. Men typically do not like to spend a lot of money on personal grooming products. They find it unnecessary. In reality, you should feel good about spending money on a deodorant that does EXACTLY what you need and want it to do. Our Top-Ten list contains products with price tags big and small. We rewarded the products that produced the best, most consistent results – according to our determined criteria – for the best price.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Buying deodorant is a personal exercise, so it is important to find a product that fits with your lifestyle.
Most deodorant brands make products that meet United States TSA regulations for carry-on liquids, gels, and toiletries. However, if you travel abroad frequently, you may need a smaller deodorant that will meet the security regulations of other countries.
Allergies and Sensitivity
While our top 10 list aims to include products that perform well for people with allergies or sensitive skin, it is not a crucial factor in determining which products make the cut. You know your own body better than anyone. If you have allergies to certain chemicals, compounds, or naturally-occurring ingredients, you should find a product that will not cause an allergic reaction. A lot of men have sensitive skin, and many more have experienced negative skin reactions to deodorants. If you have experienced underarm rash or irritation on your armpits due to an antiperspirant or deodorant product, you should take care to find a new brand that will feel good on your skin. For men who are sensitive to fragrances, look for products that are “fragrance-free.” Unscented deodorants usually contain odor-masking agents that are the same as those used to create fragrances, so “unscented” deodorants will irritate men who are sensitive to fragrances.
People want to know what goes into the products they put on their bodies, plain and simple. Studies have identified several ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants as toxins that can be harmful to humans. These studies link ingredients like aluminums, parabens, triclosan, talc, alcohol, castor oil, propylene glycol, and colorants to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. Other studies have produced conflicting or inconclusive results, leaving consumers confused about which products to buy and what to avoid. If you are concerned about the potential health risks associated with chemicals in your deodorant, you should opt for natural alternatives, or brands that don’t contain certain ingredients. Our top 10 list includes some information about which products contain which ingredients. And if you prefer natural and organic products, look for brands that proudly list their naturally-derived ingredients and adamantly express their commitment against toxins (usually with a long “No This” list). For all the natural-only men out there, our top 10 list has a few good options for you too.
Q: What is the difference between an Antiperspirant and a Deodorant?
A: Antiperspirants contain chemicals, most notably aluminum compounds, which block pores to prevent your body from excreting sweat. Antiperspirants usually contain odor-fighting agents as well. Deodorants attack odor-producing bacteria (the stuff that mixes with your sweat to make you stink) with chemicals or natural-derived solutions. Not all deodorants contain anti-bacterial agents, and so do not eliminate the stink. These deodorants reduce odor while masking it with their own potent fragrance. Many of the products in our top 10 list are both antiperspirants and deodorants, and they perform the duties of both – keeping you dry and making you smell pretty.
Q: How do I prevent damage to my clothes in the form of yellow pit stains or white powder marks?
A: A lot of products claim to employ special formulas that will reduce or completely stop stains, streaks, and clumps. Purchasing one of these products is a good start, but ultimately, these damages are the result of reactions between the ingredients of your favorite stick and the proteins and bacteria on your skin. The by-products of these interactions end up on your shirts. The best form of prevention: allow antiperspirants and deodorants to absorb and dry completely before putting on clothing. Follow the directions printed on the packaging. Many antiperspirants recommend application at night, or before going to bed (whenever you are least active and most dry). This allows the antiperspirant to settle into your underarm skin and effectively block the pores.
Q: Do Deodorants reduce or stop sweat?
A: No. Deodorants only do battle against bacteria and bad odor. If any deodorant claims to stop sweat, it is either a false claim, or that deodorant is also an antiperspirant or contains active ingredients found in antiperspirants, like aluminum.
Q: What should I use if I sweat A LOT?
A: Sweating a lot after exercise is normal. Sure, some people sweat more than others, but sweating after exercise is healthy because it is one of the primary ways your body cools itself down. If you sweat a lot after exercise, do not jump for an extreme antiperspirant. Allow your body to function normally and cool you down. However, if you sweat a lot while at rest, or if you sweat an inordinate amount when you are nervous or uncomfortable, you may want to look into extra-strength, clinical-strength, or even prescription antiperspirants. Hardcore solutions for heavy sweaters typically don’t offer much in terms of pleasant aromas, but the scientists and doctors who design them have enough sense to at least make them unscented or fragrance-free. Pair heavy-duty antiperspirants with a non-irritating cologne to stay dry AND smell good.
Q: Which ingredients may be considered toxins?
A: Aluminum compounds found in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of certain types of cancer.
Parabens are preservatives found in common personal care products. They present a risk as possible contributors to the development of certain types of cancer.
Alcohol is super-effective at killing bacteria, and some deodorants contain alcohol or ethanol for that very reason. Alcohol and ethanol may result in skin irritation or contact dermatitis.
Propylene Glycol allows for better absorption of deodorant ingredients and locks in moisture. Classified as a neurotoxin, Propylene Glycol may also cause liver and kidney damage.
Triclosan is a synthetic antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial agent. It may contribute to the development of cancer and it may cause hormonal imbalances or damage.
Fragrance Phthalates may appear on labels as DHP, DBP5, or DEHP. They are suspected to be probable carcinogens, developmental and reproductive toxins, and they may interfere with healthy hormone function.
TEA/DEA are compounds that adjust your body’s pH levels to produce essentially a cleansing agent. Triethanolamine and Diethanolamine may prove toxic over a long period of time.
Talc is a common absorbent found in many personal care products, and it is classified as a carcinogen.
Colorants are any artificial element used to color a product. They may or may not be approved by the FDA or other regulating bodies. Some people experience bad skin reactions to colorants. Some colorants are produced using cancer-causing ingredients.
Castor Oil is used in deodorants to make the product congeal and maintain solid form and shape during use. While most castor oil in deodorants has been purified of toxins found in castor beans, some claim there is still a risk that hydrogenated castor oil can negatively affect humans.
Q: Which makes a better stick, clear or blue gel-solid or white powder-solid?
A: Honestly, it’s a personal preference. Different brands produce different sticks. The color and make-up of the stick will not determine if it is durable or if it feels good on your skin. White powder-solids may dry-up crumble, cling to armpit hair in itchy clumps, or leave dusty white trails on your shirts. If heavily-applied, white powder-solids may also be worked into a lather or paste that will make you feel like you’re carrying two soap bars under your arms. By contrast, clear and blue gel-solids may combine with sweat to turn your armpits into a couple of smelly Slip ‘N Slides. They may also dry-up and crumble, or feel scaly and rake your sensitive underarm skin. They may leave blue stains on white shirts. They may produce a heavy clear sludge that will make your pits feel greasy and possibly even irritate your skin. All sticks have the potential to cause a nightmare in your armpits. Really it comes down to what type of stick feels right when you put it on.
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