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The Best Women’s Deodorants and Antiperspirants, According to Experts

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist. Photos: Courtesy of the Retailer

Finding a good deodorant is much like finding a good pen: Sometimes you just happen upon it at a friend’s and other times it requires an extensive hunt and many many attempts. That’s to say that deodorant is subjective and highly personal to your taste. But generally, a good deodorant (antiperspirant or not) will stop you from smelling and offending your fellow man, and if it’s meant to reduce sweat, make your armpits less sweaty. Deodorant is also broken down into two categories: deodorants with aluminum and deodorants without. Aluminum-free deodorants are often referred to as “natural” and use ingredients like arrowroot powder, magnesium, and baking soda to absorb additional moisture and keep you smelling fresh. Aluminum will help to stop you from sweating, natural deodorants will not.

To track down the best, we talked to dermatologists, athletes, trainers, and sweaty Strategist staffers about the deodorants and antiperspirants they’re using to stay fresh — from the mind-altering natural deodorant one Strategist writer swears by to clinical-strength ones that last up to two days.

Antiperspirants

Best antiperspirant-deodorant stick

$20 for 4

If you don’t need a supe-strong antiperspirant like the Dove Clinical Protection, the standard Dove is a classic, but solid option. Tamara Pridgett, founder of fitness creative agency Extended Day Studios and host of The First podcast, has been wearing it since middle school and counts it among the products she can’t live without. “It’s my go-to and I need to have it at all times,” she says. “I like it because it doesn’t get clumpy underneath my armpits, and it lasts for an eternity.” The classic option offers 48 hours of antiperspirant protection and has moisturizing ingredients for the skin. Strategist writer Emma Wartzman is also a fan: “I have tried a lot and nothing works better for me than this one.”

Best antiperspirant-deodorant stick for sensitive skin

Fitness coach Avamaria Rivas is both a heavy sweater and someone with sensitive skin. To avoid irritation, she only wears deodorant when she leaves the house or teaches fitness classes. Her deodorant of choice is Dove Sensitive, which she found after trying both natural and traditional options. “It’s the only deodorant that doesn’t break me out,” she says. “I also like that I don’t smell and that I stay fairly dry after my intense workouts.”

Best clinical-strength antiperspirant-deodorant stick

“This is my longtime favorite antiperspirant, I’ve used it for many years,” says Dr. Jessica Krant of Art of Dermatology. “It does the trick for wetness and odor and never irritates my skin.” Krant recommends the entire Dove Clinical Protection line for heavy sweaters, but likes the Cool Essentials scent in particular because of the green tea, which has anti-inflammatory properties that help to safeguard against irritation.

Best antiperspirant-deodorant gel deodorant for sensitive skin

For another clinical-strength option (meaning it has a higher concentration of aluminum salts), Dr. Michelle Henry likes this deodorant from Secret, which she often recommends to her patients. She’s been using it in her own routine for over a year, and likes that it’s gentle on skin and contains moisturizing ingredients like B5 and coconut oil. The antiperspirant has a lightweight gel texture and an easy-to-apply applicator.

Best antiperspirant-deodorant deodorant stick for super-sensitive skin

If you’re super-sensitive, you might want to try Vanicream, which dermatologist Susan Binder of Binder Dermatology describes as “great for sensitive skin.” Despite having a fairly high concentration of aluminum (20 percent), it’s unscented and free of practically any other irritant you can think of. It’s also long lasting, offering clinical-strength protection for up to 24 hours.

Natural deodorants

Best long-lasting natural deodorant

Schmidt’s is a big player in the natural deodorant space, beloved by celebrities, Strat staffers, and dermatologists like Binder, who uses it daily and opts for the rose and vanilla scent. Schmidt’s, like many natural deodorants, uses baking soda to absorb and neutralize odor along with arrowroot powder, which helps to soak up sweat. If you’re particularly sensitive to fragrance, Binder says you might want to skip it, because Schmidt’s uses essential oils to scent their products.

Best natural deodorant with probiotics

“This is my favorite all-natural deodorant,” says Krant of Mother Dirt’s probiotic deodorant. “It manages to keep me surprisingly dry, drier than other deodorants I’ve tried, due to natural potato starch in the formula.” The scent, she says, is also nice — noting that it isn’t too “flowery” or “powdery.” It’s also packed with probiotics, which Krant says helps with maintaining a healthy microbiome, which in turn can help to minimize irritation. She also likes to pair the deodorant with the brand’s AO+ Restorative Mist, which uses live bacteria and helps, says Krant, to fight off and block odor-causing bacteria.

Best natural deodorant with magnesium

If you happen to be sensitive to baking soda, magnesium (a natural antiperspirant and odor blocker) could be a good alternative. This magnesium- and squalane-packed deodorant is a favorite of Pridgett, who says it’s long-lasting (she can go half a day without reapplication) and doesn’t make her armpits feel wet throughout the day. “It’s as close to perfect as it can get.”

Best natural deodorant for moderate sweaters

While Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo isn’t a particularly heavy sweater, she does sweat when she’s stressed. “My body odor tends to follow my moods,” she explains. Her deodorant of choice is this natural deodorant from Mind Alt, which she says both calms her nerves and covers any body odor. The roll-on format applies in thin, quick-drying layers, minimizing transfer and that wet, goopy feeling. The most calming scent, she says, is the Sage Vetiver Sandalwood, which, according to the brand, supposedly gives you more energy.

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The Best Women’s Deodorants According to Experts