Woman applying deodorant to her underarms

Woman applying deodorant (Photo by Prostock-studio on Shutterstock)

Deodorant or antiperspirant? What’s the difference? According to The Strategist, deodorants use a range of ingredients to absorb sweat and minimize smell while antiperspirants contain aluminum to block the sweat glands and cut down on B.O. It’s such a VIP (very important product) that we all know the feeling of leaving the house only to remember in a panic that we forgot to put on deodorant. That alone can make you sweat. So, which are the best women’s deodorants that you can’t leave home without, and are there any ingredients you should look out for? 

Researchers from the University of Queensland say triclosan, which is found in some deodorants, may contribute to antibiotic resistance. The ingredient is an additive used to prevent growth of bacteria in products. Triclosan was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in soaps and body washes in 2016 because there was not enough evidence proving that it was safe for long-term daily use. However, it wasn’t banned from all personal care products. 

And what’s the big deal about aluminum? It might seem like you should avoid it because of how many deodorants advertise no-aluminum formulas. But what would a physician say? For your sake, we found out: “Aluminum might be of concern if you have kidney problems, especially if your kidney function is 30 percent or less,” says Benjamin Chan, DO, a physician at Penn Family Medicine Phoenixville. “Usually, excess aluminum is filtered out of your body by your kidneys. So, people with weakened kidney function can’t filter aluminum fast enough. However, if you have normal kidney function, your kidneys can usually process the aluminum from antiperspirants.” 

If you’d prefer to avoid deodorants with these ingredients, you’ll want to head to our list of Best Natural Deodorants.

Now that you’ve had a crash course on deodorant formulas, which brands do experts recommend? Hint: It’s a mixed bag. Some favorites are antiperspirants and some are deodorants. But the plus side is: There’s an option for everyone. We compiled the list below of experts’ picks for the best women’s deodorant by finding the most frequently recommended products. That means, you don’t have to sweat it! In fact, a few of these recommendations say they’ll keep you feeling dry and smelling amazing for up to 48 hours.

The List: Best Deodorant For Women, According To Experts


1. Secret Antiperspirant Clinical Strength Deodorant for Women

The ultimate sweat fighter? Runner’s World says so: “Clinical-strength antiperspirants are essentially the ‘nuclear option’ when it comes to sweat protection. Here’s how they work: If you apply the products at bedtime, they’re designed to settle into your pores and block sweat for up to 24 hours (and, in some cases, even longer). The claim is that they’re more effective because of a higher concentration of the active ingredient aluminum — for example, this bar of Secret Clinical Strength has 25 percent more aluminum than a standard Secret antiperspirant, and boasts its power to protect pits for up to 48 hours.” 

Health.com thinks it’s a solid pick for the best women’s deodorant: “This solid gel antiperspirant was a firm favorite among the Health team. Not only did it effectively minimize sweat and odor, it didn’t transfer onto our tester’s clothes at all. After 30 minutes of cardio, the deodorant effectively stopped the smell of the sweat and even after 24 hours of wearing this antiperspirant, one reviewer said, ‘There was just no scent from my armpits. Even when showering and smelling my clothes, there was no smell at all!’” 

Secret – Clinical Strength Soft Solid performed well in both the odor and wetness control categories. It also has a nice floral scent and the smoothest applicator of all clinical-strength products we tested,” Your Best Digs writes.

2. Native Deodorant

This is the deodorant you’ve likely been hearing about! Vice hypes it up, too: “There’s a high chance you’ve seen an influencer swipe their armpits with Native, a paraben- and aluminum-free deodorant. There’s a coconut and vanilla scent that makes us feel like we’re on a tropical island all day long. Coconut oil, shea butter, probiotics, and tapioca are the main ingredients; shea butter acts as a great moisturizer, while coconut oil seals in antioxidants and vitamins. It’s no wonder that Native deodorants have almost 66,000 stellar reviews on Amazon.” 

CNN believes you’ll like this celeb-favorite: “You’ve heard celebrities promoting Native on podcast commercials, and now you’re about to hear a glowing endorsement from an average Joe fitness enthusiast, aka yours truly: This all-natural, gender-neutral deodorant boasts a super-subtle sweet smell that’s powerful enough to offset any funky sweat odors.”

“Natural deodorants don’t have to suck. With a cult-like following, Native is safe for the skin and your sensitive underarm area. Free from baking soda and aluminum, this deodorant contains natural ingredients that block sweat and absorb excess odors, sweat and oil,” Dallas News claims.

3. Dove Advanced Care Cool Essentials Antiperspirant Deodorant 

Allure gave this antiperspirant an award: “With a quarter of its formula devoted to moisturizers, Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant in Cool Essentials ensures your underarms stay soft and smooth while delivering up to 48 hours of sweat and odor protection. The stick also has a fresh cucumber and green tea scent, making it more than worthy of a 2022 Allure Readers’ Choice Award.” 

Cool is the operative word in this highly popular deodorant from Dove — not only does it keep your armpits smelling as fresh and clean as a cucumber, it ensures they feel fresh and clean too. This option also comes in a budget-friendly pack of four for $19,” SELF raves.

4. Secret Antiperspirant Deodorant With Pure Essential Oils

Good Housekeeping calls it luxurious: “A GH Beauty Lab favorite, Secret turns putting on deodorant into a luxury experience with sophisticated packaging and essential oil-based scents like lavender, cedarwood and rose. ‘It works like a charm keeping skin dry and feeling soft, even through two-hour long tennis practices,’ reports GH Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Sabina Wizemann. (It also comes in an aluminum-free version.)” 

“Infused with essential oils and aluminum, this antiperspirant provides coverage for up to 48 hours. One smooth swipe reveals a refreshing blend of lavender, eucalyptus, and ginger — a combination that masks unpleasant odors. Plus, it’s paraben- and dye-free,” Verywell Fit says.

5. Dove Aluminum-Free Deodorant

According to Byrdie, you can’t go wrong with Dove: “Regardless of preference, we guarantee you there’s a Dove deodorant for that. They have a variety of traditional antiperspirants, including this new, aluminum-free deodorant that was a big hit with Byrdie editors. In total, including all of the extensive scent options, there are over 60 unique variants. In true Dove fashion, all of the formulas are super moisturizing and gentle on skin, too.” 

“Dove’s 0% Aluminum Deodorant is aluminum- and alcohol-free, and is a nice option for sensitive skin because it contains moisturizing, hydrating, and soothing ingredients like shea butter, glycerin, and aloe,” Prevention says.

Looking for only natural deodorants? We’ve got a list for that, too.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.  

About Stephanie Vallette

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1 Comment

  1. Laura says:

    Can someone please tell me what happened to Secret’s essential oil deodorant line???? I cannot find this product anywhere….not even Amazon!